In this update:
The feds have no business looking at your bank account
Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver/Washington/Greene) and I introduced a resolution that would call on the United States Congress to oppose a recently introduced effort by the Biden Administration to gain access to bank account information of private citizens and businesses.
The Biden Administration released plans that would allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to look at bank accounts with accounts containing more than $600.
Sen. Bartolotta and I believe that this federal proposal is misguided and would not target those who are cheating the system but would instead capture information on nearly every Pennsylvania taxpayer – individual taxpayers and businesses alike.
We are hopeful that this resolution will send a clear message on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania that bank accounts should remain private.
You can read more about our effort here.
Senate passes bill to allow for first-time homebuyers savings accounts
This week, the Senate passed a bill to allow individuals to open a first-time homebuyer savings account with a financial institution.
Senate Bill 157 would allow individuals to open an account of up to $150,000 with a financial institution of their choice for the sole purpose of purchasing a first home. Funds from a first-time homebuyer savings account may only be used to pay or reimburse the eligible costs for the purchase of a single-family home in Pennsylvania.
Since 2009, the number of first-time homebuyers has significantly decreased. According to the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time homebuyers in the national home sale market has fallen from 45% to just more than 32%.
Individuals taking advantage of a first-time homebuyers savings account will be able to deduct up to $5,000 on their individual taxes, or up to $10,000 for a joint account. The tax deduction can be for no longer than 10 years and may not exceed $50,000 within a ten-year period. Unused funds would be counted against an individual’s taxable income.
The bill advanced to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Muddy Creek Trout Unlimited recognized statewide for local efforts
Congratulations to the Muddy Creek Trout Unlimited #575 on being honored with the Best Chapter Project award and the Samuel Slaymaker Award for Best Chapter Newsletter by the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.
And congratulations to Fred Wilt on being honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Award by the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.
I was pleased to attend the monthly Muddy Creek Trout Unlimited meeting to present Senate of Pennsylvania citations to commemorate these richly deserved recognitions and say thank you to the members for all of their efforts to advance fishing, conserve our rivers and streams, and enhance our communities!
The Creek House in Railroad Borough gets national attention
Thank you to The Creek House and Rachelle House Lazzaro for putting Railroad Borough on the map with the amazing revitalization of The Creek House!!
This past weekend, Rachelle aired the premier of the episode “In With the Old” on the Magnolia Network, which shared The Creek House’s journey! It was great to see so many members of the community come out and support this now nationally known restoration project!
It is available to stream on Discovery or the Magnolia app. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!
Addressing teacher shortage by improving certification process
The Senate unanimously passed a bill in response to the teacher shortage that would simplify the process for out-of-state teachers to obtain certification in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 224 would allow an out-of-state candidate who has completed any state-approved educator preparation program (including field placement/student teaching) from an accredited institution of higher education to be eligible for a comparable in-state instructional certification.
The bill would also require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to recognize and accept out-of-state candidates’ qualifying scores on equivalent content tests toward PDE’s testing and certification requirements. It would also grant Pennsylvania certification to any candidate who holds a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards – the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.
According to PDE, the number of newly issued in-state instructional teaching certificates has dropped by 66% since 2010.
Senate Bill 224 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Public hearing on lobbying reform measures
This week, I testified in support of my legislation to address much-needed reforms to our state’s lobbying laws. This bill is part of a broader package of legislation aimed at addressing the status quo in Harrisburg.
As your state senator, I always value your feedback and input on this vital matter. Please keep in mind that these are not the only bills out there addressing these issues. In fact, I have two other bills that I will introduce addressing lobbying issues. I am also cosponsoring several other government reforms as your voice in Harrisburg.
BARktoberfest a great success at Miller’s Plant Farm
It was great to see strong community support for BARktoberfest at Miller Plant Farm this past weekend!
BARk’s volunteers respond to emergencies with animals in York County with the objective of reuniting them with their families.
Jefferson Wastewater Treatment facility dedication
It was a pleasure to join the Jefferson Codorus Joint Sewer Authority, elected officials from the boroughs of Jefferson and Spring Grove, community members and the Stauffer Family to dedicate the wastewater treatment plant to Marlyn Stauffer who was the Authority president for many years.
After the dedication ceremony, we toured the plant to see its recent upgrades and learned about its operation.
Ways to reduce your energy usage and costs
Since October is National Energy Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to become more energy efficient. In addition to the environmental benefits, it will also benefit your wallet.
Click here for ways you can reduce your energy usage and associated costs.
Another way to save on energy costs is by switching your electric supplier. In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your home or business’s electricity. This means you can choose a supplier that offers the lowest price or provides a specific service you want, such as renewable energy.
Click here to shop for your electric supplier at PA Power Switch, the official electric shopping website of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Tips for Crime Prevention Month
October is Crime Prevention Month, a good time to recognize that avoiding being a victim involves informed citizens in addition to efforts of local law enforcement.
Here are some crime prevention tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.
Local job fair
Please see the flyer below with details about an upcoming job fair with many major employers in our community.
Upcoming PennDOT projects
PennDOT will post its list of upcoming scheduled maintenance projects here. You can also view the list of projects below.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes for voting on Monday, Oct. 25, at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and review our calendar at SenatorKristin.com/session.
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