Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Relief for Seniors: Expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
  • Another Busy Week in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties
  • Pennsylvania to Receive More Than $1 Billion to Close Digital Divide
  • Purple Star School Program Supports Military-Connected Children
  • Celebrate National Ice Cream Day on PA’s Ice Cream Trail

Relief for Seniors: Expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

In an effort to provide more financial relief for fixed-income seniors, the Senate passed legislation to increase the income eligibility and amount of rebates for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

While many of us would prefer eliminating unfair school property taxes completely, this bipartisan bill is at least a reasonable step in the right direction to help those who need it most.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. House Bill 1100 will expand this program to help homeowners and renters with household income of up to $45,000. Previously, the income limit was $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate and would have already been signed into law by now if Governor Shapiro not blown up the bipartisan budget negotiations. I hope to see the stalemate resolved soon!

Another Busy Week in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties

I was invited to visit the C.H. Berry American Legion Post 173 in Tamaqua with Rep. Jamie Barton to present them with new American and Pennsylvanian flags. It was a beautiful summer morning to see them raising our flags high into the Tamaqua sky.

Thank you to everyone who joined Rep. Dane Watro and me for our telephone town hall on Tuesday. We had almost 1,000 people join us on the call. More of these soon!

Happy 100th birthday to Florence Pietruch! Florence has lived in Summit Hill her entire life. She’s the proud mother of four children and is known for her sense of humor, positive attitude, and widespread knowledge. She enjoys singing, completing crosswords, and sending handwritten cards.

Seth Huber from my local office and I toured Camp Wood Haven near Pine Grove with Rep. JoAnne Stehr. Thank you to the Girl Scouts who guided us around the camp!

Congrats to the Hazleton Area Cougar Softball Team on winning the 2023 District II/IV 6A Subregional championship! The team joined Rep. Watro and me in our Hazleton office for a presentation of official Senate and House citations in recognition of their stellar season.

Luzerne County Community College cut the ribbon for their new Hazleton Center, the Pasco L. Schiavo Student Learning Commons, yesterday. Thanks to a grant from the Pasco L. Schiavo Memorial Fund, students from the Hazleton area have a new place to study and train for their career close to home.

Learn more about everything offered at LCCC here.

Pennsylvania to Receive More Than $1 Billion to Close Digital Divide

Pennsylvania is set to receive $1.16 billion in federal funding to increase access to high-speed internet connectivity for individuals, businesses, schools and hospitals.

Thanks to everyone who submitted information to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s map that indicates areas with and without high-speed internet connectivity, Pennsylvania had the third highest number of successful challenges in the country.

While funding was predicated on the map released by the FCC, residents may still view and challenge the map should the information be incorrect. Residents can view the statewide broadband map and learn more about challenging any location in Pennsylvania here.

Purple Star School Program Supports Military-Connected Children 

Thanks to legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) launched the Purple Star School Program.

The program encourages schools to support the children of service members on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserves as they transition to a new school due to a parent’s change in duty station. Public and non-public schools can receive the Purple Star Award from PDE if they demonstrate their commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.

Pennsylvania now joins 37 other states that offer this designation. Schools can learn more and apply for the Purple Star School designation here.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day on PA’s Ice Cream Trail

Sunday, July 16, is National Ice Cream Day – a wonderful time to enjoy Pennsylvania’s Ice Cream Trail at a great creamery.

With locations across the state, you’re sure to find an ice cream destination in your area. They’re often family-owned and support the local community by using locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.

From cones to milkshakes to sundaes to soft serve, there are so many delicious ice cream confections to try. Check out the interactive map of more than 40 locations here, and learn about the creameries and what they offer here.


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