Driscoll co-introduces bipartisan auto-IRA program bill

(Nov 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 22 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Michael Peifer, R-Pike/Wayne, introduced bipartisan legislation that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to enact an auto-IRA program. The legislation would establish the Keystone Saves Program, a voluntary program that aims to expand access to private retirement savings plans to more than 2 million Pennsylvanians who currently do not have a workplace retirement plan. “We must do more to ensure retiring Pennsylvanians aren’t plagued with financial burdens as a result of rising costs and unforeseen expenses during what is supposed to be their golden years,” Driscoll said. “I am proud that this legislation transcends partisanship and allows lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to focus our attention on doing what’s right for residents of the commonwealth.” Driscoll said the program would allow enrolled employees to have a portion of their income automatically deposited into an account overseen by the state Treasury. There, the state treasurer will manage the accounts like the previously enacted 529 College and Career Savings Act, while also consulting with private financial planners to ensure the maximum return and minimal risk for enrollees. Additionally, Driscoll added, employees will be the sole proprietor of all funds they deposit into these accounts, meaning the money cannot be used or become property of the state. As it stands, economic Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to help protect Pa. workers, businesses

(Oct 31, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., today announced he has introduced legislation that would help protect Pennsylvania employers and their workers from payroll processing fraud. House Bill 1976 would require a payroll processing company operating in the commonwealth to be fiscally bonded to cover any financial mistakes or fraudulent activity. The businesses served by the payroll processor would be protected in the event of errors or criminal activity. “Pennsylvanians work hard, and they should not have to worry whether the proper taxes are being taken out of their paychecks. Yet, there are some payroll processors that could create errors, resulting in both workers and employers paying in the end,” Driscoll said. “My legislation is designed to help avoid such issues and make the processors be responsible for their financial mistakes.” Under the legislation, the processing company would have to report annually to the Department of Revenue to ensure proper bond coverage is maintained. If found to not have proper coverage, a payroll processor would be fined $1,000 for the first offense and $5,000 for each subsequent offense. Read more

 

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House

(Oct 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., applauded today’s House passage of his realty transfer tax legislation that would assist the family members of police, fire and other first responders who've died in the line of duty. "Thankfully, the number of families who lose a loved one as a first responder and therefore are eligible for the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Act benefits is relatively low," Driscoll said. "But relief from this tax burden for their beneficiaries will continue to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of Pennsylvania's first responders and their families." House Bill 269 would exclude a surviving spouse or minor children of a first responder who receive benefits under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act from paying the realty transfer tax, if their family home is sold within five years of the first responder's death. "First responders have made a tremendous commitment to our communities and are ready and willing to put their lives on the line every day," Driscoll said. "Offering their family this bit of relief is the least we can do to help repay that sacrifice." Driscoll’s legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate. Read more

 

Driscoll Helping Pennsylvanians Save For Retirement

(Oct 16, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll met with stakeholders to discuss the new bipartisan Keystone Saves proposal that would enact a state-facilitated, privately-administered auto-IRA program. A program Driscoll says would financially prepare more Pennsylvanians for retirement. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to outlaw untraceable firearms, require homemade/DIY firearms have identifiable mark from licensed dealer

(Aug 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would outlaw untraceable firearms and require firearms that are homemade or assembled from parts to have a serial number or other identifiable mark from a licensed dealer affixed to them. “Right now, teenagers and people prohibited from purchasing firearms can legally buy gun parts that they can assemble into a firearm, allowing them a workaround to get firearms they would otherwise be unable to lawfully obtain,” Driscoll said. “The legislation I’ve introduced would make these untraceable firearms traceable and, in turn, stop the flow of these deadly guns in our communities.” House Bill 1748 would also prohibit the possession, sale, delivery, transfer, manufacture, or advertising of DIY semiautomatic weapons, including the components of such firearms. Among other things, the legislation would update Pennsylvania law to require that all firearms, prior to being manufactured or assembled, have a unique serial number or other identifying mark assigned and affixed to them by a licensed dealer, beginning July 1, 2020. Additionally, by Jan. 1, 2021, any person who as of July 1, 2020, owns a firearm that doesn’t have a serial number assigned to it must apply to a licensed dealer for a serial number or other identification mark and then engrave or affix that number or mark to the firearm. “This legislation is a critical step toward keeping Read more

 

Driscoll to host National Night Out event Aug. 6

(Aug 05, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced that The Tacony Holmesburg Town Watch will host this year’s National Night Out event for residents of the 202 nd Legislative District. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Russo Park Playground, 7301 Torresdale Ave. “National Night Out is a family-friendly event that is a great way to foster a solid rapport between the community, our local town watch and the police by raising awareness of crime and drug prevention through fun, interactive activities,” Driscoll said. “I look forward to helping our community come together and to make this event as successful as in previous years.” Driscoll said there will be free door prizes, more than 100 vendors, information about state and city resources, and chances to meet with local police and emergency personnel. He and his staff will also be available to help constituents with any state government concerns or issues. National Night Out is an annual event designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Read more

 

