Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 34th Senate District and look forward to working with you to build a community where everyone has the ability to earn success and experience upward mobility.
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata counties, as well as many communities in Huntingdon County, and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Governor’s 2020-21 Budget Address – Same Story, Different Year
It’s the time of year when we carefully study the Governor’s proposed $36.1 billion state General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $1.5 billion (4.2 percent) increase in state spending for this year. While the Governor is not requesting a broad-based tax increase, he is asking for about a half-a-billion dollars in new taxes on employers including a continued push for a Marcellus Shale extraction tax, a $1 per-ton increase in the tipping fee charged to trash companies, and a fee for all municipalities for State Police services.
What we are seeing is a regurgitation of many of the Governor’s same old policy proposals. This budget contains more than half-a-billion dollars in tax increases on employers and other things that play to his base of supporters. We will start from the beginning and continue to unshackle employers from the unnecessary regulatory and tax burdens. As we go through this process, we will hold the Governor accountable to our policies that have led to record high wages and record low unemployment.
The Governor is requesting a $100 million increase in Basic Education Funding to $6.4 billion. It also includes a $30 million increase for early childhood education (Pre-K Counts to $242.3 million and Head Start to $69.2 million) and a $25 million increase in special education funding to $1.2 billion.
The State System of Higher Education would see a $13 million increase to $490 million, while state funding for community colleges and state-related universities is flat-funded in the Governor’s request.
The Senate Appropriations Committee begins a three-week series of departmental budget hearings next week. The hearings provide an opportunity for the Appropriations Committee to hear cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials detail their plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2020.
Talking Bipartisanship, Leadership and Harrisburg Decision Making
Thanks to Dean Peggy Johnson and the Penn State Schreyer Honors College for inviting me to discuss leadership and public service with the Presidential Leadership Academy Capstone at Penn State University Park.
$4 Million Grant to Rehab Juniata College Library
When you talk about a library, you get a vision in your head of a lonely place with shelves to the ceiling filled with books. The old look of the library was that of a quiet, lonely place that was dimly lit.
But the internet and the spirit of working together are morphing libraries from that structured environment to a collaborative space for learning. Huntingdon County General Authority applied for and received RACP money for the expansion of Beeghly Library at Juniata College. This is an exciting project that will bring all of the ways that students learn into a single location.
At the same time, the project incorporates the community through the second entrance facing Moore Street – a street that many residents use daily. This will welcome the community –our non-college neighbors – to continue with their learning.
This project ensures that the doors are open for lifelong learning. The $4 million in state funding is a critical investment in not only the future of Juniata College but for the expanded educational opportunities for our community.
Leadership Centre County
I was excited to host Leadership Centre County as part of their 1st Government Day visit to the Capitol. The goal of the day is to learn more about the workings of state and local government. The members of this year’s class had the opportunity to visit with several legislators and discuss matters of importance to them.
Established in 1991, Leadership Centre County runs a nine month program that educates participants about the needs, available services, strengths, opportunities and current issues in Centre County communities.
Since its founding, the program has graduated more than one thousand class members, including several of my staff, from its flagship Community Leadership Program. The graduates now serve as volunteers, committee chairs, and board members of over 60 organizations in Centre County.
State Grant Fund to Assist with Titan Energy Park Expansion
For more than 100 years, this site has housed businesses that have served an important role in our community. During that time, this part of Centre County also has experienced the loss of historic buildings due to fire, and the closing of business and industry. Now as a community – through a private and public partnership – we are all working together to bring employers back and the opportunities that come with it.
A strategic investment was made in the local economy and in the future jobs that this project will create for Bellefonte and the surrounding area. In working to get a $2.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), the improvements will create jobs that will sustain a family and provide opportunities for them to work and play right here in our community.
The RACP program supports critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development. The required match is being provided by Navitus LLC. The funds will be used for asbestos abatement and waterproofing that includes new insulation, weather barriers, metal roof panels and metal wall panels. The project, which is remediating a brownfield site instead of tearing it down, has a total cost projected to be $5,154,130.
At a time when Major League Baseball attendance continues to decline, a decision to pull the Spikes out of our community is short-sighted. I joined local community leaders to rally support for #SaveOurSpikes. We are already off to a positive start, thanks to the Governor and our Congressional delegation coming out strong against this decision.
The Spikes have become such a strong part of our community over the past 15 years. Along with the many programs and events they support, they provide entertainment opportunities for families to enjoy together, and also a place for us to gather. This is critical to a healthy, vibrant, and successful community. I host an annual Kid’s Day event at Medlar Field for children and families to interact with other state agencies – just one example of the many benefits of their presence. It is unfortunate that the ill-thinking mentality at Major League Baseball has led us to embark on these efforts to save our team.
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 there and on Instagram at @SenatorJakeCorman. You also can follow me on Twitter – my handle is @JakeCorman. On Twitter, I tend to provide more news updates of everything going on legislatively in Harrisburg and the district. If you haven’t already, check out my social media pages.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.