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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 May 23, 2016

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 180 – (45-3) establishes the Donate Life PA Act for organ and tissue donation education, and updates donation methods and transplant practices;
Senate Bill 837 – title protection for Marriage and Family Therapists;
Senate Bill 1031 – reestablishes the Independent Counsel Authorization Act;
Senate Bill 1038 – allows a Court of Common Pleas Judge to serve on a Juvenile Detention Board in third class counties;
Senate Bill 1154 – updates to the Civil Service Act;
Senate Bill 1194 – removes the sunset date from the State Military College Legislative Appointment Initiative;
House Bill 150 – creates a bicycle Share-the-Road registration plate;
House Bill 608 – gives Department of Health the authority to add chemicals to the Drug Act’s “precursor substances” list;
House Bill 1196 – amends the Liquor Code relating to liquor license ballot questions;
House Bill 1484 – further preserves “Soldiers’ Grove”;
House Bill 1552 – (49-1) authorizes Department of Education to enter into interstate reciprocity agreements for distance education.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 290 – mandatory ignition interlock program for first-time DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels;
Senate Bill 1108 – defines “autocycle” in the Vehicle Code;
House Bill 1436 – (49-1) requires public utility’s federal income tax expense be calculated on a “standalone” basis in Public Utility Commission rate proceedings.

Bill Signed into Law by the Governor
House Bill 400 – Act 26 – establishes the Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarships Awarded
Comcast Foundation Leaders and Achievers scholarships were awarded to select college-bound high school seniors with demonstrated leadership skills, positive attitude, academic achievement, and strong commitment to community service. I’m proud of the recipients from the 48th Senatorial District: Kyla M. Waldon (Cedar Crest); Gregory E. Morrison (Lebanon Catholic), and; Elizabeth R. Holzman (Palmyra). Each received a $1,000 scholarship. Congratulations!

New PennDOT Rail Projects to Create and Retain Jobs
Approximately 9,200 jobs will be created, and more than 39,000 retained over the next five years due to rail projects through two PennDOT-managed grant programs. The State Transportation Commission approved 15 projects under the Rail Transportation Assistance Program, and 16 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program. Two projects include counties within the 48th Senatorial District: Steelton and Highspire Railroad, Dauphin County ($2 million) to construct and rehabilitate 13,026 track feet and 22 turnouts serving the Durabond pipe plant, Chemtron weld plant, Arcelor-Mittal’s interchange loading area, and connecting track to Norfolk Southern’s interchange as well as Steelton & Highspire Railroad’s main yard, and; East Penn Railroad LLC, York, Lancaster and Berks Counties ($560,000) to rehabilitate the Lancaster Northern and York Line, including tie replacement and resurfacing.

PennDOT Closes Ono Road over Swatara Creek for Bridge Replacement
The PA Department of Transportation closed the bridge that carries Ono Road (Route 4007) over the Swatara Creek on the East Hanover-North Annville line, Lebanon County. Work is expected to be completed by October 21, and includes removal of the existing bridge and replacing it with a three-span, adjacent composite box-beam bridge. Until then, travelers can use Waterworks Way, Thompson Avenue, and Heilmandale Road, while heavier trucks are directed to use Route 934.

PennDOT Releases “Green Light-Go” Funding
The PA Department of Transportation has announced 109 municipalities will receive funding to underwrite costs of upgrading traffic signals through the “Green Light-Go” program, which establishes partnership agreements with PennDOT where municipalities request up to 50-percent of funding for projects, such as installing LED technology; retiming; developing special event plans; monitoring traffic signals, and; upgrading traffic signals to the latest technologies. Two municipalities in the 48th Senatorial District will receive funding: Middletown Borough, Dauphin County ($7,500) to replace inductive loop sensors with a video detection system to control and improve the flow of traffic at the intersections of Route 230 (Main Street) and Route 441 (Union Street), Route 230 and Vine Street, and Route 441 and Emaus Street, and; Swatara Township, Dauphin County ($33,312) to replace a traffic signal mast arm at the intersection of Route 3010 (Paxton Street) and 28th Street.

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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