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Senate Box 203029
171 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3029
One West Centre Street
P.O. Box 150
Mahanoy City, PA 17948
61 North Third Street
Hamburg, PA 19526-1501
(Shared with Representative
100 North Centre Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
(Shared with Representative Mike Tobash)
2850 Windmill Road
Spring Township, PA 19608
237 West Broad Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252
(Shared with Representative
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Join me tonight from 6-7 p.m. for a
telephone town hall
With the ongoing deliberations surrounding our state budget and several other important issues gaining traction in both the
Senate and House of Representatives, Iím holding a telephone town hall event
this evening to hear directly from you.
You may be one of thousands of residents who receives a call from me this evening around asking you to participate in my event 6
p.m. However, if you do not receive a phone call from me, you can still participate by calling 1-877-229-8493 and entering
the following PIN: 111786.
I look forward to hearing your questions and your ideas about the governorís budget vetoes and the issues surrounding the budget
debate during tonightís telephone town hall event from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The event allows you to ask me questions and share your perspectives with me on state and local issues from the comfort of your own home.
During the hourlong event, I plan on asking several questions about the state budget, school property tax reform, taxing of
Marcellus Shale, reducing the size of the legislature, and other issues.
Residents also have the option the stream the event on a computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking
Here are the questions Iíll be asking this evening:
- Over the last few weeks, the Senate and House worked together to
pass an emergency funding bill to provide school districts, social service
agencies and nonprofit organizations with funding to operate while the Senate,
House and governor continue to debate the overall state budget. The emergency
funding bill would have provided $88.6 million in funding for the 21 school
districts in the two counties I represent. The governor vetoed the plan, leaving
many of these schools and social service agencies in limbo for funding, noting
that more funding should be allocated. Do you think it was right for the
governor to veto the emergency funding bill?
- Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is poised to take up the
governorís proposed tax increase legislation in its entirety. If it passes, the
bill would move to the Senate for consideration. The governorís plan would
provide historic levels of education funding by increasing several taxes,
including increasing the Personal Income Tax from 3.07 to 3.57 percent;
taxing lottery winnings; placing a sales tax on music downloads, amusement park
and sporting event tickets, cable television, dry-cleaning and other personal
services; increasing the price-per-pack-of-cigarettes by $1; taxing
e-cigarettes, and imposing a severance tax on Marcellus Shale. His plan would
raise an additional $1.78 billion this year, and $3.2 billion next year. If this
plan were to pass the House of Representatives, do you think I should support it
or oppose it?
- The Senate currently is debating several property tax reform
proposals Ė some that reform the system, some that provide reductions and one
that completely eliminates school property taxes. Which plan is your preference?
- The current state impact fee on Marcellus Shale provided Berks
County with $396,233.79 and Schuylkill County with $140,925.26 in 2013, but some
individuals believe that we should adopt a severance tax, as well, in order to
increase spending at our public schools. Do you support a severance tax on
Marcellus Shale to increase funding for public schools?
- Representative Jerry Knowles has sponsored a proposal that would
reduce the size of the stateís General Assembly. His bill would reduce the size
of the State House of Representatives from 203 members to 151 members. The bill
recently passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 139-56 and is awaiting
consideration in the Senate. The legislation is estimated to save the state
approximately $10-15 million per year. Opponents of the bill believe that this
reduction could hurt rural areas. Do you support efforts to reduce the size of
the state legislature?
- Iím currently working on a bill to give more flexibility to
medium-sized grocers to sell carryout beer. My bill would allow local grocers to
sell carryout beer if they obtain an available restaurant license. What do you
- The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved my bill
last week that would add protective measures for highway construction zone
workers. Specifically, my bill would allow for a five-year pilot program for
speed cameras in active highway work zones. Motorists exceeding the speed
limit by 11 miles per hour would be subject to a $100 fine. A similar program in
Maryland saw an 85 percent speed reduction in work zones. Do you support this
plan to protect highway workers and motorists in active work zones?
I hope you will be able to join us this evening.
As Chairman of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, Sen. Argall is the first
Senator from the 29th District to serve in a leadership role since 1861. Argall
represents all of Schuylkill County and northern and western Berks County.