Gov. Wolf right to let Republicans own their policies

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that he will allow the most recent budget proposal to become law without his signature: “Governor Wolf has made extensive efforts to work with legislators on both of sides of the aisle to craft a budget that provides for the needs of all Pennsylvanians, pays down the structural budget deficit and improves our fiscal outlook. Unfortunately, Republican majorities repeatedly sent unbalanced budgets that protect special interests and continue to increase the structural deficit to the governor’s desk. After three separate attempts by the governor at compromise over nearly 10 months, a change in direction had to happen. “By simply allowing this budget to stand without his signature, the governor forces the Republican majorities to own their failed policies in this budget. Time is already telling by the multiple credit downgrades from independent credit rating agencies. We’ve seen increased school property taxes, teacher and school staff layoffs, increased class sizes and plummeting test scores in our school districts. Pennsylvania cannot afford to go down this same path, but that is the only path that Republicans will allow for now. “In the interest of moving forward and focusing efforts on the 2016-17 budget, I stand with the governor and hope we can focus on finding sustainable revenue sources that produce Read more


Sturla calls for action on Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint

(Mar 02, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement: “Pennsylvanians want and need clean water resources. We need to focus on these efforts for ourselves, as well as for those downstream from us. “It’s important that the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and Agriculture work together to identify ways to reduce pollution in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. That does not mean that agriculture should bear all of the financial burden. It is in all our best interests to share in the cleanup costs because the benefits will be reaped by everyone in the watershed. “I realize some may view the Supreme Court’s ruling as detrimental to agricultural operations; however, the ruling should be viewed as an opportunity for everyone to roll up our sleeves and work together for the common environmental good and restoring the Chesapeake.” Read more


Sturla and community groups to express concern TODAY AT 3 P.M. about possible elimination of magisterial district in Lancaster

(Feb 24, 2016)

LANCASTER, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today announced that he will join the Crispus Attucks Self Determination Matters Committee and other Lancaster community organizations to express concern about the possible elimination of a magisterial judge district in Lancaster city. WHEN: Today, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. WHERE: Crispus Attucks Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 407 Howard Ave., Lancaster WHAT: Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker is considering a preliminary staff proposal to reduce the magisterial judge districts in Lancaster from five to four, by redrawing neighboring districts, including the currently vacant magisterial district 02-2-01 in Southeast Lancaster. Media coverage is invited and encouraged. CONTACT: Jim Dawes Office of State Rep. Mike Sturla Phone: 717-772-0036 Email: Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my 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 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Sturla introduces plan to better meet transportation, state police funding needs

(Feb 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla has introduced a bill that would increase funds available for transportation projects and ensure adequate, reliable funding for the Pennsylvania State Police. House Bill 709 would establish the State Police Municipal Patrol Services Act, which would establish a fee structure for municipalities to pay for the routine state police patrol services that some are currently receiving for free and restore an estimated $450 million to the Motor License Fund. A yearly fee of $156 would be assessed annually per capita and would be billed to municipalities who fully rely on state police coverage. Municipalities with part-time local police and part-time state police coverage would be assessed a discounted rate of $52 per capita annually. Municipalities that employ a full-time local police force would not be charged a fee. “Each year, nearly $750 million, or about 30 percent of the total funds available for roads and bridges, is transferred from the Motor License Fund to pay for the Pennsylvania State Police instead. At a time when our state is in drastic need of funds to repair our aging infrastructure, we need to spend every dollar effectively,” Sturla said. “Sacrificing vital transportation dollars while giving away free policing services doesn’t make sense.” “About 74 percent of the state’s population pays for full-time local police coverage, and 6 percent is paying for part-time Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more


