State Capitol Roundup
7/12/2013

Website Aids Pennsylvania Job Seekers

The latest edition of a free website that connects employers with potential employees in Pennsylvania is now available.  The JobGateway website allows potential employees to post their resumes and find job recommendations tailored to their specific skill sets, allowing employers to search through the resumes to easily find qualified candidates.  More than 300,000 job seekers visited the site in the past month, and more than 2.5 million job applications have been posted on the site since it went live last year.  The website sees an average of around 200,000 job openings at any given time and around 3,500 new jobs are posted each day.  Constituents can visit Rep. Kerry Benninghoff’s website at www.KerryBenninghoff.com to access a link to the JobGateway.

New Law Aims to Advance PA Job Creation 

The Tax and Fiscal codes for the 2013-14 fiscal year contain several measures aimed at enhancing job creation in the Commonwealth.  One of the measures eliminates the Pennsylvania inheritance tax on assets of family-owned business enterprises being transferred upon death to surviving family members.  Another provision offers relief from Pennsylvania’s corporate loans tax on in-state business loans, which impacts nearly 7,000 taxpayers, mostly limited liability corporations (LLCs) and others.  The Tax Code also authorizes a program developed to expand investment in Pennsylvania’s high-tech industries.  The InnovatePA program will auction insurance premium tax credits to insurance companies that pay the tax in Pennsylvania.  The upfront capital pledged by these companies will then be used to make investments in Pennsylvania-based, high-growth, technology-oriented businesses through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and Pennsylvania’s Life Science Greenhouses.  InnovatePA will provide at least $75 million in funding to promote the growth of these industries.

General Assembly Focuses on School Safety

In tandem with the adoption of the 2013-14 state budget, which contained more money for safe schools initiatives, the General Assembly recently approved an amendment expanding targeted grants for school safety that will give school districts priority funding if they hire retired law enforcement officers.  School districts and municipalities that apply for grants with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for school police and resource officers will receive priority funding if they use personnel who have completed specialized training dealing with interaction with children and adolescents in an educational setting.  The overall legislation uses the Office of Safe Schools within PDE to include programs that target school violence through emergency preparedness and all-hazard plans, drills and related activities with emergency responders.  In addition to approving this measure, the House Select Committee on School Safety and Security will hold its fourth and final hearing in Harrisburg next week to conclude its examination of best practices and recommendations to keep students, faculty, employees and others safe while balancing a quality environment for learning.  A final report is due Sept. 30.
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