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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 November 9, 2015

Bills Signed into Law by the Governor
Senate Bill 210 – Act 54 – exempts those 75 years and older from jury duty upon request, and exempts federal and state judges from jury duty;
Senate Bill 748 – Act 55 – eliminates mandatory Pennsylvania State Police escorts of super-sized load vehicles and replaces them with certified pilot escorts;
House Bill 175 – Act 50 – extends the application deadline for Persian Gulf Veterans’ Bonus Program;
House Bill 904 – Act 51 – amends the First Class Township Code relating to property maintenance codes;
House Bill 906 – Act 52 – amends the First Class Township Code relating to removal of elected officers who fail to perform their duties;
House Bill 910 – Act 53 – amends Act 35 of 1953 relating to removal of elected officers who fail to perform their duties.

Special Committee on Senate Address
A bi-partisan Special Committee was established on October 26 to pursue possible Senate action against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, pursuant to Article VI, Section 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Committee members include Senator Gordner (R-Columbia County), Chairman; Senator Baker (R-Luzerne County); Senator Yaw (R-Lycoming County); Senator Schwank (D-Berks County); Senator Wiley (D-Erie County), and; Senator Haywood (D-Montgomery County). Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferson County) serves as a voting ex-officio member. The preliminary responsibilities and duties of the Committee are to issue a written report within 30 days to the full Senate with findings and outline of procedures the Committee will utilize if they move forward, and determine if there is sufficient evidence that warrants notice and a hearing as required under the PA Constitution. The first public hearing of the Special Committee is scheduled for 1 p.m., November 9 in Hearing Room One, North Office Building and will be live at the Committee’s website: http://senateaddress.pasen.gov/. The Committee also has an e-mail address for public input: senateaddress@pasen.gov.

Pennsylvania Senate Standing Committee Information
There are 22 standing committees in the Pennsylvania Senate that review and amend bills, consider cabinet nominations and hold public hearings on pressing issues. You can find video, testimony and other information from all Senate Committees here.

PennDOT Driver License and Photo Centers Closed on Veterans Day
All Pennsylvania Department of Transportation driver license and photo centers will be closed Wednesday, November 11 for Veterans Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online at www.dmv.pa.gov.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open. LIHEAP helps low-income families with heating bills and heating emergencies, such as a broken furnace, fuel shortage or utility shutoff. Information and applications can be found here.

PA DCNR State Forest Resource Management Plan
The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is still accepting comments and survey input until November 30 on the State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP). The SFRMP can be viewed here, and is the primary instrument used to plan, coordinate and communicate management of the state forest system. According to DCNR, “The 2015 SFRMP revision process continues the agency’s ongoing adaptation to changing ecological, social and economic conditions.” The survey can be completed here, and comments can e-mailed to StateForestPlan2015@pa.gov, or mailed to Bureau of Forestry, Planning Section, P.O. Box 5552, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8552.


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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