HARRISBURG, January 30, 2018 – The state Senate today overwhelmingly approved legislation sponsored by state Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) that would generate significant economic development, create jobs and enhance Pennsylvania’s clean energy portfolio.
Senate Bill 234, which now moves to the House of Representatives after passing the Senate by a 42-8 vote, would establish Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program which is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation upgrades to commercial, agricultural or industrial properties.
“PACE gives local governments across Pennsylvania a powerful tool to support the commercial, industrial and agricultural community as business interests invest in energy efficiency, solar power and water conservation projects. PACE advances the use of cutting edge technologies while creating jobs,” Blake said. “PACE, which is supported by private lending, does not impose upon Pennsylvania taxpayers and, in fact, will result in more economic activity that will drive increased revenues into the Commonwealth’s General Fund.”
Blake worked closely with state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny/Washington) and a diverse group of stakeholders from the business, labor and environmental communities on the bipartisan legislation over the past year.
Under Senate Bill 234, a local government would be able to choose to participate in or develop a PACE financing program. PACE financing would not require any public funds; participating local communities would be tasked with collecting the assessment on the improved building and remit it for payment on the debt incurred from the building’s energy-efficiency and clean energy technology upgrades.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Blake in the prior legislative session as Senate Bill 1069 but it did not move from the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.
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HARRISBURG, April 13, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake today announced that the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will host a public hearing in Scranton on energy, economic development and job creation initiatives.
The hearing will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20 in the Nazareth Student Center at Marywood University.
Blake will be joined at the hearing by Policy Committee Chair Lisa Boscola (D- Northampton/ Lehigh/Monroe), Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and other Senate Democrats.
“I am excited to bring my Senate colleagues and our legislative proposals to Lackawanna County,”
Blake said. “This public hearing will be a great opportunity for legislators to not only discuss with our residents the pressing budget issues we are facing in Harrisburg, but also a great opportunity for our community and business leaders to share their experience and to discuss important, energy-related business opportunities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
The Blue-Green Jobs and Energy hearing will feature testimony from community leaders from the economic development, labor, job training and academic community.
“As chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, I am constantly looking for opportunities to take our committee around the state to hear local concerns on pressing issues,” Boscola added. “This hearing is another opportunity for the public to influence our policy decisions and goals as we move forward with state budget negotiations.”
Blake said that the Policy Hearing participants include:
- R. Chadwick Paul, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technologies;
- Eric Esoda, executive director of Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, Inc.;
- Kurt Bauman, Government Services Manager, NEPA Alliance;
- Gregory K. Hunt, founding dean, Marywood University School of Architecture
- Dr. Ann Pipinski, president of Johnson College;
- Paul Casparrow, electrical training educator for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers;
- Jim Teeple, vice president of Global Operations, Weiler Corporation
- James Palumbo, president of Quad 3
- Lew Grant, general manager of Valmont Industries
The hearing will start with a presentation by Sen. Blake highlighting the Senate Democrats’ budget priorities and the PA Works job creation initiative. The six-point plan is projected to create tens of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania while reducing state spending and encouraging private investment throughout the state.
“As the legislature continues to look for innovative and fiscally responsible ways to close the $4 billion budget gap, it is imperative that job creation remain our number one priority,” Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa said. “Our PA Works program will not only create much-needed jobs throughout the state, but it will also promote a business-friendly environment and expand business opportunities. As we continue to work our way out of this recession, we know that jobs and smart, well-focused investment will put Pennsylvania back on track.”
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