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Northeast Notes

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Senator Sabatina The holiday season is now upon us, and I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! The end of the calendar year also means the end of the 2015-16 legislative year. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to make a difference for Northeast Philadelphia, Bridesburg, Port Richmond and all Pennsylvanians, and I’m looking forward to a new year and new legislative session. Looking ahead, one of my top priorities is the re-introduction of my “Paul’s Law” measure to end discrimination against individuals with special needs. I will continue to keep you informed about this and other legislative and local issues, and I hope you and your family enjoy a safe, relaxing, and joyous holiday season!

Bill Criminalizing Home Invasions Signed Into Law

Gov. WolfI’m very pleased to share that a bill designed to specifically criminalize home invasion burglaries, which I authored with Sen. John Rafferty, was signed into law in November.

The measure creates a distinction for home invasion – a robbery committed with the intent to inflict bodily harm – and gives judges discretion by expanding sentencing parameters. It expands the maximum penalty for home invasions, giving judges the option of sentencing perpetrators to up to 40 years in prison.

I brought this bill from my term in the House of Representatives over to the Senate and it has been a priority since my days as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office. I was compelled to push the legislation further after an incident last spring, when three Somerton residents –including a couple in their sixties — were bound while their house was ransacked and robbed.

Tacony Library Gets $1 Million Boost

Senator Sabatina Presents Check to Tacony LibraryAn effort to expand and renovate the century-old Tacony Library has been awarded a $1 million boost from the state.
Tacony Library is a vital community learning resource and a source of local pride. This project will help keep it that way for years to come, so I’m grateful that the state is investing in this community gem.

The library, which originally opened 110 years ago this year, is currently closed for the renovations that will expand it by more than a third, and provide the community with modern equipment, public meeting spaces and after-school support programs.

I recently joined state and local officials to tour the renovations and present a check for the state grant.

The construction is part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s 21st Century Libraries Initiative, a $28 million project developed to respond to the changing roles of libraries in contemporary society. In addition to improving building conditions, the project will reposition the city’s libraries with new and expanded services.

The library renovations will also directly support the city-wide “READ! By 4th”, which seeks to get all Philadelphia’s school children reading on the fourth grade level by the time they enter fourth grade. The Free Library of Philadelphia is coordinating the program with more than 50 other organizations, including the School District of Philadelphia.

Public education is a critical component of our economic future and libraries and critical component of public education. This grant is an investment in our community that will pay dividends for generations.

Upon completion, the 21st Centuries Libraries Initiative will create 12 full- and part-time direct jobs and will retain 668 existing full-time jobs and 319 part-time jobs.

While the renovations continue, residents can visit the Tacony Library and Arts Building at 6918 Torresdale Ave.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Application Deadline Approaches

HouseThe deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is Dec. 31.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 per year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program provides much-deserved relief to seniors. If you need assistance filling out the claim form (PA-1000) and related information, my staff and I are ready to help, so call my offices on Academy Road (215-281-2539) or Bustleton Avenue (215-695-1020).

Claimants who already applied for Property Tax/Rent Rebates may check the status of claims online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling, toll-free,1-888-PATAXES.

 

Offices to Serve You

  District Office
8016 Bustleton Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19152
Phone: (215) 695-1020
Fax: (215) 695-1027
District Office
12361 Academy Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
Phone: (215) 281-2539
Fax: (215) 281-2798
Harrisburg Office
457 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3005
Phone: (717) 787-9608
Fax: (717) 772-2162
 
 
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