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
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.
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.
As a PA taxpayer, I'm sure you recognize the value of a hard earned dollar, as do I:
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
House Bill 1201 – Act 2 – repeals an archaic 1943 law for Federal government
construction of World War II roads.
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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e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone
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