Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Senate passes “Farming First” package of bills aimed at helping York County’s largest industry
  • Bipartisan support to eliminate stigma of career and tech schools
  • Addressing mental health needs in PA
  • Happy 18th Birthday to the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program
  • May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in Pennsylvania
  • Why is #RegReform4PA needed? I explain in this brief op-ed
  • Volunteer firefighters may have online training options due to Senate proposal
  • Improving access to records of your elected officials
  • Subscribe to my podcast for an update on Monday on school property tax elimination
  • Welcoming Shrewsbury Elementary to the Capitol
  • Representing the state Senate in Washington DC on rural broadband initiatives

Senate passes “Farming First” package of bills aimed at helping York County’s largest industry

This week, I supported a package of bills that would assist local farmers address significant challenges within the agricultural industry.

Importance of Agriculture

These reforms will help today’s farmers and are also forward-thinking to address challenges for the next generation of farmers both locally and across the state. I look forward to working to assure that agriculture remains one of the top industries in Pennsylvania and in York County.

The package includes:

  • A tax credit program for landowners to lease or sell farmland to future generations of farmers.
  • The creation of the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission to bring together all stakeholders in the industry.
  • Changes to the state’s farmland preservation program to allow farmers more flexibility for building or subdividing residences.
  • Updating Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code to allow the transportation of large farm equipment.
  • Exempting milk haulers from weather-related travel bans.
  • Easing restrictions on the use of farmland for farm-related tourism and entertainment activities.
  • Setting commonsense safety standards and removing costly requirements for barn weddings and other social events on farms.

Farming First

Read more about this important package of bills here.

Several of my colleagues and I discussed the passage of these much-needed reforms at an event outside the Capitol following session on Wednesday.

Bipartisan support to eliminate stigma of career and tech schools 

On Wednesday, I voted in support of a bipartisan measure sponsored by Senators Vince Hughes (D-Philadelphia) and Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) that would update state law to more accurately reflect the mission of career and technical schools throughout the state.

5/8/19 – Remarks on Senate Bill 89 (Career & Technical Schools)

Senate Bill 89 will change all references throughout the state’s Public School Code from “vocational-technical schools” to “career and technical schools.” According to the sponsors of the bill, this change will update an outdated term that has negative stigmas attached to it.

We should be celebrating the educational choices of our next generation. Changing this title reflects the educational opportunities these institutions provide students across the Commonwealth today. No one should be ashamed of attending a career and technical school.

Learn more about this important reform, which will help address our skilled labor shortage, here.

Addressing mental health needs in PA

Secretary Miller of the Department of Human Services, Secretary Levine of the Department of Health, Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) and I raised awareness and advocated on behalf of those suffering from mental illness in the Commonwealth during an event on Monday.

I spoke about the bipartisan efforts of Rep. Schlossberg and me to address challenges our college students face. We should continue to work together as Republicans and Democrats on this major issue.

You can watch my remarks below.

5/6/19 - Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy 18th Birthday to the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program 

On Tuesday, I joined many students, teachers and supporters to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, or EITC program, in front of the Capitol.

5/7/19 – Educational Improvement Tax Credit

York is blessed to have dozens of organizations that benefit from the EITC program and provide our students with educational opportunities to improve outcomes and open new pathways to academic success.

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in Pennsylvania 

As the co-chair of the Senate Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, I was privileged to offer a resolution on Wednesday declaring May as Cystic Fibrosis Month in Pennsylvania. The goal of the resolution is to educate and raise awareness of this hereditary disease that affects thousands of Americans.

During my speech to my colleagues, I highlighted the tremendous breakthroughs over the years that have empowered those with the disease to live longer, healthier lives.

You can watch my speech below.

5/8/19 - Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Why is #RegReform4PA needed? I explain in this brief op-ed

Earlier this week, my op-ed outlining why comprehensive regulatory reform is needed was published in the York Dispatch.

You can read my op-ed here. 

The reforms I am advocating – reining in wasteful spending, slimming down the government bureaucracy, and ensuring employees have more opportunities – benefit all Pennsylvanians.

At the end of the day, we need this commonwealth to treat you, the taxpayers, like customers.

Volunteer firefighters may have online training options due to Senate proposal 

Earlier this week, the Senate approved Senate Bill 146, which would provide free firefighter training online when applicable. The online training would be open to all Pennsylvania firefighters. This is especially helpful for those volunteers juggling full-time jobs and family responsibilities.

Improving access to records of your elected officials 

The Senate approved a measure that would require all candidates and political action committees in Pennsylvania to file campaign finance reports online.

This will save taxpayer dollars, make information more readily available and avoid the delays associated with paper filing that required citizens to drive to Harrisburg to obtain copies of the reports.

Senate Bill 178 is now in the House of Representatives for consideration.

Subscribe to my podcast for an update on Monday on school property tax elimination 

The next episode of my podcast, Kristin’s Corner, will be available on Monday. I sit down with Representative Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), who is a vocal advocate and strong proponent of the elimination of school property taxes. Rep. Ryan’s unique background prior to coming to the legislature is a huge asset to those of us who would like to see this archaic tax eliminated.

I hope you take a few minutes to subscribe! Please visit Kristin’s Corner here.

Welcoming Shrewsbury Elementary to the Capitol

On Monday, students and teachers from Shrewsbury Elementary, part of the Southern York County School District, toured the Capitol. I was delighted to spend a few minutes with the students and explain what a typical day is for me in the Capitol. It was great to have my friend and colleague, Representative Kate Klunk (R-York) join us as well.

Representing the state Senate in Washington DC on rural broadband initiatives 

At the request of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), I am in Washington DC today to participate in a panel discussion on improving access to high-speed internet. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet with legislators from across the country who are committed to addressing this issue.

Former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis deemed states the laboratories of democracy. I am looking forward to sharing ideas and collaborating on how we can ensure York County and the rest of Pennsylvania is able to close the digital divide.

The discussion, hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures, is looking at both state and federal solutions to this problem. As the new Chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, I look forward to collaborating with my counterparts from across the nation to explore solutions to this troubling problem.

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