Senator Gebhard E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Gebhard, Mastriano Propose Fee Targeting Illegal Immigrants
  • Gebhard’s Law Ensuring Authorized Construction Workers Successful
  • You’re Invited: 2024 Tax Seminar
  • It’s Time To Apply For The Property Tax Rebate
  • Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review
  • Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • 2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
  • Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend
  • Local Events

Gebhard, Mastriano Propose Fee Targeting Illegal Immigrants

I joined Sen. Dough Mastriano (R-33) to propose legislation aiming to deter illegal immigration and generate new revenue for property tax and rent relief.

The bill would impose a 10% fee on international remittances conducted by illegal immigrants who send money oversees through a money transfer licensee or agent.  Revenue generated through the new fee would be used to supplement the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which provides rebates of up to $1,000 to eligible older adults and people with disabilities age 18 and older.

While we provide property tax relief, we can also discourage money transfers out of Pennsylvania that could go to support cartels that send dangerous drugs to our communities and perpetuate human trafficking – both disgusting ways to take advantage of other humans.

International remittances are money sent electronically out of the Pennsylvania economy and into the economies of international destinations. Illegal immigrants use remittances to send money to relatives and friends in their countries of origin. More than $70 billion is transferred annually from the United States to other nations.

The bill is based on a similar concept enacted in Oklahoma in 2014. That law includes a 1% remittance fee. The most recent tax report shows the fee generated more than $15 million for Oklahoma.

Gebhard’s Law Ensuring Authorized Construction Workers Successful

According to the latest E-Verify audits, Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services (DGS) imposed monetary fines on four construction companies that violated the state’s E-Verify law. Contactors found in violation include J&T Paving, KC Construction, Kobalt Construction and Don E. Bower.

E-Verify is a free, fast electronic system that verifies new hires are eligible to be employed in the United States. Construction is a great career path for Pennsylvanians, but having a weak E-Verify law threatened the quality of those jobs that are so critical to the commonwealth. I cosponsored Act 141 during the 2022-23 legislative session to address weaknesses in the law.

The practice of hiring unauthorized workers due to weak enforcement and minor consequences necessitated the change. In January 2023, Act 141 went into effect and strengthened Pennsylvania’s 10-year-old construction E-Verify law – the Public Works Employment Verification Act – by increasing penalties for contractors that do not abide by the E-Verify requirement.

Long gone are the days of construction contractors not taking the E-Verify law seriously. With higher penalties, contractors know that they have more to lose now than ever before if they break the law.

DGS monitors E-Verify enforcement. In one year, DGS has conducted nearly 90 audits through Act 141.

Access to audit information as well as an updated complaint form can be found on the DGS website

You’re Invited: 2024 Tax Seminar

Join us for an informative seminar on federal, state, and local taxes!

𝐖𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐄: The Lebanon Expo Center, 80 Rocherty Rd, Lebanon

𝐖𝐇𝐄𝐍: Wednesday, March 27, 1 pm – 4 pm

Please RSVP for the seminar by Friday, March 22, online at or by calling 717-274-6735.

It’s Time To Apply For The Property Tax Rebate

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is now open.  You can apply online or you can contact my office at 717-274-6735 to schedule an appointment for assistance.

Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review

The Senate Appropriations Committee continues its review of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, which totals more than $48.3 billion. His plan would increase state spending by more than $3.2 billion, or about 7.1% above the current year’s budget. Projections indicate it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing focused on what the administration is doing to ensure the commonwealth’s power grid can handle increased demand for electricity. Members also had questions about why the current year’s budget for DEP included funding for 15 new positions specifically to reduce permitting delays but serious waits – a year and a half and longer – still exist.

At the Department of Human Services budget hearing, the committee sought an explanation about the Shapiro administration’s plans to spend billions of new taxpayer dollars to expand Medicaid to cover services that do not pertain to physical or behavioral health. Examples include moving expenses and household items like pots and pans, furniture and air conditioning units for eligible recipients, including recently released prison inmates.

The Department of Transportation hearing covered ongoing concerns about the sustainability of the Motor License Fund and commonwealth transportation funding. Replacing funds lost to electric vehicle use remains a challenge as the phasing-out of State Police from the Motor License Fund continues. The committee received a status update for the replacement of the six interstate bridges that were included a replacement program opposed by Senate Republicans.

At the Department of State budget hearing, the committee asked about the department’s requested $5.2 million increase for “Voter Registration and Education” activities throughout the commonwealth. Committee members sought assurances that the outreach would occur in rural areas as well as urban and suburban.

Thursday’s hearings include the Department of Health and the Governor’s Budget Office/Department of Revenue. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse

State assistance is available for nonprofit organizations, government entities, community groups and parent groups that work to prevent the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse from harming Pennsylvanians.

Funding can be used to reduce the demand for, or provide an alternative to, drug and alcohol abuse and the violence and other consequences these substances can cause. It can also be used to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and associated problems through educational programming.

Apply for the grant of up to $2,000 through the Office of Attorney General Community Drug Abuse Prevention Grant Program.

2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available

The 2024 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 695 streams and 128 lakes open to public angling. An additional 1.2 million trout will be stocked by cooperative nurseries.

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 6. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 30.

Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 702,000 Brown Trout, 132,000 Brook Trout and 14,000 Golden Rainbow Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments

Despite the perception that local governments are too small to be the target of bad actors online, Pennsylvania’s thousands of municipalities are at risk of cyberattack. In fact, 69% of state and local governments reported being hit in 2023 by ransomware – malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

To combat these attacks that often come with costly consequences, local governments should conduct a cyber assessment and make sure municipal employees understand the importance of using strong passwords and spotting suspicious emails. The initiative grew out of a January hearing held by the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee focusing on cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Funding opportunities exist to support cybersecurity efforts through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which administers a program that distributes federal funding. Local governments can learn more at the new Senate Republican Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments webpage.

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. While cell phone and computer clocks usually change automatically, most people move their standard clocks and appliances ahead one hour on Saturday night.

It’s also a good time to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If the devices are older than 10 years, experts suggest upgrading to 10-year, sealed battery alarms. They don’t require any battery replacement throughout their lifetime. However, it’s still a good idea to press the test button on the alarms at least once every month.

Local Events

Friday, March 8, 11am-7pm: Lebanon Valley Mall Community Blood Drive
2231 Lebanon Valley Mall, Route 422 (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Friday, March 8, 5pm-8pm: Tilden Elementary Book Fair Carnival Night
501 E State St, Hamburg (Berks, PA)
Click here

Saturday, March 9, 8:30am-3pm: Central PA Aeromodelers Show
Lebanon Expo Center (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Sunday, March 10, 12pm-4pm: Cornwall Iron Furnace – Free Charter Day
94 Rexmont Road (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Saturday, March 9, 10am: Durlach Mt. Airy Fire Company BBQ Chicken
880 Durlach Rd, Stevens (Lancaster, PA)
Click here


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