Jun. 28, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
New State Budget Passes House

On Tuesday, the House passed a new state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year without any new or increased taxes or fees. In fact, this $33.9 billion spending plan is most likely the best budget I have ever had the opportunity to vote for.

House Republicans have fought hard against repeated attempts by the governor to raise taxes and overspend, and that fiscal restraint is paying off as at least $250 million is being returned to the Commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund. However, I am slightly disappointed that more revenue could not be restored.

Thanks largely to the Trump tax cuts and unprecedented economic growth, this year’s budget more than adequately funds our Commonwealth’s core government functions, including more historic investments in agriculture, K-12 education, public safety and transportation benefitting communities, families and farmers all throughout the 124th Legislative District.

With a $4 million boost for a total of $18.7 million, as requested by my alma mater Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, this year’s budget also invests heavily in workforce development in order to connect good-paying, high-demand jobs to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

This is a win-win for everyone!
Francis V. “Angie” McAndrew Memorial Highway Dedication

Earlier this month, I was honored to join with family and friends of the McAndrew family as PA Route 54 through Lost Creek and William Penn was formally dedicated as the Francis V. "Angie" McAndrew Memorial Highway.

Pictured with me from left to right: Rep. Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), wife Margaret R. “Sissie” McAndrew, Sen. Dave Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) and former U.S. Congressman Tim Holden.
A Very Special Guest

Last week, it was my pleasure to meet with Jocelyn Miller, who is a multi-sport athlete and honor roll student at Kutztown Area High School. Jocelyn was in Harrisburg to participate in the Keystone Girls State Program, which is an outstanding civic leadership development program run by the Pennsylvania American Legion.
Scam Alert!

The Department of Revenue is warning Pennsylvania seniors and people with disabilities of a scam involving the popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

The scam consists of unsolicited telephone calls from a person claiming to work for the Department of Revenue. The caller starts the call by saying the recipient’s application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved.

The caller then asks if the recipient would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account, which prompts a request from the caller for the recipient's banking information.

The Department of Revenue DOES NOT make unsolicited calls requesting banking information and warns consumers to always be extremely cautious when they receive unsolicited phone calls.

For more about this scam and how to protect yourself, click here.
Fish for Free on July 4

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is hosting the second of its two annual Fish for Free Days on Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.

This is a great opportunity to try your hand at fishing in any of Pennsylvania’s waterways, even if you don’t have a license.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Just make sure you follow all other fishing regulations.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.
Happy Independence Day!


A few important reminders as you plan to celebrate our nation’s independence next week!

If you are traveling, check out www.511pa.com. Free and available 24 hours a day, the site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Thursday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!
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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