FBI data currently indicate that Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate exceeds any other northeastern state’s, and a county prosecutor told state senators this week he attributes much of that reality to difficulty recruiting and retaining police officers.
Cambria County District Attorney Gregory Neugebauer testified before the Senate Republican Policy Committee alongside other law-enforcement professionals to illuminate what is driving up crime in the Keystone State and what can be done about it. The hearing, held at the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensberg, was the first of several the panel is hosting this week to address crime prevention in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
A Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing on crime and public safety dwelled on two issues: the need for more funding and officers to address crime, and the lack of mental health support for struggling people.
Two panels spoke to a number of Republican senators; one comprised local law enforcement officers and the other a state judge, public defender, and district attorney.
Pennsylvania already exempts many medical supplies from its sales tax, but not COVID tests, a discrepancy legislation by Sen. Mario Scavello (R-East Stroudsburg) would eliminate.
Scavello’s bill would except rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen tests from the state’s six-percent sales levy. Healthcare devices, services and substances all generally don’t get taxed in the Keystone State.