Dec. 01, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Pancake Breakfast

Legislative Open House

RSVPs are encouraged. Please call my office at 717-975-2235 or click here to let us know you’re coming to the Pancake Breakfast.
Making it Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Members of the military make great sacrifices to serve our Commonwealth and our country. It is important we also remember the sacrifices their family members make as a result of their service.

I was honored to support a new state law that will help students in military families enroll in school. Every year, an estimated 185,000 military students move between schools, and this change will make the move less stressful and more orderly for children and parents.

Under the prior law, students of military families who are transferring on official military permanent change-of-station orders are not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or submit their children’s names in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they are physically located within the district boundaries. The delay can cause students to miss deadlines, requiring them to shift their planned courses of study and ultimately may force them to take summer classes or even graduate later than expected.

Act 24 of 2023 now allows families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This will allow them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.
Deadline Nears for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2022 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Remember, assistance through my offices is always free. You need not pay a private firm for assistance.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. 

For additional information and applications, click here, or contact my offices for assistance.
Governor Continues Push for Higher Energy Taxes

Gov. Josh Shapiro is doubling down on his plan to hike energy taxes for Pennsylvania families while simultaneously cutting energy jobs across the Commonwealth.

He announced recently he will appeal a Commonwealth Court decision that voided Pennsylvania’s entrance into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state energy tax program that would increase costs for all Pennsylvanians to light and heat our homes and businesses.

The decision to enter Pennsylvania into RGGI was made exclusively and unilaterally by former Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration and has been carried on by the Shapiro administration. The court found the action to be an overstep in executive power. The Legislature is the branch of government charged with making laws in the Commonwealth.

I am hopeful the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will uphold the ruling of Commonwealth Court, for the sake of our friends and neighbors who work in the energy industry and for all of us who are dealing with rising energy costs. We remains ready, willing and able to find a sound path forward for Pennsylvania’s energy development in a way that respects Pennsylvania families, as well as the overall economic health of our Commonwealth.
Need a Gift for an Angler?

Beginning today, you can purchase a 2024 fishing license for yourself or someone you know from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In the new year, an annual license for a Pennsylvania resident will cost $26 and senior resident annual licenses go for $12.50. Please click here to make a purchase and check out the full list of license options.

Now is also a good time to mark your 2024 calendars for the statewide opening day of trout season on Saturday, April 1; statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day on Saturday, March 25; and Fish for Free Days on Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) and Thursday, July 4.