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Senator Jake Corman

April 2015

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Senator Jake Corman with Hawbaker, Inc employees
I recently visited the Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. Paint and Restoration Complex
to learn more about what they do and how we can help our job-creators. (Click photo to enlarge)

Legislation Urges Greater Transparency in Collective Bargaining Negotiations

Collective bargaining negotiations can have a significant impact on the size and expense of state and local government. Since these costs are ultimately shouldered by taxpayers, I believe these negotiations should be open to the public.

I have cosponsored legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law to require public notice and access to any meeting where a public sector collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. The requirement would apply to collective bargaining agreement negotiations at the local and state level, including upcoming negotiations between Gov. Wolf and public employee unions.

Adding transparency to negotiations involving public sector collective bargaining agreements will make public officials and union members more accountable to the citizens they represent.

Transparency is the cornerstone of good government. Opening this process to the public will help prevent backroom deals that are not in the taxpayers’ best interests.

Ten states already require full or limited access to collective bargaining sessions of public employees.

Senate Budget Hearings Set Stage for Upcoming Negotiations

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently concluded three weeks of public hearings on Gov. Wolf’s proposed $33.8 billion state budget. This is an important step in the process of vetting the proposed spending plan and enacting a budget by the June 30 constitutional deadline. You can find summaries and video of every hearing here.

As former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I know how important these hearings are to developing a final state budget and to ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely. This is especially important this year because Gov. Wolf is proposing massive tax increases totaling $4.7 billion for the upcoming fiscal year – the largest in state history.

His proposal would raise taxes by $12 billion over the next two fiscal years – about $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Pennsylvania. Families will pay more in personal income taxes and sales and use taxes, which, under the Wolf plan, increases and makes additional items taxable.

I believe we need to address current funding shortfalls and structural deficits facing the Commonwealth, including an unsustainable pension obligation, before we look at increasing spending and raising taxes on our hardworking families and employers.

As we continue to work on drafting a final budget before the June 30 deadline, I will fight to keep spending and taxes down and to reform our pension system.

Corman Named 2015 Ambassador for Change by PA Family Support Alliance

Senator Jake Corman

I had the honor of receiving the 2015 Ambassador for Change award from the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance at their annual breakfast celebration which promoted the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month in Pennsylvania.

I am both humbled and grateful for this honor, but the true heroes are those who work on the front lines protecting our children every day. I took the fight to keep the NCAA fine money in Pennsylvania to the courts because I knew PSFA and other agencies within the Commonwealth engaged in this vital effort deserve the incredible support this money will provide. I’m pleased that we prevailed in this matter and that many child protective services agencies will be able to use this money to help those in need.

Town Hall Meetings Help Me Better Represent You

I’d like to thank those who attended my recent town hall meetings. This is a great opportunity for me to listen to your suggestions and concerns and to better represent you in Harrisburg. I was very pleased that so many of my constituents took the time to come to the meetings and talk with me and my staff about a wide range of issues, including property taxes, education funding and the state budget. I appreciate your input and participation.

Senator Jake Corman Town Hall Meeting

State Extends Home Heating Assistance Program Deadline to May 1

LIHEAPThe deadline to apply for home heating assistance under the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been extended to May 1. LIHEAP offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.

LIHEAP applications were supposed to be in by Friday, April 3, but the severity and duration of this winter's weather resulted in the deadline extension. The cash grants are determined from several factors, including household income and family size.

Residents can apply for LIHEAP online at COMPASS. They can also contact their local county assistance office or contact the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).


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