Mar. 10, 2023 / Press Release

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Mehaffie Message
Budget Proposal Makes Important Investments

The 2023-24 budget proposal presented by Gov. Josh Shapiro this week makes important investments in law enforcement and public schools. Shapiro, in a presentation to the General Assembly on Tuesday, called for four new classes of Pennsylvania State Police cadets and a 7.8% increase in funding for basic education and special education.

I’m pleased the governor uses this spending plan to recognize the importance of public safety and the education of today’s young people. We are facing workforce shortages in law enforcement, teaching and health care, and the Legislature can’t allow more time to pass without addressing these crises. After four terms and seven budgets, I recognize the proposal we heard this week is simply a starting point, and I look forward to working with the governor as we develop a budget that supports those working with vulnerable populations.

The state budget must be in place by July 1.
Helping Ease the Burden of Inflation

In an effort to ease the increasing burden of inflation on all Pennsylvanians, a package of tax relief proposals was recently unveiled at the Capitol.

The measures range from cutting taxes on energy and frequent family purchases, such as pet food and children’s toys, to reducing property taxes and cell phone bills. Lowering the tax burden on Pennsylvania families will help them better deal with the impacts of the rising costs of food, fuel and other necessities. Collectively, the measures could help save families more than $2.2 billion.

A recent report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) comparing the tax burdens in all 50 states ranked Pennsylvania 21st in total taxes, including the Personal Income, Sales and Use, and Property taxes. The ranking is based on the ratio of total taxes to personal income. Pennsylvania’s ratio was 10.08%.

The measures will be introduced in the state House.

Free Admission at Several State Museums Sunday

This Sunday, March 12, is Charter Day – a day to celebrate Pennsylvania’s 342nd birthday!

In honor of the occasion, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History this Sunday.

Visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have the rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. The document, which is normally preserved in a secure vault away from strong light and environmental fluctuations, will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 17.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
PHEAA Announces Financial Aid, Refinancing Webinars

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is hosting webinars this month aimed at understanding the financial aid processes and refinancing education debt.

The webinar entitled “Financial Aid Timeline – Know What to Do When” will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. This one-hour presentation will provide the starting points and web resources for effective research before, during and after your student makes post-secondary education decisions.

The webinar entitled “Refinancing Education Debt – Is it Right for Me?” will be offered at noon on Tuesday, March 21. This one-hour session will be helpful to current or previous students of any age who have student loans and may be overwhelmed with their current repayment options, or are moving closer to the repayment phase and wonder if refinance may be a better solution.

To participate in one or both webinars, click here to register.

Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend

Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. Be sure to turn your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night before going to bed.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. It is also recommended the alarms be replaced every 10 years.

Hershey Intermediate School's students are among those gaining practical skills by participating in Junior Achievement of South Central PA's BizTown program. I enjoyed a recent visit with them.

On Wednesday, stakeholders gathered to highlight the benefits of using solar energy to power our schools. Not only do solar arrays make schools more efficient and save taxpayers money, but they also create opportunities for hands-on learning in STEM education.