Senate Democrats Support Pres. Biden’s Call for State Gas Tax Holiday

Senate Democrats Support Pres. Biden’s Call for State Gas Tax Holiday

Harrisburg, PA – June 22, 2022 – Today, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats held a press conference shortly after President Joe Biden made a call to federal and state law makers to pause gas taxes.  

“Our stance is simple; we are calling on state Republicans to join us in supporting a suspension to the state gas tax. We know there is concern about a loss of revenue while the pause is in place, but Pennsylvania has billions in surplus funds that can be used to maintain roads and bridges during the gas tax holiday,” said Senator Jay Costa, Senate Democratic Leader. “This is about putting people over corporate profit. We need to implement a gas tax holiday, use Pennsylvania’s budget surplus to ensure our roads and bridges still receive the funding they need, and hold the oil and gas industry accountable to pass the savings to consumers.”

Several Democratic Senators joined Sen. Costa, including Sen. Hughes, Sen. Boscola, Sen. Cappelletti, Sen. Flynn, Sen. Haywood, Sen. Santarsiero, Sen. Schwank, and Sen. Street. All expressing their support for President’s call to states to pause the gas tax and make sure those savings were felt by consumers and not absorbed by the oil and gas industry.

“We have the money to support a gas tax holiday. We can give hardworking families some relief at the gas pump and still make sure our roads and bridges receive funding,” said Senator Vincent Hughes. “And when we do this tax reduction, the oil and gas industry need to leave those savings for consumers. We’re stepping up. We’re responding to the President’s call. It’s time for state Republicans and the oil and gas industry to step up too.”

Senator Lisa Boscola and Senator Marty Flynn recently introduced bills that would temporarily pause the gas tax in Pennsylvania. A statewide gas tax holiday could amount to an average of thirty cents a gallon in savings to consumers.

“I applaud President Biden’s call for a gas tax holiday,” said Sen. Marty Flynn. “Right now, Pennsylvania families are paying triple the price for gas compared to what they paid last year. This is one of the most pressing issues for families, and we have money in the bank to help them. I’m done naming bridges, it’s time we do something for the people.”

“Gas tax relief is something we can do immediately in this inflation storm,” said Senator Lisa Boscola. “The billions in surplus we have is taxpayer money, and taxpayers deserve some of this money back. Combined with the federal plan, a state gas tax holiday would give real savings to families.”

Sen. Collett, Sen. Dillon, Sen. Fontana, Sen. Kearney, and Sen. Lindsey Williams also attended the press conference to show support for a proposed state gas tax holiday.

A full video of the press conference and remarks from all speakers from the Democratic Senate Caucus is available online.

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Senator Marty Flynn Collecting Protective Equipment, Supplies for Ukraine

Senator Marty Flynn Collecting Protective Equipment, Supplies for Ukraine

Scranton, PA – March 30, 2022 – Senator Marty Flynn is coordinating with St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Catholic Church of Scranton to provide much-needed medical supplies and protective military equipment to the people of Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian people have shown incredible bravery in the face of Russia’s unprovoked, violent invasion,” Senator Flynn said. “We want the people of Ukraine to know we stand with them in solidarity. It has to be more than just words, though; we have to act, we have to really help.”

Senator Flynn’s office will be collected medical supplies – including bandages, gauze, first aid kids, and over-the-counter pain medication – to send to Ukrainian refugees. In addition, Senator Flynn’s office will also be accepting helmets, body armor, bulletproof vests, boots, and other protective gear to assist Ukrainian military, fire fighters, police officers, and aid workers.

“New, used, lightly used, expired – we’re accepting it. If it’s going to save someone’s life, we’re accepting it,” Senator Flynn said. “The Ukrainian people are in dire need of body armor of any kind. This is a situation where any amount of body armor could be the difference between life and death. These are the highest stakes imaginable, and we want to send as much aid as possible.” 

