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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 February 13, 2017

Taxpayer Protection Act and Small Business Reform Package Advance
The PA Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Hutchinson passed my Senate Bill 7, the “Taxpayer Protection Act”, which would limit the growth in state government spending.  Every second, the Commonwealth spends $999 of your hard-earned tax moneys.  $59,995 every minute, over $3 Million an hour, and over $86 Million every day.  Since 1970, Pennsylvania’s population has grown 7.7%, while the Commonwealth’s General Fund Budget has grown 1,010%.

SB 7 attempts to address these burdens and would limit – not reduce – the growth in state government spending through the lower of the following thresholds:

  • Limit state government spending to the average change in personal income for the three preceding calendar years, OR;
  • Limit state government spending to the average inflation rate plus the average percentage change in state population over the three preceding years (with exceptions for certain extraordinary circumstances).

The “Taxpayer Protection Act” would also require:

  • 25% of any moneys in excess of these limits be returned to the taxpayers.
  • 25% be allocated to the Rainy Day Fund to help balance state budgets during trying economic times.
  • 50% to help pay down the unfunded liabilities of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).

The Committee also approved a Small Business Reform Package, including:  my SB 201 (Like-kind Exchanges), Senator Eichelberger’s SB 202 (Net Operating Loss), and Senator Hutchinson’s SB 203 (Section 179 Expense Deductions), as well as Senator Bartolotta’s SB 173 (Taxpayer Protection Act Constitutional Amendment).  These bills, along with SB 7, advance to the full Senate for consideration. 

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
Senate Bill 3 (32-18) – reduces maximum gestational age for legal abortions to 20 weeks from 24 weeks and prohibits dismemberment abortions;
Senate Bill 10 (37-12) – prevents municipalities and counties from designating themselves as “sanctuary cities”;
Senate Bill 166 (28-22) – public employee “paycheck protection” to ensure political campaign funds are not collected with taxpayer resources;
Senate Bill 170 (38-11) – Delaware River Port Authority changes;
Senate Bill 181 performance based budget legislation (passed unanimously);
Senate Bill 241 (36-14) – amends the Equal Pay Law. 

Lebanon County Commission for Women Glass Slipper Project
The Lebanon County Commission for Women will hold the Glass Slipper prom dress sale 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Fri., Feb. 24, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 25 at the Lebanon Valley Mall (2231 Cumberland St.) in the previous Fashion Bug location.  The sale is open to Lebanon County high school students, and dresses (new and gently used) will be sold for $10.  A fashion show will be held at the stage near Boscov’s Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. prior to the sale. 

Gently used dresses (cleaned and on hangers) will be collected 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 18 at the Mall, and the following locations will also be accepting donations Feb. 13-17:  Lebanon Family Health Services (LFHS – 615 Cumberland St., Lebanon), TempForce (827 Cumberland St., Lebanon), The Annex (50 N. Railroad St., Palmyra), Prudential Gacono Real Estate (50 W. Main St., Annville), Jonestown Bank (2 W. Market St., Jonestown), and Wengers of Myerstown Construction Building (west side of Rt. 501, Myerstown).  For more information, contact TempForce at (717) 273-8811, or LFHS at (717) 273-6741. 

Farm to School Mini Grant Awarded to York Suburban School District
York Suburban School District was awarded a $905 Farm to School Mini Grant by the PA Department of Education.  The grants are intended to provide students with access to fresh, healthy food sourced locally.  York Suburban Middle School will utilize the grant to conduct taste tests of locally produced food items, including different varieties of lettuce, fresh beans and root vegetables. 

I was also pleased to participate in a York Suburban town hall meeting on Senate Bill 76 to eliminate school property taxes through expansion of the Sales and Personal Income taxes.  You can read about it in The York Dispatch article written by Junior Gonzalez.  Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Congressman Costello February Lebanon Community Office Hours
Congressman Ryan Costello will hold Community Office Hours in my Lebanon District Office (101 Municipal Building, 400 South 8th Street, Lebanon) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15th.  If you have any questions, please contact Kori Walter, Congressman Costello’s District Director at (610) 376-7630.


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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