Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Senatorial District and the State Capitol. If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about my legislative priorities issues that may affect you and your family.
Week of April 2, 2018
Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Redistricting Legislation
If you missed the Senate State Government Committee’s public hearing on redistricting legislation, including Senate Bill 22 (Boscola), Senate Bill 243 (Leach), Senate Bill 464 (Blake) and Senate Bill 767 (Costa), you can watch below. Agenda and written testimony can be found here. I look forward to continuing the conversation on this important topic as a plethora of useful information was given at this very zealous and informative hearing.
Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 114 – authorizes sewer authorities to obtain a court order to terminate service to seriously delinquent commercial customers;
Senate Bill 263 – provides for permanent absentee voter status for disabled voters;
Senate Bill 313 – establishes opt-out of shared telephone contracts for victims of domestic violence;
Senate Bill 500 – enables law enforcement officials to accompany a victim to their residence before or during the service of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order;
Senate Bill 501 – requires all parties involved in PFA orders/convictions of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to relinquish their firearms;
Senate Bill 502 – allows judges to extend or create new PFA orders if they are to expire (or have expired) while a defendant is incarcerated;
Senate Bill 761 – a Constitutional amendment to allow gubernatorial candidates to select their Lieutenant Governor running mate;
Senate Bill 762 – requires an external performance audit of the PA Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE system) and the process for entering and maintaining registration records;
Senate Bill 776 – extends the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program;
Senate Bill 919 – relocation of domestic and sexual violence victims in public housing;
Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
Both bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 449 – Tierne’s Law to clarify that Magisterial District Judges may, in cases of domestic violence, use a risk assessment tool to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when determining bail;
House Bill 1486 – exempts agriculture “high tunnels” from the Storm Water Management Act.
Bill Signed into Law by the Governor
Act No. 11 – Senate Bill 135 – allows the use of leashed tracking dogs to recover legally harvested deer.
Executive Nominations Confirmed by the Senate
All nominations were confirmed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Council on Aging – William J. Davies, Wyomissing; Daniel J. Drake, West Chester; Brad F. Mellon, Harleysville, and; Samuel Trychin, Erie
Council on the Arts – Norman Earl Stull, Spinnertown; Catzie Vilayphonh, Philadelphia, and; Tim R. Warfield, Jr., York
State Board of Dentistry – Jennifer Unis Sullivan, Monaca
PASSHE Board of Governors – Janet L. Yeomans, Philadelphia
State Board of Osteopathic Medicine – Christopher S. Poggi, Somerset
Polk Center Board of Trustees – Gregory L. Miller, Grove City and Chuck R. Walczak, Erie
State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers – Jeffrey L. Walters, Wormleysburg
Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission – Richard C. Shiffler, Hummelstown
Housing Finance Agency – Gary E. Lenker, Harrisburg and Mark S. Schwartz, Huntingdon Valley
Medical Cannabis Program Update
The PA Department of Health (DOH) published notice in The Pennsylvania Bulletin of its intent to soon begin two application processes: Phase II grower/processor and dispensary permits, and prospective academic clinical research centers and clinical registrants.
Phase II: Grower/Processor Permits
DOH intends to issue up to 13 grower/processor permits; one to the highest-scoring, most qualified and eligible candidate without regard to location, and two more in each of the six medical cannabis regions.
Phase II: Dispensary Permits
DOH intends to issue up to 23 dispensary permits; 9 in the Southeast Region; 3 in the Northeast Region; 3 in the Southcentral Region; 2 in the Northcentral Region; 4 in the Southwest Region, and; 2 in the Northwest Region. A primary dispensary location may be in any county within the applicable medical cannabis region. Second and third dispensary locations must be within the same medical cannabis region as the primary dispensary location, and may not be in the same county as each other or in the same county as the primary dispensary location.
Applications for grower/processor permits and dispensary permits will be made available on April 5. Submissions will be due May 17. The public notice relation to the Phase II application process is available here.
Chapter 20: Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs)
An ACRC is an accredited medical school in this Commonwealth that operates or partners with an acute care hospital licensed and operating in the Commonwealth. Applications to be approved as a certified ACRC will be made available on April 5 and will be due May 3.
Chapter 20: Clinical Registrants (CRs)
Following the publication of a list of certified ACRCs, applications to be approved as a CR will be made available on May 24 and will be due July 12.
The public notice relating to the Chapter 20 application process is available here.
Fisher Avenue Bridge (Union Twp., Lebanon Co.) Work Scheduled
Construction for the Fisher Avenue (State Route 4020) bridge, spanning Qureg Run at the eastern end of the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Union Township, Lebanon County, is scheduled to begin the week of April 2 as part of the PennDOT Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. During construction, traffic will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction through the work zone. During stage two, Quartermaster Road will be closed south of Fisher Avenue, and traffic will be detoured along Fisher Avenue to Biddle Road. The new bridge is anticipated to be complete in July.
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