Co-Sponsorship Memo

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 13, 2018 08:53 AM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Property Tax Elimination
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation (2015-16 HB 1115, 2017-18 HB262) to place a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot so voters can decide whether to eliminate all property taxes in the Commonwealth by a certain date.

Acquiring, possessing and defending property are declared as Inherent Rights of Mankind in Article I Section 1 of Pennsylvania’s Constitution. That declaration was made by contemporaries of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, which cemented the idea that governments are created among men to secure such rights.

Currently, these rights are being abrogated by circumstances within the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, causing citizens to be deprived of their property rights for no reason other than an inability to pay taxes.

We would be rightfully outraged if other Inherent Rights – such as the right to vote, the freedom of speech, or the right to worship freely – were precluded by any citizen’s inability to pay a tax. We should be equally outraged that property rights can be stripped away for the same reason.

This legislation seeks to abolish all property taxes in the Commonwealth as of July 1, 2026. Article I Section 2 of the Constitution guarantees the right of the People to make such decisions, and this legislation will facilitate their ability to do so under the provisions for amendment contained within Article XI.

By creating a definitive timeline, the General Assembly will have ample time to authorize new funding methods to replace the revenue that property taxes currently generate. Such a timeline will also give citizens confidence that they can look forward to fully exercising their property rights regardless of any temporary personal financial setbacks.

For those of you who, like me, are also supporting other property tax elimination plans, it should be noted that any statutory elimination of property taxes must be accompanied by a constitutional prohibition to prevent property taxes being resurrected by statute in the future. My legislation serves that purpose.

I urge you to join me in seeking to secure and protect property rights by co-sponsoring this legislation.

PREVIOUS CO-SPONSORS: BARRAR, BURNS, CALTAGIRONE, DeLUCA, DUSH, GILLEN, HELM, MAHONEY, METCALFE, ORTITAY, RADER, ROTHMAN & SAYLOR
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Co-Sponsorship Memo

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 12, 2018 12:42 PM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Regional Appellate Court Districts
In the near future I will be introducing legislation (2015-16 HB2210; 2017-18 HB829) to amend the PA Constitution to change the way Pennsylvania elects appellate court judges. Specifically, my legislation would divide the Commonwealth into nine (9) Commonwealth Court districts, fifteen (15) Superior Court districts, and seven (7) Supreme Court districts.

These districts would be defined by the General Assembly following the redistricting principles found in our Constitution, requiring populations as equal as possible in each district with compact and contiguous geographic boundaries, and would comport with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. Candidates for appellate seats would be required to reside in the district they seek to represent on the court.

Eleven other states (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) select judges and justices for either some or all of their appellate courts via regional judicial district elections.

Currently, over 60 percent of appellate court seats are held by residents of just two counties. Pennsylvania is a diverse Commonwealth, and our appellate courts ought to reflect that diversity. My legislation will also go far in improving the chances that voters can identify with candidates for appellate court seats.

I urge you to join me in preserving the right to elect judges and justices, and providing for judicial diversity, by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Previous co-sponsors: CAUSER, DUSH, EMRICK, EVERETT, GILLEN, IRVIN, JAMES, KAUFFMAN, MILLARD, B. MILLER, NELSON, ORTITAY, RADER, RAPP, ROTHMAN, RYAN, SAYLOR, WARD & WARNER

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Co-Sponsorship Memo

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 5, 2018 03:59 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Homestead and Farmstead Property Tax Exemption
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to eliminate school property taxes for homesteads and farmsteads in Pennsylvania. The people amended the Pennsylvania Constitution on November 7, 2017 to allow the General Assembly to extend property tax relief to homeowners by fixing the dollar amount at 100 percent of the assessed property value. 

​My legislation will prohibit school districts from levying property taxes on all homesteads and farmsteads in the Commonwealth as of June 30, 2020. To replace the revenues lost from the collection of these taxes, a commission will be appointed to determine the best way to ensure adequate funding in our public schools. The commission will evaluate a mix of increasing personal income tax, increasing and expanding sales and use tax or alternative tax plans.

