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Legislative Roundup

PA attorney general candidate Khan announces several endorsements; Hogan working to protect seniors from financial exploitation

Joe Khan

3 groups back Khan

Pennsylvania attorney general candidate Joe Khan announced endorsements from Clean Air Action, the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance and Second Generation PAC, the political organization that promotes candidates from immigrant communities.

“The coalition built by Barack Obama (who taught Joe in law school) is unraveling before our eyes,” said Majid Alsayegh, chair of Second Generation. “As a first-generation American whose family includes Muslim, Jewish and Christian relatives, Joe is unique in his ability to understand the needs of communities who feel the Democratic Party doesn’t value them and can provide healing and inspiration at a time when we need it most.”

“Our Asian American communities across the state want leaders who will work with us to build a Pennsylvania that is safe, welcoming and fair,” API PA said in a statement. “And we trust Joe Khan to be that leader.”

Khan, the son of a Pakistani-Indian immigrant, would be the first Asian American elected statewide in Pennsylvania history.

The endorsements follow Khan’s national support from IMPACT, a South Asian advocacy and political action committee.

Clean Air Action said in a statement, “We are so proud to support Joe’s campaign because we need a champion who will stand up to corporate greed and political corruption. He is the only candidate who will fight for Pennsylvanians’ civil rights — including their environmental rights — and win.”

As Bucks County solicitor, Khan enforced Pennsylvania’s environmental rights amendment, taking legal action to prevent fracking in the Delaware River Basin and launching a lawsuit against manufacturing giants 3M, DuPont and Tyco, claiming they polluted Bucks County’s water and soil with PFAS chemicals.

“Pennsylvania should be a global leader in protecting our Earth,” Khan said. “I’m running for this office for the sake of my kids, and this is the issue that I most need to address for their future. I believe that my 24-year legal career has uniquely prepared me to take on this role.”

Khan has also been endorsed by Philadelphia’s 5th Ward.

Khan and his two sons, Sam and Nathan, live in the Central Bucks School District. For 10 years, he served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He began his career in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and ran for DA in 2017. He is a partner at Curtin and Heefner in Bucks County.

Khan is one of five Democrats running for attorney general. The others are state Rep. Jared Solomon, 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. ••

Protecting seniors from scams

Rep. Joe Hogan recently introduced House Bill 2064, which would protect seniors from financial exploitation by equipping financial institutions with the necessary tools for identifying, reporting and preventing the financial exploitation of older adults and care-dependent individuals.

“Since taking office, I have heard too many stories of seniors being scammed out of their hard-earned dollars,” Hogan said. “My team and I have worked tirelessly to identify new protection programs and held several events to raise awareness and educate my neighbors about these scams. Now we are looking at legislative solutions. For the last few months, I have worked on this legislation with key stakeholders, and together we are taking a stand against those who prey on our senior population. These increased protections will ensure our seniors, or their caregivers, can live with a sense of security knowing their finances are being protected in Pennsylvania.”

The legislation would authorize, without imposing an obligation, the reporting and disclosure of essential records to state investigators. Additionally, financial institutions and fiduciaries would be able to temporarily delay transactions linked to suspected financial exploitation and engage in judicial proceedings to protect older adults.

It would also authorize the sharing of information and records among financial institutions, fiduciaries and Area Agencies on Aging. Like other voluntary reporters to protective services, financial institutions and fiduciaries would be immune from civil or criminal liability when exercising their discretion to report, share records, provide information to Area Agencies on Aging and temporarily delay financial transactions.

The bill has been cosponsored by Bucks County Reps. K.C. Tomlinson, Kristin Marcell, Shelby Labs, Craig Staats and others from across Pennsylvania. ••

Fitzpatrick comments on Ukraine, Israel trips

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st dist.), chairman of the National Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, released the following statement after traveling to Ukraine and Israel amid two raging wars.

“In my travel to Ukraine, I met with my friend, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In our discussion, I promised I would do whatever necessary to pass our bipartisan bill providing urgently needed military aid to Ukraine and protecting democracy in the region. As part of my briefings, I also received status updates on the war from Ukrainian military and intelligence officials. The briefings highlighted the need for additional military aid on the frontlines to protect Ukrainian borders against ruthless dictator Vladimir Putin. Additional meetings included a discussion with U.S. Ambassador Brink on the role of the U.S. in the region, visiting brave Ukrainian soldiers and veterans, and participating in a public lecture about U.S. Support for Ukraine.

“I then visited Israel where I received briefings on operations in Gaza, including meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the role of the U.S. in this war. While in Israel, I also attended security briefings as part of my role on the Intelligence Committee. These meetings with Israeli defense and intelligence officials provided insights into addressing national security and intelligence-related matters in the region. Hamas wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Congress has a moral obligation to continue to provide defensive aid to our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East.

“The United States must never waver from supporting freedom and democracy throughout the world, period.” ••

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 March 13. ••

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 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 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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