In this Update:
Recognizing Police Officers’ Memorial Day
In recognition of Police Officers’ Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, as designated by Senate Resolution 111, the Fraternal Order of Police joined Senate Republicans to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year. It was a beautiful and somber ceremony remembering the following five officers:
Like so many other members of law enforcement, these officers served and protected their fellow citizens – despite knowing the sacrifices they and their families would have to make. Our deepest gratitude goes to these five brave officers, their families, and each courageous man and woman in blue who defend the safety of our communities every day.
Senate Acts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Taxpayers and Job Creators
The Senate approved a legislative package to reduce the burden of unchecked government regulations on taxpayers and job creators. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 188 requires regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million to go before the General Assembly for approval before taking effect. The Independent Fiscal Office, rather than the regulating agency, would be tasked with calculating the economic impact.
Senate Bill 190 requires an automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million. The regulating agency must report to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on the effectiveness of the regulation, whether current state laws require the regulation’s repeal or amendment, and more.
Senate Bill 350 requires state agencies to create an accessible website for permit applicants to check their application status. In addition, all the permits issued must be publicly accessible and if rejected, it must state the legal authority the agency relies on to reject the permit application. It also requires that a permit, license or certification is deemed approved by the state if the agency reviewing the application misses its statutory deadline.
Senate Approves Measure to Improve Personal Financial Literacy
To teach high school students the financial basics, the Senate approved legislation that will enable them to make better decisions that lead to a lifetime of success and financial independence. Senate Bill 647 moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Recent estimates show there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and credit card owners average about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion in debt overall.
The bill would give high school students the information they need on topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Measures Boosting Support for PA Veterans Approved by Senate
The Senate passed bills to help veterans start or expand a business, access programs and services available to them, and make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a free lifetime fishing license. All three bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 248 would create the Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program, which would be funded with $5 million of existing dollars from another program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as one in which 51% or more of the organization is owned or controlled by one or more veterans. Veteran-owned businesses in America employ nearly four million workers and generate more than $175 billion in annual payroll.
Senate Bill 447 would establish in law the PA VETConnect program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and helps the commonwealth’s more than 700,000 veterans access programs and services tailored to their needs. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates – including staff at county veterans affairs offices – to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 411 would make it possible for disabled veterans with a 100% disability determination to obtain a free, lifetime fishing license. Free lifetime fishing licenses currently are available only to disabled veterans with a 100% permanent disability determination, and they must apply for a new free fishing license every year.
PSU Coach Visits the Capitol
This week, my Harrisburg staff and I had the opportunity to meet James Franklin, Penn State’s Football Coach. In January, Coach Franklin led Penn State to their first Rose Bowl victory since 1995!
Mike Singletary Advocates for Child Reunification Act
I recently had the honor of meeting another football legend: Mike Singletary! The Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears, and former NFL coach was here in Harrisburg to support SB 460, prime sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta and Senator Scott Martin. This bill would provide a child ID toolkit for parents and law enforcement in the unthinkable event their child goes missing. I fully support this bill as a proud co-sponsor, and I’m so glad to see such great advocacy for its passage!
SBDC Monthly Appointments Next Week
On the third Thursday of every month, my office offers appointments with a representative from the University of Pittsburgh’s Small Business Development Center. Appointments are still available for Thursday, May 18th. Please contact my Bethel Park district office if you are interested!
Celebrating Mother’s Day
To all the women who put their family first, thank you for being such a source of strength and support in our communities. Happy Mother’s Day!
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