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Santarsiero announces legislation to ensure timely ballot count on Election Day

State Sen. Steve Santarsiero is behind legislation that would allow counties to pre-canvass mail-in ballots 21 days prior to Election Day to guarantee timelier ballot count.

The Election Code of 2020 allows for counties to begin pre-canvassing ballots on Election Day, but not tally the results.

“Allowing for a 21 day pre-canvass will ease the burden on our county election administrators, which is something other states with mail-in ballot programs have been doing successfully for many years,” Santarsiero said. 

Rabb, Hanbidge push for electric vehicle impact study

State Reps. Chris Rabb and Liz Hanbidge reintroduced legislation to study the impact of electric vehicles on Pennsylvania's infrastructure, environment, employment, transportation and economy in response to potential electric vehicle fees.

Electric vehicles do not pay the state motor vehicle tax, attached to gasoline prices, which is used to maintain roads and bridges. State legislators proposed creating an annual electric vehicle road use fee to alleviate the discrepancy in funding between electric and motor vehicles.

An initial bill introduced an annual electric vehicle fee of $150 for noncommercial vehicles. State Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, introduced a similar bill but proposed annual fees of $380 per noncommercial and $450 per commercial electric vehicle.

“We need to do more to encourage electric vehicle use in our state, not discourage it, and the least we can do is gather more information about this issue before we try to legislate it,” Rabb said.

Grants totaling $10.8 million allocated to STEM and computer science in schools

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that $10.8 million in grants will be used to expand access to STEM and computer science education.

The administration has awarded about $20 million to STEM and computer science education for the 2020-21 school year.

STEM and computer science education projects funded by the grants include after-school robotics and artificial intelligence programs, partnerships between school districts and higher education to create college and industry credentials, innovation hubs to support underserved learners, opportunities for hands-on coding and robotics experience, and establishing mentorships.

Legislation aims to eliminate Inheritance Tax

Legislation introduce by Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Allegheny, with Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, would eliminate the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, which they call the “death tax.”

The state imposes the tax as a percentage, based on the relationship of the heir to the decedent, of whatever property an individual inherits. Pennsylvania is one of only six states to enforce the tax.

"The inheritance tax disincentivizes business investment in Pennsylvania and can drive high-net-worth individuals out-of-state,” Gaydos said.

Eliminating the tax would ensure inheritance goes to the intended heir, protect individuals from ending up with a tax bill while grieving a loss, and encourage people to stay in Pennsylvania, Gaydos said.

– The Center Square

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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