Harrisburg Highlights- Week of June 13, 2022

Dear Friends,

The Senate was in session this week, positioning bills that will be used to create a state budget, along with passing other measures and holding committee activity.

The Appropriations Committee approved my legislation (SB1194) to provide a pathway for Valley Forge Military Academy and College cadets to commission early into the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an U.S. Officer in the Army. 

Senate Bill 1194 would establish a Pennsylvania Military Academy Assistance Program to recruit, train, educate and retain cadets from Valley Forge Military Academy and College (also known as the Pennsylvania Military Academy). This will increase opportunities to attend Valley Forge Military Academy and College and boost the number of qualified commissioned officers in the Pennsylvania National Guard. In addition, this piece of legislation will ensure that more graduates remain and serve in Pennsylvania. The measure now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Pennsylvania has the third highest Corporate Net Income Tax rate in the nation. The Senate approved Senate Bill 447 and Senate Bill 771 to lower the rate to attract job creators and keep young citizens from having to move away to find careers. My hope is that a CNI Tax reduction will be included in the state budget being worked on this month.

The Senate voted to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s overreaching charter school regulations after his administration misused the regulatory process to avoid brokering an agreement with lawmakers. The vote on House Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution I comes after the administration didn’t adequately address concerns raised during the public comment process and instead committed to final regulations that run contrary to the intent of existing charter school law. There is bipartisan interest in making reforms to our current charter laws. Frustration over the process does not justify circumventing the legislature.

Other measures that passed the Senate include:

Senate Bill 669 gives municipal and regional police officers the option to buy back up to five years of previous part-time or full-time service at another department. The change could serve as a recruitment tool for police departments. Senate hearings on rising crime in Pennsylvania uncovered a crisis facing local police departments in recruiting and retaining officers.

Senate Bill 1094 updates the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee to improve highway safety regarding large motor carriers – including heavy trucks, public transit buses and coach buses.

Senate Bill 1159 extends the state law permitting service organizations, such veterans’ organizations and volunteer fire companies, to use 100% of their Small Games of Chance money to cover their general operating expenses, including rent, payroll and utilities.

You can find a list of everything the Senate voted on this week here.

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CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore ldifiore@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388