In this Update:
Regan on PCN: Death Penalty for Murdering a Police Officer
On Monday evening, I had the opportunity to appear on PCN’s Call-In Program to discuss my legislative proposal regarding the death penalty for individuals convicted of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
Also on the show was Rep. Chris Rabb from Philadelphia, who continuously took the side of criminals, advocating for their comfort and protection of rights. This is exactly what I have been calling out since circulating a co-sponsorship memo and writing an op-ed on the death penalty issue – being sympathetic towards the criminal, rather than recognizing them as a murderer. They chose to commit a crime, yet we are supposed to pay thousands of dollars a year to house them, feed them, and provide them with medical care and access to reading and other educational resources. They chose to sentence a person to death in an instant, but according to opponents of the death penalty, such criminals deserve sympathy and coddling.
The more I work on this issue, the more passionate I get about not only ensuring the death penalty for those who murder a police officer but that the Governor is not able to single-handedly ignore a court’s decision by issuing a reprieve and that the appeals process does not allow such a criminal to sit in jail for the rest of their life while clogging up the court system.
Vickie’s Angel Foundation Invites Regan to Observe Giving in Action
This week I was provided an honor by a very special organization in my Senate district, Vickie’s Angel Foundation in New Cumberland. Each week they make phone calls to individuals going through cancer treatment to inform them of everyday living expenses the organization will be paying on their behalf. On Tuesday, I was able to witness the making of several of these calls to absolutely grateful members of our community, and the experience was very moving.
Mickey Minnich established the Foundation in memory of his wife Vickie, who passed away after a five-month battle with cancer in 2003. Their goal is to eliminate financial worries for families fighting cancer by providing temporary assistance so that they can focus on beating the disease.
I am continuously impressed by Mickey’s personal dedication and that of his entirely volunteer-based organization, including individuals who themselves have been helped by Vickie’s Angel Foundation.
Click the above image to watch a recent Fox 43 story highlighting the great work of Mickey and his Guardian Angels.
Senate Begins Review of Proposed State Budget
This week the Senate Appropriations Committee held the first of three weeks of public hearings about the proposed 2023-24 state budget.
Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a $45.8 billion budget that would increase spending by $1.3 billion. Based on projections, it would nearly wipe out the state’s $5 billion Rainy Day Fund in five years.
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity urged lawmakers to make greater investments in Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund and reduce the structural deficit to improve the state’s credit rating. She testified that the commonwealth has a choice: spend modestly now or face a possible fiscal cliff as federal funds dry up and the Rainy Day Fund is depleted.
Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel confirmed that Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new energy taxes. Higher electricity costs could be on the horizon if Shapiro advances a carbon tax.
Next Week’s Budget Hearings:
On Monday, as Chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee I will join the Appropriations Committee for the Pennsylvania State Police budget hearing at 1pm.
Find the hearing schedule and livestreams, as well as daily recaps and videos from prior hearings at PASenateGOP.com.
Check the Status of Your Tax Refund
To check the status of a Pennsylvania Income Tax refund, you can do so by calling 1-888-PATAXES or clicking here. There is also an opportunity to verify your tax refund to expedite processing.
Improving Access to Unemployment Compensation System
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry extended indefinitely a program that enhances Pennsylvanians’ access to the Unemployment Compensation (UC) system by offering in-person appointments to claimants.
The program, now called UC Connect, offers in-person services for UC claimants who do not have proper technology, equipment or technical skills; individuals without access to home Internet or broadband; and individuals with limited-English proficiency.
To schedule an appointment, claimants should contact a PA CareerLink® center directly.
Share Your Feedback on PennDOT’s Winter Services
PennDOT is accepting winter services feedback through an online survey. The public can take the survey here through April 6.
The 17-question survey asks how often respondents travel during poor weather, how they rate PennDOT’s winter service and how they rank snow-removal priorities. Respondents are also asked how they receive PennDOT roadway information and whether they use the state’s 511PA traveler information services.
During the winter, https://511pa.com offers its standard traffic and incident information while adding PennDOT plow-truck locations, winter roadway conditions and other services.
Veterans: Protect Your Pension
Veterans and their beneficiaries who are potentially eligible for VA pension benefits must beware of pension poaching. While pension poaching can impact any veteran, poachers primarily target older veterans. Pension poaching comes in several forms, from selling financial products of questionable value to charging a fee to restructure assets to make the veteran or beneficiary meet income eligibility criteria. Read about other pension poaching methods here.
Avoid becoming a victim of pension poaching by never paying:
If you suspect or experience a scam or financial exploitation related to any veteran benefit, including a VA pension, file a report immediately with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Affairs section by calling 717-783-1944, emailing PAvets@attorneygeneral.gov or filling out this online form.
Saturday is Mentored Youth Fishing Day
This Saturday is the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Mentored Youth Fishing Day, a chance to introduce those 15 & under to the joys of fishing and the great outdoors. Click here for more details.
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