Ag Committee Approves Diamond Industrial Hemp Bill

Oct. 06, 2015 /

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee today unanimously approved legislation introduced by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) that would create an agricultural pilot program for industrial hemp research. The measure now advances to the House floor.

It’s Time For a Change

Oct. 05, 2015 /

For all the things you’ve heard about what is wrong in Harrisburg – from efforts to raise income and sales taxes, to the need for systemic public pension reform – there is one issue that has been hidden for too long by the politicians but has a huge impact on every taxpayer and citizen in our state.

Simmons Challenges Governor to Explain His Tax Plan

Oct. 02, 2015 /

HARRISBURG – Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) today issued a challenge to Gov. Tom Wolf to publically explain his 2015-16 budget proposal and the tax increases included in it. The governor’s latest plan is to raise the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 percent to 3.49 percent and to expand the Sales and Use Tax (6 percent) to include a number of services not currently taxed.

Knowles Honors Two Hometown Heroes at Orwigsburg Highway Dedication Ceremonies

Oct. 02, 2015 /

TAMAQUA – On Friday, portions of area highways were dedicated in honor of two Orwigsburg natives who were each killed in the line of duty while defending their country, said Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill). These highways were dedicated as a result of a new law, inspired by House Bills 834 and 441, authored by Knowles.

Even When We Agree, We Can’t Agree That We Agree

Oct. 02, 2015 /

In light of the recent passing of Yogi Berra, a phrase came to mind that seemed to come straight from Berra’s mouth and which perfectly describes our budget impasse: Even when we agree, we can’t agree that we agree.

Bill Would Help Families Going Through Divorce

Oct. 02, 2015 /

Legislation I am sponsoring in the state House of Representatives would reduce the waiting time to obtain a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania and lessen the emotional strain on families involved in the legal proceeding.

Keller: ‘Wolf Tax Increases Will Hurt Employers and Employees Alike’

Oct. 01, 2015 /

MIFFLINBURG – Rep. Fred Keller (85th District) issued the following statement regarding Governor Tom Wolf’s tax package expected to raise $5.2 billion over two years and includes a $3.5 billion increase in the Personal Income Tax and expansion of the Sales Tax coupled with various other tax increases:

Evankovich Would Like to Accept Invitation from Gov. Wolf

Oct. 01, 2015 /

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Eli Evankovich (R-Westmoreland/Allegheny), a third-term member of the House of Representatives, would like to accept Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent invitation to have a conversation on the budget in order to make progress and come to a real solution to end the budget crisis.

Some Simple Budget Math

Oct. 01, 2015 /

When discussing the state budget, numbers can be overwhelming. At the heart of the current impasse, however, is a very basic equation that comes into play for everything from a simple bridge re-naming to a complex fiscal note – 102 plus 26 plus 1. Every bill that becomes law must receive a majority of votes in the House (a minimum of 102), a majority of votes in the Senate (a minimum of 26) and one governor’s signature.

Gov. Wolf’s Full Tax Proposal to be Voted in House and Senate

Sep. 30, 2015 /

HARRISBURG – In an effort to move the state budget talks past the current stalemate, House and Senate Republican leaders today announced a vote on Gov. Tom Wolf’s full and latest tax package proposal will take place in the House on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Knowles to Co-Chair Government Reform Caucus

Sep. 30, 2015 /

HARRISBURG – On Tuesday, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) was selected by his colleagues to serve as the House chairman of the Government Reform Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators working to develop and promote legislation to reform state government.