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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 January 18, 2016

The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.

Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Benefit Program Accepting Applications
The PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Benefit Program. The bonus pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000. Those who received a bonus or similar compensation from any other state are not eligible for the program. To apply, visit www.persiangulfbonus.pa.gov. The application deadline is August 31, 2018.

National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament
The PA Game Commission (PGC) announced the 2016 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament is March 11 at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility in State College. Registration is $11 per archer and is open February 1-19. The NASP State Tournament began in 2011, and this year’s tournament is estimated to have around 1,100 participants from more than 45 schools across PA. About 9,000 arrows will fly each hour, nearly 46,000 arrows for the day. More than $5,000 in scholarships will be awarded to the state’s top performing student archers. To register, click here, or visit the NASP Tournament website: http://nasptournaments.org/. To start NASP in a PA school, contact Todd Holmes at the PGC headquarters at (717) 787-4250, ext. 3330.

PennDOT Highway and Bridge Construction Projects
The PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) of South Central PA completed 96 highway and bridge construction projects in 2015 totaling $220 million. Bridge work and responding to bridge emergencies were significant in 2015, with PennDOT’s “on-demand bridge contract” streamlining the process for obtaining specialized assistance for emergency situations. Safety improvement projects were also significant for 2015, including the application of high friction surface treatments throughout the region (including a sharp curve on Route 241 in North Cornwall Township, Lebanon County).

According to Michael Keiser, District Engineer for PennDOT Engineering District 8, “More improvements will be coming in 2016. In the coming year, we plan on opening bids for 199 projects, totaling more than $256 million.” These projects include:

Dauphin County:

  • Rehab of Mulberry Street Bridge, Harrisburg ($12.2 million)
  • Repairs to various bridges in the Eisenhower Interchange and on I-83 between the Eisenhower Interchange and the Susquehanna River ($5.6 million)
  • Repairs and resurfacing of Route 22/322 from south of Clarks Ferry Bridge to Route 11/15, and concrete patching and diamond grinding north of Route 325 and south of Dauphin Borough ($4.6 million)

Lebanon County:

  • Repair and resurfacing of Route 934 between Palmyra-Bellegrove Road and I-81, and SR 4020 (Fisher Avenue) between I-81 and SR 4019 (Asher Miner Road) ($4.3 million)
  • Repair and resurfacing of Route 897 between Oak Street and Evergreen Road ($883,587)
  • Replacement of Route 341 bridge over Conewago Creek ($761,677)

York County:

  • Reconstruction of I-83 Exit 18 (Mount Rose Avenue) interchange ($58.3 million)
  • Repair and resurfacing of I-83 between Route 581 and the Maryland state line ($6.2 million)
  • Widening, realignment and reconstruction of the Route 124 intersection with Route 24 ($5.4 million)

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.

When contacting my office by e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone number, and address so that we can follow up with you in a timely manner. Many inquiries can be handled with a phone call or email.

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