Tackling employee misclassification
A bill introduced by Rep. John Galloway to amend independent contractor standards in the construction industry passed with bipartisan support in the House.
The bill, H.B. 413, heads to the Senate for further consideration. It would make changes to the three-pronged system that dictates whether a construction worker can be classified as an independent contractor. A worker can be classified as such if the individual has a written contract to perform such services; the individual is free from control or direction over performance of such services both under the contract of service and in fact; and as to such services, the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.
Galloway has long sought to tackle employee misclassification, creating a joint task force in 2020 to investigate the issue. Through its investigation, the task force found that, annually, there are more than 389,000 Pennsylvania employees who are misclassified as independent contractors.
The issue is especially rampant in the construction industry, where employees who are mistakenly classified as independent contractors lose important benefits like health insurance.
“This is a problem that has plagued Pennsylvania for a long time,” Galloway said. “I’m happy this bill has passed the House and we can finally make steps toward protecting the status of construction workers statewide.” ••
Ending congressional financial investments
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, alongside Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Matt Gaetz and Raja Krishnamoorthi, introduced the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act to prohibit financial investments by members of Congress, their spouses and any dependents.
“The fact that members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Fitzpatrick said. “We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information. This is basic common sense and basic Integrity 101. And we all view this as a critical first step to return the House of Representatives back to the people. I thank Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Gaetz and Krishnamoorthi for joining me in this effort.” ••
Making genealogy research easier
The Bucks County Recorder of Deeds office partnered with the Bucks County Genealogical Society to apply for a grant benefitting the Historic Deed Book Preservation Project. The grant is through the Bucks County Foundation, which is a philanthropic organization that serves the people and places of Bucks County. This grant, in the amount of $5,000, was awarded in April.
One of the ways to trace family history is through deed books. Having the deed books preserved can make genealogy research a bit easier.
Bucks County Foundation Executive Director Mandy Mundy said, “Bucks County Foundation is proud to serve as a grant partner for this important and timely historical project as this cause holds both historical and educational value.”
To learn more about the Bucks County Foundation, visit buckscountyfoundation.org/.
To see the activities of the Bucks County Genealogical Society, visit bucksgen.org/.
To see more about the Historic Deed Book Preservation Project from the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds office, call 215-348-6209 or visit buckscounty.gov/414/Recorder-of-Deeds. ••
Putting an end to horse soring
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, along with Reps. Steve Cohen, Vern Buchanan and Jan Schakowsky, introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to ban the harmful practice of “soring” horses.
Soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. The practice is used in the walking horse show industry.
The legislation is endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund and Priscilla Presley.
“Horse soring is a vile and inhumane practice that must be prohibited,” Fitzpatrick said. “As co-chair of the Animal Protection Caucus, I am proud to introduce the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to protect horses and I hope our colleagues will join us in passing this important, bipartisan legislation.” ••
Farry office hours in Bensalem
State Sen. Frank Farry (R-6th dist.) is offering satellite office hours the first Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.
Farry’s staff will be on site to assist with state government services; Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, birth and death certificate applications, SEPTA Senior Key card registrations and renewals; and unemployment issues. ••
Trash rebates available
The Sanitation/Trash Rebates for the 2022 tax year will be given to qualifying Lower Southampton Township residents through May 31. The rebate is $50 per household. To qualify for this rebate, a resident must meet the following criteria:
• Must be a Lower Southampton Township resident.
• Must be age 65 or older.
• A veteran who is 50 percent disabled or greater with a letter stating the percent of disability.
• Must be the homeowner for the entire year of 2022. No rebates will be given if not the owner from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
There is only one rebate per household. Rebates will be given for primary residence only (must match with the address on your driver’s license).
You must present an ID showing you are 65 years or older. Must be 65 by Dec. 31, 2022.
To receive your rebate, stop by the Township Administration Building, 1500 Desire Ave. in Feasterville, or call Denise at 215-357-7300, Ext. 312. ••
Lower South supervisor meeting schedule
The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m., at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville.
Future meetings, all at the same times and location, are scheduled for June 14 and 28, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and 20 and Dec. 13 and 20. ••
Bensalem Council meeting schedule
Bensalem Township Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.
Meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Xfinity Channel 22 in Bensalem and on Verizon Fios Channel 34 throughout Bucks County. They can also be streamed live on the Bensalem Township YouTube channel.
The schedule is May 22, June 12 and 26, July 10 and 24, Aug. 14 and 28, Sept. 11, Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and 27 and Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and 11. ••
Bensalem school board meeting schedule
The Bensalem Township Board of School Directors holds meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center, 3000 Donallen Drive, Bensalem.
Upcoming meetings will take place on May 23, June 27, Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 (third Tuesday).
The public is invited to attend.
Due to summer vacation, the board will not meet during July.
The School Board annual reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. ••
Commissioners meeting May 17
The Bucks County Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, May 17, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.
The meeting will be broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.
Future meetings will be on June 7, June 21, July 5, July 19, Aug. 2, Aug. 16, Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. ••