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3/1/2019
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Legislative Update

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 The latest news from the State Capitol


Apply to Become a Crossing Guard
In response to the shortage of crossing guards in the Northeast, I want to join City Councilman Brian O’Neill in encouraging local residents to apply. The application is available at the link here, but only through March 22. You would not only help the kids of our community, but help our police improve safety. Call my office at 215-330-3711 or at 215-632-3237 with any questions. You can also call Councilman O’Neill at 215-686-3422.
                                                    

Last Chance for Seniors to ‘Freeze’ Property Taxes
We’ve just gotten word that eligible seniors have a final chance to “freeze” their property taxes at 2018 levels. The deadline to apply for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze program is March 15 for this year only.

Learn more here.
 

Don’t Forget the Earned Income Tax Credit
Just a reminder that when you are filing your tax forms you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you are a moderate- to low-income worker, with (or, in some cases, without) qualifying children. The EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may even give you a refund. Learn more here
                                   

Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims
 
Understanding the struggle many crime victims face when seeking justice, lawmakers have been working to advance a package of bills designed to protect the rights of crime victims.

The House Judiciary Committee approved five bills for consideration by the full House. The package includes:

House Bill 276, a joint resolution known as Marsy’s Law, would add a victims bill of rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

House Bill 502 would ensure victims can attend proceedings against their abusers.

House Bill 503 would help victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism testify in court.

House Bill 504 would shield rape victims from irrelevant cross examination.

House Bill 505 would strengthen protections for young abuse victims.

Just as those accused of a crime have certain rights, House Republicans are ensuring crime victims are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire criminal justice process.
 

First Time Homebuyers Bill Passes
The First Time Homebuyer Savings Account Bill has passed the House. It’s now in the Senate.

House Bill 128 would allow homebuyers to deposit money into a savings account exclusively for purchasing a first home. The money could then be deducted from the state income tax.

With high closing costs in Pennsylvania and other barriers to buying a home, this is a major step toward helping people achieve the dream of home ownership.
 

Budget Hearings Continue
The second full week of budget hearings wrapped up on Thursday, with members of the House Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, asking agency and department officials a variety of questions about executive functions, programs and efficiencies. These questions, along with submitted written testimony, will serve as the foundation for budget negotiations this spring.

This week’s hearings featured the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the departments of Transportation (PennDOT), Corrections, General Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

Next week concludes the House’s budget hearings with appearances by the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The full schedule is available here. The site also includes links to video of the archived hearings once available.
 
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Office Locations
Harrisburg Office: B-13 Main Capitol Building, PO Box 202170, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2170  | (717) 787-6740
District Office:10752 Bustleton Ave., Suite C, Philadelphia, PA 19116  | (215) 330-3711
District Office: 10501 Academy Road, Unit E., Philadelphia, PA 19114 | (215) 632-3237
Email: Mwhite@pahousegop.com
     
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