View in browser

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 April 6, 2015

Column: “Reform is in the Eye of the Beholder”
I recently read a newspaper story about Governor Wolf’s proposed budget. The writer described it as “a bold blueprint for raising and spending billions of new state dollars to slash local school property taxes, boost state spending for education programs and make Pennsylvania’s tax system fairer.”

The terms “bold” “slash” and “fairer” jumped out at me as they aren’t adjectives I would have used to describe the Governor’s proposed plans.

For example, I support Senate Bill 76 to totally eliminate school property taxes. To reach this much needed and long overdue goal, you need approximately $12 Billion in replacement revenues.

Governor Wolf has proposed approximately $3.5 Billion in property tax reductions, which he says would provide dollar-for-dollar reductions “paid by the average homeowner by 50 percent and reducing the total tax burden on average, middle-class families.”

I don’t see how $3.5 Billion out of an average $12 Billion tax bill equals 50 percent. The math just doesn’t work. And, I fail to see how this is “slashing” property taxes when there’s another alternative that would completely eliminate school property taxes.

This reminds me of President Obama’s plans to change our nation’s health care system. Often called “Obama Care,” many immediately called it “reform.” Again, I wouldn’t.

To me, “reform” begins with respect for our federal and state Constitutions – our rule of law. I think that following the US and Pennsylvania Constitutions would end many of the problems our nation and our state face.

Those who espouse the theory of a “Living Constitution” disagree. They claim the Constitution is a living document, designed to evolve with changing times.

“Reform” isn’t a phrase that should be used lightly. Changes should be grounded in the Constitution, they should be well thought out, and they should be focused on ensuring they’re done correctly. Otherwise, “reform” is simply in the eye of the beholder.

Senate and House State Government Committees Joint Public Hearing
The Senate and House State Government Committees will hold a joint public hearing on Monday, April 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in G-50 Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg. The focus of the joint public hearing will be amendments to the US Constitution through a Convention of States as provided by Article V.

2015 Great American Cleanup of PA Currently Underway
2014 Great American Cleanup of PA Statistics in the 48th Senate District

County # of Volunteers Lbs. of Trash Miles Covered
Dauphin 1,861 190,640 87
Lebanon 1,144 16,280 105
York 811 25,480 111

Collectively Pennsylvania had 135,897 volunteers in 2014, cleaning up 6,344,912 pounds of trash, covering 10,908 miles. The 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA began on March 1 and ends on May 31. Events registered through will receive free bags, gloves and vests from PennDOT District Offices while supplies last.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association will also sponsor Let’s Pick It Up PA every day from April 11 to May 4. During the Pick It Up PA Days, registered events will be able to take the trash collected during their cleanup to participating landfills for free or reduced disposal.

To register your event or for more information contact Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup of PA Coordinator at 877-772-3673 x113 or at

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.

Was this message forwarded to you? Visit my website if you would like to receive your own copy of "Mike's Memo."

If you no longer wish to receive "Mike's Memo," please click here to unsubscribe.

Privacy Policy
2015 © Senate of Pennsylvania