In this Update:
Senate Finance Committee Advances Bills to Help Small Businesses, Aid Job Creation, and Improve Economy
The Senate Finance Committee, which I chair, this week approved several measures to strengthen job creation and help make Pennsylvania’s business climate more competitive with neighboring states. These measures build on actions we took earlier this year to expand employment opportunities and make our Commonwealth a better place to do business.
Senate Bill 1315 allows employees who live in Pennsylvania but work for out-of-state corporations to work from home without imposing tax penalties on the employer.
Senate Bill 1320 permits Pennsylvania partnerships and S-corporation small businesses to be taxed on income generated at the entity-level, an advantage permitted by 27 other states including most of our neighboring states.
House Bill 1059 provides a five-year phase-in schedule for increasing the threshold for making required quarterly estimated payments under the personal income tax from $8,000 to $20,000, with an annual increase of $500 thereafter.
House Bill 1377 prohibits a business from moving from one Keystone Opportunity Zone to a new one in order to receive a second round of tax breaks, protecting the integrity of these job-creating zones.
House Bill 2057 modernizes Pennsylvania corporation laws and related provisions of Title 15 of the Consolidated Statutes to benefit Pennsylvania employers and our economy.
House Bill 2277 repeals the requirement for Pennsylvania businesses to remit prepayments for their sales tax collections.
House Bill 2667 updates the regulation of remote mortgage brokers to reflect what was learned when the Governor’s COVID shutdowns forced mortgage brokers to adapt to remote locations.
These bills were sent to the full Senate for consideration, and if approved, will build on action we took earlier this year to create jobs and improve Pennsylvania’s competitiveness, such as cutting the Corporate Net Income Tax rate, previously the highest in the nation.
The General Assembly also adopted legislation I sponsored – included in Act 53 – that brings state tax law governing expense deductions into line with federal law, eliminating the unequal treatment of small businesses in Pennsylvania. This limit increase makes it easier for employers to buy equipment and invest, which promotes job growth.
We eliminated another disadvantage faced by Pennsylvania small businesses competing with companies in other states. In federal tax law, a “like-kind” exchange under the Internal Revenue Code allows for tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. This long-standing federal provision allows businesses to invest in job-creating assets that they need to remain competitive. Until now, every state but Pennsylvania gave their small business owners this advantage.
Nationally, the economy is in bad shape and we don’t know what awaits us. That’s why we are taking steps now to put Pennsylvania employers in the best position possible to weather difficult times and continue to provide jobs to our citizens.
Senate Expands Right to Know Law to State-Related Universities
Seeking to shine light on costs driving college tuition increases, the Senate approved legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law to provide greater access to public records at state-related universities.
Senate Bill 488 would create an online searchable database that details information about budgets and contracts approved by Penn State University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University. The legislation also increases the amount of university personnel salary information subject to public disclosure.
State-related universities receive more than $600 million in taxpayer dollars.
Under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, the Office of Open Records processes requests for documents from public agencies, such as the governor’s administration, legislative and judicial agencies and local organizations. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Among other measures passed by the Senate this week was Senate Bill 1203, which prevents companies from receiving state contracts, grants or tax credits if they are owned, controlled by, or acting on behalf of the Russian government.
Hearing Highlights Ideas to Combat Lyme Disease in PA
Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases, with children making up the largest demographic affected.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a public hearing to increase understanding of tick-borne diseases, tick testing and mitigation, testing options for physicians and patients, and guidelines for treatment options.
The panel heard testimony from Physician General and Acting Health Secretary Denise Johnson, as well as the director of the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University, an infectious disease physician, and the president of the PA Lyme Resource Network.
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Approximately 1.2 million adults attempt suicide annually in the United States, with more than 85% reporting having made a suicide plan prior to their attempt. In 2020, the most recent year that data is available, approximately 1,700 people died by suicide in Pennsylvania.
Suicide Prevention Month provides an opportunity to remind Pennsylvanians that help is always available. This summer, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline officially launched nationwide, streamlining call and text access to the national lifeline that provides no-cost crisis response support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In addition to 988, many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
Rosh Hashanah Begins Sunday
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sunday and ends at nightfall Tuesday evening. For all who observe this Jewish holiday, I wish you a wonderful new year.
Collecting Items for Area Food Banks Continues
Throughout Hunger Action Month, my district offices (addresses are listed below) are collecting non-perishable items to be given to food banks in our communities.
Neighbors helping neighbors is the best form of charity and it’s one of the many traditions that make our country great. Please consider making a donation to help a family in need.