Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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Week of February 26, 2018

The PA General Assembly is hosting The Wall That Heals exhibition featuring a replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial and mobile Education Center.  The replica will be located on the grass section in front of the Irvis Building, at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Walnut Street, Harrisburg.  Opening ceremony is at 7 p.m. on May 9th, and the free exhibit will remain open 24 hours a day until 2 p.m. on May 13th.

Cable Show:  Keystone State Testing

My latest cable show is ready for viewing! Senator John DiSanto and I visited a very educational and fascinating facility: Keystone State Testing in Lower Paxton Township, one of two state-approved facilities that will test medical cannabis in PA.  It is exciting to see the different aspects of Act 16 of 2016 coming together to safely bring this medicine, medical cannabis, to patients. You can watch below, and Comcast on Demand and WHBG TV20 should also be airing through mid-March.

Senator Mike Folmer Community Report Cable Show: Keystone State Testing

 Bills Signed into Law by the Governor

Act No. 2:  House Bill 1175 – strengthens penalties under the Lobbyist Disclosure Law;

Act No. 3:  House Bill 359 – protects hunters mistakenly harvesting an animal who turns themselves into the PA Game Commission and surrenders the animal, to not face a revocation of their hunting license;

Act No. 5:  House Bill 1653 – allows distance and online higher education students receive state grants;

Act No. 6:  Senate Bill 354 – strengthens the PA Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs’ licensee reporting requirements and suspensions;

Act No. 7:  Senate Bill 497 – eliminates the waste designation for steel slag;

Act No. 8:  Senate Bill 542 – permits pharmacists to dispense some emergency prescription refills.

Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing Scheduled

I am happy to announce the long-awaited Senate State Government Committee public hearing on bills to amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution to change how electoral districts are drawn has been scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 27 in Hearing Room One, North Office Building.  Bills to be included are Senate Bills 22, 243, 464 and 767.  Once finalized, agenda and testimony will be accessible here, as well as live feed of the hearing.

Growth of Industrial Hemp Research in 2018

The PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) has approved 39 industrial hemp research applications across 25 counties for 2018, and if all applicants complete the permitting process, nearly 1,000 acres of hemp will be growing this spring.  In comparison, 14 growers produced a total of 36 acres statewide in 2017.  About one third of those who applied to grow hemp this year are renewal requests.

Following the application deadline, PDA’s Bureau of Plant Industry reviewed and requested additional information to complete the permitting process, and verified FBI clearance records.  Permits will be issued to successful applicants who submit the $2,000 permit fee, after which the bureau will submit seed orders to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who must permit the importation of hemp seed into the U.S.

There are two approved industrial hemp applicants in the 48th Senatorial District:

  • Destiny’s Agro Farm, Inc. (Grow Site #2), Middletown, Dauphin County
    • Project Title:  HemPiDiol – HPDD
  • Kunj Biotech LLC, Middletown, Dauphin County
    • Project Title:  Exploring Hemp for Bioactive chemicals and home grown products in PA

A 2015 report from the Congressional Research Service found that hemp is used in more than 25,000 products worldwide, including automotive interiors, textiles, paper, foods, beverages and nutritional supplements, among others.  China and Canada dominate hemp production, with the U.S. being the world’s largest importer of the crop, where it is estimated to be a nearly $600 million industry.

Constituent Highlight: Eric Wolfgang, PSBA Governing Board VP

Eric Wolfgang, of Springettsbury Township, York County in the 48th Senatorial District, has been a Central York School Board member since 1999, having served as board president for 11 of those years. He has served as the PSBA liaison since 2002, and attained Master School Board Member status as well as accreditation of PSBA Fellow.  He has represented PSBA as the PIAA District III representative for eight years, on the PIAA State committee for two years, and as York County Legislative Coordinator and the 2016-17 PSBA Bylaws Chair.  Locally he has served on the Joint Operating Committee of York County School of Technology, Lincoln Benefit Trust Board, and the board of York Adams Academy, and volunteers with the Salvation Army and York’s Habitat for Humanity.  He was instrumental in helping to form the York Academy Regional Charter School, a cooperative between York City, Central York and York Suburban school districts.  A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in electrical engineering technology, he is employed by Electronics Manufacturing Services Group as a quality assurance manager.

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