Jun. 20, 2022 / Press Release

Mehaffie Message
Domestic Energy Production Critical to Fighting Inflation

Click here to view video.

The House Majority Policy Committee held its third hearing this week on skyrocketing inflation and the devastating impact it has on working people and their families.

While burdensome government regulations and the ongoing worker shortages are significant factors influencing higher prices, testifiers agreed the high cost of energy is at the heart of the problem. And while energy costs are significantly impacted by global markets, the anti-energy policies of the federal and state administrations are a driving force behind higher electric bills, gas bills, transportation fuel costs and groceries.

In May, prices rose by 8.6% year-over-year, increasing over the previous month’s 8.3% year-over-year increase. Food prices in May 2022 were 10.1% greater than prices in May 2021. Energy prices went up 34.6% in May, the eighth month in a row above 25%.

Testifiers encouraged lawmakers to advance policies to boost domestic energy production, including increasing refining capacity and expanding pipeline infrastructure, to drive costs down for consumers, business and industry. They also advocated for the elimination of unnecessary regulations that hinder the supply chain. Testimony and video of the hearing are available online at www.PAGOPPolicy.com.

The committee will hold its final hearing about inflation, focused on long-term solutions to rising costs, at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 21. It will be streamed live at www.PAGOPPolicy.com.
New Law to Help PA Nursing Shortage

Legislation to help address Pennsylvania’s nursing shortage has been signed into law.

House Bill 889, now Act 22 of 2022, will allow the State Board of Nursing to approve graduates of international professional nursing education programs to sit for the RN licensure examination, provided such programs are determined to be equivalent to that which is required in Pennsylvania.

Prior to this law’s passage, the Professional Nursing Law allowed graduates of nursing programs in countries outside of the United States to sit for the RN licensure examination, but only if they have first been licensed, registered or duly recognized in their home country. Pennsylvania’s previous law required qualified students to either return to the country where they obtained their degree in order to get their license or go to another state in the U.S. to get licensed, and only after either of these options, then apply to Pennsylvania to sit for the licensure examination. This new law now removes this unnecessary impediment to individuals seeking licensure.

The bill earned unanimous passage in both the state House and Senate before being signed into law by the governor. The new law will take effect in mid-August.

In a further effort to address the nursing shortage and prevent nurse burnout, I continue to advocate for my bill, House Bill 106, that would establish safe patient-to-nurse staffing ratios. Please encourage your friends and family to call their local lawmakers to express support for this measure.
Driver License Centers Closed for Juneteenth

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, June 18, through Monday, June 20, in observance of Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
Application Deadline Extended for 2021 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

The deadline for senior citizens and Pennsylvanians with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2021 has been extended to Dec. 31.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 annually for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate for homeowners is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.

Claimants are encouraged to file their rebate applications online by visiting www.mypath.pa.gov. No account is required. Applicants who still wish to file a paper application form may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue's website or by calling 1-888-222-9190.

Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law. The easiest way to check the status of your rebate after July 1 is to use the Where's My Rebate? tool. To check on the status of your claim, you will need your Social Security number, claim year and date of birth.
On Monday, we cut the ribbon for the new community center in Derry Township. The 90,000-square-foot center features a gymnasium, fitness center, indoor lap pool, indoor warm water leisure pool, outdoor pool, senior center, teen room, and a variety of classroom and multiuse spaces. It is a great resource in the township.
The Forty & Eight, of Swatara Township, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. This veterans’ group is focused on charitable causes, particularly those involving child welfare and nurses. I presented a citation Saturday for the commemoration.
A bit of rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the 47th annual Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday. The Middletown Area Historical Society works hard to make sure the event is so successful each year.