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Friday, March 4, 2016

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, March 04, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol

An Update on the PA Budget


 
watch video
As the House Appropriations Committee continues its series of hearings to examine the 2016-17 state budget proposal, I sat down for a discussion of where things stand with the current year’s budget, as well as a look ahead to next year.

Budget hearings continued this week with the departments of Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, along with the state-owned and state-related universities. Next week’s agenda includes a hearing for the state Department of Agriculture. As chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I will be taking part in that hearing.

To view the complete schedule of budget hearings, or to watch video from past hearings, click here.

In other budget-related news, the Wolf Administration sent information out to the state’s school districts this week telling them how to go about shutting down due to lack of funding.

This cannot, should not and does not need to happen. The General Assembly passed a budget that provided the most state funding ever to our schools back in December. I understand it’s not as much as the governor requested, but his decision to line-item veto $3 billion of school funding is why several school districts across the state are now on the verge of closing.

Legislation to restore that funding – and keep our schools open – has been introduced in the state House, though the governor has threatened to veto that as well.

It is wrong to hold our students and their families hostage as budgets are negotiated.

For more on this issue, check out this article from the Bradford Era.
                      
 
Coffee and Conversation in Kane

Thank you to everyone who came out for coffee and conservation in Kane on Thursday. It was a great discussion of a wide variety of issues, including everything from the state budget and school funding to environmental regulations and the timber, oil and gas industries. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your concerns and answer your questions.

  

Committees Discuss Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Strategy

The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, which I chair, along with the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, held a joint informational meeting earlier this week to discuss the Wolf Administration’s strategy to reduce pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay, as required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The administration recently announced its new strategy in anticipation of the state missing its 2017 reduction targets for nitrogen and sediment. This is expected to have a significant impact on farmers.

Video of the hearing, as well as written testimony submitted to the committees, are available here
 

More Property Tax/Rent Rebate Clinics Next Week


If you need help with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate application, our series of Property Tax/Rent Rebate clinics will continue next week:
  • Wednesday, March 9, 9-11 a.m. – Harrison Valley Community Building, 205 E. Main St., Harrison Valley.
  • Thursday, March 10, 1-3 p.m. – Kane Senior Center, 100 Fraley St., Kane.

For information about the program, and a schedule of other upcoming clinics, click here.

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 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.

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