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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 September 26, 2016

Thank America’s Teachers: Support for Mr. Ludwig, Lebanon High School!
Farmers Insurance is giving $1 million to teachers through the Thank America’s Teachers program with 180 $2,500 grants, and six $100,000 grants. Once a teacher was thanked on the website, they can apply for a grant. Beginning October 1, fifteen teacher proposals will be posted on the Thank America’s Teachers website and the community votes on who should be awarded the grant. One of 15 finalists for the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge is Dale Ludwig, a teacher at Lebanon High School. Beginning October 1,vote here! Click on “Vote for a $100,000 Proposal”, and vote for Mr. Ludwig daily! Voting tabulation will be done the first week of November.

Highlights of Mr. Ludwig’s proposal include: “The Great Lebanon Community Project” is to work closely with the Lebanon Mayor on a community-wide waterway and watershed project that would benefit both the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency. Students would test water quality, assist with storm water drains, and public service announcements developing the skills necessary to be good citizens in the 21st century.

PennDOT Installing Cable Median Barrier along US 222, I-78 and US 15
The PA Department of Transportation began a safety improvement project to install high-tension cable median barriers to help prevent errant vehicles from crossing the median and colliding with those traveling in the opposite direction. Crews will prepare to install the concrete foundations and steel posts and attach the high-tension cable along the following highways: US 222 in Lancaster county from the Manheim-Warwick township line to the Lancaster-Berks county line; I-78 in Lebanon County from east of Route 72 to the Lebanon-Berks county line, and; US 15 from south of the US 30 interchange to south of York Springs Borough. Motorists are advised they may encounter left shoulder restrictions during daylight operations through the beginning of winter. Crews will break over the winter and resume work in the spring, with the project expected to be complete by mid-August 2017.

Ft. Indiantown Gap Safety Briefings and Annual Fee Payments Now Online
Those wishing to hunt, fish and trap in restricted areas at Fort Indiantown Gap can now complete the mandatory safety briefing and pay the annual $50 fee online. The briefing covers the changes for the upcoming season which runs from October 2016 to May 2017 and introduces hunters to the available hunting areas on the installation. All hunters must also possess a valid PA Game Commission license. A lottery is used to select those who may hunt north of Blue Mountain during regular rifle season. The lottery entry costs $20 and ensures a safe hunting environment and assists with managing the harvest.

Additionally, there are 1,000 Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons this year, which are available by visiting the Wildlife office weekdays 7-9 a.m., September 6-23. To be eligible to participate in the DMAP program, hunters must also complete the online safety briefing, pay the access fee, and have a valid PA Game Commission license. All fees collected are used for the protection, conservation and management of fish and wildlife at Fort Indiantown Gap, including habitat restoration and improvement, biologist staff and support costs and related activities.

After completing the online registration and payment of fees, hunters will be able to check in and out of the hunting areas using a new kiosk beginning October 1. For questions about the new program, call (717) 821-3028 or (717) 861-2663, or e-mail

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Date Changes
The PA Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is advising college-bound students and families of a date change to the application timeline for federal, state and other sources of student financial aid. Beginning with the 2017-18 student aid application cycle, the FAFSA will be available three months earlier than in previous years, with students able to apply for financial aid as early as October 1, 2016 (in prior years, the FAFSA did not become available until January 1). The U.S. Department of Education made the change to better align the financial aid application process with the actual college admissions timeline. The rules were also modified to allow applicants to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA with financial information from the 2015 tax year. To further assist families with college and student financial aid planning, visit, and for more information on the higher education financial process, FAFSA Completion Session schedules, financial aid deadline reminders, and higher education planning information, visit

Congressman Costello Community Office Hours
Congressman Ryan Costello’s staff will be holding community office hours to address federal questions and concerns in my Lebanon District Office, Room 101 Municipal Building, 400 South 8th Street, on Thursday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Questions regarding the community office hours can be directed to Jason Carver of Congressman Costello’s office at (610) 376-7630 or (610) 696-2982.

Disability Employment Outreach Day
The State Civil Service Commission, the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities, and the Office of Administration are holding a Disability Employment Outreach Day on Friday, October 21 at the PA Fish & Boat Commission Headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg. Employment presentations will be at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and job counselors will be available from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This is an informational event only where individuals with disabilities are invited to learn about the state’s civil service application, testing, and hiring process, and are asked to bring an up-to-date resume (no interviews or hiring will take place at the outreach event). To request accommodations for this event, contact or (717) 214-4933 by October 7.

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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