Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Finishes Review of Shapiro’s Budget Proposal
  • Governor Shapiro’s PACER/PRESS Plan = Destructive Energy Tax on All Pennsylvanians
  • Seeking Women Veteran for Capitol Commemoration
  • Youth Fishing Derby!
  • Mobile Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Assistance
  • Perkiomen Township Fire Company 5k Run/Walk
  • Penn State Students Visit Capitol
  • PennDOT Shares Roadwork Info with Motorists
  • Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon
  • Help is Available for Problem Gambling

Senate Finishes Review of Shapiro’s Budget Proposal

The Senate Appropriations Committee finished the last of its review of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, which totals more than $48.3 billion and would increase state spending by 7.1% above the current year’s budget. The governor’s proposal would completely drain the state’s savings and relies on income and spending estimates that are unrealistic.

The Department of Revenue and Governor’s Budget Office hearing focused on the report issued by the non-partisan Independent Fiscal Office that indicates a $24 billion gap between Shapiro’s spending plans and the revenue the state expects to collect in the next five years. These projections show it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases.

At the Department of Health hearing, the committee questioned why – as with other departments – the budget shows level funding over five years, which denies legislators the information to accurately assess the ultimate impact on taxpayers. Shapiro proposed spending $4 million to pay the medical debt of certain Pennsylvanians, and members asked for details about how the money will be distributed and if the program will necessitate additional staffing.

Having completed the official review of Shapiro’s budget proposal, the Senate will use its findings from the hearings to craft its own spending plan, with the goal of enacting a final 2024-25 state budget. Find video and recaps of every budget hearing at

Governor Shapiro’s PACER/PRESS Plan = Destructive Energy Tax on All Pennsylvanians

PMA’s response to the Governor’s energy tax plan appears below. All quotes should be attributed to: David N. Taylor, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.

“Governor Shapiro’s energy tax will cause widespread destruction in every industry in Pennsylvania. A new, additional tax on energy will jeopardize our vital industries and undermine the hardworking women and men on our shop floors while massively subsidizing boutique ‘green’ energy monopolized by China.”

“Pennsylvania is the largest exporter of electricity, second largest producer of natural gas, and third largest producer of coal in America. We power the grid, and our production is essential to American energy leadership and national security. Governor Shapiro’s energy tax will stifle Pennsylvania’s energy production, which will weaken America.”

“At a time when inflation is a top issue facing American families, Governor Shapiro’s energy tax will cut deep into the pockets of Pennsylvania’s consumers as it will add costs on every utility bill, product, and service in our commonwealth. This consumer pain will then subsidize government-selected technologies and projects dependent on foreign inputs with demonstrated human rights abuses and exploitation of child labor.”

“Governor Shapiro’s energy tax is a solution in search of a problem as Pennsylvania has reduced CO2 emissions at a dramatic rate over the last 20 years. This reduction has been driven by efficiency, innovation, and the deployment of best-in-practice technology across all industrial sectors – and these successes can continue without destroying Pennsylvania’s economy.”

“Among Tier 1 energy sources, only solar power could possibly reach Governor Shapiro’s mandate.  The landmass needed for that many solar panels would require cutting down one-third of all Pennsylvania state forests, an area equal to Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties combined. The useful life of solar panels is roughly twenty years, after which they become toxic garbage. It is obvious that no one has considered the horrific environmental damage the Shapiro plan will cause.”

“Governor Shapiro’s energy tax is completely at odds with everything else he says he wants to do on economic development. [WV Gov.] Jim Justice and [OH Gov.] Mike DeWine should send Gov. Shapiro a bouquet of roses, or maybe a fruit basket, because the Shapiro energy tax is a clear sign to investors to go to their states, not ours.”

Seeking Women Veteran for Capitol Commemoration

As a member of the Pennsylvania Senate and a United States Army Combat Veteran, I want to make sure my colleagues, and all of Pennsylvania, recognize the important role that women play in our military.  I am proud that legislation I sponsored to designate June 12 of each year as Women Veterans Day in the Commonwealth was passed in 2022.

To pay tribute to the groundbreaking day when women were acknowledged as essential to the war effort, serving as permanent, regular members of the United States Armed Forces, I will be hosting a commemorative ceremony at noon on Monday, June 10, 2024, in the East Wing of the State Capitol Building.

If you, or a member of your family, is a female veteran, you are invited to participate.  As part of the event, I am working to develop a temporary exhibit featuring our women soldiers.  This exhibit will be showcased in the East Wing Rotunda on June 10, and will be posted to a special women veterans website we are creating.

Please use the registration to register with us.  By completing and submitting this form, you are granting permission to allow us to feature your likeness and a short biography among the other females who have served our Commonwealth.

