|Transferring Liquor Licenses to Create Jobs
I am pleased to report my legislation to allow for the transfer of state restaurant liquor licenses from one county to another was passed by the House this week.
House Bill 1524 would permit the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to transfer up to 75 restaurant liquor licenses that it holds from counties with a surplus of them to counties where they are needed for economic development projects. The applicant would pay a $1 million fee plus $65,000 for each license.
This legislation would have significant economic impact in the 176th District, where a major entertainment destination project is underway, but not enough restaurant liquor licenses are currently available. Pocono Springs in Tobyhanna Township is expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent positions.
The success of the Pocono Springs project is dependent on the developer obtaining restaurant liquor licenses. Why should these licenses sit idle in other counties when they can be put to good use in areas like ours, where they can be great revenue producers for the entire region?
Under the bill, the licenses can only be used in the Pocono Springs development’s 90-acre designated area and no liquor can be taken off the premises. In addition, these licenses can never be transferred to any other part of the county. House Bill 1524 will next be considered by the Senate.
Lowering Health Insurance Costs
Pennsylvanians who buy their health insurance on the federal exchange could see lower prices under legislation adopted by the House this week.
House Bill 3 would establish a state-based health insurance exchange and reinsurance program, an option offered by the Trump administration and supported by the Wolf administration as a means for helping make health care more affordable for Commonwealth citizens.
The proposal is also expected to save taxpayer dollars, as the cost of the state running its own exchange is expected to be about half the cost of fees currently being paid to the federal government to run it for us.
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
In the District
We had a lot of fun last Saturday celebrating the Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company’s 50th anniversary, which included a parade!
It was my privilege to take part in last Saturday’s grand opening ceremony for the Military Museum Honoring Women Veterans in Mt. Pocono.
Congratulations to Angela and George Green on the grand opening of their new business in Brodheadsville! Our office had the pleasure of being there last Friday to help cut the ribbon for AGreen Studios.
Deadline Extended for State Rebate Program
Older adults and individuals with disabilities now have until Dec. 31, 2019, to apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The original deadline was June 30.
The rebate program benefits eligible residents age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650.
Eligibility information and forms are available on my website at RepRader.com or by contacting one of my district offices, where assistance in filling out the applications is available free of charge. There is no need to pay a private firm for help. Learn more about the rebate program here.
Beware of Financial Aid Scams Targeting Students
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is warning students and borrowers to be wary of financial aid scams that could expose them to identity theft and significant financial loss.
The most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to be alert and vigilant when asked to provide any form of personal information or when engaging in financial transactions.
Recent scams include:
• Student loan forgiveness scams in which complete forgiveness is guaranteed in exchange for a fee.
• Tuition scams in which someone claiming to work for your school’s administrative office calls to warn you that your tuition is late and you risk being dropped from class unless you pay immediately. Hang up and contact your school directly.
• Students and borrowers are also commonly targeted with unnecessary fees for services that can be easily accessed for free.