Jul. 13, 2022

HARRISBURG – The Bucks County Republican delegation advanced several legislative initiatives that either recently passed as freestanding legislation or were included in the $42.8 billion budget passed last week by the House of Representatives.

The Bucks County Republican Delegation in the House of Representatives, including Reps. Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro), Craig Staats (R-Quakertown), Todd Polinchock (R-Chalfont), KC Tomlinson (R-Bensalem), Frank Farry (R-Langhorne), Meghan Schroeder (R-Warminster) and Shelby Labs (R-Doylestown), successfully passed major legislation that impacts education, health care, the economy of the state and county, our veterans, and our first responders.

Initiatives passed in the last few weeks included:

• Supported adding money to the Rainy Day Fund, so as inflation soars the state has sufficient reserves.
• Supported paying down debt, so taxpayers don’t carry that burden going forward.
• Supported an increase in the base amount of the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program.
• Successfully increased investment in Bio-Tech Research in PA.
• House Bill 1342 (Tomlinson), now part of Act 53, significantly increases the Film Tax Credit for Pennsylvania production, which will increase both direct and indirect economic activities in the Commonwealth.

• Supported historic investments in public schools, EITC and school safety.
House Bill 2646 (Schroeder) would simplify the certification process for career and technical instructors in order to reverse the teacher shortage throughout Pennsylvania.
House Bill 2255 (Polinchock) would prohibit penalizing students by cutting their financial aid when they receive scholarships.
House Bill 1849 (Polinchock), now Act 25, permits real estate schools that provide in-person instruction to also livestream the course for remote students.

First Responder and Veterans Affairs
• Funding for House Bill 2726 (Farry) would provide scholarship grants as reimbursement of EMS training.
• Funding for House Bill 2729 (Polinchock) would provide for Municipal Fire Department Capital Grants.
• Funding for House Bill 2730 (Labs) would allow capital grants to be administered to emergency services training centers.
House Bill 1421 (Thomas), now part of Act 54, increases compensation to veterans who perform burials with military honors for interred veterans at any one of the state’s three national cemeteries, including Washington Crossing, to $250 per day.

Human Services
• House Bill 1561 (Farry), now Act 32, allows for providers, facilities and health plans to share patient information with the patient’s approval to improve care for those seeking mental health care.
• Funding for House Bill 2686 (Thomas), which would dedicate $100 million to create a Blue-Ribbon Mental Health Commission to implement expansion of mental health services such as collaborative care cooperatives so primary care physicians can help patients receive mental health care with psychiatrists in their cooperatives.
House Resolution 212 (Farry) would instruct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of the Office of Developmental Programs to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

Protecting Our Community
• House Bill 2032 (Schroeder), now Act 70, creates an exception in reporting identifying information in sexual assault cases and conducts a study on establishing a rape kit tracking system by the Pennsylvania State Police.
• House Bill 2271 (Tomlinson), now Act 75, adds to the already existing law on sextortion, sentencing enhancements for predators whose abuse leads to serious bodily harm or death, named “Lindsey’s Law” for a Bensalem crime victim.
• House Bill 2157 (Farry), now Act 74, implements certain fireworks discharge restrictions and addresses concerns with the existing law. It also dedicates the existing fireworks taxes to first responder programs.
• House Bill 1952 (Thomas), now Act 37, sets the foundation for projects throughout the Commonwealth, such as monuments, trails and veterans memorials that need revitalization, which would both improve our state and commemorate our heritage.
• House Bill 1594 (Tomlinson), now Act 64, establishes record-keeping rules for internet third-party sellers to prevent the resale of items stolen during group retail thefts.
• House Bill 940, now Act 60, includes language Farry authored in “Cash’s Law” (House Bill 1570), which allows for a sentencing enhancement when a criminal kills or harms a domestic animal during the commission of a burglary.
• Flood Disaster Assistance (Tomlinson) would dedicate millions to individuals to make repairs not covered by insurance or other funding resources after they were affected by a natural disaster.

Bucks County Legislative Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster