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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 October 5, 2015

Why is the Governor Hurting PA Schools and Community Organizations?
Because residents of Pennsylvania can’t afford the tax increases of historic proportions that he wants? Because the PA Senate and House GOP don't agree with 100% of his proposals? Where is the Governor’s compromise? The PA Senate and House passed budget matched or exceeded the Governor’s funding requests for 70% of the items! The Governor is inflicting more struggle onto vital programs with his constant vetoes. I always say, “If you agree with me 50% of the time, join me and support me. If you agree with me 100% of the time, you should have your head examined.” Governor Wolf, we agree on 70% of this budget. What are you fighting? What point are you trying to make? Obviously, the Governor’s primary concern is not the well-being of the citizens of PA.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 685 and Senate Bill 686 – allows out-of-state athletic team physicians to treat athletes without the need for a Pennsylvania medical license;
Senate Bill 785 – (46-1) clarifies the assessment of buildings;
Senate Bill 898 and Senate Bill 899 – provides for revenue neutrality of taxes following countywide reassessment;
House Bill 823 – (45-2) updates Act 164 of 2014 relating to Tax Collectors.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 513 – allows transportation of residual waste;
Senate Bill 875 – (29-18) promotes the beneficial use of treated mine water;
House Bill 33 – amends the Municipalities Planning Code to allow appointment of municipality residents to serve as alternate members on planning commissions.

Senate Resolution 149: Resolution for the National Guard
SR 149, a Concurrent Resolution adopted by the Pennsylvania Senate and House, urges Congress to take all necessary action to prohibit any force structure changes, to prohibit any transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard, and maintain the Army National Guard at 350,200 Soldiers until the National Commission on the Future of the Army has reported its findings to Congress in February 2016.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Confirmed by Senate
The Senate unanimously confirmed Andrew Place of Waynesburg as a Commissioner to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.

Veterans Symposium and Expo
A Veterans Symposium & Expo, co-hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs and Veteran Community Initiatives, Inc., will be held October 10 at Ft. Indiantown Gap’s Recreation Center/Strickler Field. Pennsylvania service members and veterans, as well as their spouses and family members are welcome to attend this free event. To register, visit or call (814) 255-0355.

Constitutional Trivia Answers
1) How many words are in the original U.S. Constitution? 4,543
2) How many amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been repealed? One
3) Which state has the shortest Constitution? Vermont
4) Which state has the longest Constitution and the most amendments? Alabama
5) Which state has the oldest Constitution? Massachusetts
6) Which states have the newest Constitutions? Georgia and Rhode Island
7) Which Constitution has been amended the least? Illinois
8) Which state has adopted the most Constitutions? Louisiana
Courtesy of September edition of “State Legislatures.” Sources: National Archives and Records Administration; National Constitution Center;, and; Center for State Constitutional Studies.

PA DEP Employment Opportunities in Mining Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced over 50 mining program positions will become available across the Commonwealth by 2017. Surface and underground mine inspectors work with the mining community to ensure compliance with environmental standards and safe working conditions. A knowledge of mines and mining is required.

Opportunities include: Surface Mine Conservation Inspectors (Schuylkill, Cambria, Centre, Clarion, Washington & Westmoreland counties), Bituminous Underground Mine Inspectors and Electrical Inspectors (Westmoreland and surrounding counties), and Anthracite Underground Mine Inspectors and Electrical Inspectors (Schuylkill and surrounding counties). Questions on how to apply can be e-mailed to PA residents interested in applying or learning more can visit

PA Liquor Control Board Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Alcohol Awareness Contest is an educational tool to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the dangers of underage drinking and identify healthy, fun and alcohol-free activities. The contest is open to all PA students grade K-12, including those who are home-schooled or in parochial or private schools. Submissions must be postmarked no later than November 20. Click here to see the student & coordinator guidelines. The Bureau of Alcohol Education can be contacted with any questions at (717) 772-1432 or

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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