Senator Hutchinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Calling on Shapiro to Send PA National Guard to Defend Texas Border
  • Senate Finance Committee Advances Taxpayer Friendly Measures
  • Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking
  • PennWest Clarion Students Visit Capitol
  • Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives

Calling on Shapiro to Send PA National Guard to Defend Texas Border

The Senate approved a measure calling on Gov. Josh Shapiro to protect Pennsylvania communities by supporting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request to respond to America’s illegal immigration crisis.

Senate Resolution 251 implores Shapiro to reverse course and deploy the Pennsylvania National Guard along Texas’s southern border with Mexico as part of Operation Lone Star. The border security initiative has led to more than 500,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, more than 40,000 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 468 million lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A 2023 report indicates at least 251,000 illegal immigrants reside in Pennsylvania with an annual burden of more than $1.6 billion on taxpayers. That equates to a cost of approximately $318 per Pennsylvania household annually, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Senate Finance Committee Advances Taxpayer Friendly Measures

This week, the Senate Finance Committee, which I chair, advanced six pieces of legislation that will benefit taxpayers throughout the commonwealth and make Pennsylvania more competitive and welcoming to those who want to grow a business.

Senate Bill 1051, which I have sponsored, would improve the Pennsylvania Board of Finance and Revenue appeals process by providing for a settlement conference process for taxpayers. Thanks to the support of state Treasurer Stacy Garrity and others, SB 1051 will create a more level playing field for taxpayers across the commonwealth when dealing with the Department of Revenue.

Senate Bill 416 would prevent Pennsylvanians who work remotely for an out-of-state employer from triggering a Corporate Net Income Tax liability for their employer if the employee’s remote work totals less than 50% of their normal hours.

Senate Bill 148 would provide for a maximum tax credit of $500 for volunteer firefighters who have responded to at least 20% of their department’s calls during a two-year period.

Senate Bill 479 includes commissioned police officers employed by the Department of Corrections Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence in the definition of “enforcement officer” with regard to retirement eligibility.

Senate Bill 659 would align Pennsylvania with a majority of other states that provide taxpayers a methodology to deduct more state taxes from their federal income tax liability.

Senate Bill 1056 extends for 10 years the Pennsylvania Treasury’s investment authority pursuant to the Prudent Person Investment Standard.

More information about the committee meeting can be found here.

Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking

The Pennsylvania Senate approved two measures this week boosting community safety by targeting opioid overdoses and human trafficking. Both bills, which head to the House of Representatives for consideration, are part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1054 strengthens the Overdose Information Network (ODIN) law, which requires all law enforcement in Pennsylvania to input reports of an overdose within 72 hours of the incident into the ODIN system. The ODIN database enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze and share information concerning fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and naloxone administrations. The bill would ensure overdose reporting by EMS providers is incorporated into the statewide mapping system. EMS providers are responsible for handling more than 80% of overdoses annually in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1111 would ensure that individuals who are convicted of certain human trafficking offenses – as well as attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit those offenses – are subject to the same Megan’s Law reporting and evaluation requirements as other sexual offenders.

PennWest Clarion Students Visit Capitol

This week I had the opportunity to meet with two PennWest Clarion students, Isabelle Snyder and Michaela Armanini, whose studies are in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Isabelle and Michaela were here at the state Capitol to present their research on adults with cerebral palsy in Bulgaria. It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss the hands-on research opportunities that Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education can provide to students. Joining Isabelle and Michaela was PennWest trustee Kathy Pape.

Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives

In Pennsylvania, we are blessed that agriculture is one of our top industries as it helps to provide us with food security without having to rely as much on other states or even other countries.

National Agriculture Week, observed March 17-24, encourages every American to understand how food products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, and fiber industries.


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