Thank you to everyone who supported me in November and has again sent me to Harrisburg as your voice from the 138th Legislative District. While the vote was not unanimous, my job is to represent all my constituents and vote according to their best interests. Such a responsibility is humbling.
As I write this, I am awaiting the complete list of my committee assignments. The one appointment I do know of is my assignment to the House Appropriations Committee for a second consecutive term. This bipartisan committee’s primary focus involves developing the state budget.
Our first responsibility will quickly follow Gov. Tom Wolf’s Feb. 5 address to the state Legislature. The following week, the committee will begin the three-week process of hearing testimony from various state agencies that are funded by the budget. The committee will have the opportunity to question them about their spending practices, to gauge levels of appropriation going forward.
For the second consecutive term, I have been appointed deputy chairman of the House Majority Policy Committee, which is led by Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest). The committee conducts hearings and roundtable discussions about important statewide and regional issues that matter most to Pennsylvania citizens; gathers testimony and information from key stakeholders; and works within the House Republican Caucus to develop policies to address those issues. The Policy Committee also works in tandem with the speaker and majority leader to examine and refine critical pieces of legislation in advance of floor consideration.
While every member of the General Assembly represents a specific district, most of the legislation we must consider has statewide impact. The responsibilities associated with serving on the Policy Committee provide me with one more way to get a closer look at the issues that matter most to all Pennsylvanians.
It is an honor to again be asked to serve my colleagues and constituents in this capacity. Among the issues I hope to study further is school property taxes, which are and have been a burden on Lehigh Valley residents for quite some time. As this is not an important issue for every Pennsylvanian, my goal is to find a solution that will get the necessary 102 votes to pass the House.
Last session, I joined state Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) to sponsor House Bill 2329, which would have increased the state Personal Income Tax (PIT) by 1.72 percent to cover the amount needed to offset owner-occupied residential school property taxes. We are working on re-introducing the legislation, which would enable school districts to exclude up to 100 percent of a homeowner’s school property tax bill. A slight increase to the PIT in exchange for this elimination offers stability in funding our schools, while offering an extreme benefit to our homeowners. This type of legislation is critical and absolutely necessary.
State Rep. Bryan Cutler from Lancaster County is our new House majority leader. He has set a good tone in a relatively short period of time, especially with his focus on jobs related to vocational education. I’m looking forward to working with him and working for you these next two years.
Representative Marcia Hahn
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little