Watch Rep. Mike Kelly in action

Mike Kelly in action representing us in US Congress

We sent US rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)  to Congress to represent us and he has not disappointed us. His business background is what prompted him to run and in the current economic climate his kind of expertise is what we need in Washington, DC and his straight talk abut solving the difficulties, is seen in action in this video.

Governor’s Budget: Higher Education

Higher Education

  • The 2011/12 budget begins the process of focusing higher education dollars on following the student as opposed to funding institutions. lt lays the foundation for enabling students and parents to better determine the post secondary education course that is best for them.
  • The 2011/12 budget preserves more than $380 million in Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) grants for students

Governor’s Budget: Basic education

The 2011/12 budget does not slash education funding

  • It returns the basic education subsidy funding to Pre-Recession & Pre-Federal

Stimulus (2008/09) levels

  • It maintains a 10-year basic education subsidy funding rate increase of 2.8%

despite the loss of more than $650 million in Federal Stimulus money for

education

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Mornings with Mike

June 18, 2011- US Rep. Mike Kelly met in one of his “Mornings with Mike” meetings with constituents at Chico’s restaurant today at 10 am. About thirty people peppered Mike with questions on a variety of topics about his thoughts and his preparations towards resolving some of the lingering issues.

On raising the debt ceiling Mike felt that we need to look at causes of systemic changes that brought about the problem. Discussants asked his opinion on the ongoing wars, foreign aid and to shrink the size of government in Washington by involving the States.

Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare were subjects of strong interest with an exchange of ideas to solve the expected  bankruptcies and to grow out of that by reducing unemployment and thereby increasing the revenue stream. There is a need for government to get out of the way for entrepreneurs to prosper. Limited access to health care, rationing, tort reform and the significance of each of these in the overall picture were vigorously debated. Prospects for the repeal of Obamacare came up during the hour and a half meeting.

Marcellus Shale and Severance Tax

Recently some discussion has arisen about taxing the companies involved in extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania already has one of the highest corporate taxes and increasing an additional tax burden in the form of a severance tax would likely have the effect of decreasing their participation in Pennsylvania.

The companies are already paying taxes and by high-paying providing jobs and is improving the economy in many communities. Other fees and taxes are flowing into those communities and indirectly to the Commonwealth. Already 48,000 jobs have been created in the last year alone with an average wage of $69,995.

Pennsylvania’s budget problem is $4.2 billion and the additional tax would provide about $200 million which would have a limited impact. The following article gives a clearer picture of the ongoing discussion.
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The Facts on Pennsylvania Education Spending

Pennsylvania Education Spending
Gov. Tom Corbett’s FY 2011-12 budget proposal includes $63.6 billion in total operating spending—$27.3 billion in General Fund spending—a reduction of $3.3 billion from FY 2010-11. This budget restores overall spending to pre-stimulus levels and proposes no new taxes.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE OVER $3 BILLION IN RESERVES

Public school fund balances grew to just over $3 billion. Despite complaints about “under funding”, school reserves increased 13 percent over last year, and 157 percent since 1996-97.
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