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Legislative roundup

Hogan introduced legislation that would create a tax credit for firefighters and EMS personnel; a Fitzpatrick bill would give refineries access to renewable fuel credits

State Rep. Joe Hogan. Submitted Photo

Tax credits for firefighters, EMS workers

State Rep. Joe Hogan introduced legislation that would create a tax credit for firefighters and EMS personnel, to help recruit and retain their services in Pennsylvania.

“The pandemic, with its resulting shutdowns and civil unrest, has had a disastrous impact on recruitment, as communities that rely on volunteers to fill these needs have experienced an unprecedented drop in recruitment,” Hogan said. “We should do anything we can to promote more recruitment into these professions, so our communities are able to keep their citizens safe.”

House Bill 1557 will give a $2,500 tax credit per year over three years to fire and EMS personnel who currently serve in Pennsylvania and those who move to our state to take up these positions.

“I am now proposing we provide the same tax relief to firefighters and emergency medical service personnel that we recently gave to teachers, police officers and nurses,” Hogan said, “Both provide lifesaving services and are critical to the standard of living that each Pennsylvanian should expect. Firefighters and EMS personnel are some of the most crucial workers in the commonwealth, and we should do whatever we can to keep them in the state.”

House Bill 1557 now heads to the House Finance Committee for deliberation. ••

Renewable fuel credits for refineries

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Donald Norcross, Brendan Boyle and Mary Gay Scanlon introduced the Safeguarding Domestic Energy Production and Independence Act of 2023. The bill would give refineries access to renewable fuel credits. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Chris Coons have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“In the midst of market uncertainty and fluctuating fuel costs, Congress has a responsibility to provide American workers and refineries with greater predictability,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our bipartisan bill ensures stability by requiring the issuance of renewable fuel credits at a lower and fixed price, as well as invests in innovations in biofuels and environmental conservation. I am grateful to this coalition of my House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their partnership on the Safeguarding Domestic Energy Production and Independence Act of 2023.”

The Safeguarding Domestic Energy Production and Independence Act is intended to reduce the cost of the Renewable Fuel Standard without adversely impacting ethanol consumption. Specifically, the bill would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to issue and sell “conventional biofuel waiver credits” at a low, fixed price for refiners to use for RFS compliance if they are unable to obtain Renewable Identification Numbers cost effectively in the marketplace. The program would operate similarly to EPA’s waiver credit program for cellulosic biofuel. ••

View new estate listings

The Bucks County Register of Wills has made a new report available to the public.

Every month, the previous month’s new cases will be published under “New Case Report.”

Searchers interested in listings of new estates will now be able to easily find that information.

Previous months will be cataloged for future reference. To view this new feature, visit  buckscounty.gov/registerofwills.

For more information, email Rachel Landsberg at ralandsberg@buckscounty.org. ••

Keeping foreign influence out of elections

U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Jared Golden introduced the Keeping Foreign Money out of Ballot Measures Act to prohibit foreign nationals from making political contributions related to state ballot measures and initiatives.

“The outcomes of our elections must be decided exclusively by American citizens. As national director of the FBI’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement Program, I worked to protect American elections from foreign interference, and I remain committed to that fight in Congress,” Fitzpatrick said. “Foreign contributions in elections pose a threat to our democratic process, and I am grateful to Chairman Steil and Congressman Golden for their partnership on this bipartisan legislation that will ensure that American voices are heard, not drowned out, at the ballot box.”

The Keeping Foreign Money out of Ballot Measures Act would designate donations by foreign nationals, directly or indirectly to state or local ballot initiatives or referendums, as illegal under the Federal Election Campaign Act. The bill follows previous legislation introduced by Fitzpatrick and Golden to prevent foreign money from interfering in American elections. ••

Presentations on estate planning

Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court Linda Bobrin will be giving presentations at senior centers across Bucks County, addressing the importance of estate planning.

Half-hour-long presentations will be held on the following dates: July 19 at 11 a.m., at Morrisville Senior Center; July 26 at 10:30 a.m., at Bristol Borough Area Active Adult Center; Aug. 1 at 1 p.m., at Eastern Upper Bucks Senior Center; Sept. 11 at 11 a.m., at Upper Bucks Senior Center; Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., at Bensalem Senior Citizens Association; and Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m., at Northampton Township James E. Kinney Center.

For more information, email Rachel Landsberg at ralandsberg@buckscounty.org. ••

A review of women and lung cancer

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st dist.) and Brendan Boyle (D-2nd dist.), co-chairmen of the Congressional Cancer Caucus, introduced the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventative Services Act of 2023.

A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Marco Rubio, Dianne Feinstein, Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin.

The legislation would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to conduct an interagency review to evaluate research on women and lung cancer, how women are given access to lung cancer preventive services and conduct public awareness campaigns on lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, and it is more likely to affect women than men who have never smoked.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our bipartisan Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventative Services Act will empower the medical community to commission more research into both prevention and treatment of lung cancer in women, including for non-smokers, and I am proud to join my colleagues in this effort.” ••

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. ••

Lower South supervisor meeting schedule

The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 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 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 July 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 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 July 19

The Bucks County Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, July 19, 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 Aug. 2, Aug. 16, Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. ••

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