Jul. 19, 2019

I Applaud Tuition Freeze for State-Owned Universities

For the first time in more than two decades, Pennsylvania students who attend one of the 14 state-owned universities won’t see higher tuition next year. Basic tuition for in-state undergraduate students at the system's 14 universities will remain at $7,716 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Nearly 100,000 students attend a state system university, making it the largest producer of bachelor's degrees in the Commonwealth. Nearly 90 percent of the student body resides in Pennsylvania, and 72 percent of graduates find work in the Commonwealth within two years of earning their degree.

For the second consecutive year, Penn State trustees approved a 2019-20 budget that freezes undergraduate tuition rates for Pennsylvania resident students at all campuses.

Overall, higher education received increased state funding in the state budget. Penn State received a total of $268,832,000, an increase of $8,747,000, or 3.4%. The university indicated it will use the new state funding to keep tuition rates stable.

Higher education is a key factor in socioeconomic development for Pennsylvania. The fact that our students are going to receive a world-class education at reasonable rates is great news.
An Important Alert from Duquesne Light Company

Duquesne Light Company will upgrade electrical systems and equipment located in McCandless, Ross and Hampton townships over the coming weeks to meet increasing demand and maintain service reliability in the area.

This project is part of a larger Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP) that has allowed Duquesne Light Company to accelerate replacement of old systems and equipment in order to maintain reliable electric service.

The selected neighborhoods have been experiencing outages or have been very close to experiencing outages due to aged equipment. The project involves replacing primary voltage cable, transformers and junctions that feed the community.

All customers who will be impacted by any of the planned outages will receive a notice from Duquesne Light Company through the mail or can check for the latest updates by calling 412-393-6816 or clicking here.
Calling on the FCC to Protect Your Phone from Spoofers

Calls from telemarketers are annoying. However, the situation becomes dangerous when scammers “spoof” calls. That’s when a call shows a different name or phone number than is associated with the caller. All too often it can result in recipients being tricked into sharing their personal information and scammed out of their hard-earned money.

The House unanimously supported a resolution urging Congress to grant additional authority to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop unwanted robocalls and spoofing, as well as to educate the public on how to report illegal calls. Spam calls are the most frequent complaint received by the FCC, and it’s time to do something about it.

There are two Do Not Call List available: The National Do Not Call List and the Pennsylvania Do Not Call List. Register your cell phone and landline numbers with the state list by calling 888-777-3406 and the national list by calling 888-382-1222.
House GOP Advocacy Leads to New Laws to Ensure Fairness, Justice

With the goal of ensuring justice for crime victims, several initiatives championed by House Republicans have been signed into law.

The measures to address court proceedings include:

Act 31 of 2019 adds several different crimes – such as human trafficking, sexual abuse and related offenses – to the statute allowing out-of-court statements by children.

Act 30 of 2019 extends the ability of the court to accept out-of-court statements made by people with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Act 23 of 2019 ensures a victim is permitted to be present at any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.

Act 24 of 2019 would prevent prosecutors from bringing up a victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.

Learn more about our victim protection initiatives here.
Fiscal Responsibility Leads to Healthy Deposit in State’s Rainy Day Fund

A strong economy, combined with House Republican efforts to stand up for taxpayers, has resulted in a healthy investment of nearly $317 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The fund essentially serves as the Commonwealth’s savings account, available to help weather the next economic downturn without further burdening hard-working taxpayers.

Last year marked the first deposit in the Rainy Day Fund in more than a decade. It totaled just $22 million.

This year, lawmakers agreed during budget negotiations to deposit the full amount of the General Fund balance at the close of the 2018-19 fiscal year into the fund.