In this Update:
Robinson Issues Statement in Support of Lawsuit Against PennDOT to Stop I-79 Tolling
Senator Devlin Robinson (R-37) issued the following statement today in support of three local communities filing a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to stop the proposed tolling of an I-79 bridge in Bridgeville, Allegheny County.
“The proposed bridge tolling plan is nothing but a tax and financial burden for our hardworking Pennsylvanians and communities during a time when significant federal dollars are already being invested in transportation and infrastructure. Members of the General Assembly have voiced strong opposition regarding the tolling plan, yet PennDOT insists on disrespecting the balance of power within our Commonwealth’s government. This plan ignores the concerns of our local communities and no administration should be allowed to override their government and citizens in this excessive manner and without input or approval from the General Assembly. I commend the community leaders in Bridgeville, Collier and South Fayette Township on their announcement of legal action against PennDOT’s bridge tolling plan for I-79.”
House Veterans Day Legislative Package
Recently the Senate has advanced a number of measures to support Pennsylvania’s veterans and their families. Earlier this week, some of my colleagues and I attended a great event and discussed several pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 550, which I prime sponsored to ensure proper upkeep of the graves of veterans.
Recognizing the 246th Anniversary of the Founding of the United States Marine Corps
Honoring Veterans Day with Senator Corman
Approving Tax Reform Measure for Small Business Employers
The Senate approved legislation to advance small business tax reform that would help move Pennsylvania out of a pandemic economy and create jobs for Pennsylvanians.
Senate Bill 347 would eliminate a disadvantage faced by Pennsylvania small businesses when competing with those in other states. Under federal tax law, a “like-kind” exchange under the Internal Revenue Code allows for tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. This long-standing federal provision allows employers to invest in the job-creating assets businesses need to remain competitive. Every state but Pennsylvania provides for a similar deferral on the state level.
The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. It is part of a Small Business Tax Reform Package to help employers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated shutdowns. Small businesses create 65% of the jobs in the commonwealth.
The Senate previously passed Senate Bill 349 to bring state tax law governing expense deductions in line with federal law, eliminating the unequal treatment of small businesses in Pennsylvania. The increase in limits makes it easier for employers to buy equipment and to invest, which promotes job growth.
Helping PA’s Economy and Veterans
To support Pennsylvania’s economy and veterans, the Senate supported legislation that would establish a Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program and would clarify the Veterans Preference Law to include veterans who served honorably but were discharged with a disability before completing their initial obligation.
Senate Bill 830 would create a program providing loan guarantees to commercial lending institutions that make loans to veteran-owned businesses. The program would authorize the Commonwealth Financing Authority to guarantee up to 50% of the outstanding principal of the loan, limited to $250,000 for any one loan.
Senate Bill 849 would add an exemption for those with a disability discharge and would ensure that veterans with medical discharges receive the preference with seeking careers within the Commonwealth.
Both bills now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Financial Assistance Available Soon for Homeowners
Pennsylvania has been allocated $350 million through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) to help homeowners behind on their mortgage and other home-related expenses due to the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) will administer the program and is working to develop the Pennsylvania HAF program, which must be approved by the U.S. Treasury before it can become operational.
Pennsylvania’s program will include an online and mobile application portal. Applicants will be able to apply and submit required documentation through the web-based application or may be assisted by a third-party counseling agency.
The program is expected to be available in the coming months, but homeowners may sign up now to receive updates about the financial relief. Click here to be notified or for more information.
Control Your Electricity Costs with PA Power Switch
As electric costs are on the rise and only projected to worsen throughout this winter, there has never been a better time to be proactive about controlling your electricity costs.
You can shop for your electricity and choose your supplier, regardless of your local utility, by researching your options on PAPowerSwitch.com.
Under state law, you have the option to switch to a competing supplier which can offer the lowest price or provide a specific service you want such as green or renewable energy. The electric utility that distributes your electricity will remain the same. You would simply be taking advantage of the power of competitive retail electric shopping to see if a better price is available with a supplier.
PAPowerSwitch.com offers comparison data regarding price, fixed-price contract terms, renewable content, deposit/cancellation fees and other consumer information.
Out and about in the 37th
Thanks to The Chamber of Bethel Park, South Park & Castle Shannon for having me be the keynote speaker at their Veterans luncheon.
I was honored to take part in the Upper St. Clair Annual Veterans Day Observance ceremony.
I had the privilege to speak at the Veterans Day ceremony at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, where two of my relatives are buried. Thank you to all the other veterans who attended, to my colleagues for their remarks, and to the talented musicians for their performances that added so much to the event.
I really enjoyed emceeing the Veterans Day service held at Chartiers Bend Retirement Community. It truly was an honor to hear each story and recognize each veteran! Special thanks to Amedisys Hospice for organizing this!
Congratulations to Conor Payne on earning the rank of Eagle Scout!
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