Welcoming spring’s arrival and Opening Day, Monday, for our Philadelphia Phillies (even though they’ll be in Cincinnati)!
Governor Wolf brought the 2015-’16 budget cycle to somewhat of an end, March 23, when he decided to not do anything with a supplemental budget bill designed to get money to our struggling school districts and other vital state operations. His inaction allowed the bill to automatically become law. He later vetoed the budget’s fiscal code, which orders how tax dollars can be spent.
This budget story isn’t over, however, as we’ll probably carry a $200 million deficit into 2016-’17 and House Republicans – who are feeling their oats after blocking any and all forms of bipartisan compromises – may continue their wily ways.
I hope this won’t be the case. My efforts will be to restore a spirit of civility and compromise with them and to do whatever I can to ensure a timely, balanced budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
In the meantime, please enjoy this edition of the “First District Connection” as you make plans for the weekend.
Feel free to call my district office, 215-952-3121, or visit us at 1802 S. Broad St., if you have questions or need help with anything.
Tourism’s Push for Support
There are so many great things to visit in Philadelphia. You’d think that alone would make it a priority for the commonwealth to invest more in getting more tourists to our part of the world – and the rest of the commonwealth, to be honest.
But we’re a little off the mark, in this respect, so I joined tourism leaders and others in the Capitol, March 15, to talk about the findings of a new analysis that said Pennsylvania is not touristy enough.
We have one of the largest tourism economies in the United States but are ranked below 35 other states in our support of tourism. We are losing jobs, tax revenue, and opportunities to attract new visitors to Pennsylvania to other states like New York and Michigan.
The study shows how essential the tourism market is to the fiscal health of the commonwealth and how increased state investment will increase tourism’s benefits – for everyone.
Campaign Finance Reform – Now
We can no longer pay lip service to the well-articulated opinion that our laws governing how candidates finance their campaigns for office, and I addressed this issue, March 22, during our Senate session.
I said then and I will continue to say that the way candidates finance their campaigns today is the number one issue for government reformers.
We need to enact campaign finance reform because Pennsylvanians need to know that their voices are first and foremost in our policy making decisions. Being a good candidate isn’t about how much money you have, and the money you have shouldn’t determine your influence.
I will be introducing a bill to require disclosure when campaign funds are moved from a campaign for one elected office to a campaign of the same individual for a different elected office.
We owe it to our supporters to be open about where their money is going, and the required disclosure in my legislation is an important step in that direction.
Dinner with Benefits
The East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association is holding a fun auction to raise money for its services and operation.
One of the items up for bid is dinner for 5 with yours truly at a restaurant along East Passyunk Avenue!
You have until 9:30 p.m., Monday, April 11, to bid for this opportunity. Click here to particpate.
I am humbled by the invitation to help and am looking forward to meeting the winner and his or her friends!
Senior Fair Re-Cap
We visited South Philadelphia High School, March 24, for my 1st Senatorial District Senior Fair. Our older residents learned about many government programs, services and benefits.
I look forward to this event every year because it give us a chance to meet and provide our seniors with valuable information and South Philly High School is where my Uncle Ben “Reds” Farnese lovingly served as principal for so many years.
Thanks to everyone who joined us!
The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority is seeking a Project Manager 1. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to the authority at email@example.com, to the attention of Heather Lemmon. It’s important to put "Project Manager 1" in the subject line of your email. The authority is accepting applications through April 8.
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