Jan. 31, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Governor’s Address to Kick Off 2020-21 Budget Process

The House and Senate will convene in a joint session of the General Assembly at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, to hear Gov. Tom Wolf outline his spending proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year. You can watch the address live at www.pahousegop.com.

House Republicans have been standing up for taxpayers and will continue to do so, working to ensure your hard-earned money is invested wisely in the core functions of government, such as education and public safety.

We are also committed to building the economy through a better tax and regulatory climate, as well as ensuring our students are trained for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

The governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings starting Tuesday, Feb. 18, to delve into the details of the governor’s plan and how state agencies are spending their funding.

For a schedule of the appropriation hearings, click here. 
 
 
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Applications Now Available

Forms for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2019. Remember – you do not need to pay anyone for assistance to apply for the rebartes. Help is available from my office(s) at no charge.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Revenue Department automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.

Additional information, as well as claim forms, are available here.

The deadline to apply for a rebate is June 30,2020. Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law.
 
 
New Law Allows Landowners to Mark Properties with Purple Paint

Pennsylvania has joined several other states in adopting a “purple paint law,” which provides landowners with an alternative to marking their properties as “no trespassing.”

Under the law, landowners may paint purple stripes on trees or posts to mark their properties. The lines must be vertical and at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. They must be 3 to 5 feet off the ground, readily visible to a person approaching the property and no more than 100 feet apart. While the law does not specify a certain shade of purple, a number of paint manufacturers offer a product called “No Hunting Purple.”

Previously, the only way landowners could post their properties was by posting signs that would deteriorate over time.

The law applies everywhere, except in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.
 
 
Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

With Coronavirus having been confirmed in five U.S. states so far, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is urging citizens to learn more about the virus and how to protect yourself.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. They can make people and animals, such as camels, cats and bats, sick. These viruses, at times, can evolve and infect people, then spread through human to human contact, just like the flu or a cold.

Symptoms are also similar to flu or cold, including runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of not being well. The virus can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract infections as well.

To protect yourself and others, cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands; clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas; and contain the spread of any sickness by staying home until you are feeling better.

Learn more here.
 
 
Beat the Winter Doldrums – Plan Your Next PA Vacation

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office recently released its annual Happy Traveler guide to help you plan your next Pennsylvania vacation!

The guide highlights spectacular outdoor adventures, must eats, fascinating historical artifacts and architecture, and hidden gems throughout the Commonwealth. Specifically, the Happy Traveler includes scenic byway highlights; locally made spirits on the Whiskey Rebellion Trail; a look into 100 years of women’s suffrage; tips for solo travel; the finest wellness destinations; a deep dive into caves and coal mines; and exciting festivals celebrating culture, art, agriculture, music and sports.

The Happy Traveler is available digitally by clicking here. Travelers are encouraged to explore Happy Traveler content across Visit PA’s social media platforms and share photos of their favorite Pennsylvania adventures using the hashtag #PAHappySnaps.
 
 
What Do You Think? Public Comment Period Opens for PennDOT’s Statewide Public Participation Plan

PennDOT has announced it will hold a 45-day public comment period on proposed updates to its Statewide Public Participation Plan.

The plan represents PennDOT’s documented public involvement process outlining opportunities for public participation in statewide transportation planning and programming. PennDOT encourages the public to review the draft plan in its entirety, and to provide comments.

The draft document and the electronic comment form are available here. Paper copies of the draft document and comment form are also available at PennDOT district offices, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organization offices, and at stakeholder locations throughout the state. A list of the viewing locations is available at the website noted above.

All comments received during the public comment period will be reviewed and evaluated by PennDOT. Changes to the draft plan will be determined as part of the evaluation process. All comments and questions received during the comment period will become a part of the update process documentation.

The comment period concludes on Wednesday, March 11.
 
 

Congratulations to Scott Dunkelberger, who retired from the Department of Community and Economic Development after nearly 35 years of service.
   
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Office Locations
Perry County Office, 18 West Main Street, PO Box 9. New Bloomfield PA 17068 | Tel: 717-582-8119
Cumberland County Office, 81 Walnut Bottom Road, P.O. Box 705, Shippensburg, PA 17257 | Tel: 717-477-0905
Room 105 , Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202086. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2086 | Tel: 717-783-1593
Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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