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Friday, February 21, 2014

Capitol Update State Representative Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, February 21, 2014 The latest news from the State Capitol

Town Hall Meetings Set for This Coming Week

Please join me for one of the following town hall meetings this week to discuss the state budget and other issues of interest to you.

Kane Senior Center
Joint meeting with Rep. Kathy Rapp
100 Fraley St., Kane
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m.

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Wellness Center
1001 East Second St., Coudersport
Friday, Feb. 28, 8 a.m.

Refreshments will be served, and RSVPs are requested but not required. To register your attendance, please visit my website or call my office toll-free 1-866-437-8181.

Working to Expand Higher Education Opportunities in Rural PA

The House Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing next week on legislation I introduced to create a rural regional community college pilot program in our area.

A 2011 study by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee noted the growing importance of community colleges in meeting the demand to provide education and training necessary in today’s economy. However, it also found that 25 of 26 rural counties in Pennsylvania have no community colleges and that rural youth typically pay twice the tuition of youth from areas with a community college.

House Bill 1701, and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 1000 sponsored by Sen. Joe Scarnati, were introduced in response to the findings of this study with the goal of creating a pilot program to expand affordable higher education options for students of all ages in the 11-county region of northwest and northcentral Pennsylvania. Community college opportunities here could also provide our economy with a much-needed boost.

Among those scheduled to testify at the hearing are representatives of the Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the State Capitol and will be streamed live on my website at

2013 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Forms Available

Applications for the 2013 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program are now available at my offices in Bradford and Coudersport. The 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 income.

For additional information or to obtain claim forms, visit my website at or contact my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., First Floor; 814-362-4400) or Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1; 814-274-9769). Assistance with filing the Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms is available from my offices at no charge. 

Game and Fisheries Committee Accepts Annual Reports

The House Game and Fisheries Committee, which I chair, met this week to accept annual reports from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In addition to accepting the reports, committee members had the opportunity to question PGC Executive Director Matt Hough and PFBC Executive Director John Arway about a variety of issues, including funding needs and the impact of their programs and policies on sportsmen and anglers in the Commonwealth.

Read the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s annual report.

Read the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s annual report.

Watch video of the meetings.

Trout Stocking Schedules

Think spring! Get your trout stocking schedules here or stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor) or Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) to pick up your copy. 

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