Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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Week of March 11, 2019

Spotted Lanternfly Informational Session with Secretary Redding

PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding will join me for a Spotted Lanternfly Informational Session on Wednesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Myerstown Community Center, 101 South Railroad Street, Myerstown, Lebanon County (formerly the Elementary School at the corner of Railroad and Carpenter Streets).

Senate Bill 76 Update

Senate Bill 76, the Property Tax Independence Act, calling for the total elimination of school property taxes, has officially been reintroduced!

Prime sponsors this session are myself, Senator Argall (R- Berks & Schuylkill), Senator Schwank (D- Berks), Senator Yudichak (D- Carbon & Luzerne), Senator Scavello (R- Monroe & Northampton), Senator Boscola (D- Lehigh & Northampton), and Senator Phillips-Hill (R- York).  We have already been meeting with stakeholders, and continue to hear the consistent drumbeat that the school property tax is the most-hated, egregious and antiquated tax, and it must go!

SB 76 would eliminate school property taxes and shift to an increased Personal Income Tax (PIT) and an increased and expanded Sales and Use Tax.  The new revenue sources would replace dollar-for-dollar the revenues lost by the school property tax elimination.  The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.  I look forward to again being a strong and vocal advocate of these much needed and long overdue reforms.

NO TAX SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO LEAVE YOU HOMELESS!

PA Air National Guard Earns Outstanding Unit Award

All three PA Air National Guard wings, part of the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), earned 2018 United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards as exceptional performers.  The award spans a two-year period of wing performance.  All three wings previously earned this prestigious Air Force award, but this is the first time the 111th Attack Wing in Horsham, the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, and the 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown all received the award the same year.

The 193rd Special Operations Wing (193rd SOW) in Middletown, Dauphin County, is located within the 48th Senatorial District.  The 193rd SOW is home to the only airborne Military Information Support Operations broadcasting platform in the U.S. Military.  The unit assists civilian authorities during natural disaster or homeland security during peacetime and supports the Air Force Special Operations Command during wartime.

The 193rd SOW successfully executes overseas contingency and domestic operations deployments while maintaining a high rate of readiness.  The wing deployed 642 members across 27 nations.  Wing members flew 386 combat missions and safely executed 3,000 broadcast hours.

Founded in 1747, the PA National Guard is the third largest in the nation and is comprised of nearly 20,000 soldiers and airmen who reside in every county across the Commonwealth.  The PA National Guard is part of the DMVA’s dual mission, which also includes supporting PA’s nearly 800,000 Veterans.

REAL ID Available, Changes to Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards

REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards became available to Pennsylvanians who want them on March 1st.  Because of REAL ID implementation, there will be changes to the look of PA driver’s licenses and ID cards.  REAL ID-compliant products will be marked with a gold star.  Click here to read PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services Update REAL ID Special Edition.

48th Spotlight Video Feature: Mount Gretna Theatre

My first 48th Spotlight of 2019 features the Mount Gretna Theatre!  I spoke with Brian Kurtas, Executive Producer, at the beautiful and historic Mount Gretna Playhouse.  We also visited Movement Laboratory in Lebanon, about taking the arts into schools through touring outreach.  Watch below!

Spotlight on the 48th: Gretna Theatre

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