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Friday, January 19, 2018

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, January 19, 2018 The latest news from the State Capitol
Honoring Mayor Bruno Carnovale

Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Emporium Borough Mayor Bruno Carnovale, who has retired after 51 years of service to his community. He was first elected to borough council in 1966 and then was elected mayor in 1988. Last year, he was named Mayor of the Year by the Association of Mayors of the Boroughs of Pennsylvania. In addition to his leadership on council and as mayor over the last five-plus decades, Mr. Carnovale also volunteered his time and talents to complete electrical work at the borough building, the Emporium Volunteer Fire Department and the borough’s equipment buildings. It was my honor to present Mayor Carnovale with a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in honor of his service. His contributions to the community are beyond measure. Congratulations on your retirement Bruno!
Rural Broadband a Priority for Lawmakers

At last week’s Farm Show, the Pennsylvania State Grange held a presentation and discussion about the need to expand broadband service in rural areas like ours. In an increasingly connected world, the lack of broadband access puts both students and businesses in rural areas at a disadvantage, and further limits our health care options.

Among those participating in the session were representatives of the governor’s Rural Development Council, both the state and national Grange organizations, the Public Utility Commission and Pennsylvania Telephone Association. A state representative from York County was also on hand to talk about her legislation to further assess the current situation and create a legislative commission to recommend improvements to the deployment of broadband in unserved and underserved areas.

Rural broadband was also a topic of discussion at the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting last week. We intend to take a closer look at it and what we may be able to do legislatively to advance the availability of broadband services in areas like ours.

You can watch video of the Grange meeting here
Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Clinics Scheduled

Applications for the 2017 Property Tax/Rent Rebate will soon be available, and I want to remind everyone who is eligible that free assistance with filing the forms will again be available through my offices in Bradford, Coudersport and Kane.

Additionally, for the convenience of area senior citizens, we will offer several clinics at senior centers across the 67th Legislative District. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, Feb. 21: Thursday, Feb. 22
  • Harrison Valley Community Building, 205 E. Main St., Harrison Valley – 9-10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 27 Wednesday, Feb. 28 Tuesday, March 6 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 disabilities. Eligibility income limits are set at $15,000 for renters and $35,000 for homeowners, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.
Fighting Back Against Overregulation

Earlier this week, several lawmakers and business leaders from across the Commonwealth announced a multi-bill package specifically designed to rein in state government overregulation.

The bills include giving the Legislature the ability to initiate the repeal of any state regulation in effect; establishing the Independent Office of the Repealer to undertake an ongoing review of existing regulations; requiring legislative approval of an economically significant regulation; making the permitting process more transparent; requiring each agency to better educate the regulated community regarding implementation of any new regulation and its requirements; and improving the regulatory culture so the application of existing laws is collaborative and not punitive.

Also announced was a Regulatory Overreach Report, which showed that Pennsylvania’s restrictive regulatory environment kills family-sustaining jobs, strangles opportunity and cripples economic growth.

Pennsylvania currently has more than 153,000 regulatory restrictions that stretch across every industry in the Commonwealth.

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