Aug. 22, 2019

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The Ryan Report 
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

School Property Tax Elimination Press Conference                                   

On Tuesday, I kicked off my effort to travel the commonwealth to educate and generate support for my plan to once and for all eliminate school property taxes. The measure, House Bill 13, the School Property Tax Elimination Act, would replace 100% of all school property taxes. I am seeking public opinion and input to this incredibly serious problem before the bill is finalized. Please visit and click on the Property Tax Elimination Plan banner to view all the materials that explain my plan in greater detail, including a draft of the legislation.

Answering questions with me at the press conference were Jim Rodkey, head of the Pennsylvania Property Rights Association; Al Ciardi, managing partner of Philadelphia-based Ciardi Ciardi & Astin, a law firm which specializes in business bankruptcy and other matters; and Blake Ringenberg, licensed professional counselor with Gethsemane Counseling and Coaching. Ringenberg spoke about the negative psychological impact on children when a family loses their home to property tax liens.

Eliminating property taxes in Pennsylvania is something the people have been asking lawmakers to do for a long time, but so far no effort has gotten over the finish line. The last time we had a vote on the matter was Nov. 23, 2015, when House Bill 76 failed in the Senate when then Lt. Gov. Mike Stack cast a “no” vote to break the 24-24 tie.

When I was first elected, legislation on property tax reforms and elimination were not moving. As a result, I began to examine exactly why this important issue seemed stalled in the General Assembly. House Bill 13 seeks to address some of those concerns while keeping the main premise of 100% school property tax elimination.

Palmyra American Legion


I love being around my fellow veterans. We have a code that we live by and I’m proud to call them my friends.
It was quite an honor to present a House of Representatives certificate to the Palmyra American Legion in commemoration of the American Legion 100th anniversary.
Semper Fi!!

Volunteers Are the Backbones of Our Community

These folks are my heroes. I attended chicken barbecue fundraiser at Rescue Hose Company No. 4 in Lebanon. We should be thankful we have such dedicated volunteers and firefighters. I know I am.

Coffee & Camaraderie

Compeer Corps of Lebanon County invites all veterans to join them at 9 a.m., on Friday, May 24, and every fourth Friday thereafter, for Coffee and Camaraderie at Heisey’s Diner, 1740 Route 72. All veterans are welcome to this FREE event! Come and share your story.

Stream Restoration Grants Now Available

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced grant funding opportunities to support fisheries, aquatic habitat enhancement, recreational access and water quality in the Tulpehocken Creek and Quittapahilla Creek watersheds in Berks and Lebanon counties.

The Quittapahilla Creek watershed covers 77 square miles in Lebanon County and is squarely in the 101st District. Only projects wholly located within these watersheds will be considered.

Applications must be received at the PFBC headquarters located at 1601 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Successful grant recipients are expected to be notified by mid-December.

For 2019, priority will be placed on projects that improve aquatic habitats for fisheries. Other eligible projects will be considered but will be given lower priority. Grants can be used for stand-alone projects or to supplement other funding for larger projects that are designed to improve aquatic habitat, water quality or recreational use. Examples of acceptable activities include: fishery habitat restoration or enhancement; fish stocking; fishing access; maintenance or creation of facilities to encourage, improve or expand recreational use of the fishery; or studies related to these issues.

For more information about applying for this grant program, contact the PFBC at (717)346-8137 or download an application and budget form on the agency's web site here.

Blue Star Museums Offer Free Admission to Active-Duty Military
Active-duty military personnel and their families have free access to dozens of museums in Pennsylvania – and thousands nationwide – through the Blue Star Museums initiative. The initiative is a joint effort of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. The program concludes on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. To find participating museums, click here.

Save for Higher Education with State 529 Plan
For families looking to plan for higher education, the Pennsylvania Treasury offers two savings programs: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), in which growth is tied to the rate of tuition inflation, and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), in which investment returns are determined by financial markets.

Contributions to PA 529 plans are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes, grow tax free, and, when used for qualified educational expenses, are federal and state tax exempt. Both plans provide flexibility to pay for higher education expenses at most higher education institutions across the country, including colleges and universities, as well as many technical and career schools. The money may also be used to pay for tuition expenses up to $10,000 at elementary or secondary public, private or religious schools.

The PA 529 GSP is offering free enrollment – a $50 savings – for all new accounts opened before Aug. 31. Sign up at and use code “SUMMERGSP” when prompted.

The PA 529 IP features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options. No enrollment fee is charged for the PA 529 IP. Information about both programs is available here.

New Ag Grant Programs Accepting Applications
Two new grant programs established as part of the 2019-20 state budget to help grow our Commonwealth’s agriculture industry are now accepting applications.

The Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program will provide funding up to $50,000 to meat processing businesses with annual sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees. The goal of the program is to increase the supply of locally produced meat products for local consumption. The funding is to be used to help small processors meet federal inspection and certification requirements.

The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program will provide microgrants of up to $2,500 or collaboration grants of up to $50,000 for projects to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources and support for community development efforts.

Both programs are now accepting online applications here.

The deadline to apply for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program is Friday, Sept. 6. The deadline to apply for the Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program is Monday, Sept. 30. More information is available at

Seeking Investigation of PA’s Parole Processes
Responding to a series of murders committed by people recently paroled from the state prison system, the House Judiciary Committee is calling for an investigation of the state’s parole procedures by Inspector General Bruce Beemer.

While the Department of Corrections is rightfully conducting an internal review of these cases to determine if improvements can be made to prevent such tragedies, it is also vital to conduct an independent investigation to ensure every effort is being made to protect public safety.

In a letter to the inspector general, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) pointed to the stabbing deaths of three children and a woman, the strangulation of a domestic partner, and the shooting death of a police officer committed by state parolees as evidence of the need for an investigation.

Savings Program to Support People with Disabilities Experiences Rapid Growth
A state program designed to help people with qualified disabilities save for future disability-related expenses has more than doubled its assets in just one year, reflecting the high level of popularity and need for this savings option.

PA ABLE provides a tax-advantaged way for Pennsylvanians with disabilities and their families to save. Participation does not jeopardize access to state and federal programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (savings up to $100,000) and Medical Assistance. But it does allow for savings to be used to pay for any qualified disability-related expense including housing, education, health care and assistive technology to improve quality of life.

Administered by the State Treasury, the program has more than $18.4 million in assets, up from $8.6 million in July 2018. More than 2,500 PA ABLE accounts have been opened since the program launched in 2017. For more information, visit or call 1-855-529-ABLE (2253).
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