Pennsylvania voters will have the chance to decide whether to amend the state constitution in what lawmakers call an effort to allow more significant residential property tax reductions.
The Senate voted 46-2 on Tuesday, clearing the way for the question to appear on the November statewide ballot. The bill also passed the House, as well as both chambers in the last two-year session of the Legislature.
Under the referendum question, voters can amend the constitution to allow counties, municipalities and school districts to exclude up to 100 percent of the median assessed value of homestead property from taxation.
Currently, local governments can exclude up to 50 percent. That was approved by voters in 1997.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday nearly 300 pharmacies in 12 counties across the state will receive 300,000 drug deactivation pouches in an effort to keep leftover prescription drugs from being misused. The Deterra Drug Pouches will be given to individuals picking up new prescriptions of Schedule II narcotics, or by request to anyone who asks for them. Shapiro said he decided to obtain the pouches after noting that medication drop boxes were very accessible in more urbanized areas but much harder to find in rural parts of the state. Mallinckrodt donated 50,000 pouches, and Shapiro purchased another 250,000 using funds from the state’s Community Drug Abuse Prevention Program. To determine where to distribute the pouches, Shapiro’s staff came up with a metric that assessed the state’s 67 counties on a combination of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths, the highest rates of opioid prescriptions per person, and the least access to drug drop boxes. Each pouch will come with a set of instructions on how to use the product and will ask users to take a brief online survey about how and why they used the pouch.