In order to keep local residents up to date on state government happenings and community events, I provide electronic news updates on a regular basis for interested citizens. These electronic newsletters allow me to provide regular updates while saving on printing and mailing costs.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatoraument.com for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page. If you would like to contact my office, please go to my web page and click the "contact" button. Please do not "reply" directly to this e-mail.
Constituent Outreach Events Scheduled for March
One of my highest priorities as an elected official is staying connected to the needs, views and perspectives of community residents. Two upcoming outreach events will allow me to discuss issues and concerns directly with local residents.
On March 5 at 6:30 p.m., I will be hosting my first telephone town hall event that will allow citizens to submit questions and listen in to the conversation from the comfort of their own homes. To listen live to the audio, follow this link: http://vekeo.buzz/ix.
In addition, I will host an open house on March 13 from 4-7 p.m. at my district office at 301 East Main Street in Lititz.
More information and details on how to participate are available by visiting my website at www.SenatorAument.com.
Senate Passes Purely Public Charities Bill
Our local communities are fortunate to have a number of worthwhile charities working to help those in need. Last week, the Senate passed legislation I sponsored that would prevent the resources of charities and local governments from being wasted on expensive, unnecessary legal battles.
A 2012 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling regarding the definition of a purely public charity created a great deal of confusion among charities and local governments regarding the criteria for an organization to qualify for an exemption from paying real estate taxes. The court completely ignored a state law passed in 1997 to provide clear standards for an organization to qualify.
To rectify the court’s error, the Senate approved Senate Bill 4, legislation I introduced that would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to specify that the General Assembly, not the judiciary, has the exclusive right to set the parameters for an organization to qualify as a purely public charity.
Although the legislation generated a great deal of debate, it is important to note that the Constitutional amendment was not designed to expand the number of qualifying charities or hamstring the finances of local governments. It was designed to ensure these standards are set through a deliberative process that allows input from all interested parties, and not through numerous, costly court battles.
We should have a conversation about the best definition of a purely public charity, and legislative efforts are already underway to take a closer look at this issue. However, those discussions are moot so long as the courts can effortlessly circumvent the will of the General Assembly and the people on this issue. Giving the legislature the power to define purely public charities is the first step in this process, and I am thankful my colleagues in the General Assembly are taking action to begin this conversation.
You can read more about this issue and view my remarks on the Senate floor regarding this legislation by clicking here.
Proposals Seek to Limit Growth in Government Spending
In advance of Governor Wolf’s first budget address next week, I joined a number of my colleagues from the Senate and the House of Representatives to call for commonsense limits on the growth of government spending.
The legislative proposals would allow the state budget to keep pace with the rate of inflation and the growth in the state’s population growth. Any excess funds would be allocated to pay down pension obligations, boost budgetary reserves and reduce the Personal Income Tax rate.
The cost of state government has grown by 85 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1970. We cannot avoid job-crushing new taxes if government spending continues to grow faster than our economy. As we begin the budget process in the coming weeks, I will continue to work toward a fiscally responsible state spending plan that puts the taxpayers first.
2015 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available Now
In the midst of a long and bitterly cold winter, many Pennsylvania anglers are daydreaming about spending time on local rivers, streams and lakes at the beginning of fishing season in a few weeks. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently published its 2015 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule, which includes locations and dates of interest.
Search results include each body of water within a county that is scheduled for stocking, the section of water, the date, the species of trout, the meeting place and time, the hatchery stocking the section, the regulations that apply and the latitude/longitude number.
Approximately 3.2 million adult trout will be stocked in more than 700 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling.
The searchable schedule is available online by clicking
Senate Box 203036