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts

(Jul 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 23 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, today introduced unprecedented, bi-partisan legislation ( H.B. 1737 ) that would establish an anti-indemnity statute regarding construction contracts. Indemnity clauses transfer the responsibility to pay damages, including attorney and court fees, from one party to another party, usually without regard to who caused the loss. “Due to the lack of any anti-indemnity statutes in Pennsylvania, construction contractors, particularly subcontractors, are faced with the unfair practice of having to accept liability for another party’s negligence when entering into construction contracts,” Driscoll said. “This legislation would bar any claim for indemnification for losses caused by the negligence of an owner or a general contractor.” “This is a about fairness,” Stephens said. “Without this legislation, many Pennsylvania construction contractors must accept liability for another party’s negligence. That can unfairly and unnecessarily add to the cost of a construction project.” In construction law, there are three forms of indemnity agreements: limited, intermediate and broad. Of these three forms of indemnity, H.B.1737 draws from limited indemnity, in which a subcontractor, if it is solely at fault, assumes responsibility for its own negligence. “This legislation would mandate a limited form of Read more

 

Deadline extended for Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

(Jun 10, 2019)

I'm happy to announce that the deadline for the 2018 Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded, and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. You can get your application at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. My office also can help you, so don’t hesitate to contact me. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces Irish-American Heritage Month resolution

(Mar 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced he has introduced H.R. 120 , designating March 2019 as “Irish-American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania. “Since this nation’s founding, American citizens of Irish descent have made many significant contributions both within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. Today, they continue to thrive and excel in many spheres of human endeavor, from academia to business and beyond,” Driscoll said. The celebration of Irish heritage is a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, which hosts among the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country each year. Irish heritage will be celebrated from Philadelphia, where the city's parade first took place in 1771, to Scranton, which hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country. “As a proud Irish-American myself, it is always an honor to sponsor a resolution recognizing the impact Irish-Americans have been making since before our country’s founding. Thank you to my co-sponsors for their show of support and for extending their best wishes to the Irish community with House Resolution 120,” Driscoll said. The resolution’s co-sponsors include Reps. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, and Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery. ### Read more

 

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 17, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline is Dec. 31

(Dec 17, 2018)

The deadline to file a state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application is Dec. 31. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, and people with disabilities age 18 or older. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates can boost it to $975. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, but please don’t assume you are not eligible. Half of Social Security income is discounted, and people are not disqualified from rebates solely because of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Applications for rebates for 2018 rent or property taxes will be available in early February 2019. Please share this information with anyone you think may benefit. Read more

 

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

I voted for legislation that would allow more senior citizens in Philadelphia and across the state pay for their prescription medication. Putting people first and focusing on health care is part of the House Democrats' Plan for Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Pennsylvania receives extension for REAL ID

(Oct 11, 2018)

Pennsylvania has been granted a REAL ID enforcement extension by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through August 1, 2019. This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding domestic commercial aircraft through at least that date. REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards will be available from PennDOT at the customer’s option beginning March 2019. PennDOT is encouraging customers to pre-verify for REAL ID the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare. More information about what documents will be required is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website . More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions , can be found at www.dmv.pa.gov . Read more

 

Bridge to happiness

(Sep 12, 2018)

A news conference took place on Sept. 7 in the park, followed by a ribbon cutting on the road. Driscoll was joined by state Sen. John Sabatina Jr.; state Rep. Ed Neilson; City Councilman Bobby Henon; PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards; city Departments of Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams; and representatives of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, state Sen. Tina Tartaglione and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces bill to strengthen consumer protections in contracts

(Aug 08, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would ensure Pennsylvanians don't fall prey to deceptive contracts and would strengthen protections for consumers. House Bill 929 would create penalties for companies that place false or misleading information in contracts intending to defraud customers. By adding deceptive practice language into current law, companies found guilty would be liable for penalties and damages reimbursements, allowing customers to reclaim lost assets. New Jersey currently has similar regulations in place, and Driscoll hopes to extend these protections to Pennsylvania consumers. “Pennsylvanians enter into contracts every day,” Driscoll said. “Whether it is a contract for cell phones, cable television, home improvement or another contract, full disclosure is necessary. But too often, companies use misleading language to take advantage of vulnerable communities and exploit their intentions. Protecting consumers from deceptive practices is one of my top legislative priorities, and this legislation to hold companies accountable for the contracts they draw up is among the reforms I continue to seek.” Driscoll has worked throughout his legislative career to protect consumer rights, sponsoring and co-sponsoring several pieces of consumer-friendly legislation. Act 27 of 2018 was signed into law this June, and allows contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid Read more

 

