Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Survey Question- Moving up the 2024 Primary Date
  • Berks-Mont Business Association Legislative Breakfast
  • Suicide Prevention Month 2023
  • FREE Senior Expo
  • FREE License Plate Replacement Event
  • Mobile Office Hours
  • Senate Approves Critical Budget Implementation Bills
  • Committee Advances Bill to Move Up 2024 Primary Election
  • Tax Collections Show Effectiveness of Reducing Taxes
  • State Police Remove College Credit Requirement for Cadets

Survey Question- Moving up the 2024 Primary Date

The State Government Committee recently voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 224 that will change the primary date from the current April 23 on the fourth Tuesday of April to March 19 on the third Tuesday of March. This date change will allow voters to have a significant say in the outcome of these essential elections, while not running afoul of any rules set forth by the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee. Are you in support of this change? Click here to take my survey.

Berks-Mont Business Association Legislative Breakfast

Recently, I got the opportunity to give a quick update on the latest happenings in Harrisburg to the Berks-Mont Business Association. I always appreciate opportunities like these to hear directly from the people and businesses I represent in my district and across the Commonwealth. Thank you to the Berks-Montgomery Business Association for setting up this breakfast and to the Friendship Hook & Ladder Fire Company for hosting!

Suicide Prevention Month 2023

Within the month of September, the week of September 10th-16th is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week, with Sunday, September 10th marking World Suicide Prevention Day.  This year’s theme is “Creating Hope through Action.”

FREE Senior Expo

Rep. Milou Mackenzie and I are hosting a Senior Expo on Friday, September 15 at the Upper Perk YMCA (1399 Quakertown Rd, Pennsburg, PA 18073). This event will include community resources, health screenings, educational information, and a wide variety of exhibitors!

More information about this event can be found on the flyer. I encourage you to share the flyer with your loved ones and those in your community.

To pre-register we kindly request you visit my website at senatorpennycuick.com. I hope to see you there!

FREE License Plate Replacement Event

In an ongoing effort to better serve my district, I will be hosting a License Plate Replacement event on Thursday, October 12 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department.

Need a new license plate? Register NOW

Mobile Office Hours

Senate Approves Critical Budget Implementation Bills

The Senate advanced two bills to implement key parts of the 2023-24 budget and drive out funding to schools, hospitals, EMS providers, higher education, libraries and more.

The fiscal code bills take an important step to further finalize portions of the state budget which require implementation language. The critical support authorized by the legislation cannot be finalized until the House of Representatives also returns to session.

House Bill 1300 reauthorizes assessments and payments to hospitals, boosts reimbursement rates for EMS providers, and reauthorizes judicial fees that courts rely on for funding. These budget items are important and time-sensitive.

In addition, the bill directs funding to many non-controversial and bipartisan budget items related to education, including:

  • Providing for a two-year tuition freeze for PASSHE schools.
  • Allocating more than $260 million for community colleges.
  • Distributing more than $70 million in state aid for libraries.
  • Allocating more than $76 million for special education funding for Intermediate Units.
  • Reimbursing schools for providing free breakfasts for all students ($46.5 million).
  • Transferring more than $8.5 million to maintain current PHEAA grant levels.
  • Distributing $11 million in grants for non-public school safety initiatives.

The Senate also voted to advance Senate Bill 757, which addresses other priorities included in the original budget deal Senate Republicans negotiated with Gov. Josh Shapiro in June.

This includes the creation of the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) program to provide additional educational options for students in failing schools, as well as $150 million in new funding for the state’s popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to expand educational opportunities to families throughout the state.

Committee Advances Bill to Move Up 2024 Primary Election

Bipartisan legislation to give Pennsylvanians greater say in the 2024 presidential election by moving up the primary election date was approved by a Senate committee this week. The bill advances to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate State Government Committee passed Senate Bill 224 to move up the primary election by five weeks to March 19, 2024. This change will likely place the Pennsylvania primary election on the same day as Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

In many presidential elections, the outcome is largely decided before Pennsylvania voters have a chance to cast a ballot. Moving up the spring election date gives voters in the fifth-largest state a better chance of weighing in on the presidential primary.

Tax Collections Show Effectiveness of Reducing Taxes

Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares an update about the state’s financial health. The most recent report shows that total General Fund revenues were $185.3 million, or 6.9%, higher than last year at this time. Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) collections were $31.3 million, or 20.8%, higher than July 2022 collections.

The increased collections demonstrate the effectiveness of reducing Pennsylvania’s CNIT rate, which started with the 2022-23 state budget. This year’s budget continues the phase-down of our CNIT rate, which will take Pennsylvania from one of the highest tax rates in the country to one of the lowest.

The full update, including the monthly revenue report, is available here.

State Police Remove College Credit Requirement for Cadets

Pennsylvania State Police are removing the college credit requirement for residents who want to serve as state troopers.

The previous educational requirement of 60 college credits has been in place since the 1990s. Under the change, cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state. Cadets also undergo 28 weeks of comprehensive training.

The number of state police applicants has dropped significantly in recent years. Waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis for this next period of cadet applications is aimed at helping the PSP attract and retain talent. The change will be re-evaluated pending the results of multiple application cycles.

The 2023-24 state budget includes funding for four new state police cadet classes to train 384 new troopers. For information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, visit patrooper.com.

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