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
www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and
Week of April 20, 2015
Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 43 – Pennsylvania Stolen Valor Act;
Senate Bill 61 – recognition of bike medics;
Senate Bill 286 – Delaware River Port Authority reform;
Senate Bill 287 – Gubernatorial veto power over Delaware River Port
Senate Bill 333 – (37-12) – pre-emption and local employer leave laws;
Senate Bill 485 – increased penalties for impersonating a physician;
House Bill 152 – Emergency & Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act
The Senate also unanimously confirmed the executive nomination of Richard A.
Steigerwald to the State Athletic Commission.
Senate State Government Committee
On April 13, the
House State Government Committees held a joint public hearing on amendments
to the US Constitution through a Convention of States as provided by Article V.
The hearing and testimony can be seen
On April 14, the Senate
State Government Committee unanimously reported out the following
Senate Bill 442 – my Taxpayer Funded Advertising Transparency Act (listen to
my brief comments in regards to this legislation
Senate Bill 622 – Legislative Budget & Finance Committee report removal;
Senate Bill 699 – Luzerne County land transfer;
House Bill 192 – Veterans Preference – Civil Service Act Reform.
Senate Finance Committee
On April 15, the Senate
Finance Committee, chaired by
Senator Eichelberger, unanimously reported out my
Senate Bill 623 – 0% inheritance tax for disabled child beneficiaries; as
Senate Bill 386 – ensures equal tax treatment on all air freight companies;
Senate Bill 580 – clarifies the inheritance tax exemption for family-owned
The Senate Finance Committee also held a public hearing on proposals to
change the design of public pensions. The hearing and testimony can be seen
Lack of Transparency in Union Contract Negotiations
On March 17, I sent a letter to the Budget Secretary requesting his
insights into how the Administration develops cost estimates to properly budget
for proposed changes in public union contracts. My interest is neither the
specifics of the contracts nor the details of the negotiations, but rather to
gain a better understanding of the impacts these agreements will have on the
General Fund, and the health care and pension systems.
I received no response.
On March 31, Senate Republican Leadership, including
President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati,
Majority Leader Jake Corman and
Appropriations Chairman Patrick Browne,
letter requesting a prompt response to my letter.
They received no response.
During Session on April 15, I spoke up about the lack of openness,
transparency and accountability with the Administration and their handling of
collective bargaining agreements. You can view the video
Palmyra Field Hockey Team: PIAA Class AAA Co-Champions
I was honored to introduce the Palmyra Field Hockey team at the Capitol on
April 14. This amazing group of young athletes makes Lebanon County extremely
Listen to my introduction
Union Road Bridge over Little Swatara Creek, Lebanon
On April 14, PennDOT closed the
bridge that carries Union Road over the Little Swatara Creek in Bethel
Township, Lebanon County. The bridge will remain closed for repairs for
about two months, and is scheduled to reopen mid-June. Union Road is
designated as SR 1009, and carries approximately 800 vehicles daily.
Traffic will be detoured by way of Freeport Road (SR 1008), Mt. Zion Road
(SR 1011) and Greble Road (SR 1014).
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are
of concern to you. I may be reached through my
website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.
When contacting my office by
e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone
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inquiries can be handled with a phone call or email.
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