May. 10, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

Tamaqua State Champion Swimmer Recognized

Click here to view video.

On Monday, Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) and I had the pleasure of recognizing PIAA AA swimming champion Danny Berlitz on the House floor.

Danny is from Tamaqua and a senior at Marian Catholic High School who brought home the gold in the 200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle in March.

Congratulations Danny and best wishes for future success!
Thaddeus Stevens College Equals #GoodJobs4PA

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This week, I also had the opportunity of touring my alma mater Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology with my colleagues on the House Republican Policy Committee.

“Stevens Tech,” which is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has a co-enrollment of approximately 1,200 students studying in 22 high-skill, high-wage technical two-year programs. Its placement rate is 98 percent, with a median starting salary of more than $42,000.

This is great news as House Republicans continue to pursue successful workforce development strategies, with an emphasis on the need for career and technical education. Thaddeus Stevens is at the forefront of that mission.

You can learn more by watching my latest Legislative Report video above.
Expanding Education Opportunities

More students and their families would have access to additional educational options under legislation approved by the House this week to expand the successful Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

House Bill 800 would increase funding for the program by $100 million to $210 million, providing tens of thousands of additional Pennsylvania families the ability to choose a school that best fits their students’ needs.

In order to ensure that the scholarship program can continue to grow to meet demand, the legislation would also establish an automatic escalator, increasing the EITC scholarship cap by 10% whenever 90% of the tax credits are claimed in the prior year.

To allow more middle-class families access to this program, the bill would increase the maximum annual household income by $10,000 (to $95,000, before add-ons per child), while guaranteeing that once a student has received a scholarship, he or she will remain eligible through high school graduation regardless of changes to family income.

The EITC program provides tax credits to businesses that make contributions to approved scholarship organizations offering scholarships to children in kindergarten through grade 12, educational improvement organizations providing funding for innovative educational programs in public schools, and pre-kindergarten scholarship organizations offering scholarships to children enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.
Celebrating Our Small Businesses

This week marks Small Business Week in Pennsylvania.

Small businesses are the backbone of the Commonwealth’s economy, employing over 2.5 million people. In fact, 99.6% of employers in the state are small businesses.

House Republicans have been working hard to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses thrive and grow by cutting the red tape that creates barriers to growth and cleaning up our outdated laws.
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