The final version of a bill intended to free Pittsburgh-area drivers from the cost of outdated gasoline regulations was a step backward, leaving the region’s commuters and vacationers saddled with millions of dollars in hidden taxes.
Hours before the Senate adjourned for the summer, it concurred in House amendments to Senate Bill 1386, leaving a watered-down version that all Democratic Senators voted against.
I can only assume that everybody from the Pittsburgh area who went along with the changes stopped to fill up on their way back home to their districts, because gasoline in the Harrisburg area is 20 to 40 cents cheaper than it is here at home. READ MORE HERE.
Area Man is Continent’s Top Harness Racer
Waynesburg native Dave Palone set a new North American record for harness racing wins Thursday night during the eighth race at .
The win, aboard Herculotte Hanover, gave Palone 15,181 wins, breaking the career mark held by Herve Filion, of Canada.
After winning three more races on the card, he finished the evening with 15,184 wins. He’s just the third harness racing driver to pass the 15,000-win mark and he’s still a dominant force on the track, winning 40 percent of his races.
Fit and only 50 years old, Dave says he’s going to continue racing with his sights set on the world record of more than 16,000 wins, held by a German driver.
A member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Dave has been the top rider at The Meadows for 23 consecutive years, winning more than 500 races a year.
Budget Details Reveal the Good and the Bad
Last week we got the final state budget and contemplated what it could mean for local communities.
With the economy slowly improving, tough choices had to be made and the budget contained good news and bad news for Pennsylvania taxpayers.
One of the most controversial components to the 2012-13 state budget is a 10 percent cut to the Human Services Development Fund. The final budget restored half of the Corbett administration’s proposed 20 percent cut of $168 million.
The Human Services Development fund is intended to provide treatment and training for vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including those struggling with mental or physical disabilities. The goal is to prevent the larger societal costs of leaving this population untreated.
While cutting the fund saves money in the state budget, the real cost could be placed on county and municipal government through increased police and fire calls, incarceration, nursing home placement and emergency room visits. READ MORE HERE.
Tax Credits Should Spark Job Growth
The only way out of the tough times we’re in is to create an environment for employers to hire people. The budget contains an aggressive package of tax incentives for businesses in Pennsylvania, and for those who are looking for a place to locate.
In addition to the continued phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, the budget provides tax breaks for family farms and expands the successful film tax credit program (READ MORE HERE).
Next week we’ll take a closer look at education funding.
Governor Signs Bill for Fallen Officer
Gov. Tom Corbett has signed House Bill 2215, sponsored by state Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-North Strabane
and I introduced identical bills weeks after Officer Dryer was killed by gunfire during a traffic stop last year.
4th of July in Canonsburg
Independence Day was set aside to commemorate the founding of a nation. But the 4th of July holiday in America has traditionally been a celebration of community.
I was proud to take part as Canonsburg put on its