State Representative Russ Diamond (R – Annville) today announced that he will seek re-election to represent the citizens of the 102nd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
"It's an honor and a privilege to serve our community and stand for Lebanon County values in Harrisburg," Diamond said. "If re-elected, I will continue to fight for our core beliefs – individual rights, limited government, solving the property tax problem, the right to bear arms, and the right to life."
Among Diamond's latest legislative victories are House Bill 196, a constitutional amendment to elect appellate court judges by regional districts in Pennsylvania; House Bill 775, to prevent welfare benefits from being offered to deceased Pennsylvanians; and House Bill 95, to protect free speech from intention and frivolous litigation. HB196 passed the House in December, HB775 awaits a final vote on the Senate floor, and HB95 was recently the subject of a favorable informational hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Diamond has also authored HB382, a constitutional amendment to prohibit property taxes in Pennsylvania by 2025, and recently circulated a memo for a legislation to broaden the state's sales tax base and reduce its rate from 6 percent to 1.9 percent.
"I've been focusing on the big picture when it comes to taxation in Pennsylvania," Diamond added. "All the state's tax systems have flaws and need updated. We need to enact solutions that help Pennsylvania's working families."
Diamond was appointed to the Select Sub-Committee on Tax Modernization and Reform at the beginning of the 2019-20 legislative session. He also serves on the Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Gaming Oversight, State Government, and Finance Committees. He was appointed Secretary of the House State Government Committee for 2019-20 as well.
Diamond is launching, and will co-chair, an informal Industrial Hemp Caucus in the House of Representatives to monitor and champion the cultivation of hemp and production of hemp-derived products. Diamond was the author of Act 92 of 2016, which made industrial hemp a legal crop in Pennsylvania.
"Hemp has the potential to be a billion-dollar market, and we will seek to keep up with the trials and tribulations of what essentially is a new product in a new market," Diamond said of the caucus. "We'll need to know the challenges farmers face and the hurdles manufacturers may have to clear. It is my objective to make Pennsylvania the gold standard for quality hemp and hemp-derived products."
Prior to being sworn in to the General Assembly in 2015, Diamond worked in manufacturing for seven years, ran an audio/video production business for over two decades and worked as an over-the-road trucker. He is a lifelong resident of the 102nd District, which includes Annville, Bethel, Cold Spring, Heidelberg, Jackson, Millcreek, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, Swatara, Union and West Lebanon townships and the boroughs of Cleona, Jonestown, Myerstown and Richland.