Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Calling on Gov. Shapiro to Send PA National Guard to Defend Texas Border
  • Celebrating World War II Veteran’s 100th Birthday on the Senate Floor
  • Helping York Countians Have Flexibility with Corporations Based Outside PA
  • Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking
  • Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance
  • Alison Bowlan-Kurland Serving as Guest Chaplain This Week
  • Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers
  • Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives
  • Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects
  • Sign up for Veterans Updates

Calling on Gov. Shapiro to Send PA National Guard to Defend Texas Border   

The Senate approved a measure calling on Gov. Josh Shapiro to protect Pennsylvania communities by supporting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request to respond to America’s illegal immigration crisis.

Senate Resolution 251 implores Shapiro to reverse course and deploy the Pennsylvania National Guard along Texas’s southern border with Mexico as part of Operation Lone Star. The border security initiative has led to more than 500,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, more than 40,000 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 468 million lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A 2023 report indicates at least 251,000 illegal immigrants reside in Pennsylvania with an annual burden of more than $1.6 billion on taxpayers. That equates to a cost of approximately $318 per Pennsylvania household annually, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

I would again like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts on the southern border situation, specifically regarding Senate Resolution 234 earlier this year during my survey. You can find my remarks on this critical issue here.

Celebrating World War II Veteran’s 100th Birthday on the Senate Floor  

Earlier this week at the state Capitol, I was honored to welcome Quentin Stambaugh, a World War II Veteran and retired York County Magisterial Justice, who celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year.

Quentin, a proud member of the Greatest Generation, served our nation with distinction, completing 39 combat missions during the war. In recognition of his dedicated service and remarkable longevity, Quentin and his family were warmly received in the Senate of Pennsylvania. 

You can find more photos from his visit here and watch his introduction here, which shares Quentin’s secret to longevity. 

Helping York Countians Have Flexibility When They Work for Corporations Based Outside PA   

In the past five years, Pennsylvania’s workforce has changed significantly, prompting the need to adjust tax laws. This week, I spoke up for our neighbors working for employers south of the Mason Dixon line. The Senate Finance Committee took a big step forward by advancing my measure, Senate Bill 416. It aims to offer flexibility for Pennsylvania employees working for companies based outside our state.

The bill addresses the challenges faced by those working remotely for out-of-state corporations. Initially prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, my legislation seeks to permanently allow employees to work from home for up to half of the year without triggering the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT).

I’ve heard from constituents that despite the availability of remote work options, tax implications have hindered Pennsylvanians who work for companies south of the Mason Dixon line. This bill aims to fix that, aligning tax laws with modern employment practices.

You can find more about the legislation here and find my remarks for the committee here.

Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking  

The Pennsylvania Senate approved two measures this week boosting community safety by targeting opioid overdoses and human trafficking. Both bills, which head to the House of Representatives for consideration, are part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1054 strengthens the Overdose Information Network (ODIN) law, which requires all law enforcement in Pennsylvania to input reports of an overdose within 72 hours of the incident into the ODIN system. The ODIN database enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze and share information concerning fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and naloxone administrations. The bill would ensure overdose reporting by EMS providers is incorporated into the statewide mapping system. EMS providers are responsible for handling more than 80% of overdoses annually in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1111 would ensure that individuals who are convicted of certain human trafficking offenses – as well as attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit those offenses – are subject to the same Megan’s Law reporting and evaluation requirements as other sexual offenders.

Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance  

To help homeowners struggling as a result of pandemic-related financial hardships, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) reopened a program that had been paused to address a backlog of applicants.

The majority of pending applications has been processed and an assessment of remaining American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds has been made, so PHFA is accepting additional applicants until the remaining monies are exhausted.

New applicants can use the funds for pandemic-related mortgage reinstatement, forward mortgage assistance, tax assistance and delinquent utility bills. Interested Pennsylvania homeowners can find more information, eligibility requirements and instructions about how to submit an application here.

Rev. Alison Bowlan-Kurland Serving as Guest Chaplain This Week  

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of welcoming Rev. Alison Bowlan-Kurland back to serve as guest chaplain of the Senate. Rev. Bowlan-Kurland, from St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Spring Grove, previously opened the Senate in prayer in 2021.

It’s especially meaningful to have her here during Women’s History Month, as she is the first woman to lead the congregation at St. Paul’s. Rev. Bowlan-Kurland graced us with her presence alongside her wonderful family for this special occasion.

You can find her opening prayer here and more photos from her visit on my Instagram

Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers  

To stimulate market growth or boost the competitive position for high-priority crops, grants are available for projects that benefit Pennsylvania’s growers as a whole, rather than an individual grower.

Specialty crops eligible for Pennsylvania’s grant program and deemed high priority include hardwoods; honey; hemp and flax for fiber; and hops, barley, rye and wheat for brewing, distilling and malting.

Proposals must be submitted through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application by Friday, April 19, at 5 p.m. Full grant guidelines are available here.

Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives  

Here in York County, we are blessed that agriculture is one of our top industries as it helps to provide us with food security without having to rely as much on other states or even other countries.

National Agriculture Week, observed March 17-24, encourages every American to understand how food products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, and fiber industries.

The Cuffs Run Pumped Storage facility poses a significant threat to our farmland and historic sites along the Susquehanna River. This project, spearheaded by York Energy Storage, LLC, has sparked united opposition from elected officials across York and Lancaster counties.

You can weigh in on the project online by visiting FERC’s website here. Use P-15332 docket number to reference the Cuffs Run proposal. More information on commenting can be found here. The public comment period ends March 31.

Preserving our farmland must remain a top priority as we navigate the future of York County.

Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects   

Most weeks, PennDOT shares with me its maintenance schedule for the week ahead. When it becomes available, you can view the full list here to see if it will impact you and your family.

Sign up for Veterans Updates

Next week, I will share my monthly update to our local Veterans. If you or someone you know would be interested in receiving these updates on a monthly basis, please sign up here


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