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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 February 23, 2015

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 4 – (30-19) – amends the Pennsylvania Constitution to clarify the General Assembly’s role in defining “purely public charities;”
Senate Bill 279 – establishes the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council;
Senate Bill 397 – privatizes and regulates Bail Bondsmen.

Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Senate Bill 3
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, will hold a public hearing on my and Senator Leach’s Senate Bill 3 to allow physicians to provide medical cannabis to patients in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss possible amendments to the bill, including Real-Time Registry; research supporting expansion of the list of diseases; and best methods of delivery for patients using medical cannabis. Those invited to testify include:

  • Real-Time Registry: Chris Ellis, Beacon Information Design and Nathan Groff, Veritec Solutions, LLC
  • Medical Cannabis Research: Dr. Jack D’Angelo, Dr. Colleen Barry and Dr. Thomas Trite
  • Delivery Systems: Dr. Jeffrey C. Raber and Paul Taylor
  • PA Medical Society: Dr. Steven Shapiro and Dr. Bruce MacLeod

The public hearing will be held Wednesday, February 25 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room One, North Office Building, Harrisburg. I am eager for this informational hearing to discuss how to make SB 3 the best bill to help as many people in the Commonwealth as possible – people who are sick and suffering and need this medication to lead an improved quality of life. The bill has 26 co-sponsors with bipartisan support (12 Republicans and 14 Democrats).

Adult Trout Stocking Schedules
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) released the Adult Trout Stocking Schedules. Click here for the most up-to-date information. Individuals are welcome to aid in stocking fish by meeting the stocking truck at the desired location 30-45 minutes prior to the listed meeting time to guarantee involvement and interaction.

Every year the PFBC stocks approximately 3.2 million adult trout, averaging 11 inches long, in about 530 streams and 120 lakes across the Commonwealth.

Mentored Youth Trout Days
The first Mentored Youth Trout Day will be March 28, the Saturday before the regional opening day of trout season in 18 southcentral and southeast counties. The second day will be April 11, the Saturday before the statewide opening day of trout season. Mentors and children can each keep two trout that are at least seven inches long. To participate, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license. Both are available at or at any licensing agent across the state.

PA American Water “Protect Our Watersheds” Youth Art Contest
Pennsylvania American Water is accepting entries for the “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest. Fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students in schools served by PA American Water, and individual students who live in the company’s service area are eligible. Winners will be selected based on creative vision, artistic talent, understanding of watershed protection and the ability to communicate that understanding. Students must also write a brief narrative on the personal impact of watershed protection. The deadline for artwork submissions is April 10. Contest guidelines and entry forms are available here.

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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