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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 April 11, 2016

Medical Cannabis Update
When the Senate overwhelmingly passed my Senate Bill 3 last May, it was a 69-page bill.  When the House returned SB 3 to the Senate last month, it was a 154-page bill with extensive changes that have been carefully analyzed the past three weeks.

The Senate has been weighing two options on SB 3:  agree to the House amendments or address the deep concerns that have been identified.  Action is planned the week of April 11.  After over three years of being the leading legislative advocate for medical cannabis, we want to know whatever is passed is able to be quickly and effectively implemented to avoid delays other states have experienced.  This is too important and too many people are depending on the General Assembly to get it right.

Major General John Gronski Recognized by PA Senate

 (L to R: Sen. Costa, me, Lt. Gov. Stack, MG Gronski and his wife, and Sen. Vulakovich)

4/4/16 - Introduction of Major General John Gronski

I had the great honor to introduce Major General John Gronski as the PA Senate recognized him for his new leadership position with the US Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany beginning May 1.  MG Gronski’s selection for this assignment is historic for the PA Army National Guard, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania wishes him the best in his new position.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 374 – reduces reporting time for big game kills from 10 days to 24 hours;
Senate Bill 579 – Law and Justice Code codification;
Senate Bill 847 – adds additional representatives to the State Veterans Commission;
Senate Bill 881 – clarifies the definition of a “public utility”;
Senate Bill 973 – increases littering fines;
Senate Bill 1104 – amends Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries).

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 526 – amends the Second Class Township Code relating to reports and financial statements;
Senate Bill 644 – (29-19) my openness and transparency bill to empower the Independent Fiscal Office to provide cost analyses of the impacts of proposed collective bargaining agreements twenty days prior to their execution;
House Bill 1340 – clarifies liens for assessments and amendment declarations.

Annual Undergraduate Research at the Capitol Program

Lebanon Valley College (LVC) students, Alyssa Potosnak and Maureen Fleming represented their research, Paranormal Firewalls and Metacognitive Awareness: Separating Pseudoscientific Beliefs and Decision-Making (not in attendance: Kelly Sorber, Jessica Meyer, Corrina Parsons, Elizabeth Aguilar and Taylor Umbrell), and; also LVC students, Tim Monko and Dakota Portzline represented their research, Anxiety-Like Behavior and Serotonin Transporter Levels of Perinatal Iron Deficiency (not in attendance: Emily Spurlin, Ysabela Byler, Nicholas Scullin and Christopher Simion).

Work on Route 934 Bridge over Norfolk Southern Railway in Annville
Prep work began for a construction project to replace the superstructure of the Route 934 (North White Oak Street) bridge between Sheridan Avenue and Heisey Drive over the Norfolk Southern Railway in Annville, Lebanon County.  Traffic may be reduced to a single lane with flaggers through the work area between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. over the next few weeks.  Nearly 8,900 vehicles cross this bridge daily.

The prep work involves modifications on the roadway approaches and installation of a temporary traffic signal.  When the prep work is completed, staged construction will begin:  half of the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt while the other side remains open to traffic.  In the next stage, traffic will be shifted onto the newly constructed side of the bridge while the other half is demolished and rebuilt.  Traffic will be limited to a single lane, with signals controlling traffic through the work zone.  During the project, the bridge will need to close completely to traffic over a weekend with traffic detoured.  PennDOT will announce the weekend closure when the dates have been determined.  The project is scheduled for completion by the end of April 2017.


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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