Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.
In this Update:
Increasing PA’s Population by Incentivizing More People to Move Here
After the results of the 2020 Census showed that Pennsylvania’s population growth has lagged behind most other states, our state was stripped of yet another seat in Congress. This is a continuation of the Commonwealth losing at least one Congressional seat in all of the last 10 censuses, beginning in 1930.
Not only is the state’s inability to retain residents or attract new ones costing us political influence in Washington, it also separates families as younger generations pursue jobs in other states with greater promise of upward mobility.
We must counter this population trend, incentivize working professionals and families to move here and stay here, and create economic opportunity for ALL residents. The first step to achieving those goals is to make the state’s Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate competitive with that of neighboring states.
Based on data from the Census, research shows that lower CNI tax rates are associated with higher rates of population growth. Additionally, interstate migration trends in 2019 show that many more people move to states with a lower CNI rate as opposed to states with a higher rate.
Specifically, data modeling projects show that lowering the CNI by one point can increase Pennsylvania’s population by an additional 18,000 people in the first year and that population will continue to grow each year thereafter.
Reducing our state’s CNI rate would directly address our ongoing issues with outbound migration while at the same time providing real, tangible benefits to Commonwealth residents.
Learn more about my proposal to reduce Pennsylvania’s CNI tax and the research behind it here.
Rally Against Tolling Interstate Bridges Set for June 8
Lawmakers and representatives of local communities will take part in a June 8 Capitol rally against the Wolf administration’s plan to toll nine interstate bridges.
The bridge tolling initiative will cost the average commuter an additional $1,000 per year and was moved through the process without legislative input or approval. Commonwealth Court recently halted the plan, siding with a county and several municipalities that challenged the plan as unconstitutional. The administration has appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
The administration’s plan would add tolls to the following bridges:
The Senate approved Senate Bill 382 to halt the tolling and require more transparency in the Public-Private Partnership process, which produced the tolling plan. Gov. Tom Wolf has threatened to veto the measure. The rally will be held June 8 at 10 a.m. and streamed live at PASenateGOP.com and Facebook.com/PASenateGOP.
Senate Committee Acts to Protect Women’s Sports
Legislation to protect women’s sports in Pennsylvania was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the full Senate for consideration.
Under House Bill 972, an athletic team or sport designated for females, women or girls may not be open to biological males. In addition, a student deprived of an athletic opportunity would be able to file a lawsuit against the offending college or high school.
More than a dozen states passed similar legislation after women’s sports organizations were pressured to allow biological males to compete on their teams.
Defunding the Police is WRONG for PA
After millions of Pennsylvanians were pushed out of their jobs because of the COVID-19 business closures, the economy still hasn’t recovered. Now, circumstances are even more dire as food and fuel prices continue to skyrocket due to the reckless policies of the Biden Administration and PA Democrats.
While it’s a sad fact, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate climbed 27% from 2019 to 2020. Also, Pennsylvania reported the highest year-over-year increase in violence of all states during the same period. It is tone deaf to call to defund law enforcement at a time when crime is rising significantly.
Local police chiefs, prosecutors, human trafficking victim advocates, and key community groups confirmed at a recent Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing in Landisville that this alarming statewide trend is happening right here in Lancaster County, too.
We’re looking to stop this trend. Read more here.
Bills of Note Approved by Senate Committees
Other bills approved by Senate committees include:
Senate Bill 643, approved by the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, amends the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to allow club licensees to retain more of their proceeds from small games of chance while maintaining charitable donation requirements.
Senate Bill 1147, approved by the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, increases penalties on construction companies that fail to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the legal employment eligibility of new hires.
Senate Bill 1183, approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, provides law enforcement new tools to crack down on the illegal operation of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles on public roads.
Celebrating the Success of Exceptional Students
I recently stopped by Warwick Middle School to congratulate the first-place winners of the National Future City Competition.
Future City is an annual competition sponsored by Bentley, Shell, and other businesses that requires students to design a city of the future with a specific theme. This year’s theme was “a waste-free city,” focusing on a circular economy. Students were challenged to find a way to accomplish the following goals: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; and regenerate natural systems.
After winning the national competition in January, these students progressed to compete internationally in February.
Congratulations to this outstanding group of seventh and eighth graders!
Recognizing Our Outstanding Police Officers
I am proud to be a member of a church family that takes the time to recognize our law enforcement community and their families.
It was an honor to recognize Officer Tyler S. Weinoldt of the Lititz Borough Police Department as the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association Officer of the Year. Officers were also recognized for Acts of Bravery and Lifetime Achievement. The event concluded with a memorial service honoring our fallen officers.
Congrats to New Eagle Scout William Russell!
Congratulations to new Eagle Scout William J. Russell.
For his Eagle Scout community service project, William constructed a gate and added a garden at Camp Chiques. As a member of Troop 349 in Mountville, he has served his troop as quartermaster, historian, and assistant senior patrol leader and is also a member of the Order of the Arrow.
Local Students Tour State Capitol
Fourth graders from Lititz Area Mennonite and Fulton Elementary School recently toured our State Capitol.
If you would like to tour the national historic landmark for yourself, book your tour for up to 40 guests online here. The Interactive Welcome Center, which is full of informative exhibits, is also open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Read more about the welcome center here.
Voice Your Opinion on Local Planned Transportation Projects
You can learn about what transportation improvements are planned for Lancaster County in the next four years by reviewing the draft 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program. It includes a listing of all transit, highway, bridge, and other miscellaneous transportation projects the county plans to advance.
Public comments on the plan will be accepted through June 13 by:
Preparing for America’s Semiquincentennial
Planning for America’s 250th birthday in 2026 would be aided by legislation approved by the Senate to help fund Pennsylvania’s celebratory efforts.
Senate Bill 1186 would allocate a portion of the fee from the sale of the special USA semiquincentennial registration plate to the Pennsylvania Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial.
Scammers are Targeting Student Loan Borrowers
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency warns that recent reports about potential broad-based federal loan forgiveness and other changes to student loan programs are creating opportunities for scammers to target student loan borrowers.
One of the recent scams attempts to convince borrowers that there are new student loan rules in place that require immediate action. Scammers typically promise unrealistic amounts of loan forgiveness, offer short cuts to loan forgiveness, or try to get a borrower’s Federal Student Aid ID or other personal information and then rush them into paying immediately.
Scammers will often use the U.S. Department of Education’s name and seal to give it legitimacy.
Here are some tips to avoid being scammed:
June 6 is the Anniversary of D-Day
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.” — Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, on the eve of the D-Day invasion, June 6, 1944
More than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.
More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 soldiers to begin the slow, hard march across Europe, to defeat occupying German troops. We must never forget the brave, young men who confronted a danger few can imagine in the name of liberty.