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 June 18, 2018
Senate Bill 22 to Change PA’s Redistricting Process Passes Senate
Senate Bill 22, introduced by Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18), a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to change how the Commonwealth’s redistricting process is done, passed the Senate by a vote of 35-14.
As Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, I dedicated much time and attention to this issue the past year, and was pleased to work with citizens and advocacy groups from across the state to advance this important measure to ensure redistricting is done with meaningful citizen direction while fulfilling my oath of office “to support, obey, and defend The Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth….”
SB 22 as amended establishes an 11-member, independent commission chosen by a to-be-determined application and selection process, which would include four Democrats, four Republicans and three Independents. Commission members would be confirmed by two-third votes of the General Assembly, giving all parties meaningful input and important involvement.
We can’t sacrifice progress in search of the perfect. Redistricting reform has always been important to me, and though everyone may not have gotten all they wanted – including myself – Senate passage of SB 22 is proof our Constitutional Republic works as we worked assiduously with the advocates to find common ground to better Pennsylvania’s redistricting process. The bill now goes to the House for further consideration.
Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 299 – changes the way incumbent magisterial district judges gain ballot access for re-election;
Senate Bill 655 – requires mandatory implementation of opioid prescribing guidelines developed by the Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force;
Senate Bill 780 – defines, outlines and clarifies the use of Telemedicine;
Senate Bill 934 – expands authority of the Elevator Advisory Board;
Senate Bill 1087 – creates the Interbranch Commission on the Child Welfare System;
Senate Bill 1129 – amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations) relating to termination of parental rights during adoptions;
House Bill 152 – develops a database of contact information for life insurance companies.
Bills Pass Senate, Go to the Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 667 – expands PA’s Land Bank Program;
Senate Bill 851 – amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law to clarify ownership of properties in the delinquent tax sale process;
House Bill 1641 – “The Employment First Act” to promote the employment of people with disabilities at competitive wages.
Constituent Highlight: Robert Kale, Lebanon Co. Veterans Affairs
Congratulations to Robert Kale on his recent retirement from the Lebanon County Veterans Affairs Office after a career spanning 38 years of dedicated and distinguished service! Rob served this country with honor and distinction as a member of the United States Army for more than 17 years, having attained the rank of Sergeant First Class and being in charge of ground transportation in Europe. Rob began his career with the Lebanon County Veterans Affairs Office as a Specialist in 1998, and was named Director in 2000.
Throughout his career, he has striven to adhere to the highest standards of service and has rightly earned the respect and admiration of his many friends and colleagues. Thank you, Rob, for your loyalty, service and extraordinary commitment, and best wishes for continued success and happiness in the years to come!
June/July Cable Show: Lebanon County Breweries
My latest Community Report cable show features several Lebanon County breweries, including Mount Gretna Craft Brewery, Rotunda Brewing Company & Batdorf Restaurant, and Snitz Creek Brewery. This show features talented entrepreneurs who have built their small businesses into amazing success stories! You can watch below, and Comcast on Demand and WHBG TV20 should also be airing through June and July!
Teacher in the Workplace Grant to Benefit West Shore SD
At New Concept Technology, a $35,000 Teacher in the Workplace (TIW) grant award was announced to provide West Shore School District educators with the real-world workplace experiences needed to better prepare students for the 21st century global economy. The grant will be administered through the South Central Workforce Development Board to support their TIW STEM Academy program.
The TIW program partners educators with local businesses to share and exchange information to enhance students’ classroom instruction. Beginning in spring 2019, the STEM Academy will help participating teachers become better informed about the many career paths available in south central PA that do not require a four-year college degree.
York County Flood and Water Pollution Solutions Public Meeting
The York County Planning Commission is inviting residents, municipal officials and businesses to a public information session to discuss the scale of flooding and water pollution in the county along with potential solutions. The meeting will take place Thursday, June 21 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at York Learning Center, 300 E. 7th Ave., York (old Central High School).
According to the meeting outline, approximately 1,100 miles of streams not meeting mandated environmental standards have been identified in York County, with many miles of streams still left to evaluate. In addition, the Commission has identified 215 locations on roads in the county that experience frequent flooding problems.
Among the solutions to be discussed will be creation of a countywide stormwater authority. If approved by the York County Commissioners, this new local agency would address flooding and pollution problems by investing in stream restoration, erosion control and reforestation projects along waterways. Additional public meetings are scheduled for September 25 and November 8. For more information, visit www.yorkstormwater.com.
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