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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 www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of June 22, 2015


L to R: Senator Mensch (R-24), me, Senator Argall (R-29) and Senator Rafferty (R-44).

Reintroduction of Senate Bill 76, the Property Tax Independence Act
I am proud to again cosponsor Senate Bill 76, the Property Tax Independence Act and to be a part of the reintroduction of this important legislation. I believe the words of Pennsylvania’s Constitution should ensure no one loses their home due to school property taxes. Article I, Section 1, “Inherent Rights of Mankind” states: “All men are born equally free and independent, and have inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.”

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 590 – establishes standards for intellectual property at State-Owned
Universities;
Senate Bill 687 and Senate Bill 688 – (48-1) amendments to the Uniform Planned Community Act and Uniform Condominium Act relating to planned communities and condominiums;
Senate Bill 861 – requires auto insurance coverage for loaner vehicle damages;
Senate Bill 880 – delays Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement until the 2018-2019 school year;
House Bill 911 – updates the 911 Emergency Communications Laws, specifically the 911 surcharge and distribution formula. 

Bill Passes Senate, Goes to Governor for Further Action
House Bill 182 – allows Pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children over 7-years-old with parental consent. 

Senate State Government Committee
On June 17, the Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, held a public hearing on the Wolf Administration’s GO-TIME initiative and its impact on small business.  Testifiers included the Department of General Services (Secretary Topper); Department of Administration (Secretary Minnich); the National Federation of Independent Business (Kevin Shivers, Executive Director), and; Kean University School of Business (Dr. Samuel Bornstein).  Video of the hearing, as well as testimony, can be found here

The Committee also unanimously reported out the following:  Senate Resolution 138 directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study Commonwealth expenditures for salaries, other compensation and benefits of State board and commission members; House Bill 14 to establish the operation of legislative nonprofit organizations, and; House Bill 664 to establish “Juneteenth National Freedom Day” as an annual observance.

 

Medical Cannabis Rally and Town Hall Meeting with Montel Williams
On June 11, Montel Williams stood alongside Senate Bill 3 (Medical Cannabis) advocates at the State Capitol, asking the House of Representatives to consider this life-saving legislation.  That evening, CBS 21 held an informational Town Hall Meeting on the bill.  Thanks to everyone who is helping to try to get Senate Bill 3 passed in the House and signed into law. From the "Momma-Bears" and sick in PA to the supportive House Representatives (special thanks to Reps. Regan and Gainey) to CBS 21 for holding an informational Town Hall to Montel Williams - THANK YOU. I won't stop fighting!

Updates at the PA Department of Health Division of Vital Records
My office was notified that the Division of Vital Records at the Pennsylvania Department of Health is undergoing a transformation to update its business processes with the goal of improving response times for birth and death certificate requests.  During this transition, constituents may experience a longer processing time for certificates ordered by mail, but backlog is expected to be eliminated by June 30. 

Birth certificate applications that Vital Records receives through legislative offices such as mine are being processed within two business days, and death certificate applications are processed within 10 business days.  Birth certificates requested via online order are being processed between two and 15 business days, depending on year of birth.  Most death certificate applications ordered online are being processed within 10 business days.  It is expected that implementation of the new processes will be completed and all applications will be current by late summer. 

Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide, Markets in the 48th Senate District
Markets listed in red are involved in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides income-eligible older adults, and women, infant and children WIC program participants with the opportunity to buy nutritious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables.  Produce sold under the program must be grown in Pennsylvania.

Lebanon County:
Country Harvest:  1509 Jay Street, Lebanon, PA 17046
Farmstead Farmers Market:  1976 Laudermilch Road, Palmyra 17078
Frey’s Farm Market:  1874 Colebrook Road, Lebanon 17042
Honey Bear Orchards:  1819 Thompson Avenue, Lebanon 17046
Howards Farm Fresh Produce:  Route 422, Annville 17003
Lebanon Farm Market:  35 South 8th Street, Lebanon 17042
Lebanon Valley Farm MKT:  Railroad Street, Palmyra 17078
Limestone Springs:  930 Tulpehocken Road, Richland 17087
Myerstown Community Farmers Market:  19 East Main Avenue, Myerstown 17067
Palmyra Producers Only FM:  325 South Railroad Street, Palmyra 17078
Risser Marvel Farm Market:  2425 Horseshoe Pike, Annville 17003
Sauder’s Strawberries:  40 Lengle Road, Myerstown 17067
Seyfert Orchards Inc.:  1050 Mt. Zion Road, Lebanon 17046
Sunset Market:  North 7th Street, Lebanon 17046
Sycamore Spring Orchard:  Heilmandale Road and Thompson Avenue, North Annville
Ulrich’s Farm Market:  Route 897 South, Newmanstown 17073
Weavers:  400 North State Route 934, Annville 17003

Dauphin County:
Red Hill Farm:  3641 Engle Road, Middletown 17057
Saturdays Market:  3751 East Harrisburg Pike, Middletown 17057
Strites’ Orchard Farm Market & Bakery:  1000 Strites Road, Harrisburg 17111

York County:
Forge Hill Orchards:  135 Blossom Drive, Mount Wolf 17347
New Eastern Market:  201 Memory Lane, York 17402
Newberrytown Peddlers Market:  700 York Road, Dover 17315
Raven’s Blueberry Farm:  137 Butter Road, York 17404
Sunnyside Farm:  1865 York Road, Doyer 17315
Susquehanna Aquacultures:  Box 306, Brunner Island, York Haven 17370
Triple “A” Dwarf Acres:  365 Forge Hill Road, Manchester 17345

Google’s Economic Impact in Pennsylvania
Google helped provide $3.33 Billion in economic activity for Pennsylvania businesses, website publishers and non-profits in 2014.  $6,550,000 of free advertising was provided to 312 Pennsylvania non-profits through the Google Ad Grants program.  More than 400 Pennsylvanians are employed full-time by Google, which has offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  For more information, visit www.google.com/economicimpact.


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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