Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
Senate Returns to Session Next Week
The state Senate will reconvene on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 1PM for another busy week at the State Capitol. The Senate’s Legislative Calendar is updated each day the Senate is in Session. The calendar identifies bills and resolutions awaiting Senate floor actions. To preview the meetings and hearings, visit online.
This week, the Senate approved bills that were part of the overall 2019-2020 PA Budget’s Preferred Appropriations. Additionally, the Senate also passed additional components of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.
May Revenue Collections Dip Slightly But Fiscal Year Performance Still Strong
General Fund revenue collections in May were $14.9 million below the estimate for the month. However, General Fund tax revenues were $39.4 million higher than the monthly estimate. Non-tax revenue was $54.3 million below the estimate. General Fund revenue collections for the fiscal year-to-date are $813.3 million ahead of estimate.
Early in May, a daily revenue report showed a negative $33.4 million Personal Income Tax (PIT) amount resulting from the correction of a “double-posting error” made in April. Additionally, the Official Revenue Estimate for May included $46.3 million related to gaming expansion revenues that were received earlier in the year. As a result of these two items, May revenue collections needed to overcome $79.7 million in “give-backs” just to meet the monthly estimate, and monthly revenue collections would have exceeded the estimate but for these items.
Touring Cummings Lumber Company in Bradford County
This month, “A Conversation with Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)” tours Cummings Lumber Company Inc., a fourth generation family-owned business producing the highest quality hardwoods in the northern tier of Pennsylvania.
Cummings Lumber Company is a proven operator with an excellent track record in the forest products industry. This fourth generation company brings high-quality jobs to Bradford County, and creates substantial economic benefits for our region. It was rewarding to visit this local family-owned business.
My television report will air on: Blue Ridge Communications/Mansfield – Channel 13; Service Electric Cablevision – SECV Productions – Channel 8; Time Warner, Sayre; Adams Cable Service, Channel 7; Comcast/Williamsport – Click On Demand/Get Local/Local Government/State Senate/A Conversation with Senator Gene Yaw.
Please check local listings for air times.
Republican Leaders Applaud Final Approval of Victims’ Rights Bills
The Senate and House this week took action to send six bills to enhance protections for crime victims to the Governor for signature. Final legislative action also was taken on Marsy’s Law, a Constitutional amendment to include a crime victims’ bill of rights. Marsy’s Law (House Bill 276) will now be placed on the ballot for voters to consider. To read more, click here.
Senate Approves Package of Bills to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis
The Senate completed work on a package of bills this week to combat the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic by improving prescription drug monitoring, limiting opioid prescriptions, targeting drug dealers and taking other steps to limit the damage inflicted by the addiction crisis in Pennsylvania communities. To read more, click here.
Recognizing Baseball-Great Mike Mussina
Legendary Major League Baseball pitcher and Montoursville, Pa., native Mike Mussina will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame this summer as he has officially been named a member of the 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame Class by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
On Tuesday, the Lycoming County native was honored by Little League International. I was honored to present him with a Congratulatory Senate Citation during the event.
Keystone Boys State Students Visit Capitol
I was pleased to spend some time at the Capitol this week with Riley Brown, a Montrose Area School District graduate & upcoming freshman at Shippensburg University, to discuss his experiences with the Keystone Boys State. Riley shared some great ideas he has for the future!
Established in 1937, Pennsylvania American Legion Keystone Boys State is an educational workshop for high school student leaders. Students selected to attend KBS have the opportunity to gain leadership skills through an intensive week-long summer program. The focus of KBS is its hands-on simulation of municipal, county, and state government.
Senate Passes “Pennsylvania GI Bill for Families”
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed legislation recently that would provide free college education to the spouse or child of Pennsylvania National Guard members who re-enlist.
Senate Bill 589 would establish a “Pennsylvania GI Bill for Families” to provide five years’ worth of higher education benefits to the spouse and/or children of a Pennsylvania National Guard member who commits to serve another six years.
The GI Bill for Families will enable men and women in the Guard to earn educational benefits for their spouse and/or children after completing their first service obligation and committing to serve an additional six years. This legislation will be administered by PHEAA in conjunction with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and is aimed at increasing the retention rates in the National Guard and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to End of Year
Distribution of rebates for eligible Pennsylvanians starts July 1.
The deadline for older adults and Pennsylvania residents with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2018 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2019.
Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information by visiting my Williamsport District Office, 175 Pine Street, Suite 105, on the Department of Revenue’s website or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.
It’s free to apply for a rebate, and the department reminds applicants that free assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices.
Claimants who already applied for rebates may check Property Tax/Rent Rebate Status online or call, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
Distribution of rebates starts July 1 and eligible Pennsylvanians are encouraged to apply as soon as they can. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed. Applications typically take 6-8 weeks to process.
*BE AWARE- The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has issued a warning this week about a scam that is currently disguising itself as the Department. The scam begins with a phone call from someone pretending to be from the Department of Revenue. Then, the scammer informs the recipient that their application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved, and ultimately individuals are asked to offer up their banking information if they want the rebate to be directly deposited into a bank account.