Two Simmons Bills Reported Out of Committee
HARRISBURG – Two bills sponsored by state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton) were reported out of committee today by unanimous votes.

The House Finance Committee approved House Bill 1972, which removes the sunset provision on Pennsylvania’s existing research and development tax credit program in an effort to support long-term job growth in the state. The tax credit is offered to individuals and businesses that conduct research, especially of technological or scientific nature. It is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2015.

“By removing the sunset on Pennsylvania’s tax credit, businesses can plan ahead and expect continued support from the Commonwealth,” said Simmons. “We need to stay competitive with surrounding states and keep those research and development programs here, with the expectation it will eventually lead to the creation of badly-needed jobs.”

Committee members voted to amend the legislation to increase the tax credit cap from $55 million to $75 million after Dec. 31, 2015.

Also today, the House Local Government Committee approved House Bill 1857, which amends the Local Government Unit Debt Act to expand the use of voter approval of borrowing in Pennsylvania’s home rule counties and municipalities. The Home Rule Law requires that amendments to home rule charters must be approved by the voters in a referendum.

“The whole concept of home rule is that local citizens can govern their county or municipality as they deem to be appropriate,” said Simmons. “Allowing for the flexibility to add voter approval to certain indebtedness seems to be consistent with that concept. Many Pennsylvanians are asking for more say in controlling government debt and this bill gives them just that.”

Both bills now move to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

State Representative Justin Simmons
131st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Andy Briggs