Jul. 01, 2024

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Legislative Update
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Do They Even Care About the Deadline?

Once again, the majority party in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has demonstrated its inability to govern effectively by hastily pushing through a bloated budget just six days before the fiscal year's end.

Gov. Josh Shapiro's absence from the budget process, particularly during such a critical time, has only worsened the situation. Last Monday, while the budget was being debated during the House Appropriations Committee meeting, the governor was booed at the Hershey Bears hockey game—a stark contrast to the urgency of the budget process.

The budget bill that advanced from the House Appropriations Committee represents an alarming $3.7 billion increase in spending over the current budget.

This budget represents a significant financial strain on the Commonwealth. The Independent Fiscal Office reports that revenues will only grow by 1.1% next fiscal year, yet this budget plans to spend over $3 billion more than it takes in through revenues.

Such a significant deficit is cause for serious concern about the state's fiscal health.

Compare this process to managing your personal finances. In our daily lives, spending more money than we earn leads to debt and financial instability. In government, it leads to tax increases. We must budget carefully to ensure our expenses do not exceed our income.

Gov. Shapiro's appointed budget secretary said on March 7, 2024: "That Deadline Matters."               

The budget – which was due June 30 – is now at an impasse with no future plans.

Now I ask, did it really matter to them?                     
Working Through the Legislative Process

Last Thursday, I presented to the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure my bill, House Bill 1619, which addresses the issue of damaged, abandoned, or duplicate utility poles, often referred to as "Ghost Poles." Back in October, the bill received unanimous support in the House. Getting a favorable vote from the Senate committee was a critical step in moving the legislation forward. Now, with just one more vote needed from the full Senate, the bill will be on its way to the governor's desk to be signed into law. To date, only one Republican-sponsored bill, introduced by a freshman legislator, has been signed into law under Gov. Shapiro.
Time to Advance Holocaust Education Bill

In the face of growing antisemitism across communities and college campuses, a group of lawmakers launched a discharge petition this week to force action on legislation that would require curriculum transparency for Holocaust education in Pennsylvania’s public schools.

A 2023 study by The Economist shows one in five young Americans believe the Holocaust is a myth. It’s more important than ever to educate our children about this dark time in world history. House Bill 1986 aims to address the problem by requiring schools that offer Holocaust education make the curriculum available on their websites. Unfortunately, the House Democrat majority has failed to move the bill since referring it to the House Education Committee at the end of January.

Under the rules of the House, discharge petitions require the signatures of at least 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans to be successful. I was proud to sign the petition and am hopeful we will have the opportunity to advance this important effort to combat antisemitism.
District Happenings


Another day, another road being paved in the 119th! Resurfacing and paving has begun on 309 in Mountain Top!
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