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Save the Date: Scavello Senior Expo July 17
I am hosting my annual Senior Expo on Monday, July 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pocono Mountain Swiftwater Elementary Center (135 Academic Drive, Swiftwater, PA) with my co-hosts State Representatives Rosemary Brown and Jack Rader.
This event promises something for everyone, with a myriad of state and local resources available to seniors. Join us for a day full of free educational seminars, prices, health screenings, door prizes and more. Exhibitors from numerous government agencies and senior citizen organizations will be on hand to offer their services.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call my office at 570-620-4326.
Scavello Hosts Bipartisan Forum on Reform, Elimination of Property Taxes
It was a privilege to host two key state Senate committees for a forum at Pocono Mountain East High School to dive deeper into proposals to eliminate and reform school property taxes in Pennsylvania.
The Senate Majority Policy Committee and the Democratic Policy Committee last week heard from several groups with a vested interest in school property tax elimination and reform during the first in a series of public forums regarding the property tax problem.
The forum featured a presentation by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, the statewide grassroots organization comprised of volunteers who drafted Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate school property taxes by shifting to an increased Personal Income Tax and increased and expanded Sales and Use Tax. Local perspectives were also offered by Jack Muehlhan, a local appraiser and real estate professional, who testified to the residential and commercial impacts of the school property tax in the region. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry also attended and provided testimony on the panel.
I am very pleased to have the Senate Policy Committees come to the 40th Senate District to discuss school property tax reform, the single most important issue affecting my constituents. Currently SB 76 has 20 co-sponsors and supporters and we need six more to vote this bill out of the Senate. This forum was a vital step in continuing to build momentum to end our reliance on the burdensome school property tax that makes it difficult for seniors and families alike to stay in their homes and often makes our citizens choose between critical expenses and paying the property tax.
Scavello Applauds Animal Protection Bill Signing
It was a joy to be on hand for the signing of House Bill 1238. The new law, now known as Act 10 of 2017, updates and clarifies the existing animal abuse statute and increases the penalties for abusing any animal.
The law categorizes animal cruelty based on the egregiousness of the offense.
Neglect -- which includes denying an animal necessary food and potable water, clean and sanitary shelter, or necessary veterinary care -- would be a summary offense. This would become a misdemeanor of the third degree if the violation causes bodily injury to the animal or places the animal in imminent risk of serious bodily injury.
Cruelty -- which includes intentionally, knowingly or recklessly ill-treating, overloading, beating, abandoning or abusing an animal -- would be a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Aggravated cruelty -- which includes intentionally or knowingly torturing an animal or causing serious bodily injury or death of the animal -- would be a felony of the third degree.
The rewrite of Pennsylvania’s animal abuse laws is based in part on a bill introduced in the Senate last year in response to the story of Libre, a Boston terrier puppy who was rescued last year from a Lancaster County farm after suffering from weeks of severe neglect.
This was a big day for me, as I fought first as a House member and then as a Senator to reduce cruelty to animals and to return the love that they show us.
Panel Releases Report on Use of Biosolids (Sewage Sludge)
Disposal of sludge and biosolids continues to be a concern for my constituents in the Slate Belt. In response to those concerns, I supported State Rep. Joe Emrick’s House Resolution 60, which directed the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to thoroughly examine the environmental and health impacts of sludge.
The LBFC came to the Slate Belt and solicited feedback from the public and local elected officials as part of their lengthy information gathering process and has now officially presented their report.
I am still reviewing the specifics of the document and wanted to share with you video of Tuesday’s LBFC presentation, testimony presented by the Executive Director of the Committee, the 75-page report, and report highlights.
My door remains open to any constituents who would like to further discuss the sludge issue and I look forward to continuing to evaluate the professional findings of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee study.
Senate Passes Legislation Holding Drug Dealers Accountable
District attorneys would be able to hold drug dealers more accountable for the damages they cause under legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate.
Senate Bill 662 would strengthen penalties for the delivery or distribution of an illicit drug that results in serious bodily injury to the user, such as a permanent disfigurement or the loss or impairment of a body part or organ.
Pennsylvania currently lacks a statute pertaining to serious bodily injury resulting from an overdose. For that reason, district attorneys often refer these cases to federal prosecutors who can seek tougher penalties under federal law. The added caseload on the United States Attorney’s Office places a severe strain on federal courts and takes away the ability of local prosecutors to pursue convictions in their home jurisdictions.
In addition to creating the new statute, the bill would require the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to create sentencing enhancement guidelines so judges have the ability to increase punishments when appropriate.
The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
July 4 Marks PA’s Second Fish-for-Free Day
Fish for Free Day in Pennsylvania will be held Tuesday, July 4.
Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone – residents and non-residents – to legally
fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. On Tuesday, no fishing
license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania’s waterways. All other fishing
Around the 40th District
Congratulations to Dr. J.R. and Dr. Ashley of Snell Family Chiropractic on the grand opening of their new location in Lower Nazareth at Northwood Racquet & Fitness Club. Our sincerest well-wishes to you and thank you for enhancing the wellness of our community.
Congratulations to James Lambert of Troop 98 in Brodheadsville. It was an honor attending your Eagle Scout ceremony this past weekend!
It was my pleasure to welcome my constituents Paul, Rhonda and Hayley McCloughan to the Capitol. Thank you for making the trip down and I hope you enjoyed your trip and learning more about our state government!
This past week I met with Megan, Polly and Kathy of Family First PA, a statewide initiative that supports funding for families relying on human services. It's important that we do no harm to the most vulnerable among us and the families who need a hand up in caring for loved ones with special needs.
I was joined in the Capitol this week by Sam Matrisciano, a student of Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, who shadowed me in Harrisburg for the day. Sam was visiting the Capitol with the American Lung Association. I hope you found your time valuable and full of new experiences.
A sincere congratulations to Monsignor Francis Nave of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Bath as he celebrates 25 years of priesthood. Thank you for all you continue to do and give on behalf of the community and your congregation.
Senate session and budget negotiations are expected to continue into next week. You can watch live at PASenateGOP.com. I will provide an update in out next Session Wrap-Up.
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Senate Box 203040
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