State Budget Process Now Underway
On Tuesday, February 6th, Governor Tom Wolf addressed the Pennsylvania General Assembly in a joint legislative session to unveil his proposal for the fiscal year 2018-2019 state budget.
After hearing what the Governor has proposed, I am encouraged by the fact that education funding and efforts to combat the state’s opioid epidemic continue to be top priorities. I also remain optimistic that revenues are ahead of projected estimates for the current budget cycle. This is certainly positive news for the Commonwealth.
While the Governor’s proposed budget represents a solid starting point for negotiations, there are a few pieces of his proposal that do raise some concern; specifically, the level of new spending. I believe we need to remain careful in increasing spending levels. The average rate of appropriations growth over the past decade has been 1.2 percent, but the Governor has proposed a 3.7 percent increase in spending this year. The General Assembly must take a close look at those spending levels with the goal of enacting a fiscally responsible, on-time state budget.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am looking forward to reviewing in depth the Governor’s proposal during the three weeks of budget hearings, which begin on Tuesday, February 20th.
If you are interested in learning more about the Governor’s proposed budget or viewing live coverage of any of the upcoming budget hearings, you may access this information on the Senate Appropriations Committee website at https://appropriations.pasenategop.com/.
Congratulations to the Eagles!
I co-sponsored a resolution congratulating the Philadelphia Eagles for their tremendous Super Bowl LII Victory over the New England Patriots. I am happy to celebrate the Eagles’ 2017-2018 season and honor the new World Champions! Senate Resolution 269 was introduced and adopted by the full Senate last Monday.
Clean Energy Program
This past week, the Senate approved Senate Bill 234, legislation that would authorize assessments for energy improvements in districts designated by municipalities; thereby establishing Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation; and I voted in favor of it in the full Senate.
Specifically, this bipartisan legislation is designed to ensure that owners of agricultural, commercial and industrial properties can obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy products. Multi-family housing or any residential property are excluded.
The bill was supported by numerous stakeholders, including the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) which represents several businesses located in the 9th Senatorial District; the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC); The Nature Conservancy, Pennsylvania Chapter; Penn Future; PennEnvironment; and the Pennsylvania Municipal League.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Resources for Adult Caregivers
Families with seniors aging-in-place can turn to their local Area Agency on Aging for a variety of caregiver resources.
The Family Caregivers Webinar Series brings insights to legal issues, provides connections to community resources, expands emotional survival skills, and cultivates coping strategies, along with increasing awareness of special issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury.
For those new to Bringing Care Home, the PA Homecare Association offers a documentary and a companion Guidebook to locating resources for and making important decisions with aging loved ones. For additional assistance, contact your county’s Area Agency on Aging or the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at 717-783-1550.
Click here to visit their website.
Click here to visit their website.
Assistance for Veterans Available
I have begun a partnership with the Pennsylvania American Legion to assist veterans at my Brookhaven office, located at 4110 Edgmont Avenue. A representative from this organization will be at my office on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I would like to encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment for these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting the office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service will be offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
How I Can Help
My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.
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