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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Capitol Update

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Capitol Update
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 The latest news from the State Capitol

Here’s the Latest on the State Budget

Last week, the General Assembly sent a $30.3 billion budget to the governor’s desk for his consideration. On Tuesday, he chose to veto portions of it but FINALLY saw the light and

did what he could have done back in June…he released some of the funding owed to our schools and human service agencies so they can keep their doors open. School children and people in need of support services should never have been held hostage by the governor’s actions in the first place, and I am pleased they are finally getting at least some of the funding owed to them.

That said, I remain disappointed by the governor’s actions. Some of the items he chose to veto are truly important to the Commonwealth and specifically our region, including funding for critical access hospitals and a variety of agriculture-related programs, including hardwoods research and promotion.

Also, in his press conference Tuesday announcing the line-item vetoes, he claims our budget cut $95 million in funding for public education. The reality is it actually increases overall education funding by more than $400 million over last year.

The governor needs to be honest with the taxpayers about what is in this budget, and he needs to be honest about how he plans to pay for the alternative budget he is advocating. His $30.8 billion plan will require significant increases in the state income tax or sales tax, or both. It’s easy to advocate for higher spending, but it’s irresponsible to do so without explaining how you plan to pay for it.

While I remain as frustrated as anyone with the lack of a full-year budget, I recognize the final plan must be responsible and affordable for the people who have to foot the bill and will continue to fight for that.

Stay tuned.

Outreach Office Hours Set for Jan. 7

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, Jan. 7:

 • Emporium Borough Office – 9-10 a.m.
 • Port Allegany Borough Office – 11 a.m. to noon.

As always, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor), Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) or Kane (55 Fraley St.) Monday through Friday, or visit my website at or my Facebook page at for the latest news from state government.

100th PA Farm Show Kicks Off Jan. 9

Celebrate the state’s top industry at this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show!
The show is the largest indoor agriculture exposition along the East Coast and features thousands of commercial and agricultural exhibits. While it gives farmers the opportunity to see the latest equipment and farming practices, it also offers people of all ages the opportunity to learn more about farming and the hard work that goes into producing the foods we eat.

The show will be held from Jan. 9-16, 2016, at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Admission is free; however, there is a $15 fee for parking and shuttle service to the complex.

Get the details here.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2016!

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