Dec. 21, 2018

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Harrisburg Update

A quick look at what’s happening in Harrisburg
and the 125th Legislative District...

Public Pension Commission Unveils Report on Needed Reforms

As chairman of the Public Pension Management and Asset Investment Review Commission (PPMAIRC), I joined Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, Gov. Tom Wolf and commission members, as well as other legislative leaders, at a press conference to unveil the report and recommendations of the commission focused on cost efficiency and increased transparency of the state’s two public pension systems.

Following a vote and the unanimous adoption of the report, the commission provided the governor and General Assembly with the recommendations listed below, along with identifying an estimated $9.9 billion in actuarial savings over 30 years.

• Maintaining full payment of the annual actuarially determined contribution amount.
• Establishing a Central Investment Office.
• Enacting legislation mandating annual stress testing.
• Establishing policies at both system boards that favor and encourage open public reporting best practices.
• Enacting legislation mandating increased public reporting of all investment expenses.
• Moving to fully index all public market investments in both public equities and fixed income.
• Adopting measures to reduce risk.
The commission was established in 2017 under the broader pension reforms of Act 5 of 2017 to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s two pension systems.

If these recommendations are enacted, we will save taxpayers billions of dollars, reduce unnecessary risks and costs without compromising performance, and most importantly, keep our promise to existing retirees and system members.

To watch my comments, click here.

We Are the Champions!

This week, I spent some time with the Tri-Valley football team. We talked about their incredible season where they won the District 11 Class “A” title after defeating Williams Valley 28-21.

It was my honor to present them with a House citation.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Deadline Dec. 31

A reminder that the Monday, Dec. 31, deadline is quickly approaching for eligible older adults and residents with disabilities to apply for state rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2017.

The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650.

Claimants who already applied for their rebates may check the status of claims online at or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians. Since the program began in 1971, approximately $6 billion has been paid to qualified applicants.

New Legislative Session Begins Tuesday, Jan. 1

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will begin the 2019-20 Legislative Session on Tuesday, Jan. 1, with members taking the oath of office.

The oath will begin at noon and the ceremony will also include the adoption of House rules, election of the Speaker of the House and a joint session with the state Senate to certify election results. Live streaming of the entire ceremony will be available at

After searing-in, stay up-to-date on the latest news out of Harrisburg by subscribing to my legislative updates at and by following me on Facebook at

Update and Reminder on Handicapped Parking Spaces

As each of us travel to various medical, professional or business facilities and seek parking, we readily see spaces that are reserved for those with disabilities. Sadly, we also note that some people who are not properly authorized to use these spaces do use them. Such misuse shows neither proper respect for those who do have disabilities, nor for the law.

According to the Commonwealth’s parking lot construction standards, approximately 4 percent of a parking lot is allocated for parking spaces for people with disabilities and even less space is available for an access aisle.

This year the General Assembly passed Act 144 of 2018 to modernize Pennsylvania’s disabled parking laws. Specifically, the law prohibits a person from obstructing a vehicle or part of a curb ramp or the access aisle (typically marked with diagonal lines) adjacent to a parking space reserved for a person with disabilities. Violators would face a fine of $100 to $300. The law also permits municipalities and local authorities to designate a particular space on a public street for a particular person or vehicle.

For additional information, click here. For assistance in obtaining or submitting an application for a placard or registration plate, please feel free to contact my district office at

103rd Farm Show Kicks off Jan. 5

Celebrating one of Pennsylvania’s top industries, the Pennsylvania Farm Show near Harrisburg will kick off Saturday, Jan. 5. The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 12.

The Farm Show, which features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors, emphasizes the importance of agriculture in daily life, highlights the latest in ag technology and advancements, and offers attractions for all ages.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided. For all the latest news about the Farm Show, follow it on Facebook.

Warmest Holiday Wishes to You and Yours

This holiday season I would like to extend the warmest holiday wishes and happiest new year to you and your family.

May you have a wonderful and safe season that is full of peace and cheer. My district office hours may be limited in light of the holidays. Please call ahead to be sure my offices are open.

Also, PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25, for Christmas, and on Tuesday, Jan1, for New Year’s. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,, or through my at

If you’re traveling, you can check condition on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting
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Office Locations
988 Route 61 South, East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 | Phone (toll free) (855) 271-9384
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown, PA  Phone (717) 647-7208
4B East Wing, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2147 
TTY: 855-282-0614