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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 21, 2015

Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Voters’ Choice Act
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, will hold a public hearing on my Senate Bill 495, the Voters’ Choice Act, on Tuesday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m. in Hearing Room One, North Office Building. Testifiers include: Michael R. Dimino, Sr., Widener University School of Law; Roy Minet, Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition; Carl Romanelli, Pennsylvania Green Party; Robert Gleason, Pennsylvania State Republican Party; Shawn Felty, Pennsylvania Libertarian Party; the Pennsylvania Democratic Party (TBD), and; James Clymer, Pennsylvania Constitutional Party.

Fire Company Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program
The Fire Company Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program application period is open and will close on October 22 at 4:00 p.m. For more information, click here.

Pennsylvania’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act Waiver Approved
The U.S. Department of Education approved Pennsylvania’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver which allows for a one-year pause in the use of the state’s School Performance Profile (SPP). The SPP is part of Pennsylvania’s obligation under the federal accountability system established by the ESEA. The SPP provides information to review the performance of Pennsylvania schools using a common measure, and relies heavily on student scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s press release, “The waiver means schools that administer Keystone Exams will continue to receive SPP scores. That means the only schools that administered PSSAs in 2015 that will have SPP scores will be those that also administered Keystone Exams. The Keystone Exams will be the only test used to help establish the SPP scores.”

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund
The Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF), administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. There are several ways to make a donation to the VTF: a voluntary check-off box on driver license and vehicle registration renewals; purchase of the “Honoring Our Veterans” license plate, or; a tax-deductible grant, gift or donation to the VTF.

National Traffic Incident Management Emergency Responder Training
The National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training was developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and is a free course being offered at multiple locations this fall. For more information and to register for a class, click 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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