It's been a whirlwind 100 days since I was sworn into office in June. I entered the House of Representatives during the heat of the debate on the state budget, which we completed in early July.
The final budget package contains the newly created City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program, which I worked on while serving the City of York as Community and Economic Development director. With the York County delegation, I was proud to support and vote for the establishment of this program. CRIZ will authorize the use of Pennsylvania tax revenues in designated zones to enable new investment in local economies by redeveloping eligible vacant, blighted and/or abandoned properties.
This bipartisan program will lead to job creation and enhancement of the tax base and it will improve the quality of life in York.
I was proud to introduce my first piece of legislation in August when I announced my consumer and animal rights bill, which would require all pet shops to display certain information on the cages of dogs to help consumers make better-informed decisions regarding a purchase.
In the very near future, I will announce my second bill, which will enable municipalities to better deal with blighted and abandoned structures that have been damaged by fire.
My work for our city brought me very close to the pervasive issue of blight and property abandonment. I hope to strengthen the tools to combat this problem, while hopefully improving the market conditions to make property rehabilitation more financially conducive.
I am very proud that my staff and I have been busy throughout the 95th district. We opened up a new constituent services office in the York City Government Services Building, which includes plenty of free parking for constituents. We welcomed more than 110 people into the new office at our open house in August.
We have been out in the community, talking with residents and offering assistance with a variety of state-related issues. You may have seen or visited with us at two town hall meetings, Leading the Give Faith-Based Initiative, at the York Suburban Wellness Day, the Latino Summit, National Night Out, or the 50 Plus Senior Expo at the York Expo Center. As well, I continue my municipal outreach, having met with Spring Garden Township, North York and York City officials. I will extend that to include West York and West Manchester Township in the very near future.
In addition, I have visited nearly every school superintendent and principal in my legislative district, and I am planning to visit all of the school buildings. I have toured health centers and early learning centers, social service organizations, and integral community partners such as, Crispus Attucks, YMCA, YWCA, York Housing Authority, Susan Byrnes Health Education Center, and the JCC. These were all enlightening experiences that will definitely influence the work I do and the votes I make in Harrisburg. As best as possible, I've included my staff in these many tours and discussions to ensure they too are well familiar with all the service providers we serve.
We will extend this tour schedule to area businesses, to see firsthand the great talent and creative industries we have here in York.
Education is one of my top legislative priorities. I feel that we must do all we can to ensure that our children are given quality educational opportunities.
After recent visits with York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith, Harrisburg Area Community College President John "Ski" Sygielski, and Penn State York Chancellor Dr. David Chown, I've partnered with these and other education institutions to launch a Collegiate Advisory Council.
Area students will be appointed and meet monthly to examine policies that impact their lives here in York and those of young people across Pennsylvania. Students will develop a report making policy recommendations that I and my colleagues, elected local, county and state officials, and subsequent advisory council members can implement. We recognize that brain drain is an issue in York and the state. Engaging our energetic, young talent will hopefully help retain them in York, as well as give them practical experience and make them well-rounded future employees and citizens.
Recently, York Mayor Kim Bracey and I celebrated Produce Month in Pennsylvania by honoring Central and Farmers Markets for over 100 years of operations in downtown York. At that event, the mayor and I announced an imitative calling for local food sourcing to improve the nutritional offerings at schools and bolster and support our local economy.
Property taxes continue to increase, putting increased stress on homeowners. There are multiple proposals in the state House to eliminate or reduce property taxes and replace them with other taxing options, including increased sales tax, state income tax, earned income tax or business privilege. I will host neighborhood forums on this proposal to get your opinions because I plan to vote with your interests in mind.
I am excited to head back to session in Harrisburg to work on important issues, including property tax reform and transportation funding, while working on behalf of the residents of York County. Please feel free to keep in touch via our www.PAHouse.com/Schreiber or Facebook.com/RepSchreiber, or stop by our District Office at 101 South George Street.
As we return to Harrisburg, we have much to do to position Pennsylvania to remain strategically competitive, and to ensure all citizens have access to quality and affordable educational opportunities. We must also make difficult decisions to sensibly invest in our transportation infrastructure and garner some reasonable tax reform.
All of which, will take bipartisan support.
-- Kevin Schreiber rep resents Pennsyvlania's 95th House District.