Driscoll legislation would make more seniors eligible for Property Tax Freeze

(Jun 25, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced today that he has introduced legislation to modify the eligibility guidelines for the Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program. “The Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program has undeniably been a godsend to senior citizens living in our commonwealth’s largest and most expensive city. However, it hasn’t been responsive to changing economic conditions,” Driscoll said. “Today, many seniors face living on fixed incomes that haven’t risen as health care and living costs have.” Under current law, the eligibility for the program is tied to the income limits established for the state's PACE and PACENET prescription-drug programs, which have not been updated since 2006. H.B. 529 would set income eligibility to 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. “While working closely with the majority leader, City Councilman Bobby Henon, we felt this legislation would be an attractive avenue to help the seniors in our districts. Councilman Henon was extremely helpful,” Driscoll said. Driscoll said that using the federal guidelines as a basis for property tax relief eligibility would ensure the requirements reflect current economic conditions and help direct relief to those who need it most. The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee. Read more

 

Driscoll, Santora bill to protect families financially becomes law

(Jun 15, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 15 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., witnessed the signing of legislation that minimizes financial uncertainty and encourages fairer treatment for contractors and subcontractors in Pennsylvania. House Bill 566, signed into law as Act 27 of 2018, allows contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid per contract terms. “This law will significantly impact the lives of many Pennsylvania families. Contractors and subcontractors often face a greater risk of going unpaid because they are compensated in full after the services are provided,” said Driscoll, co-sponsor of the bill. “I think our legislation will strike the right balance in making sure contractors are paid for the work they do. Consequently, we’ll help support families who depend on that income.” Under the new law, contractors and subcontractors will be able to stop working on a project if payment is not received per contract guidelines. To be eligible to suspend work, 30 days from the end of the billing cycle must pass. Then, they would have to provide written notice via mail or email and wait an additional 30 days. If payment is not received, they would have to provide at least 10 calendar days of notice by certified mail. If payment is not received during those 70 days, work may be suspended without penalty. The law becomes effective in 120 days. Read more

 

Bill to Protect Families Financially Awaits the Governor’s Signature

(May 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – Today, the House voted on concurrence on a bill drafted by Reps. James R. Santora, R-Delaware, and Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., to permit contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid per contract terms. It now heads to the governor for his signature. “Because contractors and subcontractors are not paid in full before they provide their services, they face a much greater risk of going unpaid than is typical for other workers. This impacts families who depend on payments that are rightfully owed for goods and services that were provided,” Santora said. “Our bill works to minimize that uncertainty and encourage fairer treatment for contractors and subcontractors.” Under the bill, contractors and subcontractors would be able to stop working on a project if payment is not received per contract guidelines. To be eligible to suspend work, 30 days from the end of the billing cycle must pass. Then, they would have to provide written notice via mail or email and wait an additional 30 days. If payment is not received, they would have to provide at least 10 calendar days of notice by certified mail. If payment is not received during those 70 days, work could be suspended without penalty. Before being amended by the Senate, the bill stated that contractors and subcontractors could suspend their work if at least 60 days have passed since the end of the billing period and seven calendar days’ notice was given of their Read more

 

Driscoll announces grant for solar PV system installation at Northeast Philadelphia business

(Mar 19, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, March 19 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., announced today that Marano Truck Lines and Warehouse Inc. will receive a $210,000 grant for the purchase and installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system on its facility in Northeast Philadelphia. “Universal access to sustainable energy is essential to support our communities and develop a sustainable city,” Driscoll said. “I’m glad to see businesses transitioning to clean energy and creating a framework to bolster energy independence and security across the commonwealth.” The funding will go towards the purchase and installation of a rooftop solar PV system that will generate 100 percent of the building’s energy consumption. The total project cost is $419,900, with Marano Truck Lines and Warehouse Inc. providing matching funds. The Solar Energy Program provides financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds to promote the use of solar energy in Pennsylvania. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Protection under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The CFA is charged with identifying and supporting projects to improve the quality of life and financial health in communities around the state. To find out more about CFA programs, visit www.newpa.com . Read more

 

Driscoll co-introduces bipartisan auto-IRA program bill
Nov 22, 2019

Driscoll introduces legislation to help protect Pa. workers, businesses
Oct 31, 2019

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House
Oct 21, 2019

Driscoll Helping Pennsylvanians Save For Retirement
Oct 16, 2019

Driscoll introduces legislation to outlaw untraceable firearms, require homemade/DIY firearms have identifiable mark from licensed dealer
Aug 06, 2019

Driscoll to host National Night Out event Aug. 6
Aug 05, 2019

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts
Jul 23, 2019

Deadline extended for Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
Jun 10, 2019

Driscoll introduces Irish-American Heritage Month resolution
Mar 12, 2019

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate
Jan 24, 2019

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open
Dec 17, 2018

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline is Dec. 31
Dec 17, 2018

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people
Oct 23, 2018

Pennsylvania receives extension for REAL ID
Oct 11, 2018

Bridge to happiness
Sep 12, 2018

Driscoll introduces bill to strengthen consumer protections in contracts
Aug 08, 2018

Driscoll legislation would make more seniors eligible for Property Tax Freeze
Jun 25, 2018

Driscoll, Santora bill to protect families financially becomes law
Jun 15, 2018

Bill to Protect Families Financially Awaits the Governor’s Signature
May 23, 2018

Driscoll announces grant for solar PV system installation at Northeast Philadelphia business
Mar 19, 2018