Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senator Pennycuick Hears Concerns from Residents about Gov. Shapiro’s Proposed Budget
  • Calling on Shapiro to Send PA National Guard to Defend Texas Border
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Senate Committee Approves Bill in the Fight Against Fentanyl
  • Seeking Women Veteran for Capitol Commemoration
  • Youth Fishing Derby
  • Mobile Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Assistance
  • Encore Experiences – Shredding Event
  • Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking
  • Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance
  • Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers

Senator Pennycuick Hears Concerns from Residents about Gov. Shapiro’s Proposed Budget

Recently I held a telephone Town Hall for residents in my district to discuss Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2024-2025 budget. Governor Shapiro has proposed a $48.3 billion budget, a spending increase of roughly $3.2 billion. To fund his new initiatives, the Governor proposes to spend down the state’s Rainy-Day Fund, which the state uses in the event of emergencies.

The budget touches every citizen of the Commonwealth. From educating our children, to supporting key sectors of our economy, to funding critical infrastructure, the budget makes significant investments in our state so that Pennsylvania is a place where families want to live, work, and grow.

During the Town Hall, I was joined by Matthew Knittle, the head of the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). The IFO provides independent, objective analysis of fiscal, economic, and budgetary issues. Mr. Knittle discussed what the Governor’s proposed budget means to Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.

Listen to the full recording here.

Calling on 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.

Meals on Wheels

This morning, I had the pleasure of delivering #MealsonWheels to older adults in the Pottstown area. It’s a wonderful program that provides essential nourishment to those in need.

Family Services of Montgomery County’s Meals on Wheels program delivers two meals a day to an average of 130 homebound elderly individuals in Pottstown, Royersford, and the Lower Perkiomen Valley. That’s more than 80,000 meals a year delivered by dedicated volunteers who bring friendship and a kind word along with the food!

If you’re interested in volunteering for Meals on Wheels, you can call Family Services of Montgomery County at 610-326-1610 or visit their website at

Senate Committee Approves Bill in the Fight Against Fentanyl

Legislation sponsored by myself, Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37) and Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-35) was recently approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee.Senate Bill 1120 ensures common-sense procedures are followed during the bail determination process for repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl, and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot. This legislation would specifically bar non-monetary forms of bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety.

Every day I hear from constituents concerned about rising crime rates and deadly drugs, like fentanyl, flooding into our communities. Senate Bill 1120 is designed to help protect our neighborhoods by ensuring that dangerous individuals with a history of violent crimes or caught dealing fentanyl will be kept off our streets.

Learn more here.

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

Encore Experiences – Shredding Event

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.

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.


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