Mar. 10, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum to Offer Free Admission This Sunday

To help celebrate Pennsylvania Charter Day, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton is one of several historic sites offering free admission on Sunday, March 12.

Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives displays the original document, for a limited time, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. For the remainder of the year the charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the archives.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. The document is on display through March 17.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
Education, Human Services Focus of Budget Hearings

The House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings Thursday, with two full days of questions about the education and human services aspects of the governor’s proposal.

Monday’s hearing featured the Department of Education, including details about increased funding for basic and higher education, and whether additional state investments are being directed into the classrooms.

Questions about the opioid crisis, child care, food stamps, Medicaid and specific programs for those with developmental and physical disabilities were the focus of Tuesday’s hearing, with members asking details about waiting lists for services, program eligibility, and federal and state matching funds.

During its appearance, the state police answered questions about the governor’s proposed $25 per person fee for coverage in municipalities without their own police protection.

The final hearing involved the Office of the Budget and included questions about the governor’s overall $32.4 billion spending plan and the estimates on a number of cost-saving initiatives.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2017-18 budget. All of the hearings and written testimony are available here.
Concealed Carry Seminar Set for April 20

To familiarize area residents about their responsibilities as gun owners, Rep. Tina Pickett and I will host a concealed carry seminar at the Hop Bottom Fire Hall on Thursday, April 20. The seminar will be held from 6-8 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein and Sheriff Lance Benedict will share their expertise and answer questions from area residents about state firearms laws.

These seminars have been quite popular in our area, as they have not only familiarized our local gun owners with state firearms laws, but they have included information about the Castle Doctrine and how that law is applied in cases of self-defense. Since our area is so close to the New York border, many questions have been answered regarding residents’ ability to cross state lines with their firearms.
In addition to an overview of the state’s firearms laws, the seminar will include information on how to safely interact with police when carrying a firearm, as well as the legal aspects of Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to use deadly force if necessary when threatened by an armed intruder.

Registration is required for this event and can be made by clicking here or call my Montrose office at 570-278-3374. Seating is limited. Light refreshments will be served.
Asking State Employees for Money-Saving Solutions

A new effort to help save taxpayer money by asking state employees for their ideas was announced this week by the House Appropriations Committee.

The program, State Employees Achieving Savings (SEAS), will ask state employees, who can remain anonymous, about their strategies to better streamline services and be more efficient. Retired state employees are also being encouraged to participate.

State employees – from any department anywhere in the state – can click here to submit their ideas.  The submissions will then be reviewed and possibly implemented.

The committee emphasized that no idea is too small for consideration.
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which should also be replaced every 10 years.

Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 5.
Around Our Community

I joined several local and state officials at a meeting with Susquehanna County Farm Bureau members on Friday, March 3, at Elk Lake School during Susquehanna Ag Day.

Pictured with me are Jim Barbour, first vice president of Susquehanna County Farm Bureau and state board director of District 1; David Deleon, second vice president of Susquehanna County Farm Bureau; Joe Decker; Bill Ord; Bill Bayne; Rep. Tina Pickett; Susquehanna County Commissioner Betsy Arnold; Sen. Gene Yaw; Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall; Frank Mazza from Sen. Pat Toomey’s office and Bill Brooks. Pictured (front row from left) are Cheryl Matulevich; Lillian Theophanis; Sen. Lisa Baker; Susquehanna County Farm Bureau president Donna Williams and Mickey Klim.

On Friday, Feb. 24, I visited two fourth-grade classes at RDW Elementary School. The students from Mrs. Gillis’ and Mrs. Agnello’s classes are currently learning about state and federal government. It was my pleasure to speak with them about my role as a state representative. Thank you for being such a great group!

I recently visited with students at Montrose High School. We discussed state government, life choices and career paths. It was a treat to interact with such engaged and interested students. Thank you for the opportunity!
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16501 State Route 706, Suite 2, Montrose, PA 18801 | Phone: 570-278-3374 
32 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Honesdale, PA 18431 | 570-253-5533
414 Irvis Office, PO Box 202111, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2111
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