Emailed Newsletter - August 11, 2023
8/11/2023
 
Capitol Report
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The latest news from the State Capitol
 
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Celebrating Culture at India Day

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend India Day at HACC! Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania (AIACPA) does an awesome job putting this event together every year that highlights and celebrates the food, dance, entertainment and culture of Central PA’s Asian Indian population. It’s always a great time at India Day!


   
 
On the Road with the Policy Committee

This week, the House Republican Policy Committee went on the road to learn more about energy and tourism in Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, I joined them for a tour of York 2 Energy Center, Calpine’s power plant in Delta. This amazing power plant in York County generates dual-fueled, combined-cycle electric power to ensure the grid has reliable, clean energy to deliver to households all over the Commonwealth. This is one way we can ensure Pennsylvania’s natural resources are used responsibly while keeping the lights on across the state.


Later in the week, I travelled to Bethlehem for a hearing to discuss statewide tourism. Hearing testifiers shared their expertise on attracting tourists, promoting events and community programs, workforce development impacts and more. It was great to learn more about how the legislature can help the travel and tourism industry prosper for future generations.

 
 
More People Eligible for Property Tax/Rent Rebates Next Year


More Pennsylvania seniors and people with disabilities will be eligible for increased property tax or rent relief next year under a new law approved by the General Assembly in July.  

Act 7 of 2023 increases income limits for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for homeowners and renters to $45,000 annually. The law also raises the maximum rebate each homeowner or renter can receive from $650 to $1,000.

Thanks to the new law, more than 150,000 additional individuals will be eligible for assistance, which is more important than ever due to rising costs driven by inflation. The expansion will be in effect next year when residents apply for assistance based on rent and property taxes paid in 2023. Those claims will be paid in 2024.

There is still time to apply for the current year’s program, which is based on rent and property taxes paid in 2022. Apply online at mypath.pa.gov or contact my office for free assistance.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible residents 65 years and older; widows and widowers 50 years and older; and people with disabilities 18 years and older.
 
 

Economic and Financial Brief

Each month, the House Appropriations Committee publishes an Economic and Financial Brief for Pennsylvania. The brief covers a variety of important economic metrics such as the unemployment rate, labor force participation, inflation and federal interest rates. Additionally, it keeps track of monthly state revenues and spending, along with other policy issues affecting the financial health of the Commonwealth. You can find the July 2023 Brief here, along with past and future reports at www.pabudget.com.
 
 
Beware of Financial Aid Scams


The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is cautioning borrowers to be aware of an increase in harmful financial aid scams that could expose them to identity theft and significant financial loss.

Last year, scammers stole an estimated $5 billion from Americans in student loan-related scams, according to a recent report. Scammers use multiple modes of communication to reach borrowers, including social media, text messages, emails and phone calls.

Scammers are also very skilled at posing as government representatives and may even have look-alike government websites and logos to trick unsuspecting victims. Borrowers are encouraged to visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website, www.StudentAid.gov, for information about all available student loan debt relief and repayment plans. Borrowers should never pay for a service that is available to them for free.

For a list of red flags, you should look for to avoid being scammed and what to do if you become a victim of a scam, click here.