I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the Session Week of July 26, 2017.
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Senate Passes 2017-18 Budget “Code” Bills
The Senate passed five “Code” bills on Thursday that provide the revenue component of the Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget. The bills now return to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.
I supported House Bill 59, which amends the Human Services Code and brings needed reforms to Pennsylvania’s public assistance program. However, I voted against the other four bills in the package: House Bill 118 (Administrative Code), House Bill 178 (Public School Code), House Bill 453 (Fiscal Code), and House Bill 542, (Tax Reform Code).
Rather than spending more of the people’s hard-earned money, we should be living within our means. I think it is shortsighted to reach deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets, particularly on energy consumers and natural gas producers who already pay high taxes.
Senate Approves Bill to Fight Neighborhood Blight
The Senate approved legislation on Wednesday to provide local redevelopment authorities with greater authority and resources to combat neighborhood blight. Senate Bill 667 grants redevelopment authorities the same powers currently allotted to land banks through the Pennsylvania Land Bank Act.
A land bank is an independent public entity created by a municipality to expedite the process of acquiring and rehabilitating blighted, dilapidated, and abandoned properties. In many instances, land banks and redevelopment authorities work together to eliminate blight in communities.
The legislation would allow redevelopment authorities to discharge tax liens on blighted properties and share up to 50 percent of the real property taxes for five years after conveyance of authority-owned property.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Appropriations Committee approved three bills on Wednesday.
House Bill 178 amends the Public School Code.
House Bill 453 amends the Fiscal Code.
House Bill 542 amends the Tax Reform Code.
Rules & Executive Nominations
The Rules & Executive Nominations Committee approved two bills on Wednesday.
House Bill 59 makes a number of amendments and additions to the Human Services Code.
House Bill 118 amends the Administrative Code.
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