Father Myron Myronyuk, pastor of St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 430 N. 7th Ave., Scranton, has been heavily involved in the efforts to send supplies to Ukraine, and is excited to be working with Senator Flynn towards such a personal cause. Father Myron, who has family in Ukraine, said he and members of his church have been working to get supplies to those who need them. Of the process, Father Myron said, “Every day, just collecting supplies, packing them, sending them. And praying.”

St. Vladimir’s will be working with Senator Flynn to get the supplies to Ukraine. “After learning of Father Myron’s work getting supplies to Ukraine and talking with him about the struggle Ukrainians are facing to protect themselves, I decided we had to something,” Senator Flynn said. “Every bit of aid helps, but I wanted to focus on sending protective equipment. I want to help keep the Ukrainian people safe. They’re fighting for their lives, and we’re in a position to make a potentially life-saving difference.”

Those looking to help can drop off donations at Senator Flynn’s offices in Scranton (409 N. Main Ave.), Eynon (307 Betty St.), or at Joyce Insurance in Pittston (409 N. Main St.). Donations are being accepted Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Senator Marty Flynn’s Turnpike Reform Legislation Passes Senate Transportation Committee 

Senator Marty Flynn’s Turnpike Reform Legislation Passes Senate Transportation Committee 

HARRISBURG – February 7, 2022 – Today, the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee passed legislation introduced by Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) to update and improve the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s method of collecting and reporting on tolls.

The committee passed two bills, which will now make their way to the Senate floor. The first – Senate Bill 1051 – is part of Senator Flynn’s Turnpike Reform legislation package, and will require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to submit an annual report to the General Assembly detailing the tolls that went collected and uncollected during the prior fiscal year. The Transportation Committee passed the bill unanimously.

“After the Transportation Committee met with members of the Turnpike Commission at a hearing in September to discuss the $104 million in uncollected tolls the prior year, I knew something had to be done,” Senator Flynn said. “We need to start holding the Turnpike Commission more accountable,” Senator Flynn said. “If they begin reporting to us instead of only reporting to themselves, maybe they’ll take the hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue more seriously.”

“As an organization, we strive to be as transparent as possible, and in the nine years I have served as Turnpike CEO, we have benefitted from a close working relationship with the Pennsylvania legislature. So further strengthening this interface is a positive step,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “We thank Senator Flynn and his colleagues for allowing us the opportunity to review and comment on this legislation.”

The second piece of legislation – Senate Bill 1053 – will give Pennsylvanians the option to use alternative electronic payment options, including payment applications such as Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, and Zelle, to pay their tolls. Current payment methods — E-Z Pass and Toll By Plate billing — will remain available to those paying their tolls.

“This is a great step in the right direction, and absolutely a win for the taxpayers of our state. We need to start thinking about the ways people pay for things now, and will be paying for things in the future, and get with the times. That begins today.”

Senate Bills 1051 and 1053 will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Marty Flynn Appointed Democratic Chair of PA Senate Transportation Committee

Senator Marty Flynn Appointed Democratic Chair of PA Senate Transportation Committee

Harrisburg, PA – January 19, 2022 – Yesterday, State Senator Marty Flynn was appointed as Democratic Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee.

“I look forward to working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues to ensure Pennsylvania improves our many modes of transportation and the systems that make them run,” said Senator Marty Flynn. “Transportation infrastructure is the backbone of our cities and communities. I see how safe roads and bridges, fair tolls, and access to mass transit can support local economies. I’m committed to making sure Pennsylvanians have the best and most innovative options for transportation throughout the commonwealth.”

Recently, Senator Flynn addressed the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the nearly $104 million in tolls that were uncollected from June 2020 to May 2021. Senator Flynn called for three solutions to make sure all tolls get collected, including restoring some toll collectors at high volume exits. Most recently, in a separate piece of proposed legislation, Senator Flynn suggested directing the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to accept app payments such as Venmo and Cash App.

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