In this Update:
Nearly 50% Gas Tax Cut Could Support Pennsylvania Consumers
Prices at the gas pump hit record levels this week. To support Pennsylvania consumers, I called for enactment of a plan that would cut state and federal gas taxes by nearly 50 percent.
My Consumer Gas Prices Relief Act coupled with a federal gas tax holiday would offer a critical reprieve for Pennsylvania families who have seen gas prices skyrocket over the past several weeks. The plan would also offset the lost revenue from that state’s portion of the gas tax cut to ensure critical construction projects can still move forward without delay.
This plan offers a win-win for Pennsylvania families – lower prices at the pump in the short run, and better roads and bridges to drive on in the years ahead. More information about my plan is available here.
BREAKING: Senators File Petition to Compel Compliance With Election Investigation Subpoena
After months of needless delays and obstruction from the Department of State, Senator Dush and I filed a petition today asking the court to compel the Department to comply with our subpoena for materials to conduct an investigation of recent elections.
If granted, our petition would force the Department to provide information to the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee regarding the SURE system and other information relevant to our investigation. This information is crucial to help to identify and address flaws that could be exploited in our election system.
Millions of Pennsylvanians have lost confidence in our elections. They deserve an election system they can believe in, and that can only happen with full transparency. We will not stop fighting to improve our voting system and repair the public’s faith in our elections – no matter how much our opponents try to obstruct, obfuscate and deceive the public about the intent of the investigation.
Gas Tax Cuts, Wolf’s Spending Plan and More: Take My Survey
How do you feel about my plan to cut gas taxes by nearly 50 percent? What do you think about Governor Wolf’s budget plan? What is the best way to spend relief dollars from the federal government?
Your voice matters. I invite all residents of the 34th Senatorial District to complete my newest legislative survey to make their voices heard. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete, and the data gathered will help shape my agenda in Harrisburg.
To participate in the survey, click here.
Senate Hearings on Proposed State Budget Continue
Work on reviewing Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $45.7 billion state budget continued this week with public hearings held by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The proposed plan was announced last month, and the state constitution requires a budget to be enacted by June 30.
The governor’s plan would increase spending by $4.5 billion. Based on projections, this will create a $1.3 billion deficit in the following fiscal year and produce a $13 billion deficit by 2026-27.
Wednesday’s hearing with the Department of Health explored the state of Pennsylvania’s public health systems. Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter testified that many hospitals in urban and rural areas are in danger of closing under the financial strain imposed by two years of pandemic response.
This week’s hearings also covered:
You can find more information on these budget hearings, hearing video, livestreams and more at PASenateGOP.com.
New Report on PA COVID-19 Hospitalization and Mortality
From March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, there were 120,329 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania hospitals. Pennsylvania residents were hospitalized at a rate of 91.5 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents. More than half of these admissions occurred from November 2020 through February 2021. There were peaks in admissions in April 2020 (8,391), December 2020 (24,506) and April 2021 (10,641).
While in the hospital, 10.2% of the patients required mechanical ventilation and 12.3% of patients died, while 14.9% were readmitted within 30 days. The average length of stay was 8.1 days. Older residents consistently had higher hospitalization and in-hospital mortality rates. You can read the findings at www.phc4.org.
Honoring the Female Faces of the Front Lines for Women’s History Month: Tell Us Your Story
March is Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is Providing Healing, Promoting Hope, a tribute to the work of caregivers and female front-line workers throughout the pandemic.
In the spirit of this achievement, the Pennsylvania Senate wants to hear the stories of “Female Faces of the Front Lines.” If you are a female medical provider, caregiver, EMS or emergency worker or you know someone who is, we want to hear from you.
Just follow the directions at the link and we’ll share your inspiring story on social media.
Resources to Help with Problem Gambling
A resolution sponsored by my colleague Senator John Yudichak designates March as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The resolution reminds Pennsylvanians that resources are available to help with a gambling addiction.
The Council operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at www.pacouncil.com.
Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 13, at 2 a.m., so it’s time again to turn clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.
This is also a good time to check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which should also be replaced every 10 years.
Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 6.
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