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|The latest news from the State Capitol
Shredding Event Scheduled for May 11
As a free service to the community, I am co-hosting a shredding event in the 183rd Legislative District with Northampton Borough next month to give residents a chance to safeguard themselves against identity theft by having their personal documents securely destroyed.
The event will be held on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Northampton Memorial Community Center, 1601 Laubach Ave., Northampton.
Acceptable items include all paper and manila folders. No more than four bags or boxes per household are permitted, and no businesses, please. Staples or paper clips do not need to be removed. For more information, please call one of my district offices at 610-502-2701 or 610-760-9805.
Community Service Recognized
Anne Schweitzer of Bath was recognized recently with a 2019 Northampton County Area Agency on Aging Outstanding Senior Award. As part of the ceremony, I presented her with a House citation. She was singled out for delivering Meals on Wheels for the past 32 years and her more than 30 years as a Lioness. Pictured with me (from left) are Keri Young, director of volunteer services for Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and Schweitzer.
Springhouse Middle School Wins Viewers Choice
Students from Springhouse Middle School in the Parkland School District were in Harrisburg this week competing in the 2019 Best of PA “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest. The team won the Statewide Viewers Choice Award.
Created by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown in 2013, the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contests draw entries from hundreds of teams across Pennsylvania. The teams of students and teacher coaches receive camera equipment, software and professional guidance as they learn to script, record and edit their video stories. The contest objective is to change students’ perceptions about manufacturing careers. Congratulations!
To prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has issued a quarantine for counties where the presence of this pest has been confirmed, including Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Businesses and organizations conducting business in the quarantine zone must obtain FREE permits from PDA to move vehicles, equipment and goods within and out of the zone. Permit enforcement began on Wednesday, May 1, but there will be a grace period.
For more information, please click here.
Mako Bill to Keep Municipalities, Citizens Aware of EPA Violations Advances
This week, the House passed my legislation to improve notification of environmental violations at quarries and landfills.
The bill is the result of a several months-long lag last year in notifying Whitehall Township and residents that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had cited the Coplay Aggregates’ quarry for high levels of PCBs in material accepted at the facility.
House Bill 476 would require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to forward to municipalities notices of noncompliance it receives that were issued by the EPA for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA).
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers
We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget!
State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.
House and Senate Republicans came together earlier this week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for the next “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.
The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.
We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.
Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.
Watch the press conference here.
Government Done Right – Pennsylvania Needs an Upgrade
House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.
Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.
We kicked off the effort this week by passing House Bill 762 to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to facilitate better understanding of new and existing regulations and boost compliance rates among affected businesses.
We also passed my House Bill 1080, which would remove the assessment methodology from state law for the Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise Taxes (CSFFT). The CSFFT was eliminated on Jan. 1, 2016.
Another piece of legislation, House Bill 509, would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.
Finally, we started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.
You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.
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|Slatington Borough Hall, 125 S. Walnut Street, First Floor, Slatington, PA 18080 | Phone: 610-760-9805
|402A Irvis Office, PO Box 202183. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2183 | (717) 772-5398
|Email Address: ZMako@pahousegop.com