Senator Devlin Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Measures to Increase Jobs in Manufacturing and at Airports Approved by Senate
  • Landmark Bipartisan Broadband Legislation Approved by Senate
  • Comprehensive Probation Reform Approved by Senate
  • Deadline Approaching for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications
  • Wreaths Across America
  • Out and About in the 37th

Measures to Increase Jobs in Manufacturing and at Airports Approved by Senate

Continuing efforts to restore Pennsylvania’s economic vitality, the Senate approved bills to spur job growth in manufacturing and at airports across the commonwealth.

I sponsored  Senate Bill 706 which establishes the Max Manufacturing Initiative Fund and Max Manufacturing Endeavor Loan Fund. This bill aims to create stronger public-private partnerships between state universities and private entities and maximizes research capabilities with cutting edge technologies.

Read my release here:

Senate Bill 562 creates the Airport Land Development Zone program, providing tax credits to employers that make a significant new investment by expanding operations and creating new jobs.

Passage of these measures is the latest in a series of Senate votes aimed at moving Pennsylvania from pandemic to recovery. Last month, the Senate approved two measures making it easier for small business employers to remain competitive and create jobs. Senate Bill 706 and Senate Bill 562 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

I also sponsored Senate Bill 797  to modernize and streamline the Neighborhood Improvement District Act and allow for the development of a Tourism Improvement District in Allegheny County. The Neighborhood Improvement District Act would include Allegheny County as an eligible jurisdiction and provide much of the simplified process and flexibility afforded to Neighborhood Improvement District authorization in Philadelphia County.

Landmark Bipartisan Broadband Legislation Approved by Senate

The Senate acted to improve access to high-speed internet in underserved communities by creating the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA).

House Bill 2071 would establish a single point-of-contact for federal broadband funding and includes safeguards so legitimate contractors are chosen. Entities eligible for funding must have technical, managerial and financial expertise to design, build and operate high-speed service infrastructure.

The PBDA primarily would be tasked with creating a broadband plan that allows the state to apply for competitively awarded federal infrastructure money. The bill would also require the state to create a database to monitor all broadband deployment activities across the state.

The amended bill heads back to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

Comprehensive Probation Reform Approved by Senate

The Senate approved probation reform measures aimed at reducing the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on the system while better integrating probationers into society. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 913 provides an opportunity for early release from probation and ensures fewer individuals return to prison by offering incentives that reward positive behavior and participation in education, employment, vocational and drug treatment programming shown to reduce recidivism.

Among other goals, the measure is intended to prevent cases in which technical violations, such as a minor traffic offense, can perpetually extend the clock on an offender’s term and result in re-confinement.

The Senate also approved Senate Bill 904, to allow probation meetings to be held remotely, and Senate Bill 905, to improve the scheduling of probation and parole meetings. 

Deadline Approaching for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications

The deadline for older and disabled Pennsylvanians to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2020 is Dec. 31, 2021.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older, and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

Claimants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are encouraged to file their rebate applications online by visiting mypath.pa.gov. You can check the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program instruction booklet to learn which information you will need to input/upload to complete the process.

Wreaths Across America

12/14/21 - Wreaths Across America

I was honored to host the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.

The Wreaths Across America Day project began in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery and is now an annual tradition celebrated in all 50 states joining together thousands of volunteers to place Maine balsam fir wreaths on the graves of United States veterans.

Senator Jay Costa and I also introduced Senate Resolution 212 designating December 18, 2021, as “Wreaths Across America Day” in Pennsylvania.

Out and About in the 37th

Congratulations to the Mt. Lebanon varsity football team for winning the 2021 PIAA 6A State Championship!

Had a fun visit at McCormick Elementary in Moon Township! I got to see how they’ve integrated technology into the classroom. I also had time to sit with some special guests who had some great questions!

I had the privilege to speak with a handful of student leaders from South Fayette. They asked thought-provoking questions and I look forward to hearing more of their input in the future!

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