Standing Up for Taxpayers: Our Continued Vision
2/9/2018
Standing Up for Taxpayers: Our Continued Vision

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday unveiled his fourth budget proposal, which calls for $33 billion in spending, about $1 billion more than the current year. I am concerned about the overall price tag, but I’m pleased it does not contain any broad-based sales or income tax increases.

The governor is asking for additional investments in education, workforce development, and career and technical education, and to continue addressing the opioid epidemic.

Hearings on the budget proposal are slated to begin the week of Feb. 20. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will participate in the budget hearings and pose questions to members of the Wolf administration. My colleagues on the committee and I will look for ways to improve the governor’s proposal by finding ways to streamline government and save taxpayers’ money. During the governor’s first three budgets, the Legislature was able to identify ways to save money and reduce the overall cost of state government.

More information about the governor’s budget proposal is available at PaHouseGOP.com.
 
 
Increasing Government Transparency

Bipartisan legislation designed to increase government transparency and more appropriately address unlawful lobbying practices is headed to Governor Tom Wolf for his signature after receiving a concurrence vote in the House this week.

House Bill 1175 would increase fines and penalties for violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act by raising the maximum penalty imposed by the Ethics Commission from the current fine of $2,000 to $4,000. The bill also would increase the maximum administrative penalty that may be imposed for negligent failure to report under current law from $50 per day, to $50 per day for the first 10 days, $100 for each late day after the first 10 late days, and $200 for each late day after the initial 20-day period. The bill would also improve the current electronic filing system for lobbyists.

This would help ensure that the penalties for violating the public’s trust would be better aligned with the crime, and is an effort to restore the public’s faith in the government.
 
 
Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is accepting applications for toll collector, maintenance, clerical and engineering positions.

Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays. Employees will work a 40-hour week and will not receive benefits. The pay is $11.50 per hour for toll collectors and $11 per hour for other positions.

All eligible candidates must be at least 18 years of age and completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. The program is limited to 16 weeks per employee and runs between May 1 and September 30. Those who participated in the program previously must re-submit an application for consideration.

All applications MUST be submitted online at paturnpike.com/employment, and applications should select “SUMMER WORK” in the first step of the registration process. Copies of online applications should be sent to my Harrisburg office by Friday, April 6.