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Legislative Update

Late last week, the General Assembly passed the state budget package and the governor signed the measures into law.  The legislative package included the General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, the state’s Fiscal Code – which is basically the operating manual for the budget – School Code and Human Services Code.

The spending plan provides more funding for our students, service providers, and economic development needs to keep Pennsylvania moving forward.  While I am disappointed that several critical pieces of legislation were not ultimately passed before session ended in Harrisburg (such as a natural gas severance tax imposition, a minimum wage increase, and anti-discrimination legislation) there were several notable initiatives included in the package. 

I am particularly proud to have supported a new $60M investment in safety initiatives to help prevent, reduce, and address school and community violence.  Please see below for additional highlights included from the 2018-19 Fiscal Year State Budget.

Investments in Education

  • $100 million increase in basic education (K-12 public schools)
  • $25 million increase in Pre-K Counts/Head Start programs
  • $30 million increase in career and technical education as part of the PA SMART initiative
  • $15 million increase in special education
  • $21.6 million increase in Early Intervention
  • $7 million increase to community colleges
  • $15 million increase to PASSHE schools

Investments in Jobs and the Economy

  • $7 million for new apprenticeship training program as part of PA SMART
  • $3 million increase to industry partnerships through PA SMART
  • $15 million for PA First Program
  • $12 million for Manufacturing PA program
  • $9.8 million for Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance

Investments in Healthcare and Human Services

  • $74 million increase to assist individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities, including investments to address the emergency waiting list for intellectual disabilities and the Autism Intervention and Services waiting list
  • $5.3 million increase for home visiting services for families affected by opioid use and increased rates for home visiting providers
  • $2.5 million for Lyme disease awareness and prevention

Upcoming Events

Go 4th and Learn event July 4th in Philadelphia – June 28th – July 4th, 2018

Thursday, June 28th, Philadelphia’s popular celebration of America’s birthday, Wawa Welcome America, will kick off this year’s festivities. This multi-day celebration consists of numerous free events for all ages. Events include outdoor concerts, museum days, a patriotic parade, block parties and two firework displays.

For more information and event details, click here.

Party on the Parkway and July 4th Concert featuring Pitbull – July 4th, 2018

Party on the Parkway will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the afternoon and evening of July 4th. This event is one of the largest free celebrations in the country and leads up to the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert at 7pm. Pitbull will be featured in this free concert along with various award-winning artists.

For more information, click here.

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks – July 4th, 2018July 4th Fireworks

The July 4th Fireworks above the Philadelphia Museum of Art will begin at 9:30pm. This is Philadelphia’s biggest firework display, which can be seen from several spots throughout the city. This year’s performance is the largest Wawa Welcome America fireworks show in more than a decade, featuring new special effects.

For more information and the best spots to watch the fireworks, click here.

Screening Under the Stars at Penn’s Landing – July 5th – August 30th, 2018

Screening Under the Stars at Penn’s LandingStarting July 5th, Penn’s Landing at the Delaware River waterfront will hold a weekly free movie under the stars. The movies start at dusk, around 8-8:30pm. The weekly movies will continue through August 30th, 2018. The upcoming movies for July include:

  • July 5: Justice League
  • July 12: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • July 19: Mission: Impossible III
  • July 26: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

For more information, click here.

SEPTA Updates

Key Card Purchase Fee & Fee Reimbursement

As of May 4th, 2018, purchase of a SEPTA Key Card cost a fee of $4.95. You can purchase a Key Card, along with a SEPTA Transit fair at any SEPTA Sales Office or Fare Kiosk. If your card is registered within 30 days of purchase, the $4.95 fee will automatically be applied to your Card Travel Wallet. By registering your Card, it is protected against loss or theft. Register your Card online at or by phone at the Key Customer Call Center (1-855-567-3782). For more information, click here.

Sale of Paper Transfers Ends Effective Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The sale of paper transfers for continuing travel on buses, trolleys, trackless trolleys, and subways will be discontinued permanently at the end of service on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Starting on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, customers must have a SEPTA Key Card with money loaded on the Travel Wallet. For more information, click here.

PA Senior Citizen Transit ID Cards No Longer Accepted for Travel Effective September 1, 2018

Effective September 1, 2018, the yellow and blue Senior Transit cards will no longer be valid to travel on SEPTA. A Senior Key Card or PA Driver’s License/ Identification Card with the magnetic strip on the back will be needed to travel on SEPTA. For more information, click here.

A Message from State Treasurer Torsella

Treasury is required to advertise the names and addresses of unclaimed property owners each year.  These ads must appear in a general circulation newspaper in the owner’s last known county of residence.  Treasury will advertise in The Philadelphia Inquirer in Philadelphia County.  Please keep in mind that Treasury is only required to advertise property that is valued in excess of $250.  In addition, the names appear in the paper only once, so we also encourage everyone to search Treasury’s Unclaimed Property database at or call the Unclaimed Property call center at 1-800-222-2046. 

(Many property owners were listed in years past and will not, therefore, be listed this year, so the ads should serve as a reminder to check

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Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese | Contact Me
1802 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Phone: 215-952-3121
Fax: 215-952-3155
543 Main Capitol | Box 203001
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3001
Phone: 717-787-5662
Fax: 717-787-4531

PA Treasury