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ProfAwrd_Green Advocate: 2015_Maher
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State Representative John Maher
2015 Green Advocate Award

The Green Industry Advocate Award is PLNA’s highest honor for a public servant or policymaker whose efforts have significantly benefited Pennsylvania’s green industry. This year’s award recipient is State Representative John Maher, chairman of the house agriculture and rural affairs committee.

Over the past year Rep. Maher has been instrumental in advocating that high tunnels are not subject to real estate taxes in Pennsylvania.  When he was made aware of this emerging issue, his staff along with PLNA and a coalition of other Pennsylvania agriculture associations drafted two bills to address the situation.  Rep. Maher sponsored one bill himself and recruited sponsors within his committee for the other.  He worked tirelessly to move the bills through the legislative process and after some amendments the two bills dealing with high tunnel taxation were passed and signed by the Governor in December 2013.  A related third bill exempting high tunnels from the Uniform Construction Code remains hung up in the Senate.  Rep. Maher continues to advocate to get this bill passed.  This legislation, that he was key to shepherding through the legislative process, will save the green industry and Pennsylvania agriculture millions of dollars in the future.

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