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Friday, June 21, 2013

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, June 21, 2013 The latest news from the State Capitol

Lawmakers Focus in on Budget, Other Issues

As the June 30 budget deadline approaches, there are a number of issues under discussion at the state Capitol, including transportation and liquor privatization.

Over the last week, the House Transportation Committee conducted a series of public hearings on Senate Bill 1, the Senate’s proposal to generate an additional $2.5 billion in funding for roads, bridges and mass transit. It would raise the money by phasing out the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax, increasing driver license and vehicle registration fees, and imposing additional fines on traffic tickets. Many members, myself included, are concerned about the impact this proposal may have on consumers. I expect the bill to be amended before it comes before the House for a vote.

In response to House passage of a liquor privatization bill in March, some members of the Senate this week outlined their counterproposal to modernize liquor sales in the Commonwealth. As presented, the plan would create additional permits for existing liquor licensees and maintain state control over wholesale operations. Conversely, the House plan (House Bill 790), closes the state store and creates new licenses that would first be available to beer distributors and then to other retailers. It also would privatize the wholesale distribution of wine and spirits. The Senate proposal has not yet been formally introduced, so it is unclear if or when it may be brought up for a vote.

As for the budget itself, a $28.3 billion budget bill was approved in the state House June 12. The budget is focused on funding the core functions of government and includes no new or increased taxes. The bill will likely be amended, but I don’t expect major changes when it is brought up for a vote in the Senate next week.

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Tim Cole said...

Rep. Causer
Judging by the headlines in the local media the 67th district of Pa is having major issues with Immigration? That was a fine piece of police work up in Potter County! I would be interested in seeing an up date concerning that issue. I was wondering if those illegals have been retained and have they been deported? It is important to protect the rights and resources of American Citizens. I am wondering what your position is on Immigration. This bill will be a tricky one. Congresses Approval rating is about 10% right now and I am sure there will be much Posturing.

Anonymous said...

I hope law enforcement is not practicing profiling that just would not be right.