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Here you will find audio clips about important events that have taken place during the current and past Legislative Sessions.
Topper Comments on Governor's Budget Address
Governor Tom Wolf delivered his annual budget address before a joint session of Pennsylvania’s House and Senate on Tuesday in Harrisburg. The Governor proposed a $32.3 billion spending plan with no new major taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. House Republicans were encouraged by the Governor’s decision to work with lawmakers to explore several cost-saving measures in order to balance the budget.
Rep. Topper Comments on Legislation to Expand Access to Telemedicine
Legislation designed to increase access to quality healthcare providers by employing telemedicine was the topic of a press conference held recently in Harrisburg. House Bill 1619 would allow Pennsylvania to join the Federation of State Medical Boards, allowing licensed physicians in one state to treat patients in other states via telemedicine. Rep. Jesse Topper (R- Bedford, Fulton & Franklin), prime sponsor of the bill, said people in rural and underserved areas should be able to get the best care available.
Rep. Topper Reacts to Governor’s Budget Announcement
At a press conference held at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he intends to allow a budget approved by the General Assembly last week to become law without his signature. The move signals the end of a nine-month fiscal impasse in Pennsylvania. The 30 billion dollar spending plan allows money to flow to schools, corrections, and agriculture programs that had been held hostage during negotiations.
Rep. Topper Comments on Defeat of the Governor’s Tax Increase Plan
The Pennsylvania House voted to defeat the Governor’s tax increase proposal Wednesday in Harrisburg. The latest version of the tax legislation would have increased the personal income taxes by 16 percent, from 3.07 percent to 3.57 percent, and would have levied one of the highest tax rates on the production of natural gas in the nation. House Republicans overwhelmingly voted against the Governor’s tax plan and called for action on a state budget that will balance without increasing the burden on hard-working Pennsylvanians. Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Franklin, Fulton) offered the following comments following the vote on the bill.
Rep. Topper Comments on House Vote to Move Emergency Funding Bill to Governor’s Desk
In order to help struggling social services and school districts desperate for their subsidies during the current budget impasse, the Pennsylvania House sent an emergency funding package to the governor’s desk on Thursday. The bill includes approximately $11 Billion which represents funding for 1/3rd of the fiscal year – from July through October. The decision on whether or not to release funding for education and critical services now lies solely with Gov. Wolf, who has vowed to reject the funding in his quest for increased taxation on every Pennsylvanian. Comments are now available from Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Franklin, Fulton).
Rep. Topper Comments on Veto Override Efforts to Ensure Funding for Service Programs
In an effort to restore funding to vital human service and education programs, the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday attempted a line by line override of the Governor’s blanket veto of the state budget. Funding for these human services providers and contractors has been suspended due to the budget veto. Lawmakers said they are working line by line to ensure these crucial programs, that would be funded at the same level the Governor initially proposed, could continue to provide services to those in need until a budget deal can be reached.
Topper Comments on House Passage of On-Time State Budget with No Tax Increases
The House voted today, 112-77, in favor a $30.18 billion state budget that provides funding for the core functions of government without increasing the tax burden for Pennsylvania citizens. The budget legislation includes more than $200 million in increases for early childhood education, basic education and higher education; as well as additional funding for people with intellectual disabilities. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration and is expected to go to the governor’s desk in the next several days. Comments are now available from Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Franklin & Fulton) on passage of the bill.
Rep. Topper Comments on Package of Debt Reduction Bills
Legislation aimed at getting borrowing by state government under control was introduced recently by a group of House Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg. The four bill package is designed to increase debt transparency and control the growth of the debt burden incurred for funding capital projects, as well as putting lower debt ceilings in place for borrowing that funds the economic development program known as RACP. Rep. Jesse Topper (R- Bedford, Fulton & Huntingdon), a member of the Debt Working Group, said lawmakers are looking to keep the state’s growing debt burden under control in order to help protect taxpayers, who would be responsible for paying the bill.
Topper Bill Calls for Prevailing Wage Reforms to Help PA Schools
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A group of House Republican lawmakers called for reform of the state’s Prevailing Wage Act this week, by exempting Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts from the legal requirement to pay inflated wage rates on school construction projects. Present law requires that all government entities pay a prevailing minimum wage rate for labor, as determined by the secretary of Labor and Industry, when a construction project exceeds $25,000 in cost. Sponsor of House Bill 707, Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Fulton & Franklin) said the prevailing wage mandate can cost districts an additional 17 percent in labor costs, and in a time of tight school budgets this money is better spent on instructional costs for students.
Rep. Topper Outlines Legislative Priorities for Coming Session
Recently re-elected members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly gathered on Tuesday in the state capitol to take the oath of office and to begin reorganizing the state’s legislative branch. Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Franklin, Fulton) said balancing the budget and addressing the state’s pension issue are among his top priorities.