Senator Mario Scavello E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senior Expo – THIS Tuesday July 19th at Swiftwater Elementary Center
  • The New State Budget: Clearing Hurdles to Jobs and Opportunity
  • Deana’s Law Increases Penalties for Repeat DUIs
  • Funding Available for Projects that Promote PA Farm Products
  • Accessing Local and County Crime and Crash Data
  • Weona Park Pool Pals Fundraising Project
  • How to Conserve Energy and Manage Summer Power Bills
  • Celebrating Parks and Recreational Opportunities
  • Around the 40th District

Senior Expo – THIS Tuesday July 19th at Swiftwater Elementary Center

I hope you can join us THIS Tuesday, July 19th from 9 – 1 pm at Pocono Mountain Swiftwater Elementary Center! After not having one for the last two years, my FREE Annual Senior Expo is back this year! The event will be co-hosted by PA State Rep. Rosemary Brown, PA State Rep. Jack Rader, and Rep. Maureen Madden. Over 70 exhibitors from non-profit and government agencies will provide information on the services they offer benefiting seniors. Door prizes, health screenings, educational seminars, and refreshments will be provided. Additional outdoor exhibitors will include the Hughes Library Book Mobile and the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Mobile Van. For more information please call my office at 610-863-1200. Hope to see you there!

The New State Budget: Clearing Hurdles to Jobs and Opportunity

The new 2022-23 state budget does not include any broad-based tax increases and is structured in a way to minimize the risk of tax increases in the years ahead.

In fact, the budget actually cuts the Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate, which is now the highest in the nation. The new budget cuts the rate from 9.99% to 8.99% and creates a phased reduction to 4.99%, or sixth lowest, by 2031.

Not only will a lower rate attract new business, it also makes the state more attractive for businesses that already operate here and need to expand.

The budget also eliminates a disadvantage faced by Pennsylvania small businesses when competing with those in other states. Under federal tax law, a “like-kind” exchange under the Internal Revenue Code allows for tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. This long-standing federal provision allows employers to invest in the job-creating assets businesses need to remain competitive. Every state but Pennsylvania provides for a similar deferral on the state level.

The new spending plan also brings state tax law governing expense deductions in line with federal law, eliminating the unequal treatment of small businesses in Pennsylvania. The increase in limits makes it easier for employers to buy equipment and to invest, which promotes job growth.

Additional funding is also included for several tax credit programs that foster economic development in Pennsylvania communities, including Research and Development ($5 million increase), Film Tax Production ($30 million increase), Entertainment Economic Enhancement ($16 million increase) and Waterfront Development ($3.5 million increase).

These changes will make Pennsylvania more competitive with surrounding states and send a strong message to employers that our Commonwealth is open for business.

Deana’s Law Increases Penalties for Repeat DUIs

The Senate recently passed legislation that is now law to increase penalties for multiple DUI offenders.

Act 59 of 2022, Deana’s Law, would require consecutive sentencing, instead of concurrent, for fourth DUIs and above. It would also increase penalties for drivers with multiple DUI convictions involving high blood alcohol content levels.

The law is named after Deana Eckman, 45, who was killed in a 2019 crash involving a six-time DUI offender.

Funding Available for Projects that Promote PA Farm Products

Nonprofits can apply now for grants for projects that promote Pennsylvania farm products and grow export markets.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will award up to $303,000 in matching funds to nonprofits to reimburse up to 50% of costs for promotional and educational projects intended to increase consumer awareness and sales.

Eligible projects in 2022 can promote anything from wine to wool, hardwoods to honey, fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, poultry or dairy — any agricultural product produced in PA.

Complete guidelines for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Product Promotion, Education and Export Promotion Matching Grant Program are in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Grant applications must be submitted online through the Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by Aug. 5.

Accessing Local and County Crime and Crash Data

When crimes and crashes are investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, the statistical data is available online through the Community Access to Information Dashboard (CAID).

CAID allows the public and the media to access and search data collected from traffic enforcement and crashes for both commercial and noncommercial vehicles, including Incident maps. There’s also data concerning various crimes, with mapping for counties and municipalities.

The dashboard allows the user to choose what data is displayed. Searches can be refined with custom date ranges, locations and categories. Queries can be made in the dashboard with statistical information from as far back as 2019. The dashboard contains no information that could be used to identify the individuals involved.  

Weona Park Pool Pals Fundraising Project

The Weona Park swimming pool was always a source of Pen Argyl pride. Opening in 1921 and continuously enhanced and improved, it became one of the nicest swimming facilities in the Slate Belt. In recent times it was reluctantly closed due to the need for extensive repairs to the filtration and infrastructure.

Over the past two years, Pen Argyl Borough Council completed a Master Site Plan and Pool Feasibility Study for the Park. In surveys and focus groups, the re-construction of the pool retains a very high level of interest and enthusiasm from the community. Weona Park Pool Pals is working to raise funds for this project. They are a 501c3 organization.

If you would like to donate there are several options available.

Online options (PayPal, GiveLively, Amazon Smile) – https://bit.ly/3Rwnyf4

By check – Make check payable to “Pen Argyl Athletic and Park Association.”

Mail checks to:

Weona Park Pool Pals
P.O. Box 42
Pen Argyl, PA 18072

How to Conserve Energy and Manage Summer Power Bills

As hot weather settles in, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) offers tips on conserving energy and keeping summer power bills manageable.

  • Check your thermostat. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill.
  • Clean and replace air conditioner filters regularly and make sure air circulation paths are clear.
  • Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
  • Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
  • Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

You can find more tips here. For consumers struggling with paying utility bills, the PUC continues to encourage them to call their utilities to discuss the many different affordability options available.

Celebrating Parks and Recreational Opportunities

Parks and recreational opportunities are key components of healthy communities. I hope you get to enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

The new state budget includes $56 million in state funds to create a new State Parks and Forests Infrastructure Program and $100 million in federal funding for state parks and outdoor recreation.

Around the 40th District

Congratulations going out to William Stubblefield of Troop 85 on attaining the rank of Eagle Scout! For William’s project, he made bed boxes for the VALOR Clinic Foundation in Effort, a home to provide transitional housing for Veterans. Congratulations on this accomplishment and wishing you many years of success!

A Happy Belated Birthday to my longtime friend Helen Diecidue! Helen was born in Manhattan and moved to the Pocono’s in 1970. She is the proud mother of four children and has been blessed with seven grandchildren. Helen has served with numerous community organizations over the years and was elected to serve as the Monroe County Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds from 2000 until 2016. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HELEN! Wishing you many, many more to come.

Welcome Venue 138 to Mount Pocono! My Chief of Staff, Kristine congratulated Malisa and her family on this stunning location, which is designed to celebrate weddings, parties, and significant moments. Thank you to the Pocono Chamber of Commerce for organizing this ribbon cutting and being a steward for businesses in our community!

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