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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 February 15, 2016

While I’m not Jimmy Stewart, I took a page from his “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” to push for consideration of my medical cannabis bill (Senate Bill 3), which has been sitting in the PA House of Representatives since May of 2015.

2/8/16 - Medical Cannabis

Governor Wolf gave his 2016-17 budget address this week, which I found to be high on political rhetoric, but low on budget specifics.  The Governor’s proposed budget includes:  a personal income tax rate increase (3.07% to 3.4%), which would be retroactive to January 1, 2016 (meaning if the budget is enacted June 30, 2016, taxpayers will owe six months in back taxes and larger paycheck withholdings), and; an expansion of the current state sales and use tax to include basic cable, satellite TV, movie theater tickets, and digital downloads.  All with no property tax elimination or pension reform.

2/9/16 - Governor Tom Wolf Budget Address

As a PA taxpayer, I'm sure you recognize the value of a hard earned dollar, as do I:

Senator Mike Folmer

Comments from Pennsylvania Taxpayers Regarding the Governor’s Budget(s)
"How could you even think about another budget without final resolution to the current one?!? Resolve the current budget before even thinking about next year's budget! I accept the Governor's desire to improve PA education but throwing more money at the situation is NOT the answer ... And tax increases to fund any additional projects is not the answer in today's economy either."  - Schaefferstown, Lebanon County taxpayer

"I think it is ridiculous for him to start his next budget ... He has not fixed the problem for this year to know what to plan for ... If I did my job the way he is doing his, I would be on unemployment ... He has not done his job so far by not coming up with a reasonable compromise. If he had better negotiating skills and the ability to listen to "The People" he would have had this past budget resolved by now.”  -Lebanon City taxpayer 

"I have had of enough of this Governor. Every time I hear him talk about what I need and how he wants to take more of my money ... How can you keep allowing this SPEND, SPEND, SPEND and TAX,TAX, TAX attitude."  -South Lebanon Township taxpayer 

What are your thoughts?  -

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 489 – changes government check cashing requirements;
Senate Bill 568 – recommendations from the State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws;
Senate Bill 889 – extends heart and lung benefits to PA Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission enforcement officers and investigators;
House Bill 1296 – authorizes local government investments.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor
Both bills passed unanimously.
House Bill 561 – earned income tax exemption for active duty military pay;
House Bill 941 – historical distillery license fee reduction.

Senate Resolution 284 to Remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane
SR 284, addressing the Governor to act under section 7 of Article VI of the Pennsylvania Constitution to remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office for reasonable cause, failed to get a two-thirds majority vote (29-19).  I supported this measure as I believe Article IV, Sections 4 and 6 are clear:  the Attorney General “shall be the chief law officer of the Commonwealth and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be imposed by law” and “No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General except a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”  With the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspending the Attorney General’s law license (twice), I do not believe she can serve as the chief law officer who is able to exercise the powers and duties of the office.  The Attorney General’s guilt or innocence on the charges she is facing is a separate matter that will be decided by the courts.

Bills Signed into Law
Senate Bill 494 – Act 3 – repeals hard-copy requirement for the Flood Insurance Report;
House Bill 1201 – Act 2 – repeals an archaic 1943 law for Federal government construction of World War II roads.

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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