Aug. 26, 2019 / Email Archives

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Receiving Input on Fiscal and Economic Policy


I took part in the Summer Summit on Fiscal and Economic Policy and learned a lot about how Pennsylvania can improve its finances.

I firmly believe one of the best ways to improve the state’s fiscal house is by decreasing regulations that negatively impact businesses. By allowing businesses to thrive, so will our state. To that end, I introduced the Pennsylvania REINS Act. House Bill 806 is based on the federal REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act) and is known as the Pennsylvania REINS Act. The bill would establish an improved review process for major regulations that would create a financial burden of $1 million or more per year on communities, businesses and/or the Commonwealth. The bill was approved by the House and is now in the Senate for consideration.

I look forward to addressing the issues, particularly the fiscal problems, facing our state as we return to session this fall.

To read the testimony provided during the summit, click here.
                                     
 
Extra, Extra! Column Released

My latest column on the issues facing property tax reform is now out. You can read an excerpt of it below and click here to read the entire column.

“Property tax relief isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a geographical issue. There are many factors that play a role in the way property taxes are levied throughout Pennsylvania, including the volume and livelihood of local industry, equitable distribution of state and federal education dollars, archaic education funding laws, hold-harmless clauses, changing student populations, and much more. A school district receiving 50% of their per-pupil costs from the state doesn’t require the taxpayers to subsidize their budget like a school district receiving less than 30% of their per pupil costs from the state. Some school districts are funded at such a high level by the state that property taxes aren’t an issue at all. Some school districts with a high density of businesses experience an average property tax bill of just $1,000. These funding disparities between school districts across the state make it challenging to gain the consensus needed for true property tax reform legislation.

“I was encouraged by my recent appointment to a bi-partisan, bi-cameral property tax work group, charged with the task of creating a property tax reform plan than can garner the votes required to get signed into law. That’s an important component – garnering the support of the majority. Past proposals have not been able to clear this hurdle. This renewed effort for property tax reform, supported by leadership in both chambers and both parties, gives me hope that we can find middle ground and finally make some progress on property tax reform.”

 
 
Attention, Veterans!


Join me for my Veterans’ Ice Cream Social on Monday, Sept. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the American Legion, 301 Route 15 South, in Dillsburg. All veterans and their families are invited to attend. Veterans will receive a pin in recognition of their service. Veterans and their families will also learn about services available to them. The speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Graf.

Registration is required. To RSVP, contact my office at 717-432-0792, or register online at RepKeefer.com. The deadline to register is Sunday, Sept. 22.
 
 
New Ag Grant Programs Accepting Applications

Two new grant programs established as part of the 2019-20 state budget to help grow our Commonwealth’s agriculture industry are now accepting applications.

The Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program will provide funding up to $50,000 to meat processing businesses with annual sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees. The goal of the program is to increase the supply of locally produced meat products for local consumption. The funding is to be used to help small processors meet federal inspection and certification requirements.

The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program will provide microgrants of up to $2,500 or collaboration grants of up to $50,000 for projects to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources and support for community development efforts.

Both programs are now accepting online applications here.

The deadline to apply for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program is Friday, Sept. 6. The deadline to apply for the Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program is Monday, Sept. 30.

More information is available at www.agriculture.pa.gov.
 
 
Seeking Investigation of PA’s Parole Processes

Responding to a series of murders committed by people recently paroled from the state prison system, the House Judiciary Committee is calling for an investigation of the state’s parole procedures by Inspector General Bruce Beemer.

While the Department of Corrections is rightfully conducting an internal review of these cases to determine if improvements can be made to prevent such tragedies, it is also vital to conduct an independent investigation to ensure every effort is being made to protect public safety.

In a letter to the inspector general, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) pointed to the stabbing deaths of three children and a woman, the strangulation of a domestic partner, and the shooting death of a police officer committed by state parolees as evidence of the need for an investigation.
 
 
Traveling Over Labor Day? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com

Travelers can log onto www.511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.

In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2, for Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
 
 
Blue Star Museums Offer Free Admission to Active-Duty Military

Active-duty military personnel and their families have free access to dozens of museums in Pennsylvania – and thousands nationwide – through the Blue Star Museums initiative.

The initiative is a joint effort of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums nationwide.

The program concludes on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2.

To find participating museums, click here.
 
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repkeefer.com
Office Locations
12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com
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