Youth Fishing Derby!

I am excited to announce I will be hosting my annual Youth Fishing Derby at Bergey Park (675 Bergeys Mill Road, Schwenksville, PA 19473) on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

This free event is a fantastic opportunity for children (14 and under) to enjoy a fun morning of fishing in the park’s scenic stream while learning about Pennsylvania’s diverse wildlife and the importance of environmental conservation.

Participants will have the chance to learn from experts, compete for prizes, and enjoy snacks/refreshments. Educational material will also be provided. Please find the event flyer here.

Pre-registration is required and can be completed online or by calling my Red Hill office at (215) 541-2388.

Mobile Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Assistance

I urge interested area seniors to make an appointment now to attend one of several events in March providing assistance in applying for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is open to residents age 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, or anyone age 18 and older who is 100% disabled, with a household income of $45,000 or less, counting only half of Social Security. Rebate amounts are calculated based on 2023 income and the amount of property tax or rent paid in 2023, with rebates ranging from $380 to $1,000.

Income limits and refund amounts have been increased so residents who did not previously qualify for this relief might now be eligible. My office will be happy to assist you with filling out the required forms needed to apply for your rebate. Residents can call my office at (215) 541-2388 to schedule an appointment or online for one of the following dates:

March 18, 20 & 25, 9 a.m. – noon
Montgomery County Community College (Pottstown)
101 College Drive, North Hall, Room 224, Pottstown

March 19, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Longswamp Township Building, 1112 State, Mertztown

March 21 & 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Boyertown Multi Service Center, 200 W. Spring St., Boyertown

March 25, 1 – 4 p.m.
Trappe Borough Hall Building, 525 W. Main St., Trappe

March 26, 9 a.m. – noon
Towamencin Township Building, 1090 Troxel Road, Lansdale

March 26, 1 – 4 p.m.
North Wales Borough Hall, 300 School St., North Wales

March 27, 9 a.m. – noon
Amity Township Building, 2004 Weavertown Road, Douglasville

March 27, 1 – 4 p.m.
Bally Borough Hall, 425 Chestnut St., Bally

The following documents are required to complete the process:

  • Total Social Security/Railroad Retirement
  • Proof of SSI or Disability
  • Proof of Age/First Time Filer Driver’s License or Photo ID
  • 1099 Pension Statement
  • 1099 Interest Statement
  • 1099 Dividend Statement
  • Proof of W-2 or Other Income
  • Voided Check showing Routing Number & Account Number if you wish to have payment received by direct deposit.

Property owners will need proof of taxes paid, either stamped or signed by their local tax collector. Renters need a rent certificate filled out and signed by their landlord.

More information on the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program can be found at

Perkiomen Township Fire Company 5k Run/Walk

The Perkiomen Fire Company is hosting their 3rd Annual 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, April 20 at 10 AM. Get ready to race along the scenic Perkiomen Trail. This event is a fundraiser for their all-volunteer fire department, so come out and support your local heroes! 

Registration details are available here. The race will start and finish in the parking lot across from the fire station. The course will head north on the Perkiomen Trail and turn around before reaching the green bridge. 

Please note, the course may be subject to change due to potential flooding along the creek.  The safety and enjoyment of the runners is the top priority for the organizers.

Penn State Students Visit Capitol

Had a fantastic discussion with a dedicated group of Penn State students (Noah Kurian, Kashmiera Cosenza, Jonathan Carnesi, Braden Pierce). They shared their inspiring stories, and the positive impact Penn State has on their lives. We discussed the importance of strong state appropriations for our universities and the bright future these students represent.

PennDOT Shares Roadwork Info with Motorists

As the weather improves, there will be more roadwork. To inform motorists about construction projects that are underway, beginning this year or being bid, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation offers an informational portal.

It has a mapping application for highway and bridge projects that allows users to obtain information about roadwork projects.

For travel information, visit or call 5-1-1. 511PA is Pennsylvania’s official travel information service, which provides travelers with reliable, current traffic and weather information, as well as links to other transportation services.

Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon

Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that can enter your home from the ground through cracks in the foundation. It increases cancer risks and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the country. Approximately 40% of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline.

Find information how to test your home’s radon level and find certified radon mitigation contractors here.

Help is Available for Problem Gambling

Problem Gambling Awareness Month, observed in March, promotes prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Sadly, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians experience gambling-related problems, including family, financial, legal and emotional issues. Gambling problems can be mild or very serious, and can worsen with time.

Individuals seeking treatment for compulsive or problem gambling can call Pennsylvania’s helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) to connect with local help. People can also text 1-800-522-4700 or live chat.


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