PA House had a good week when it comes to conservative ideas

April 29 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a number of bills this week that will help not only small businesses in the state, but children as well.

Representative Jesse Topper said, “It was actually a really good week in the House in terms of passing significant conservative legislation.”

They include a tax package, doing away with the accelerated tax pre-payments, lowering the corporate net income tax and reforming net operating losses, all of which will be great for businesses in PA.

The accelerated sales tax pre-payment program originated under Governor Rendell when the state faced a budget crisis.

It basically asks business owners to predict what their sales will be in the first few days of the month and pre-pay sales tax based on that made-up number.

Topper said, “This is the problem with our tax code. Things that were instituted to be temporary become permanent. It’s hard to roll back a tax, which is why it’s never a good idea in the first place.”

The bill that passed the House this week would allow business owners to pay and remit sales tax on what they actually collect – something so logical, you wouldn’t think it would need to actually be a law.

Topper’s bill is part of a larger tax package which includes the first corporate net income tax reduction in the state in more than 20 years.

The House also passed the first school voucher bill to come before the Chamber.

If your child is in the bottom 15% of schools, you have the ability to get a scholarship in the state money that usually goes to schools and take it to a school of your choice for your child.

Topper said, “Trying to get these kids out of failing schools and trying really (to) get some change in our educational system here in the commonwealth, get that ball rolling and we were able to get that passed as well. So it was a good week in the House and I feel like we’re moving things in the right direction as we get closer to budget time.”

But will Governor Wolf sign the voucher bill?

Topper said, “It’s a starting point. It’s going to be awfully difficult to defend the fact that these kids have to be in these schools. Harrisburg School District, which is in that percentage, their 8th grade reading test scores came out and 98 percent – I’m not making it up, that is the number – 98 percent are below average. That’s unacceptable. When you’re talking about return on investment, 98 percent failure rate is simply no longer acceptable. I certainly hope the governor can see that we have to continue this conversation.”

The bill may not be the cure all, but some of the students could be saved.

Topper said, “If you can actually save some of these kids and put their life path on a better trajectory, then my God, it’s worth it.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “It almost reminds me of it used to be medical marijuana will never lead to recreational marijuana. That certainly wouldn’t happen. It would be nice to reverse thrusters on this. Well a school voucher system, well that would never lead to school choice in Pennsylvania. Oh please let me have school choice. Please. It’s a good starting point.”

Topper said, “The other side has been very good at this over the years and sometimes as conservatives and Republicans we get caught up into we have to eat the entire apple at one time instead of taking a bite. I think we’re starting to get better at realizing you know what? We need to start reversing that trend. Let’s show that this can work and then we can build bigger policy successes on top of that. I see that as a step in the right direction. As I do with a lot of the tax reform. Is it everything we need? No. But is it a very good start? Is it something I believe we can get signed into law? Yes. And Lord knows after this pandemic, our businesses need it now more than ever.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “These incremental steps are important. And also important to get people on the record. This is what’s going to inspire people to understand. Let’s say Governor Wolf rejects any and all of these. Then it’s on the record and we know that a Democratic governor might not be the best choice this November.”

Ryan said, “Josh Shapiro is a bad idea.”

Topper said, “There are a lot of members on the other side of the aisle that have said well we’re for school choice. We just never get to vote for it. Well guess what? When that bill came up, they didn’t vote for it. One member on the other side of the aisle voted for it and that’s it. It also puts some of these career politicians on record who have gone to groups in their districts and said we’re for you, we’re for the opportunity for kids to get to other schools. Well guess what? They weren’t when it came time to vote. Sometimes you do have to put things on the board and put people to the test and on the record.”