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Legislature votes on multiple bills

From Staff Reports

Locally elected and appointed officials voted on the following matters in the past week:

Federal

* The Senate failed to pass legislation to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The vote was 54 in favor and 35 against — short of the 60 votes needed. U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Scranton, voted yes. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, did not vote.

* The House was out of session.

State

* The Senate voted 28-20 in favor of a bill to require agencies issuing permits to allow applicants to check the status of their applications using an accessible tracking system. State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, voted yes.

* The Senate voted 27-21 to create a mandatory automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact or cost exceeding $1 million. State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, voted yes.

* The Senate voted 27-21 in favor of a bill that requires any state regulation with an economic impact or cost to the state government, local governments, or the private sector exceeding $1 million cannot be imposed without approval of the General Assembly. State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, voted yes.

* The House voted 113-88 in favor of the Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act. The bill would govern the conventional, shallow-well oil and gas industry, including such things as conventional oil and gas well locations, operations in shallow, low-pressure formations, low-pressure wells, and natural gas systems which mostly feed local consumers, like homes, schools, and hospitals. Companies would not have to report oil spills under five barrels or brine spills under 15 barrels unless there is an immediate threat to public health, safety or the environment. The bill would also allow companies to dump wastewater on roads. State Reps. Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township; Joe Hamm, R-Montoursville; and Clint Owlett, R-Wellsboro, voted yes.

County

* The Lycoming County commissioners voted 3-0 to approve a $499,550 contract with Wolyniec Construction, Inc. for the first phase of the county’s bridge bundling program. Rick Mirabito, Tony Mussare, and Scott Metzger voted yes.

Municipal

• Council voted 7-0 to approve a $245,000 grant application to Commonwealth Finance Authority for improvements to Youngs Woods Park. The match is $43,000 and to be made using Community Development Block Grant funding. The improvements include removing the basketball court and replacing it with two new courts, adding accessible pathways and a new gazebo.

School Districts

* The South Williamsport Area School Board voted to increase the tax rate by .7 mill for 2021-22, but cautioned that rates are not final and are subject to change before the final vote by the end of June. The increase translates to property owners paying $70 more per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value on their tax bill next year.

* Tax rates in the Jersey Shore School District will be rebalanced next year which will result in homeowners in Clinton County paying less than $1 more for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value and Lycoming County residents actually seeing a decrease of about $6.75 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value. A budget deficit of about $880,000 will be covered by unassigned fund balance monies.

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