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State Rep Justin Simmons Report

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The Weekly Roundup
Friday, February 8, 2019  The latest news from the State Capitol

Budget Address Starts the Process

Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his budget proposal for the 2019-20 fiscal year before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

There is some good and bad in the governor’s budget proposal. I like that the governor has not proposed any new broad-based tax increases. I also like the record investments into workforce development, agriculture and basic education.

What I don’t like in the budget is the borrowing and high spending number. We must not spend more than we take in, and this budget proposal spends too much. That being said, I was encouraged by the governor’s call for bipartisanship and am confident that we can fulfill our constitutional duty of an on-time budget that doesn’t raise any broad-based taxes.”

The budget process continues next week with the first in a series of House Appropriations Committee hearings, to delve into the details of the governor’s plan. For a schedule and live streaming of the hearings, visit www.pahousegop.com.

Streamlining Medication Process for Patients and Seniors

House Republicans are continuing their commitment to ensuring the health and welfare of seniors and patients with chronic conditions by making it easier to adhere to their medication schedules.

This week, lawmakers passed House Bill 195, which I am co-sponsoring. The measure would ensure patients can synchronize their medications in order to receive refills on the same day each month, instead of having to make multiple visits to the pharmacy.

This commonsense legislation would put Pennsylvania in line with Medicaid Part D, the PACE Program, and 35 other states that allow medication synchronization. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Two Area Transportation Projects Receive Funding

This week, Coopersburg and Lower Saucon Township were awarded state funding for transportation infrastructure improvement projects.

Coopersburg Borough was awarded $1.2 million that will go toward additional traffic, bicycling and pedestrian upgrades to Main and East State streets, including ADA-compliant crosswalks at two key intersections; and 0.11 miles of curb, sidewalk, pedestrian lighting, signs and pavement markings.

Lower Saucon Township received $219,640 to replace Lower Saucon Road Bridge, a two-lane, culvert-style span.

These are great examples of how state and local officials can work together to fix our aging roads and bridges. The grants were available through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Applications for 2019 Pennsylvania House Scholarships Now Available

High school seniors interested in receiving financial assistance to help pay for college can now apply for a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship. Each year the program awards four-year scholarships to two students preparing for post-secondary education. The scholarship is privately funded by individual and corporate donors; no tax or other public funds are used.

Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in high school in order to be eligible for a scholarship. Other factors taken into consideration for the awards are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and financial need.

The application deadline is March 1, 2019. Learn more here, including how to apply.

Record-Setting Year for PA 529 College Savings Program

Pennsylvania families are saving more than ever to ensure their children can afford college or other post-secondary options. In 2018, they set a record by saving over $585 million to use toward future education expenses in the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program.

Through PA 529, families can choose from two plans. The PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan allows families to save for post-secondary education at today’s rate, and the PA 529 Investment Plan allows families to choose how their contributions are invested from a list of 16 options.

You can learn more about the program here or by calling 1-800-440-4000.

Let’s Get Connected
 
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RepSimmons.com
Office Locations
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614

 

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