Sep. 15, 2017

A Budget That Puts People First

In working to complete the 2017-18 budget package, the House this week approved legislation to generate enough revenue to close the projected budget gap. The “Putting People First” revenue package stands up for taxpayers by providing a fiscally responsible plan which contains no new or increased taxes or borrowing.

The revenues to fund the $1.5 billion deficit from 2016-17, as well as the anticipated revenue needed for the current budget of approximately $600 million, would come from legislative reserves; transfers from special accounts with excess or dormant funding; other fund transfers; multi-year agency lapsed funds; gaming reform proceeds; liquor transfers; and the sale of a portion of the Tobacco Settlement money.

The various transfers are not expected to negatively impact any current or future program or service to state residents. That’s the key! These are unused funds, taxpayer money that has already been paid. There is no need to burden the hard-working taxpayer for more funding when it is already in-hand.

The measure now goes to the Senate for concurrence. For more information, visit PAHouseGOP.com.
 

 
Helping Our Veterans

Legislation to help veterans and their spouses by enhancing their eligibility for state programs and services passed the House this week.

House Bill 980 would exempt 100 percent of a veteran’s federal disability compensation or pension from income calculations for any state program or benefit, such as the PACE and PACENET prescription drug programs or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). (Under current law, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program already excludes this income.)

In addition, the legislation would extend the exclusion of the compensation benefits to the veteran’s unmarried surviving spouse.

The bill now goes to the state Senate.
 
 
Keeping Your Personal Info Safe


In light of recent news about a data breach at Equifax, a national credit-reporting agency, residents are encouraged to learn more about identity theft and how to protect their information from being used fraudulently.

It is unknown how many Pennsylvanian consumers the breach has affected; however, the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General is leading a national investigation into the data breach.

In the meantime, consumers are urged to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements, such as credit cards and utilities, and in reporting any suspicious activity to the attorney general office’s hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or atscams@attorneygeneral.gov.

The Federal Trade Commission has also provided identitytheft.gov, an identity theft prevention website.
 
 
What Do You Think about Highway Safety?

Motorists are encouraged to submit their input on a number of highway issues, such as highway safety, traffic safety enforcement and driving behaviors, as part of PennDOT’s annual online survey.

The brief survey is available until Sept. 27, and focuses on seat belts, impaired driving, speeding, motorcycles and distracted driving. People completing the survey may remain anonymous, but are asked to provide their gender, age and county of residence.

Last year, 6,619 people responded to the survey. As a result of this feedback and recent trends in crash data, PennDOT has further increased its usage of social media to share highway safety information and is highlighting personal responsibility in future media campaigns.

To complete the survey, click here.
 
 
Road Maintenance Info Available Online

To make your travels easier, the weekly road maintenance schedule is available at the PennDOT Regional Office website here. For statewide information, visit 511pa.com.


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