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Legislation

I am proud to have been able to work on both sides of the aisle to introduce legislation that has garnered bi-partisan support and made it to the Governor’s desk for signature. To date, I have sponsored over 70 bills and many have been signed into law. The legislative achievements that follow are just a few of which I feel have made the greatest impact for the people I represent:

SB 234: Signed into law as Act 30 of 2018; PACE establishes a Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy program which will create jobs while providing energy cost savings to commercial, industrial and agricultural concerns while advancing the use of cutting edge, environmentally-friendly technologies.

SB 456: Signed into law as Act 52 of 2013; Innovate PA is a private financing vehicle providing up to $85 Million in early stage investment via the sale of tax credits to PA’s insurance industry. This program, administered through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, leverages $3.00 in revenue to the state’s general fund for every $1.00 invested in promising start-up companies.

SB 1494 Signed into law as Act 161 of 2014; PA Military Base Protection codified the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission (PMCEC) in statute. This law focuses Pennsylvania’s capacity to enhance the value of our military installations and to protect PA jobs from federal Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions. This is of particular importance to Northeast Pennsylvania because it safeguards the future of the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

SB 1227 Signed into law as Act 100 of 2016; Pension Reform – This law amended the Administrative Code and transferred the powers and duties of the obsolete Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC) to the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) and the Department of the Auditor General. This law streamlined and depoliticized the process of preparing actuarial notes on proposed legislation involving state or municipal pensions. Additionally, SB 1227 consolidated within the Auditor General’s office functions relating to audits of municipal pension plans and, importantly, assured the proper disposition of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual state pension aid to local municipal pension plans throughout Pennsylvania.

Signed into law as Act 199 of 2014; Act 25 of 2016; Act 86 of 2016 and Act 44 of 2017; These laws combined to enhance the fairness of local tax policies; to provide additional options in local tax policy to the city and to the Scranton School District, and ultimately to expedite Scranton’s exit from fiscally distressed status under Act 47. These laws also prevented a burdensome commuter tax from being imposed in Lackawanna County in favor of a Local Services Tax which has a fairer and more appropriate nexus to the budgetary pressures of providing public safety in Scranton.

SB 457 of 2017-18; Openness, Transparency & Public Access to information – This bill proposes much needed revisions, improvements and updates to PA’s Open Records law (Right-to-Know) and brings our state-related universities into increased public disclosure requirements.

My legislative activism will continue, not only for the policies affecting the residents of our 22nd District, but policies with statewide impact as well. I’m also proud to report that the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania recently designated me as “a steadfast environmental champion” with a 100% rating on their 2017-2018 scorecard.