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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 August 17, 2015

Fort Indiantown Gap March for the Fallen
Fort Indiantown Gap’s Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation’s annual event honoring service members who made the ultimate sacrifice is open for registration. The event will be held on Saturday, October 10 at Fort Indiantown Gap with race starting times staggered throughout the morning.

Categories include: a 28-mile “path to honor” route with a heavy division (35 pound minimum rucksack/backpack and uniform) and a light division (no weight requirement and no uniform); a 14-mile “hawk walk challenge” with heavy and light divisions; a 5K “run in honor”, and; a 1K kids run. For more information and to register, click here. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

Additionally, there will be ceremonies honoring the sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans as part of the Department of Defense 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War, as well as Gold-Star families. There will also be a free pasta dinner at the Area 12 picnic grove on October 9 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. for all registered participants and their families.

PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program Accepting Applications
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Winter Maintenance Program is accepting applications until August 21. The program runs from September 1 to March 31. Positions include Transportation Equipment Operators, Diesel Mechanics, Radio Dispatchers, Clerk Typists, Welders and Tradesman Helpers. Individuals in these positions supplement the permanent workforce and have the potential to lead to permanent full-time employment. To apply for this program, and to see other Non-Civil Service job opportunities, click here.

PA DEP Grant Program Open for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Municipalities
The PA Department of Environmental Protection opened a grant program to control urban stormwater and improve local water quality. Municipalities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are eligible (includes Lebanon and York Counties in the 48th Senatorial District). Funding for the grants is provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency. There is $2,300,000 available, with a $200,000 maximum amount per applicant.

The grants will fund construction of urban stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the discharge of nutrients and sediments delivered to local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: raingardens/bioretention; permeable pavement; urban steam restoration; urban tree planting; green roofs, and; wetlands and wet ponds. Projects cannot be associated with new development or for new detention basins, and must be within urbanized areas according to the latest Decennial Census in which National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage is required for the discharge of stormwater.

Projects must be complete within two years of grant award. For more information or to apply, click here, or contact Leif Rowles at lerowles@pa.gov or (717) 783-2290. Grant applications are due no later than October 9.

Senate Majority Policy Chairman’s Budget Impasse Telephone Town Hall
Senator David G. Argall, the Senate Majority Policy Chairman, recently held a telephone town hall meeting in which he was joined by more than 4,700 residents of Berks and Schuylkill Counties. Below are some of the poll questions asked and the results.

Question: The House and Senate passed a balanced budget before the June 30 deadline. What do you think the Governor should have done with that budget?
46% think the Governor should have signed it
45% think the Governor should have done a partial veto
9% think the Governor did the right thing by vetoing the entire budget

Question: The bills which we did pass – a balanced, no-tax increase budget, the privatization of the state’s liquor stores, and a bill to reform our pension system for state and school district employees, were all vetoed by the Governor. Here are our options, which do you prefer?
25% prefer the Republicans continue to try to negotiate a compromise with the Governor
49% prefer the Republicans to try to override the Governor’s veto
13% prefer the Republicans support the Governor’s budget and tax increases
13% are undecided

Question: Of the several proposals being floated in the Capitol to deal with school property tax reform, which one do you support?
8% support the Governor’s plan
3% support the House-passed plan
79% support Senate Bill 76
10% are undecided

Question: Pennsylvania currently faces a $50 Billion shortfall for funding its pension obligations. The House and Senate recently passed a bill to change the current system, but Governor Wolf vetoed the bill. Do you support pension reform?
74% support pension reform
13% opposed pension reform
13% are undecided


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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