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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Pennsylvanians to Vote on School Property Tax Exemption on Nov. 7
  • Scavello Tele-Town Hall Oct. 30 to Focus on Property Tax Exemption Ballot Question
  • Don’t Fall for “Pension Advances” Pitch
  • PA Receives Extension on REAL ID Enforcement
  • New Law Allows Terminally Ill Patients to Try Experimental Treatments
  • State Archives Scholars in Residence Program Accepting Applications
  • Around the 40th District

Pennsylvanians to Vote on School Property Tax Exemption on Nov. 7

On November 7, Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to vote on a ballot question to eliminate residential school property taxes through the state’s existing homestead exclusion program.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow local taxing bodies to exclude from taxation 100% of the assessed value of owner-occupied homes.

The exact language of the ballot question requires a “yes” or “no” response and will read as follows:

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?

Passage of the referendum is step one. If the ballot question is passed, the Legislature will have to pass a bill expanding the homestead exclusion program and providing the revenue necessary to eliminate school property taxes on primary homes. As a constitutional amendment, this voter referendum was approved unanimously by the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and now requires voter approval.

Scavello Tele-Town Hall Oct. 30 to Focus on Property Tax Exemption Ballot Question

I will take questions and gather input from constituents on the upcoming property tax exemption ballot question and other school property tax proposals during a live telephone town hall on Monday, October 30, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents of the 40th Senatorial District can register for the event here.

The tele-town hall format encourages constituents to participate in a discussion on issues without the need to travel throughout the region. Participants can ask questions or simply remain on the line to listen to the discussion.

The event will also feature a live audio stream page that allows smartphone, tablet and computer users to listen in and submit questions online.

Don’t Fall for “Pension Advances” Pitch

(This item appeared in the previous e-newsletter with an incorrect link.)

The Department of Banking and Securities is warning consumers about doing business with any company offering an advance on a retirement pension.

These so-called lump sum “pension advances” are thinly disguised loans with no contractual or financial relationship with the consumer’s pension or pension plan. The total payments made on the “advance” often far exceed the initial loan amount. In almost all cases, the payments are more than a lender can legally charge in Pennsylvania.

Here are five questions consumers should consider asking when presented with any business proposal involving their pensions.

PA Receives Extension on REAL ID Enforcement

Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities through at least January 22, 2018, after the Department of Homeland Security announced a new REAL ID enforcement grace period.

The grace period went into effect Wednesday, October 11, and applies to jurisdictions under compliance extensions set to expire October 10. In addition to Pennsylvania, there are 27 total jurisdictions with extension requests still under review. The enforcement grace period applies only to entrance to federal facilities. There is no enforcement on commercial air travel until January 22, 2018. You can find more on REAL ID and Pennsylvania’s compliance here.

New Law Allows Terminally Ill Patients to Try Experimental Treatments

Legislation passed by the Senate earlier this month to allow terminally ill patients to try experimental treatments has been signed into law.

Under Act 33, patients could try such treatment as investigational drugs, biological products and medical devices not yet fully approved by the FDA. The law also gives health care providers immunity when recommending the use of an investigational product and protects them from professional licensure sanctions. Thirty other states have such “Right to Try” laws.

State Archives Scholars in Residence Program Accepting Applications

The Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania Historical Association are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Scholars in Residence Program.

The program provides support for up to four weeks of full-time research and study in the manuscript and state record collections maintained by the State Archives. Residency programs are open to anyone researching Pennsylvania history, including academic scholars, public sector professionals, independent scholars, graduate students, educators, writers, filmmakers and others. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2018.

Around the 40th District

I want to extend a special thank you to Dave Wengerd of Classic Quality Homes for donating a house to VetStock, an organization that supports a number of regional veterans groups and equips them with the resources they need to reach former military servicemen and women. This house will be critical in providing needed housing for veterans in the region. The donation was made official as the keys to the house were presented to VetStock's founder, Tom Ryan, at my office in Tannersville. Pictured left to right: Susan McKean (Mt. Bethel Abstract, Inc.), David Wengerd (Classic Quality Homes), Rich Diaz (Vetstock, American Legion Post 139# Milford), Janet Farole (Classic Quality Homes), Senator Mario Scavello (Senate District 40), Tom Ryan (VetStock), Attorney Kelly Gaughan (VetStock), and Dave Chant (Davis R. Chant Realtors).

Congratulations to Cardinal Home Décor in Bartonsville as they celebrate their grand opening! They provide beautiful lamps and home accessories for patrons to enjoy.

Some scenes from around Lukie’s Fall Festival at Weona Park in Pen Argyl. Year after year this event allows us to join together for a bigger cause - curing Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). A great event with an even greater purpose.

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To stay up-to-date on state issues and events affecting Monroe and Northampton counties, I invite you to follow me on my new Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you have a public event benefiting our community in Monroe or Northampton Counties, please feel free to contact my office at (570) 620-4326 or by email to include the event in my E-Newsletter at no charge. Requests should include details about the community event such as the time, location and the public purpose.



Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-1200120000
FAX (610) 863-1214
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

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