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Friday, March 18, 2016

PA House Passes Bill To Restore Funding Wolf Cut From Last Year's Budget

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Capitol Update
Friday, March 18, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol

House Votes to Keep Schools, Ag Programs Running in PA

I joined a majority in the General Assembly on Wednesday in voting to bring the 2015-16 state budget to a close by restoring funding for schools, higher education institutions, hospitals, agriculture programs and more. The funding was vetoed from the budget by Gov. Tom Wolf late last year.

Because of the governor’s vetoes, schools across Pennsylvania are facing the very real possibility of closing their doors; Penn State’s agriculture research, extension and 4-H programs could be forced to close down; and rural health care is being placed at risk.

It is time for the governor to put an end to the crisis he manufactured and sign this budget. Holding people hostage to leverage support for higher spending and higher taxes – which taxpayers across the state have said they don’t want and can’t afford – is wrong, and it has to stop.

To read more about the budget passed this week, click here.

Celebrate Maple Weekend!

The Potter-Tioga Maple Syrup Producers Association will hold its 12th Annual Maple Weekend this Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, with more than a dozen area maple producers offering a variety of activities, samples and more. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to present a House resolution recognizing the week of March 14-20 as Maple Producers Week in Pennsylvania to Larry Hamilton and Glenn Dunn II. For more information about Maple Weekend, visit

Hearing Underscores Need to Fund PA Agriculture Initiatives

Earlier this week, I helped chair a joint hearing of the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees to further examine the impact of the lack of state budget funding on the industry.

During the hearing, I had the opportunity to question Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding about the Wolf administration’s decision to veto more than $50 million for Penn State’s agriculture research and extension programs. To watch that exchange, click here.

watch video

In addition to the impact of cuts on Penn State, the committees also heard from officials from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine about how the lack of state funding is impacting animal health and food safety initiatives.
To read more about the hearing, or to access video footage and links to written testimony, click here.

Clean and Green Measure Advances in Senate

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week approved my legislation that aims to ensure the state’s Clean and Green program works as intended.

Clean and Green was created in 1974 to give preferential assessment to farm and forest lands to encourage the protection of those lands. In counties that have not conducted a reassessment in quite some time, the use values suggested by the Department of Agriculture for Clean and Green properties are, in some cases, exceeding fair market value of the land.

That has resulted in some Clean and Green properties being taxed at a rate higher than a normal assessment, and that is counter to the purpose of the law. So House Bill 806 specifically prohibits counties from taxing Clean and Green properties at a rate greater than fair market value.

The bill was amended in committee to also clarify that land in a public right-of-way or easement should be included in determining whether the property meets the program’s minimum contiguous area requirements.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Reminder: Veterans Assistance Hours in Coudersport Thursday

If you are a veteran in need of assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care or death benefits, Dan Falls of the American Legion will be available at the Coudersport office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 24. To make an appointment, please call the office at 814-274-9769.

For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Clinics Conclude Next Week

The last in our series of Property Tax/Rent Rebate clinics will be held on Wednesday, March 23, as follows:

 • Eldred Senior Center, 169 Main St., from 9-11 a.m.
 • Smethport Senior Center, 119 W. Main St., from 1-2:30 p.m.

If you were unable to attend any of the clinics, assistance is still available at any of the offices listed below. More information and claim forms are also available at

 • 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.  


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you're retired and your income is less than $35,000, you won't get a property tax rebate if you own your home.

Anonymous said...

How. About more tax cuts for the job creators

Ms. Teacher said...

You don't mention that the Governor vetoed the budget because he wants to give the schools and programs more money that they need to keep operating without cutting positions and supplies.