Feb. 08, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

State Budget Address Starts the Process

Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his $34.15 billion budget proposal for the 2019-20 fiscal year before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

It’s always nice to hear the governor say that there are no new taxes included in the state budget.

However, the governor failed to mention his previous commitments to imposing the largest energy tax in the nation on Pennsylvania taxpayers and job creators.

Time and again, I hear from people that they are “taxed out.” So, I was hoping that the governor would finally include property tax elimination in this year’s budget address. Sadly, that didn’t happen either.

Again, the governor’s budget address is only a starting point for future negotiations.

As a proud graduate of Thaddeus Stevens Trade School, I am looking forward to working together with the governor to give our schools the flexibility to expand career, trade-based and technical education opportunities. Our young people need this proven workforce development training to succeed in high-demand jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.

The budget process continues next week with the first in a series of House Appropriations Committee hearings to delve into the details of the governor’s plan. For a complete schedule and live streaming of the hearings, visit www.pahousegop.com/budgethearings.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Applications Now Available

Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available at www.RepKnowles.com and at my Tamaqua and Hamburg district offices.

The program is designed to help eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older to receive up to a $650 rebate from the property taxes or rent they paid in 2018.

To be eligible, homeowners must earn less than $35,000 a year and renters less than $15,000 with half of Social Security income excluded.

Certain supplemental rebates can boost homeowner rebates up to $975. The supplemental rebates are automatically calculated by the Department of Revenue for qualifying homeowners.

Residents should not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.
Get Ready for Trout Season

Start planning for this year’s fishing season with the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s 2019 Trout Stocking Schedule.

More than 700 streams and 120 lakes will be stocked with nearly 3.2 million adult trout in Pennsylvania rivers and streams that are open to the public for fishing.

About 53 percent of the trout are stocked prior to opening day, 43 percent are stocked between opening day and the end of May, and the remaining 4 percent are stocked from October through February of the following year.

The statewide opening day for trout season is Saturday, April 13.

Copies of the trout stocking schedules, including a searchable database, can be found online at PFBC website or the PFBC’s “FishBoatPA” mobile app.

Please note: A limited number of printed copies are expected to arrive in my district offices over the next few weeks.
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Office Locations
237 West Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
Email: jknowles@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614