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E-mail:  mtobash@pahousegop.com

District Office
988 East Main Street
Suite A
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
Phone: 570-385-8235
Toll-free: 855-271-9384
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm

Williamstown District Office
Borough Building
200 S. West St., Williamstown
Phone: 717-647-7208
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30 am to 4 pm

Capitol Office
4B East Wing
PO Box 202125
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2125
Phone: 717-260-6148

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Visit to the 102nd PA Farm Show
1/12/2018
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Harrisburg Update

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


               Visit to the 102nd PA Farm Show


This week, I spent some time at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. I had the opportunity to talk with PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding about our state's agriculture industry. Dairy is the leading agricultural sector in Pennsylvania, so we talked a little about processing and what actually goes into making a gallon of milk. We discussed the issues surrounding the spotted lanternfly, water quality standards with the Chesapeake Bay watershed and more. Click the link above to watch the conversation. Below are some more photos from throughout the week.

I am pictured here with Dr. David Wolfgang, the Pennsylvania veterinary general, and the Noekers and Mease kids at the Farm Show. The kids were just getting back from the animal auction and met with me and the Agriculture Secretary and the Veterinary General about farm and food animal safety.
                                   
Once again this year, I took part in the Mike Waugh Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving Event, where proceeds raised benefit the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Fund. This year, Khristyn Maurer, the 2017 Gratz Fair Queen drove in my place. Congratulations to Sen. Elder Vogel for winning this year’s competition for a great cause. The group of everyone who competed, as well as a selfie with our horse, are both pictured above.   


Applications for 2018 Pennsylvania House Scholarships Now Available


High school seniors interested in receiving financial assistance to help pay for college can now apply for a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship. Each year the program awards four-year scholarships to two students preparing for post-secondary education. The scholarship is privately funded by individual and corporate donors; no tax or other public funds are used, and it is administered through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

The program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student. Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in high school in order to be eligible for a scholarship. Other factors taken into consideration for the awards are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities, and financial need.

The application is available through the foundation’s website at tfec.org. Once on the site, click on the “Scholarship” tab at the top of the page. Then click on any of the counties listed underneath or the link entitled “any other county in the state of Pennsylvania” to access the scholarship information. The application deadline is March 1.
 

               Welfare Reform Efforts Continue

To help contain costs and bring about real reform to Pennsylvania’s welfare system, I joined Rep. Aaron Kaufer and several of our House colleagues last week in announcing a package of bills we are sponsoring to give more Pennsylvania families an opportunity to improve their quality of life, while tackling waste, fraud and abuse from within the current system.

The legislation would require able-bodied adults without dependents to work, perform community service, participate in a work program or be enrolled as a full-time student in order to receive SNAP benefits; limit temporary assistance beyond five years and establish a cumulative 48-month lifetime limit; and start a pilot program that encourages companies to hire individuals receiving welfare.

The goal of the measures is focused on ensuring benefits are directed to those who are truly in need while making every effort to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. These bills are the latest in a series to bring more integrity back to state government and escaping government dysfunction.

Click here to watch the press conference.

Click here to read the press release.

Click here to read a recent editorial that was published on The Intelligencer’s website, titled, “Empowering Pennsylvanians Through Work.”
                                          

Revitalizing Downtown Pottsville

                                   
A public workshop to help develop the strategic action plan to make Downtown Pottsville thrive will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Lodge at Sharp Mountain, located at 201 South 26th St., in Pottsville. I encourage residents of the area interested in helping to attend the meeting.
 

Winter Driving Awareness Week


This past week was Winter Driving Awareness Week, and PennDOT is encouraging motorists to prepare their vehicles and take time to familiarize themselves with winter safety laws. Drivers should plan and prepare their vehicles ahead of time, as weather patterns can change rapidly. Drivers should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be examined often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Finally, the traveling public should also prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit.

All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine. When winter weather does occur, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. For more detailed tips on winter weather emergency preparedness, click here.
                                    

Report Reveals Success with 2017 Tax Amnesty Program
Nearly $143 million in state back taxes were recovered during a tax amnesty period occurring last spring, which was enacted as part of Act 84 of 2016. After accounting for costs, more than $130 million in net revenue was generated, more than the original estimate of $100 million. The types of taxes collected (in descending order amounts) were corporation, sales and use, personal, employer withholding, inheritance, motor fuel, realty transfer, cigarette and other types.

Prior to the program’s start in April, notices were mailed to nearly 860,000 business and individuals with Pennsylvania tax delinquencies. In total, 35,430 taxpayers participated in the program. Once the program ended, an additional 5 percent non-participation penalty was added to all amnesty-eligible accounts, with any unpaid, under-reported or unreported liability. Any taxpayers who received tax amnesty benefits must remain up-to-date with state taxes for two years; otherwise, the tax amnesty benefits may be revoked. To read the report, click here.
 
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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 
Email: mtobash@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
 
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