Feb. 02, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
 Please do not reply directly to this email, as it returns to an unmanned account.
You are welcome to contact me through this link
Elmwood Academy Visits the Capitol

This week, I had the pleasure of welcoming fourth-grade students and their teachers from Elmwood Academy to Harrisburg! I always enjoy chatting with our future leaders and answering their questions about being a state legislator. I hope they enjoyed their time at our beautiful, historic Capitol building.  

For information about scheduling a tour, please click here.

IFO Gives Glimpse into Pennsylvania’s Financial Future

On Wednesday, I attended a hearing with the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), which provides revenue projections along with impartial analysis of fiscal, economic and budgetary issues to assist the General Assembly with policy decisions.

IFO officials testified about economic uncertainty and state spending, as well as the increase in consumer credit card debt and rapid increase in the cost of necessities like housing, food and energy.

When young Pennsylvanians buy a home, they plant roots that affect the long-term fiscal health of our Commonwealth. With homeownership for those entering the market becoming less attainable, I am concerned about Pennsylvania’s economic future.

It’s incumbent upon the General Assembly to take action and implement programs that help our first-time homebuyers achieve the American dream. I look forward to further discussion about these issues following the governor’s budget address on Tuesday, Feb. 6; you watch the live stream at www.PAHouseGOP.com.

To listen to my comments during the IFO hearing, please click on the video.

Click here to view video.
Trout Stocking Schedules Available Online

Great news for anglers! The 2024 trout stocking schedule is now available online. To find out when streams near you will be stocked, click here.

Also, check out the Fish and Boat Commission's website for more information on trout fishing rules and regulations. 

Apply Now for Community Conservation Grants

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation is now accepting applications for its Community Conservation Partnerships Program.

The grants can be used to fund various planning, acquisition and development of public parks, recreation areas and trails. Grants can also fund river or open space conservation projects or support community and watershed forestry.

Organizations eligible for the grants include counties, municipalities, municipal agencies, nonprofits, state heritage areas and prequalified land trusts. For-profit organizations may be eligible for some grant categories.  

Interested applicants can find more information here.
Learn More About Infrastructure Funding Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) provides grants and low-interest loans to support sewer, storm water and drinking water projects in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

To help more government agencies and organizations better understand their funding options, PENNVEST is hosting a series of educational outreach sessions over the next several months. The sessions answer questions about funding sources, types of financing and where to go for help.

The first virtual training session will be held on Thursday, March 21, from 10-11 a.m. For a full list of virtual and in-person events, as well as links to register, click here.
Students Invited to Participate in Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign

Pennsylvania students in first through sixth grades are invited to enter the 2024 Lyme Art Contest by creating a short video or poster focusing on the theme: “Protect. Check. Remove.”

The annual contest helps students, Scout troops and community youth programs learn how to prevent Lyme disease by educating them about ticks, including where they live, how to prevent bites and how to remove ticks that do bite.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest annual counts of Lyme disease cases in the nation, which further emphasizes the importance of teaching children about tick awareness and prevention measures.

The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Friday, March 15. Click here for details.
Be Aware of Tax Season Scams

The Office of Attorney General is warning Pennsylvanians to be aware and stay cautious of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposter scams during tax season. Be on the lookout for unsolicited text messages, emails or phone calls appearing to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment or your personal information.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and the IRS both strongly recommend filing taxes early before scammers have the chance to use any personal information and file a fake tax return.

Please remember the IRS: 
  •   Does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or phone calls to request personal or financial information (generally the IRS first mails a paper bill to a person who owes taxes).
  •   Will never demand a specific type of payment using cash, crypto-currency, a prepaid debit card, gift card or a wire transfer.
  •   Will not leave a pre-recorded, urgent or threatening message on an answering system.
  •   Will not immediately threaten to sue or arrest you.

For more tips and information about what to do if you believe you have been victimized by a scam, click here.