|Standing Up for Taxpayers: Our Continued Vision
On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled his fourth budget proposal, which calls for $33 billion in spending, about $1 billion more than the current year. House Republicans are concerned about the overall price tag but are pleased it does not contain any broad-based sales or income tax increases.
The governor is asking for additional investments in education, workforce development, and career and technical education, and to continue addressing the opioid epidemic.
After the address to the joint session, House Republicans continued their call to stand up for taxpayers by outlining four principles they want to see in the next enacted budget: Developing work and economic opportunities; educating for success; escaping government dysfunction; and protecting families and communities.
Hearings on the budget proposal are slated to begin the week of Feb. 20.
More information about the proposal is available at www.PaHouseGOP.com.
Increasing Government Transparency
Bipartisan legislation designed to increase government transparency and more appropriately address unlawful lobbying practices is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature after receiving a concurrence vote in the House this week.
House Bill 1175 would increase fines and penalties for violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act by raising the maximum penalty imposed by the Ethics Commission from the current fine of $2,000 to $4,000. The bill also would increase the maximum administrative penalty that may be imposed for negligent failure to report under current law from $50 per day, to $50 per day for the first 10 days, $100 for each late day after the first 10 late days, and $200 for each late day after the initial 20-day period. The bill would also improve the current electronic filing system for lobbyists.
This would help ensure that the penalties for violating the public’s trust would be better aligned with the crime, and is an effort to restore the public’s faith in the government.
Reel Them In: Trout Stocking Starts Soon
To find out when your favorite fishing spot will be stocked with trout from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, stocking schedules are now available in print, online and on the commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.
The commission plans to stock 3.2 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling each year. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout; 640,000 brown trout; and 500,000 brook trout. The average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.
The statewide opening day for trout season is Saturday, April 14, but a regional opening day in 18 southcentral and southeastern counties is set for Saturday, March 31. Click here for a list of those counties.
Additionally, the commission will host Mentored Youth Trout Days on Saturday, March 24, for those same 18 counties and Saturday, April 7, statewide. Last year, more than 30,000 kids signed up to participate. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish for trout the Saturday before the regular opening days. Youth anglers must obtain a mentored youth permit or voluntary youth fishing license as well. Click here for more information about the program.
For more information about fishing licenses or regulations, or to check the online stocking schedule, click here.
Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is accepting applications for toll collector, maintenance, clerical and engineering positions.
Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays. Employees will work a 40-hour week and will not receive benefits. The pay is $11.50 per hour for toll collectors and $11 per hour for other positions.
All eligible candidates must be at least 18 years of age and completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. The program is limited to 16 weeks per employee and runs between May 1 and Sept. 30. Those who participated in the program previously must re-submit an application for consideration.
All applications MUST be submitted online at www.paturnpike.com/employment, and applications should select “SUMMER WORK” in the first step of the registration process. Copies of online applications should be sent to my Harrisburg office by Friday, April 6.
• Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School will hold an open house on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m.
• Our Legislative Farmers Breakfast will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 a.m. For more information and to RSVP call our Bloomsburg office at 570-387-0246.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 19, for President’s Day.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.