Senator Martin E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Commonwealth Court’s Carbon Tax Ruling a Win for Pennsylvanians
  • Fighting to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent
  • Senate Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic
  • Paid Government Internships Available for Undergraduates
  • How Can I Improve This E-Newsletter?

Commonwealth Court’s Carbon Tax Ruling a Win for Pennsylvanians

The Commonwealth Court handed Pennsylvanians a significant victory this week by striking down the RGGI energy tax that would have resulted in higher energy bills for consumers, fewer jobs for Pennsylvanians, and less investment in our communities.

When former Governor Wolf attempted to impose this tax on Pennsylvanians without going through the legislative process, Senate Republicans fought back. The Commonwealth Court ultimately agreed with our position, saying: “To pass constitutional muster, the Commonwealth’s participation in RGGI may only be achieved through legislation duly enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.”

The ruling paves the way for Pennsylvania to work toward energy policies that support our natural resources and protect the integrity of our power grid. My statement on this ruling is available here.

Fighting to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, so Pennsylvania residents should turn their clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

Studies show these twice-a-year time changes lead to reduced productivity, more accidents and additional health problems. Eliminating the transition between standard time and daylight saving time would require action at the federal level.

Earlier this year, I introduced a resolution which urges Congress to make daylight saving time permanent. You can read more about my effort here.

Senate Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The Senate recently passed legislation aimed at keeping up with the rapid introduction of new drugs to commonwealth communities. It would be a significant step toward ensuring dangerous substances don’t slip through the cracks into our communities without being controlled.

Senate Bill 959 would enable faster prosecution by allowing Pennsylvania to automatically follow the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration classification for drugs. Drug traffickers constantly update these chemical compounds, and Pennsylvania scheduling has struggled with inefficiency. Automated scheduling will save the lives of our loved ones and more effectively fight the effects the opioid epidemic has on our communities.

As the bill would only apply to new controlled substances, it would not impact Pennsylvania’s scheduling of cannabis or its availability for medical marijuana patients.

Paid Government Internships Available for Undergraduates

Paid internship opportunities with state executive agencies are available for undergraduate college students interested in politics and government through the James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation.

Students who want to apply for the fellowship need to submit an essay between 1,500 and 2,500 words about their opinions for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) Program, which would offer students in struggling schools grants to explore other educational opportunities.

Essays and other materials must be submitted to the foundation by Jan. 26, 2024. Find more information and the application here.

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