​ I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Hill Wallack Partner David Truelove Named Goldberg Award Winner by Bucks County Bar Association

Yardley,PA, December 11, 2018— Hill Wallack LLP is pleased to announce that its Yardley office partner David J. Truelove was presented with the Mark E. Goldberg Award by the Bucks County Bar Association at an Association dinner on December 6 at the Association offices in Doylestown. 

The Association gives the award annually to a member who demonstrates “a continuing commitment to community service outside the legal profession; exhibiting proven legal competence, honor, trust, service, and respect for the rule of law and the administration of justice.”

A partner in the firm’s Yardley, Pennsylvania office, Truelove serves in Hill Wallack’s Employment and Labor, School Law, Municipal Law, and Internal Investigations and Complex Litigation practice groups.

He represents and counsels public and private sector clients in various aspects of union and collective bargaining matters, including organizing efforts, contract renewals, grievance arbitrations, and unfair labor practice matters. He also works with clients in public finance, budget, personnel and collective bargaining matters.

Truelove frequently appears and litigates before various agencies, commissions and tribunals, including the NLRB, the EEOC, the PHRC, NJ PERC, and PLRB. He is also regularly selected as an arbitrator and mediator in insurance and employment and labor disputes.

In addition to his extensive legal work, Truelove is actively involved in a number of community and charitable organizations, including the Big Brothers program over the last 20 years. His volunteer work there was cited by the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives in 2009 and 2017, and he was named “Big Brother of the Year” by the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2017. He is active in the Lions Club and Pennsbury Athletic Association, and coaches baseball in the Yardley-Morrisville American Legion Baseball Club, coaches youth basketball,and plays baseball himself (team name and position?)

He was a member of the Board of the Pennsbury Charter School Center for Student Learning, has served as band chaperone for the Pennsbury School District, and served on the Lower Makefield Youth Aid Panel and the Lower Makefield Township’s Bike and Pathways Committee. He is actively engaged in the Bucks County Democratic Party.

At the Bucks County Bar Association, he served as president in 2017, and recently chaired the Legislative Committee. He offers his services pro bono through the Protection from Abuse program.

About Hill Wallack LLP

Founded in 1978, Hill Wallack LLP is a leading full service law firm with offices in Princeton,Cedar Knolls and Red Bank, New Jersey and Yardley, Pennsylvania. Our regional strength places us in an ideal position in today’s market. With nearly 70attorneys, our mid-market size allows us to provide sophisticated, high-level service to clients in a cost-efficient, responsive manner. Our attorneys represent individuals and entities in banking, community associations,creditors’ rights, employment & labor law, family law, insurance, land use,litigation and real estate. For more information, please visit www.hillwallack.com.

Jack Anthony Panella Elected President Judge of Pennsylvania Superior Court

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Superior Court, meeting in Harrisburg today, has elected Judge Jack Anthony Panella to be its new president judge effective January 7, 2019.

President Judge Elect Panella succeeds President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman who completes her five-year term on January 6, 2019.

Judge Jack Anthony Panella is the son of Rocco and Vivian Panella. He is proud of his parents who were laborers without substantial formal education. Although both of them are now deceased, Judge Panella credits them for his appreciation of education and a high work ethic.

Judge Panella was appointed to the Northampton County Bench in October 1991. In 1993, he was elected to a full ten-year term commencing January 1, 1994.

During his tenure as a trial judge, in recognition of the success of the Commonwealth Partners Program, which he chaired, Judge Panella received the President’s Award from the Conference of State Trial Judges in 2002.

Judge Panella was elected to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in November 2003, and was sworn into office as an appellate judge on January 9, 2004. He was retained in 2013 to another ten-year term.

In 2004, Judge Panella was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania, a committee organized to coordinate and recommend judicial outreach and specialized court programs. He was the Chair of the Public Education and Community Outreach Committee.

Judge Panella’s first book, The Pennsylvania Sexual Violence Benchbook, was published in December 2007. The book is a comprehensive reference designed to help judges for the complex criminal issues surrounding sexual violence cases. Judge Panella wrote the Third Edition of the Benchbook, which was published in 2015. The book is available on the websites of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

Judge Panella also wrote a benchbook for Magisterial District Judges on Sexual Violence which was published in 2011. He is currently working on a benchbook to assist judges in Pennsylvania on the issue of Restitution in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases.

In 2017, Judge Panella conceived and worked with other judges to write Judicial Bench Cards which are designed to assist trial judges handling trials involving crimes of sexual violence.

