In This Update:
Budget Hearings Delve Into Wolf’s Spending and Tax Plans
The Senate Appropriations Committee began the formal process of reviewing Governor Wolf’s budget proposal this week, including exploring how the governor’s massive new spending plans and record-breaking tax increases would impact Pennsylvania communities, families and small employers.
Some of the key points discussed during the hearings this week include:
Special Committee Set to Begin Bipartisan Election Review
A newly created Senate panel will begin a comprehensive review of the 2020 General Election with its first hearing on Monday, March 15, beginning at 10 a.m. The hearing is scheduled to review best practices of election integrity and security from other states.
The Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform is anticipated to produce a report that will be presented to the General Assembly with recommendations to improve the administration and safety of elections in Pennsylvania.
State residents are encouraged to submit comments through the online form.
Lawmakers Seek to Put the Brakes on New Bridge Tolling Plan
PennDOT recently announced plans to add tolls to nine existing bridges on Pennsylvania’s interstate system. Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to put the brakes on this tolling plan and reform the state’s Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) process, which produced the tolling plan.
The legislation would:
Several Senators gathered in Harrisburg for a news conference this week to announce the legislation and to voice support for voiding the statute that PennDOT is using to enact these new tolls.
Emergency Rental Assistance Applications Available Now
Renters struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply now for financial assistance through a program authorized by the General Assembly last month. Applications and more information on the program are available from the Department of Human Services.
Funding for the program was released to counties by Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity on Tuesday.
Senate Returns to Session Next Week, Budget Hearings Continue
The Senate will return to session on Monday. You can follow all committee hearings, meetings, floor debates and votes live at www.PASenateGOP.com.
In addition, the Senate Appropriations Committee will continue its review of Governor Wolf’s budget with hearings featuring the Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education on Thursday.
Discounted Fishing Licenses Available for Non-Resident Students
Non-resident students attending in-state universities now qualify for a discounted fishing license from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The price of a license is $22.97, which is the same price as an annual license for state residents and $30 less than the cost of an annual non-resident license.
Licenses are available through the HuntFishPA online licensing system. The opening day of trout season is April 3.