Senator Jake Corman E-Newsletter

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In honor of Read Across America Day, I read “The Butter Battle Book”, by Dr. Seuss, to the 2nd Grade of Mrs. Harris at Benner Elementary School.

During a tour of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners incubator space, I learned about 3D printing from the folks at XACT Metal.

Senate Bill Stripping Public Pensions for Felonies Set for Enactment

Legislation that would strip taxpayer-funded pensions from public officials and employees who commit job-related felonies is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature after receiving final approval in the Senate.

This is an important reform to state government that will make certain that those who have violated the public trust cannot skirt the consequences of their action,  Taxpayer money should be protected in these cases..

Senate Bill 113 was initially approved by the Senate on February 4, and was returned to the chamber for consideration after the House of Representatives made a technical amendment. The Governor has indicated that he will sign this bill.

The measure closes the “Mellow Loophole,” named after former State Senator Bob Mellow of Lackawanna County, who in 2017 had his $245,000-a-year pension restored despite pleading guilty and being sent to prison on federal conspiracy charges.

The Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act currently requires a public employee to forfeit his or her pension only for certain crimes listed in the act. In practice, this law allows lawmakers and other public employees charged with a forfeiture crime to plead guilty to a different non-forfeiture crime in order to avoid pension forfeiture.

Senate Bill 113 would require pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted, pleads guilty, or pleads no contest to any felony offense related to his or her employment.

The legislation also ensures that criminal convictions involving public officials are reported to state pension boards. Current law does not require the employee, courts, or state agencies to send copies of court records upon conviction. Instead, pension boards learn of pension forfeiture cases through agency websites and newspaper articles. Under Senate Bill 113, courts would now be required to notify state pension systems of all pension forfeiture cases.

Applications for Property Tax & Rent Rebates being accepted

The application period is open for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for income-eligible and citizens with disabilities to receive rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2018. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2019.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because rebates are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid in each year.Guidelines & Applications

Trout Stocking Schedule Available

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced its 2019 trout stocking schedule for all Pennsylvania waterways. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission plans to stock approximately 3.2 million trout throughout Pennsylvania this year, and their statewide network of cooperative nurseries are expected to stock an additional 1 million.

The most up-to-date stocking information is available online at www.fishandboat.com.

Deadline for Farmers to Apply for Agricultural Reimbursement Planning Grants is April 1

Grants are available from the state Department of Environmental Protection to reimburse farmers for costs related to erosion, sediment, and soil nutrient management. Applications for the program are due by April 1.

The Agricultural Planning Reimbursement Program provides agricultural operators and landowners with up to $6,000 to reimburse them for fees paid to technical experts to create long-term management plans. More details about the program and application information can be found here.

How I Can Help

My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.

  • Pennsylvania birth certificates
  • PennDOT assistance with driver’s licenses and forms
  • Information on financial assistance for higher education
  • Citations from the Pennsylvania Senate for notable local accomplishments and family milestones
  • Assistance with PA insurance programs: Medical Assistance and CHIP
  • Fishing and hunting information
  • Pennsylvania personal income tax forms
  • Pennsylvania road maps
  • Requests for copies of legislation, bills and regulations
  • Requests for literature for students and senior citizens
  • Tours of the State Capitol for individuals or groups
  • Unemployment compensation issues

Reminder to Follow Me on Social Media

My Facebook page provides not only legislative updates but those all-important PennDOT construction updates for our district. I also enjoy posting pictures of local constituents that I meet and information on other local events happening in our neighborhoods and communities. You also can follow me on Twitter – my handle is @JakeCorman. On Twitter, I tend to provide more of a news update of everything going on legislatively in Harrisburg and the district. If you haven’t already, check out my social media pages.

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