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Senator Mario Scavello


In this Edition:

  • Statement on the Governor’s Line-Item Veto
  • 2015 Year in Review
  • Senior Expo
  • Senator for a Day
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Workforce Development
  • Historic School Property Tax Vote
  • Municipal Outreach

May the New Year bring you success, good health and happiness!


Statement on the Governor’s Line-Item Veto

Yesterday, the Governor exercised his Constitutional authority to line-item veto the 2015-16 Budget sent to him last week. In his statement, the Governor noted his intent on releasing needed funds to school districts, rape crisis centers, public assistance programs and many more services and agencies. I am glad to see these resources being released to these important programs in my district rather than being held hostage to a potential full veto as the Governor did in June.

As I have mentioned before, this budget was an emergency move that sent the Governor a vehicle to distribute these needed funds. While this decision by the Governor to use his line-item veto authority as opposed to the all or nothing approach was long-overdue, schools and social service agencies can provide critical services with the emergency funding approved by the legislature. The Governor has asked the Legislature to return and continue work on the budget and important issues such as pension and liquor reform as well as issues related to education. While these issues take a forefront in the current debate, school property taxes continue to be the top problem to residents in the 40th District and I will continue to keep this issue in the minds of my colleagues.


2015 Year in Review

During my first year as your State Senator, I have placed importance on being accessible to residents and continuing to be active in our local community. As 2016 draws near, I have highlighted some of this past year’s events…

Senior Expo

Each year, the Senior Expo provides a valuable opportunity for area senior citizens to connect with a host of non-profit, community, and governmental services. More than 85 exhibitors provided handouts, health screenings, long-term care resources, and exercise demonstrations.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office also conducted fraud prevention sessions to bring awareness to numerous scams targeting senior citizens. Throughout the Expo, entertainment was provided by the Silver Tappers dancing group, Silver Sneakers dancers, and the Retired Volunteer Senior Program Square Dancers. Re-enactors from Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm also provided instructional demonstrations and a glimpse at what farm life was like in the 19th century.

The Senior Expo is an annual event and I encourage all seniors in the 40th Senate District to explore the numerous resources available to you at the state and local level.

As always, if you should have any questions regarding any state-related matters or services you might need, please do not hesitate to contact my Monroe County Office at 570-620-4326 or my Northampton County Office at 610-863-1200.

Senator for a Day

At my annual “Senator for a Day” student government seminar at Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus, students from area high schools learned about the legislative process from legislators, staffers, lobbyists and others. They served as Senators for a Day by introducing mock legislation, debating it and holding votes. It was a great learning experience and a joy to spend time with so many engaged students.

December 2015 - Senator for a Day

Mental Health Awareness

Senator Scavello

In September, I hosted “Changing Minds: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Forum and Expo” in which numerous local health and support groups from our region provided information and resources for families on mental health and substance abuse issues.

A growing epidemic, substance abuse continues to plague our Commonwealth each year. While a recent report by the Drug and Alcohol Commission provided guidance for organizations and residents, my mental health and substance abuse expo is a first step in bringing our community together to address the growing epidemic and provide support to families in the 40th Senate District.

Workforce Development

Creating and growing family-sustaining jobs has always been a top priority for me, and 2015 has been no different. The link between schools, employers and community leaders is a critical element to not only learning about our workforce but also to promote future growth and stability. As part of that link, I continue to work with leaders in workforce development and recently conducted an interview for residents to learn more about employment opportunities.

Historic School Property Tax Vote

The Senate of Pennsylvania took a historic vote on the Property Tax Independence Act, known as Senate Bill 76. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to pass the bill (25-24), which was introduced as an amendment to House Bill 683. The bill failed by a vote of 25 to 24, with the Lieutenant Governor breaking a 24-24 tie.

While the vote on the amendment did not move property tax elimination forward, the battle for reform is not over. My comments on the Senate floor reflect my concern regarding years of escalating home foreclosures and rising tax bills in my district. As has been said before, no tax should leave you homeless. I invite you view my comments on the Senate floor:

While I am disappointed that the vote barely fell short, my fight continues. Because members were absent for the vote on the amendment to House Bill 683 and new vacancies in the Senate will soon be filled, school property tax elimination is not dead. No citizen should be forced to choose between paying for food, medicine, or their school property tax bill.

Animal Protection Legislation

Over the past 10 years, I have taken the lead as a prime sponsor of animal cruelty legislation and supported animal safety and fought against cruelty. In June, the Senate of Pennsylvania passed important legislation, in which I was a co-sponsor, protecting domestic animals from unwarranted cruelty from owners.

Tethering of dogs is cruel and inhumane. Dogs are highly social pack animals who thrive on human and animal interaction and companionship. To a dog, being constantly tethered is like solitary confinement is to a human being. An otherwise friendly dog, when kept tethered becomes unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive and develops neurotic behaviors such as incessant barking, digging and chewing.

Senate Bill 373 would also make leaving dogs outside in extreme and unsafe weather conditions unlawful. I invite you to view my comments on the Senate floor:

Municipal Outreach

With 40 municipalities across the 40th Senate District, I have attended numerous township and borough meetings in order to build a relationship with all of our local leaders. Having been a Mayor and County Commissioner, I have experienced the effects that state policy has on local municipalities and my hope is to work with local leaders in order to make effective changes that help our communities.

Thank you to all the local leaders who have welcomed me to their meetings.
 


Follow Me on Facebook and Twitter!

To stay up-to-date on state issues and events affecting Monroe and Northampton counties, I invite you to follow me on my new Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Offices

Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-12001200
FAX (610) 863-1214
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

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