Jul. 07, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
State Budget Update

Five days into the new fiscal year, the state House passed a $45.55 billion budget Wednesday by a vote of 117-86.

While there are aspects of this budget I support, like funding four additional state trooper classes and investing $14 million in career and technical education programs, it also neglects some of the most vulnerable populations in our Commonwealth. For example, it makes a $170 million cut to funding for vital intellectual disability and autism programs, leaving those who rely on these important local services in a lurch. We must be responsible in the allocation of Pennsylvanian’s hard earned tax dollars, and this budget misplaces priorities and simply spends too much.

I could not in good faith vote to approve a budget in which spending outpaces the rate of inflation. This proposal spends $1 billion more than it takes in and represents a six percent increase over last year’s budget. Pennsylvanians have been tightening their belts to keep up with the rising cost of living, and this level of overspending is simply not sustainable. Government must learn from those it serves and practice fiscal responsibility during an economically volatile time.
Mark Your Calendar for My Document Shredding Event

Constituents of the 87th Legislative District are invited to my free Document Shredding Event on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. Stop by the district office in Mechanicsburg to safely dispose of documents containing sensitive information, like tax forms.

No RSVP is required for this event. Shredding will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

I hope to see you then!

Save on Summer Energy Bills

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is highlighting opportunities to help millions of consumers manage summer energy usage and utility bills, with some having the potential to save as much as 20% to 40% every month.

According to a recent sampling of supplier offers posted on the PUC’s electricity shopping website, PAPowerSwitch.com, there are substantial benefits for consumer energy costs, particularly in service territories for PPL, PECO and Duquesne Light. In each of these areas, potential savings are large enough to make a very noticeable impact on monthly electric bills – with estimated savings ranging from $18 to $32 per month for the average customer.

Even outside of those utility service areas, saving opportunities are available. Simply visit PAPowerSwitch.com and check the price to compare (PTC), be mindful of any sign-up or early termination fees, and pay attention to whether offers are fixed or variable rates.  

To learn more about shopping for electricity, click here.

To learn more about how to cut your energy usage, click here.

Read more from the PUC here.
Attention College-Bound Students: Complete the FAFSA

With a key Aug. 1 financial aid deadline approaching, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding a statewide webinar later this month to guide college-bound students and their families in completing the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process.

The “FAFSA Line by Line Overview Presentation,” hosted by PHEAA’s Higher Education Access Partners, will guide attendees through each step in filing the 2023-24 FAFSA and the Pennsylvania State Grant application to assist them in meeting the Aug. 1 deadline. This is the filing deadline for students planning to enroll in a community college; a designated Pennsylvania Open-Admission institution; a business, trade or technical school; a hospital school of nursing; or a two-year program that is not transferable to another institution.

The webinar will be held on Monday, July 24, from 6-7 p.m. Click here to register.
Attention Veterans: DMVA Helps Locate Lost Military Documents

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is reminding veterans it can help locate their lost DD Form 214 (DD-214) and other military documents so they can get credit for time served and receive important benefits they have earned.

The DD-214 contains information needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans’ organizations. Without this key document, there could be significant delays when a veteran seeks benefits earned through their service to our nation. The DMVA can also assist with locating the DD-215, which is used to correct errors or make additions to a DD-214, helping to assure that veterans have accurate discharge documentation.

Anyone needing assistance from the DMVA to locate their DD-214/215, or other military documentation, can call toll-free 1-800-547-2838 or e-mail RA-REQ@pa.gov. More information about locating military documents can be found by visiting the Records Request Program.

Another way to stay in touch is for veterans, family members and people who work with veterans to sign up for the DMVA’s Veterans Registry by visiting www.register.dmva.pa.gov.
Bridge Inspection Planned Spanning Yellow Breeches Creek

PennDOT announced an inspection is planned for next week on the Route 15 bridges spanning Yellow Breeches Creek in Carroll Township, York County, and Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County. The bridge is located about a mile south of Lisburn Road.

Weather permitting, the inspection will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, through Friday, July 14. There will be lane restrictions in the northbound direction Tuesday, July 11, and Wednesday, July 12, and in the southbound direction, Thursday, July 13, and Friday, July 14.

Travelers are reminded to be alert for these operations, to obey work zone signs, and to use caution when driving through work zones for their safety, as well as for the safety of the inspectors.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program Opens To Help Pennsylvanians Pay Utility Bills?

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will begin accepting applications this Monday, July 10, to help?Pennsylvanians with low incomes maintain access to drinking and wastewater services. The program is federally funded.

Under LIHWAP, eligible households can receive one crisis grant for drinking water service and one crisis grant for wastewater service of up to $2,500 each.?Crisis situations can include past-due water bills, termination of utility service, and having received notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days. Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP if the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria.?If a household has previously received LIHWAP for one water type, they cannot receive another LIHWAP grant for the same water type but could receive it for the other.?

Households may qualify if they rent or own their home, have an overdue water or wastewater bill that they are responsible to pay, and if the household is within the income limit for their household size. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements.?

Please click here for more information, including income parameters for participation and details on the application process.