Sturla calls for bipartisan solution to end budget impasse, start 2016/17 strong

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016/17 fiscal year: “Today, Governor Wolf had a very frank discussion directly with the citizens of Pennsylvania about the ongoing budget impasse and the impending crisis if appropriate action is not taken to deal with the state’s fiscal woes. “Even at this juncture, with rating agencies threatening more downgrades and the Independent Fiscal Office predicting a $2 billion structural deficit in next year’s budget without increases to any line items beyond mandated expenditures, there are still some in the legislature who would further run Pennsylvania into the ground and cause the kind of devastating consequences that the state experienced in 2010. “Those impending devastating consequences include local school property tax hikes, again; 20,000 more teacher layoffs, beyond the bare-bones staffing complements that resulted from 2010 layoffs; increased class sizes; and lower student test scores. Programs that provide health care and prescriptions for seniors would also take devastating hits; social services for the disabled would see cuts, waiting lists would get longer and government services would slow to a crawl. Local municipal, county and school governments would be left to raise taxes and pick up the pieces. That is not responsible state governance; that is passing the buck and running from Read more


Sturla: End the Budget Crisis

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more


Sturla unveils sliding scale tax plan on Marcellus Shale

(Jan 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Mike Sturla is seeking support for his legislation that would implement a graduated severance tax on Marcellus Shale to fund pension obligations at state and local levels. “The proposal is a fair approach that would capture much-needed funding for the commonwealth for one of our most valuable resources while providing a break to the industry when prices are down,” Sturla explained. Sturla’s plan would tax natural gas at the following rates: Tax rate Gas value 4% $0-$.99/mcf 5% $1-$1.99/mcf 6% $2-$2.99/mcf 7% $3-$3.99/mcf 8% $4-$4.99/mcf 9% $5 and above/mcf The legislation would exempt gas severed from a stripper well; severed from a storage field; and used within 5 miles of the well for manufacturing in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the current impact fee, post production costs and initial capital costs would be deductible from a severance tax liability. Funds generated would be used to fund the unfunded pension liability before Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for SERS and PSERS, unfunded municipal pensions and post Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for local school districts and the state. “There are myriad aspects of this legislation that have long-term benefits and impacts. I look forward to working with stakeholders to come to an agreement that provides a benefit to all involved,” Sturla said. Read more


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Sturla: We need a REAL budget

(Sep 24, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla speaks out against a short-term stopgap budget that does nothing more than create another budget crisis for schools and non-profit social service agencies until October and urges the passage of a true compromise budget that delivers long-term, sustainable funding. Read more


Sturla: Help Our Most Vulnerable

(Aug 24, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says it's time to restore the previous administration's disastrous cuts to human services programs. He says paying for programs now to help young children, the intellectually disabled, and seniors helps save money for future generations. Read more


GOP Math Doesn't Work

(Jul 28, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla joined other House Democrats in York to call for a responsible state budget leading to increased education funding and lower property taxes. They say Gov. Tom Wolf was right to veto the Republican budget, which was loaded with funding gimmicks and failed to address the state's $3 billion structural budget deficit, underfunded schools, and skyrocketing property taxes forcing Pennsylvanians out of their homes. Read more


Sturla: No More Budget Gimmicks

(Jul 27, 2015)

Pa. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, led a group of Montgomery County legislators in calling for Republican Leadership to work with Governor Wolf in crafting a state budget that serves Pennsylvanians rather than more of the same budgeting tricks and gimmicks of the prior administration they have proposed in their spending plan. Read more


Sturla: Fund Our Schools

(Jul 23, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says for too long Pennsylvania has been shortchanging students and tax payers and that Governor Wolf's budget restores the Corbett cuts, improves our kids future, and give homeowner long overdue relief. Read more


Sturla: GOP Budget Fails for Pa.

(Jun 28, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla decries the GOP-proposed state budget that keeps the status quo of the last four years and does not provide for what Pennsylvanians want and deserve. Sturla serves as the elected Chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. Read more


Sturla: Education Funding Report a Start

(Jun 18, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla talks about the findings from the Basic Education Funding Commission report released this morning. Sturla feels that public education can't improve until funding cuts are restored and a formula for funding schools is created. Read more


How Gov. Tom Wolf's Proposed 2015-16 Budget Would Impact the 96th Legislative District

(Jun 10, 2015)

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has provided the following breakdown on how Gov. Wolf's innovative budget plan will move our community forward. Read more