OH BILL CUTS WAGES, NET-PROFIT TAXES
City Councilman at Large David Oh has introduced a bill to reduce the wage tax for employees and the net-profits tax for individuals who are residents of Philadelphia by $100 million over 10 years. And he has done so without raising other taxes to off-set the reduction.
During the last budget cycle, the Councilman found $48 million in potential savings he believes will be there again this year and allow an initial individual tax reduction of the same amount. And with the mandated program-based budget going into effect in 2015, he believes an accelerated reduction schedule of these taxes is completely reasonable and sustainable.
COUNCILWOMAN SÃNCHEZ SEEKS SCHOOL TAX REVENUE
As Philadelphiaâ€™s schools face yet another budget cycle with uncertain funding, 7th Dist. Councilwoman MarÃa QuiÃ±ones SÃ¡nchez has introduced legislation sending a greater portion of property tax revenues towards education. The measure was cosponsored by 4th Dist. Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. and Councilwoman at Large Blondell Reynolds Brown.
CLAY, YOUNGBLOOD OFFER EDUCATION FUNDING BILLS
State Reps. James Clay (D-Kensington) and Rosita C. Youngblood (D-Northwest) are co-sponsoring a package of bills which would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for basic education.
The package of bills include HB 1968, which would institute a 5% Gaming Privilege Assessment fee on all gambling winnings, including lottery winnings; HB 1969, which would remove the state and local tax exemption on Pennsylvania Lottery winnings; and HB 1970, which would subject winnings from the Pennsylvania Lottery to the Stateâ€™s Personal Income Tax.
WILLIAMS TARGETS INTERNET WITNESS/VICTIM REPORTING
To make it safer for people to cooperate with police during criminal investigations, State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-W. Phila.) has reintroduced legislation that could mean jail time for people who publish confidential names of witnesses and victims on the internet.
PACE/PACENET SENIORS ELIGIBLE
State Rep. Ronald G. Waters (D-W. Phila.), Democratic Caucus Secretary, said a new law protects nearly 50,000 senior citizens from losing their prescription-drug coverage through the state’s PACE/PACENET programs.
Act 12 of 2014 maintains eligibility for Pennsylvania seniors in the state’s prescription assistance programs, PACE and PACENET, if their Social Security cost-of-living adjustment pushes them over the income eligibility limit through 2015.
â€œBecause of this law, cost-of-living adjustments will no longer disqualify people from receiving the prescription services they need,â€ Waters said.
Itâ€™s estimated that without the new law, more than 40,000 seniors would have lost their prescription-drug coverage because of the Social Security COLA.
DENNY Oâ€™BRIEN BILL EYES KILLER BUILDINGS
â€œFires at large vacant buildings are killers,â€ states Councilman at Large Denny Oâ€™Brien. Because of recent deaths of firefighters battling fires in such buildings, he has introduced an ordinance that will take steps to reduce firefighter, other first-responder and community risks as cited by NIOSH.
He said, â€œI seek to amend The Philadelphia Fire Code, by providing requirements to create a vacant property task force charged with compiling an inventory and database of vacant and deteriorating properties. My bill also calls for an inspection team with specific responsibilities when evaluating abandoned and vacant buildings, structures and premises.â€
NARAL AWARDS SIMS CHOICE CHAMP
State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Phila.) was honored by NARAL Pro-Choice America with a national â€œChampion of Choiceâ€ award in Washington, D.C.
Sims is strongly pro-choice and attracted national acclaim for his impassioned defense of womenâ€™s rights during an April 2013 State House debate on legislation that restricts a womanâ€™s right to an abortion and access to health care by putting government restrictions on private insurance companies and how women can spend their own money.
REP. MURT LEGISLATION VS. UNDERAGE DRINKING
State Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Phila.) is sponsoring legislation to help fight underage drinking.
Murt has introduced a bill to allow police to administer pre-arrest breath tests to determine if a minor has consumed alcohol.
â€œThis bill became necessary because of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that blocked police from using Breathalyzers to determine if a minor is under the influence,â€ Murt said.
SABATINAâ€™S OFFICE TO HOST BREAST-CANCER SCREENINGSÂ
State Rep. John Sabatina (D-Northeast) will be host the Fox Chase Mobile Mammography Van starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Mar. 21 at his constituent-service office located at 16 Old Ashton Rd. at Holme Circle in Philadelphia.
Mammograms will be offered throughout that afternoon, but are available by appointment only. Constituents are encouraged to call Linda Hammell at the Fox Chase Cancer Center at (215) 725-3554 to schedule an appointment.
TAYLOR BACKS SAFETY BILL FOR UTILITY WORKERS
State Rep. John Taylor (R-Kensington)Â joined a unanimous House in passing legislation to improve safety for utility personnel working along roads during emergencies.
â€œThe recent winter storms were a reminder of how hard these men and women work to restore our power in some of the most arduous conditions imaginable,â€ Taylor said. â€œThey need the same protections as any other emergency responder when working on our roadways.â€
BLONDELL SEEKS BLOGGERS FOR HER BAG LUNCH SERIES
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is seeking a number of bloggers to cover the Phillyâ€™s Next Generation of Women Leaders event program entitled â€œBlondellâ€™s Brown Bag Lunch Seriesâ€.
This leadership and development program takes place every Tuesday in March during lunch hour, 12-1 p.m., at City Hall starting this week. The purpose of the event is to prepare the next generation of women leaders to take their place at the table and overall serve on more corporate boards. The report titled â€œWomen on Corporate Boards: We Can Do Better!â€ found women comprise only 11% of the board seats at the top 100 public companies in the region.