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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of April 13, 2015

Kise Mill Road Bridge, York County, Closed Indefinitely
PennDOT closed the Kise Mill Road Bridge over Bennett Run in Newberry Township, York County after a routine inspection. The bridge may be closed to through traffic for a few years until a project to rehabilitate the bridge is completed. Until then, PennDOT suggests travelers seek an alternate route. The single-span, stone masonry, arch bridge was built in 1915, and a project to rehabilitate it is scheduled for 2017.

Public Encouraged to Participate in Online Transportation Planning Meeting
As part of the update to the Commonwealth’s Twelve Year Transportation Program, Pennsylvania residents are invited to visit to provide input on transportation priorities and register for an interactive online public meeting on Thursday, April 16 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Pennsylvania residents must register to participate at Questions may be submitted in advance to Through May 29, the public can also submit feedback to the same e-mail address; by calling (717) 787-2913 to request a printed survey; or by taking the website survey once posted on April 16.

Conversation with Buildings & Grounds Directors of IU13 School Districts
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak with Buildings & Grounds Directors for the Lebanon-Lancaster IU13 School Districts. It was a great conversation on school mandates, basic education funding formula, property tax relief and the Governor’s proposed budget.

Pictured left to right are: Dale Kline, Warwick School District; myself; Mark Heckaman, Donegal School District; Gary Schlegal, PASBO; John Przychodzien, Lancaster-Lebanon IU13; and Jason Hill, Annville-Cleona School District.

Column: “Mom Said!”
Why does the phrase “mom said” have such magic growing up? It’s why many of us didn’t snack before meals, swallow gum, or crack our knuckles. It’s also why we fed a cold and starved a fever, ate our vegetables, and wore clean underwear. Apparently, “mom said” both saved and improved our lives.

This sense of security and well-being may be why some push for more and more government involvement in our lives. There are calls for government to require certain things, like: having health care coverage, saving energy, and paying our “fair share” in taxes. Others want government to forbid specified actions, such as: consuming sugary drinks, eating various foods, and smoking in designated places. Government has more power to impose sanctions – both positive and negative – than any other entity in our lives.

“Sanction” comes from the Latin sānctiō, meaning “a law or decree that is sacred or inviolable.” According to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, few words have contradictory meanings like the word “sanction,” which can mean both “to allow, encourage” and “to punish so as to deter.” The question is when government imposes sanctions, what does it mean for “We the People”?

Consider the impacts of government involvement in: the economy, health care, education, energy, and the wars on drugs and poverty. A host of laws, regulations, and trillions of dollars spent, yet we have continuing – and often heated – debates on these issues. The key issue is: are we better off because of – or in spite of – government involvement?

All I know is that as government has grown, so have entitlement programs – both federal and state. Each seems to have a common element: the promises far exceed reality and the costs are underestimated and/or underfunded. Once enacted, they never disappear; entitlements’ costs continue to rise as taxes and/or borrowing are also ever escalating to cover these unrelenting cost drivers.

Placing government in the role of our parents says elected officials and government bureaucracy know more about how to live our lives, manage our health, and raise our kids than we do.

Maybe we should heed to words of former President Ronald Reagan: “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

Mom said!

Contact Information
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