|‘Energize PA’ - Creating Jobs and Redeveloping Infrastructure in PA
At a press conference on Monday, I joined my House colleagues to unveil “Energize PA,” a pro-growth, pro-jobs package of eight bills that seeks to create jobs and redevelop infrastructure without increasing fees or taxes.
“Energize PA” builds on our history, one that is steeped in energy production, innovation and manufacturing.
The right public policies -- combined with the right cooperation from the private sector -- can generate a $60 billion increase in Pennsylvania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It can also support the addition of $100,000 new jobs and potentially increase state revenues by approximately $3 billion.
Pennsylvanians are hard-working and resilient. The bill package will energize our economy by creating family-sustaining jobs.
To view my news conference remarks, click here.
Exciting News! United States Steel Makes Investment in Mon Valley
This week, I was a keynote speaker at Mon Valley Works’ Edgar Thomson Plant, where it was announced that United States Steel Corporation is investing more than $1 billion to construct a state-of-the-art endless casting line at the facility.
This technology will be the first of its kind deployed in the United States. The casting facility will convert liquid steel to a fully processed hot band coil, within minutes, over a span of roughly 600-700 feet. The new technology is also a significant overall environmental upgrade for the Mon Valley Works.
U.S. Steel employs about 4,000 people in Pennsylvania. The company’s Mon Valley Works -- a fully integrated steel mill located in Allegheny County -- employs 3,000 hard-working men and women whose jobs support an additional 10,500 jobs throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
Annually, $1.6 billion is contributed to the gross regional product by U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works – directly, indirectly and through the spending of its workforce. In the broader context, this one integrated coke, iron and steel operation supports slightly over 1% of southwestern Pennsylvania’s gross regional product.
Construction of the new endless slab caster will create employment for 800 building and construction trade workers.
This is so exciting and so good for our economy in the Mon Valley. The project represents the future of steelmaking and fits perfectly with Pittsburgh’s advanced manufacturing economy.
Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers
We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget! State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.
My House and Senate Republican colleagues came together earlier this week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for the next “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.
The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.
We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.
Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.
Watch the press conference here.
Government Done Right – Pennsylvania Needs an Upgrade
House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.
Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.
We kicked off the effort this week by passing House Bill 762 to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to facilitate better understanding of new and existing regulations and boost compliance rates among affected businesses.
We also passed House Bill 509, which would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.
Finally, we started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.
You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.
Committee Supports Legislation to Offer Free College Education to Families for PA National Guard Reenlistment
The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness (VAEP) Committee unanimously supported legislation that would award a free college education to the spouse or a child of a Pennsylvania National Guard member who reenlists for another six years.
The educational benefit could be used at State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
Under the Military Family Education Program, a guard member may claim no more than five academic years or their equivalent. However, the member may split the benefit between multiple family members.
The guard member would be required to repay all or part of the grant payments made if he or she does not meet the six-year enlistment obligation, except in the cases of a line-of-duty death or disability.
House Bill 1324 moves to the full House for consideration.
Visiting the Capitol
During the Industrial Resource Centers Capitol Hill Day in Harrisburg this week, it was a pleasure to spend time with my constituents, Oberg Industries President David L. Bonvenuto and Catalyst Connection President Petra Mitchell. We always have great discussions about job creation, family-sustaining jobs and educating our students.
State Dog Wardens to Canvass Allegheny County in May
State dog wardens will conduct dog license and rabies vaccination checks in Allegheny County during the month of May. This program aims to raise public awareness of the importance of up-to-date dog licenses and rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats.
Dog wardens drive vehicles and wear uniforms labeled with “Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Warden” in a keystone symbol with a state seal. They wear a badge and carry state identification.
Wardens will request proof of licensure and proof of rabies vaccination. They will leave written notice for someone who is not home or does not answer the door. Dog wardens will not enter a home or building without the owner’s permission.
Pennsylvania law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. The fee is $6.50 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8.50 for other dogs. Discounts are available for senior citizens. Dog licenses are available through county treasurers’ offices.
Violators may be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation, plus court costs. Learn more at licenseyourdogPA.com.
I enjoyed an outstanding evening celebrating Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company’s 75th anniversary. I had the opportunity to speak with members, the town council and other guests.
I also presented the fire company with a House of Representatives citation. Firefighters are vital to the safety of our communities.