Thank you to Potter County
Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover for taking the
time to meet this week and discuss a variety of issues, including the
state budget, support for emergency services and more. I’ve met with all
three boards of commissioners in the 67th District over the last couple
weeks and always appreciate the opportunity to provide an update from
Harrisburg and discuss issues of local concern so we can work together
for the benefit of our region.
State Budget Process Underway
The annual state budget process got
underway this week when Gov. Tom Wolf outlined a $32.3 billion spending
proposal before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday.
Unlike his first two budget
proposals, the governor outlined a plan that actually included some
cost-saving efforts and, for the first time in his tenure, he is not
seeking broad-based increases in income or sales taxes. That is a step
in the right direction as we head into the budget negotiation process.
But, as is the case with any
legislation, the devil is in the details. We in the General Assembly
will be reviewing those details in depth over the next few weeks, and my
priority will be to ensure the final budget is not only fiscally
responsible but also fair to the people of rural Pennsylvania.
To read my full statement about the budget, click here.
Area Fire, Ambulance Companies Awarded Grants
Fire and emergency response
organizations in Cameron, McKean and Potter counties have been awarded
nearly $410,000 in grants from the state. The grants, which are
administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office
of the State Fire Commissioner, may be used for construction or
renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair
of equipment, training, or reduction of existing debt. All funding comes
from proceeds from slot machine gaming, and not general fund tax
As our emergency response
organizations continue to struggle financially, these grants are sure to
be put to good use. I am so grateful to the men and women who work so
hard to protect our communities and am pleased we can continue to
support them with this valuable grant funding.
Need help with your Property
Tax/Rent Rebate applications? My office is holding several clinics to
provide assistance -- at no charge -- to anyone eligible for the
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program
benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and
widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with permanent
disabilities who meet certain income guidelines. Renters may earn up to
$15,000 annually and qualify for the program, while homeowners may earn
up to $35,000. Exclude 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental
Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits when calculating
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 9:30-11 a.m. – Eldred Senior Center, 169 Main St., Eldred.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Harrison Valley Community Building, 205 E. Main St., Harrison Valley.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1-2:30 p.m. – Smethport Senior Center, 119 W. Main St., Smethport.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Emporium Senior Center, 213½ S. Maple St., Emporium. (Appointments preferred. Call 814-486-3707.)
Thursday, Feb. 23, 1-2:30 p.m. – Port Allegany Senior Center, 216 N. Main St., Port Allegany.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Mount Jewett Senior Center, 8 E. Main St., Mount Jewett.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 1-3 p.m. – Kane Senior Center, 100 S. Fraley St., Kane.
Wednesday, March 1, 9:30-11 a.m. – Oswayo Valley Senior Center, 106 S. Oswayo St., Shinglehouse.
Wednesday, March 1, 1-2:30 p.m. – Coudersport Senior Center, 165 Route 6 West, Coudersport.
Tuesday, March 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Bradford Senior Center, 60 Campus Dr., Bradford.
Unless otherwise noted, no
appointments are needed. However, residents are reminded to bring all
necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process
claims quickly and accurately.
If you have questions, or you need
assistance and are unable to attend one of the clinics, contact any of
the offices listed below and we will be happy to help! More information
and claim forms are available at www.RepCauser.com.
Bradford: 78 Main St., First Floor – 814-362-4400.
Coudersport: 107 S. Main St., Room 1 – 814-274-9769.
Kane: 55 Fraley St. – 814-837-0880.
Update on Bill to Expand Reduced-Fee Vehicle Registration for Retirees
The House Transportation Committee
has approved my legislation to expand the state’s reduced-fee vehicle
The program currently offers a
discounted vehicle registration for just $10 to any person who is
retired and receiving Social Security or other pension income that does
not exceed $19,200 annually. My House Bill 188 would increase the income
eligibility limit to $23,500, the same limit set for the state’s
PACENET prescription drug assistance program.
The bill will now go to the full
House for consideration. For more information about the existing
reduced-fee vehicle registration program, visit www.dmv.pa.gov.
Reminder: Veterans Assistance Available
Melissa Davis of the Veterans of
Foreign Wars will be available in my Kane office this Monday, Feb. 13,
to assist veterans and their family members with issues such as
compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. No
appointments are necessary – just stop by the Kane office, 55 Fraley
St., from 1-3 p.m.
For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here.
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