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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 June 1, 2015

Robert Shirk of Lebanon Awarded with the PennDOT Star of Excellence
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recognized 25 employees for their outstanding performance with the Star of Excellence Award. Two employees from PennDOT District 8, and one from the 48th Senate District were among the honorees.

Robert Shirk of Lebanon is a traffic control specialist in District 8’s traffic unit and a risk management coordinator, dedicated to improving and limiting the department’s tort liability. He leads the district’s risk management committee to identify opportunities for safety improvements. In this role, he helped reduce tort payouts over the past three years, distinguishing District 8 as having the lowest tort payout in the state. Robert also performs highway safety studies and helped coordinate safety improvements that have saved lives. His experience from working in various capacities in county maintenance and the traffic management center has contributed to his “good sense approach” in developing cost-effective safety improvements that yield the most benefit.

Small Games of Chance Club Licensee Annual Reporting System
The Local Options Small Games of Chance Act electronic reporting system under the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s jurisdiction, has been enhanced and is on track for a June 1 launch to allow clubs to complete reports by the July 1 deadline. A guidance document to assist clubs in completing their reports electronically can be found here. To access the reporting system, visit

Senate State Government Committee Meeting: Tuesday, June 2
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, will hold a meeting June 2 at 10:30 a.m. in 8-EA of the Capitol to consider the following legislation: Senate Bill 388 (Senator Pileggi) – closes a loophole regarding lobbying for contingent fees; Senate Bill 479 (Senator Gordner) – designates the Helfrick Resources Management Center; Senate Bill 620 (Senator Vance) – authorizes release of Project 70 restrictions in Cumberland County; and Senate Bill 640 (Senator Dinniman) – allows therapy dogs on all forms of public transportation. 

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Press Event
The Coalition for Forfeiture Reform will be holding a press event for the introduction of my and Senator William's Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform legislation on June 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Main Rotunda of the Capitol. Currently, the Commonwealth can forfeit property without ever convicting of a crime, or even charging with a crime. This proposed legislation will change this to require a criminal conviction before property is forfeited. It will also alter the revenue stream of forfeited property.

Contact Information
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.

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