In recognition of his work in judicial education regarding crimes of sexual violence, Judge Panella received the national recognition of the NSVRC Visionary Voice Award in 2017 by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Judge Panella is married and lives in Palmer Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

Eastburn and Gray Proudly Supports 2018 Summer Camp Scholarships on Giving Tuesday

Doylestown, PA – On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, Eastburn and Gray presented a check to the YMCA of Bucks County in support of the organization’s summer camp programs. The sponsorship supports children and youth who are vulnerable and dealing with numerous challenges related to poverty.

Photographed here are Zane Moore, President/CEO of YMCA of Bucks County and Eastburn and Gray attorneys Sarah A. Eastburn, Esq. (Board member of the YMCA of Bucks County) and D. Rodman Eastburn, Esq.

The YMCA of Bucks County is a charitable non-profit organization that focuses on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility to strengthen the community and help individuals, families and communities learn, grow, and thrive. To learn more, please visit www.ymcabucks.org.

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The tradition of excellence at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray, P.C. began more than 140 years ago and continues today. With law offices in Doylestown, Bucks County and Blue Bell, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys provide high quality legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  As a full service firm, Eastburn and Gray attorneys practice in diverse areas of the law, effectively meeting the needs of the firm’s clients.

To learn more about our firm, our practice areas and our attorneys, please visit our website: www.eastburngray.com.

U.S. Immigration Naturalization Service

Tina Mazaheri, Esquire recently had the honor of serving as the keynote speaker at a United States Immigration Naturalization Service at the Pearl S. Buck House at the invitation of Chief Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Linda K. Caracappa with whom she is pictured holding Ms. Mazaheri’s parents’ original naturalization certificates from 1967.

New Lawyer Announcement

Friedman Schuman takes pleasure in announcing that Christian Suprenuk has joined the firm.   Chris brings with him 20 years of experience in handling complex commercial litigation and a variety of business transactional matters.   He also has significant employment counseling and litigation experience.  Chris will be working with the firm’s medical malpractice, personal injury and commercial litigation departments.   Chris is a graduate of Cornell University and the Villanova University School of Law.    We are pleased to welcome Chris to the Friedman Schuman family.

Elaine Yandrisevits Speaks on Special Needs Trusts & the ABLE Act

Elaine Yandrisevits , an associate in Antheil Maslow & MacMinn’s Estates and Trusts practice group, will participate as faculty on December 3rd at a National Business Institute continuing education program focusing on the requirements, procedures and pitfalls of fiscal planning with supplemental needs trusts. This legal briefing will provide an overview of the specialized skills required to provide special needs beneficiaries with financial structure and stability and enable accountants, attorneys and financial planners to offer clients guidance on this important estate planning tool and find creative cost-effective ways of funding supplemental needs trusts.  Ms. Yandrisevits practices exclusively in the Estates and Trusts and focuses her practice on estate planning, trusts and estate administration and assists with fiduciary litigation matters. She has a great deal of practical experience with special needs trust planning and guardianships.

Yardley attorney Scott Fegley’s debut novel, “The Meaning of Home,” is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions

Yardley attorney Scott Fegley’s debut novel, “The Meaning of Home,” is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions.

https://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Home-Scott-I…/dp/1731374437

Publication of the novel has been bittersweet in that Scott’s wife, Carolyn, passed away on November 11, 2018, just over a week ago. She did not get to read the final version or see the book in print, but of an earlier draft she told Scott, “I love it” – three words he will always cherish.

Heartwarming, humorous, and thought-provoking, “The Meaning of Home” takes the reader through the life journey of Charlie, a rescue dog, part Pomeranian and part fox, in his quest for the peace of a permanent home. He survives harsh and dangerous living conditions – from domestic violence to a homeless camp, where Charlie touches the residents’ lives and gives them his abundant comfort, friendship and hope. When the camp is forced to disperse, Charlie is yet again uprooted and faced with finding new shelter.

“The Meaning Of Home” expresses the fundamental hope that we can always get back up again no matter how many times we may have fallen. It reminds us that a home is not defined by the structure, but the spirit within.

For more info about Scott Fegley’s writing, visit my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AuthorScottFegley/