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Legislative Roundup

Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran endorses Republican Dave McCormick for U.S. Senate; local fire companies receive grants

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Harran endorses McCormick

Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran was among 47 Pennsylvania sheriffs who endorsed Republican Dave McCormick for U.S. Senate.

“What an honor to have the support of such a great group of public servants … What you do in law enforcement is so key to a vibrant economy, keeping our communities safe, [and] creating the kind of Pennsylvania that we all want for our children,” McCormick said. “Let’s face it: Your leaders in Washington haven’t always made it easy, and my opponent Sen. Bob Casey … he’s made your job a lot tougher. He’s been supportive of those liberal prosecutors … He has time and again failed to stand up for tough border policies … He’s been associated with a number of groups that have argued for defunding the police.

“If I am your U.S. senator, I’ll do everything I can to stand with you. Stand with the critical mission you have, the need for resources, strong border policies and a culture that respects and appreciates those in uniform,” McCormick said. ••

SEPTA workers back Solomon

Transport Workers Union Local 234, which represents 5,000 Philadelphia-area transit workers, including most of SEPTA’s drivers and other blue-collar employees, endorsed state Rep. Jared Solomon, a Democratic attorney general candidate.

“President Pollitt and I are proud to endorse Jared Solomon for attorney general,” said Joe Coccio, secretary-treasurer of TWU Local 234. “We know Jared’s values. He will always support organized labor and fight for working-class Pennsylvanians as hard as he has in Northeast Philadelphia as a champion for bringing new jobs and opportunities through the Roosevelt Boulevard rapid transit project.”

“Having the support of the operators, mechanics and blue collar workers of SEPTA’s largest union means so much to me,” Solomon said. “We are at a generational moment with the Roosevelt Boulevard rapid transit project and we have an incredible opportunity to build the next generation of workers that will ensure Northeast Philadelphia is connected to the rest of the city. Other major cities are doing large-scale infrastructure projects and Philadelphia can, too.”

Solomon has also been endorsed by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Philadelphia Firefighters’ and Paramedics’ Union IAFF Local 22, Pittsburgh Fire Fighters IAFF Local No. 1 and the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association.

Others backing his campaign include VoteVets as well as 20 members of the state legislature, including Sen. Tina Tartaglione and House Majority Leader Matt Bradford.

Solomon was elected in 2016, beating 42-year incumbent Mark Cohen – whom he labeled the “per diem king” — in the Democratic primary.

Solomon is one of five Democrats running for attorney general. The others are former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and former Defender Association of Philadelphia chief Keir Bradford-Grey.

Candidates running in the Republican primary are state Rep. Craig Williams and York County District Attorney Dave Sunday. ••

Grants for fire and EMS companies

State Rep. Kathleen “K.C.” Tomlinson announced the following fire and EMS companies that serve the 18th Legislative District are set to receive grants from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

“Congratulations to all our area fire and EMS companies that were awarded these grants from the OFSC,” Tomlinson said. “Some of Bensalem and Hulmeville’s best and brightest serve with these companies, and these grants will allow them to continue to serve our communities and save lives to the best of their abilities.”

The companies that received grants are: Bensalem Fire Rescue – $15,201.29; Bensalem Rescue Squad Inc. – $10,000; Cornwells Fire Company No. 1 – $15,000; Eddington Fire Company – $16,757.46; Newport Fire Company No. 1 – $16,951.99; Nottingham Fire Company – $16,951.99; Trevose Fire Company – $16,951.99; Union Fire Company of Cornwells Heights – $16,173.90; and William Penn Fire Company – $16,951.99.

All companies that apply and meet requirements outlined by OSFC receive funding. Companies must file a grant agreement with OFSC to receive their grants.

Projects that were eligible for funding through these grants include the construction or renovation of a company facility, the purchase or repair of equipment, the training of current or new staff and the reduction of any existing debt. ••

State funds for fire, EMS companies

Rep. Joe Hogan announced that fire and EMS companies serving the 142nd Legislative District received grants from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC).

Projects eligible for funding include construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training or reduction of existing debt.

The companies that received grants are Feasterville Fire Company – $16,951.99; Lower Southampton Fire Company – $16,951.99; Parkland Fire Company – $14,359; Penndel-Middletown Emergency Squad – $14,280; Middletown Fire and Emergency Services Department – $13,839.63; Penndel Volunteer Fire Company – $14,359; Northampton Township Volunteer Fire Company – $16,173.90; William Penn Fire Company – $16,951.99.

“I’m glad to see that the money our taxpayers send to Harrisburg is coming back to our community,” Hogan said. “These organizations, many of which are entirely volunteer, need and deserve our support. These grants will help them do what they do best — protecting their neighbors and saving lives.” ••

Pre-apprenticeships for building trades

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Donald Norcross, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Building Trades Caucus, introduced the Pre-Apprenticeships To Hardhats Act to create, fund and sustain pre-apprenticeship programs for all building and construction trades.

The PATH Act will support quality pre-apprenticeship programs and build a workforce ready to fill construction jobs by providing grants to employers, unions, state and local workforce development boards, community-based organizations, postsecondary educational institutions, school districts, state education agencies, high schools, small businesses and veterans’ service organizations.

“A highly trained, skilled trade workforce is essential to job creation and economic growth,” Fitzpatrick said. “As co-chair of the Congressional Building Trades Caucus, I am proud to join this bipartisan effort to further invest in apprenticeship programs, particularly in underserved communities nationwide.”

The PATH Act is endorsed by North America’s Building Trades Unions. ••

Child tax credit expansion

House Speaker Joanna McClinton traveled to Growing Little Footprints Daycare Center in Bristol Township to laud the expansion of Pennsylvania’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, an initiative championed by state Rep. Tina Davis.

McClinton and Davis were joined by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero; state Reps. Brian Munroe and Tim Brennan; Valerie Hamilton, owner and director, Children of God Educational Services; and Dan O’Brien, Policy Manager, Education and Family Stability, Children First.

Beginning this year, families and caregivers will be able to claim the equivalent of the entire federal credit, giving families the opportunity to claim up to $1,050 for one child, or $2,100 for two or more children. At least 80 percent of households in Bucks County who pay expenses for childcare or dependent care are eligible for the credit.

Davis initially introduced the credit as H.B. 1259, which passed the House last June. While legislation awaited consideration in the Senate, Davis helped to amend the language of the bill into the state’s Fiscal Code bill, which passed in December.

“One of the biggest challenges working parents face is finding affordable childcare they can depend on while they’re at work – especially when the average cost can be over $1,000 per month,” Davis said. “The passage of the expanded childcare tax credit in Pennsylvania is a win for the working families of Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania.”

Those who qualify for the federal credit qualify for the state credit. The amount claimed will be determined by household income and expenses. Households with a combined income of under $43,000 are eligible for the full credit of $1,050 for one eligible dependent and $2,100 for two or more. For households making more than $43,000, the maximum credit is $600 for one eligible dependent and $1,200 for two or more. ••

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 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville. The next meeting is Feb. 28. ••

Commissioners meeting 

The Bucks County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.

The meetings are broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.

The next meeting will be March 6. ••

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 March 11, March 25, April 8, April 29, May 6, May 20, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct. 15 (Tuesday), Oct. 28, Nov. 12 (Tuesday), Nov. 25, Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and Dec. 16. ••

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.

The next meeting will take place on March 26.

The public is invited to attend.

Future meetings are on April 30 (fifth Tuesday), May 28, June 25, Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 26 and Dec. 17 (third Tuesday). ••

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