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Benninghoff Comments on Hearings to Address Opioid Crisis in Commonwealth

Aug. 02, 2016  Download

Tackling Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis was the topic of a bipartisan hearing held Monday by state lawmakers in Venango County. The event was the beginning of an eight stop tour across the Commonwealth by members of both the House and Senate to gather testimony from experts about the growing drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At the conclusion of the tour, the House Policy Committee will make legislative and policy recommendations for the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes this fall for a special session on the opioid crisis. House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) said lawmakers must do all they can to give communities the tools they need to address the many facets of opioid addiction.

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Rep. Benninghoff Comments on the Latest House Effort to Finalize the State Budget

Mar. 16, 2016  Download

Lawmakers took action Wednesday in the state capitol to provide essential funding for the remainder of the 2015/2016 state budget. The current year’s fiscal plan remains unresolved due to the Governor’s line-item vetoes of more than $6 billion for basic and higher education, as well as money for the Department of Corrections and agriculture programs. The House and Senate put forth the supplemental budget legislation to address funding holes created by the Governor’s vetoes and restore state funding for these programs. The funding bill approved today provides for a 200 million dollar increase for basic education, a 5 percent increase for higher education, and ensures that no schools will close in the Commonwealth. House Majority Policy Comm. Chair Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) said it is past time to complete the budget and provide much needed funding for schools and other critical state programs.

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Benninghoff Opposes Gov. Wolf’s Tax Increase Proposals

Mar. 10, 2016  Download

House Republican lawmakers from northern Pennsylvania are speaking out in opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s demand for massive tax increases, including an increase to the Personal Income Tax as part of his annual budget proposal. That 11 percent tax increase would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016 and amount to an annual tax hike of $2.7 billion. Speaking at a small business in Clearfield County on Thursday, legislators said Wolf’s proposal for extensive tax hikes is being opposed by a large majority of Pennsylvanians – working families, senior citizens and small business owners. House Republicans also called on Wolf to release education funds to prevent the closure of public schools in the state. Wolf cut $3 billion in basic education funding as part of his partial veto of the House-passed budget. The lawmakers said the governor should work with the Legislature to develop solutions that keep the state operating without resorting to broad-based tax increases.

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Rep. Benninghoff Joins Penn State Ag Council, 4-Hers in Calling on Gov to Restore Funding to Vital Ag Research & Extension Programs

Mar. 09, 2016  Download

House lawmakers joined dozens of Penn State Ag Council members and 4-H members Wednesday in the state capitol to call for the restoration of more than $50 million in funding for the university’s agriculture research and extension programs. A failure to restore the funding vetoed in December by Governor Wolf would force Penn State University to begin shutting down its agriculture operations and outreach by May 1st, putting at risk an estimated 1,100 jobs within Penn State Extension and research. In addition to the impact on jobs, eliminating the $50 million investment could cause an economic loss for the state of more than $260 million. And it would also mean an end to Penn State’s 4-H program, which helps to prepare future leaders in the state’s agriculture community. Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) attended the event and commented on the effort to restore this crucial funding.

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Chairman Benningfoff Comments on Launch of PennSAVE Initiative to Find Savings in Government

Feb. 22, 2016  Download

The House Majority Policy Committee today launched PennSAVE, a Republican-led effort to find ways to save taxpayer dollars by cutting government waste and inefficiencies. The PennSAVE acronym stands for: savings, accountability, value and efficiency. The special task force will be run by a subcommittee of the House Majority Policy Committee and will research several potential cost-saving measures across state government, including state agency and program consolidations; unaddressed audit findings; reform of government procurement policies and “corporate welfare” programs, as well as overall waste, fraud and abuse in the system. Comments are now available from House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) on this new cost saving initiative.

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Rep. Benninghoff Comments on Governor’s Budget Address

Feb. 09, 2016  Download

House lawmakers offered their reactions to Gov. Tom Wolf’s spending proposal for fiscal year 2016-17, which he announced today in an address before a joint session of the General Assembly. The governor’s budget plan would increase taxes on working Pennsylvanians and employers by $3.6 billion and spending by 10 percent, or $3 billion, and calls for $33.3 billion in total spending. To support his proposed spending plan the governor has proposed 15 new tax increases, including a retroactive increase in the Personal Income Tax on Pennsylvania workers.