Issues

Child Abuse by School Employee

Senate Bill 549 (SB 549), my legislation that would change the requirements and process for reporting and investigating child abuse by school employees, has received a great deal of attention in light of the charges against Jerry Sandusky and the two Penn State officials.  There are two questions I am asked continuously asked by the media:  How would SB 549 have changed what happened in Penn State? and Why hasn’t the bill been acted upon?

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Marcellus Shale Impact Fee

As you may be aware, both the Senate and House recently considered and voted on Marcellus Shale legislation. The Senate passed Senate Bill 1100 (SB 1100) on November 16th by a vote of 29-20 – I voted against its passage.  Similarly, the House passed House Bill 1950 (HB 1950) on November 17th by a vote of 107-76.  Those bills will now cross chambers for consideration.

 

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Earned Income Tax Credit

I recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1347 (SB 1347), that would require employers to post and provide written notification to employees of their potential eligibility for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a federal tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. SB 1347 is aimed at raising awareness of this program so those who are eligible for this tax credit claim and receive it. If you make less than $49,000 annually you should inquire as to your eligibility.

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Fontana Bill Would Motivate Non-Profits to “Do the Right Thing”

On November 30th, I had the opportunity to attend a Senate Banking and Insurance Committee hearing on the dispute between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Highmark.  Hearing the testimony form these two entities, and the concerns posed by the community, emphasizes the need for legislative action to address non-profit organizations that are clearly driven by profit.

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