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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 November 30, 2015

Elimination of School Property Taxes
This week the Senate fell one vote short to eliminate school property taxes as Lieutenant Governor Stack broke a 24-24 tie vote to kill an amendment that would have added the provisions of Senate Bill 76 to another bill. Though I’m disappointed, this is not the end. The vote was truly historic and I want to thank my colleague Senator Argall, and his staff, for taking the lead on these much needed and long overdue reforms. Also, thank you to the 22 other Senators who supported Senator Argall and me. Most importantly, to our grassroots supporters, rest assured: the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. You can listen to my floor comments here:

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 482 – places a fee on final judicial sale of properties that are to be demolished and rehabilitated to address blight and abandoned properties;
Senate Bill 735 – allows mobile retail food facilities to operate in certain multiple jurisdictions without having to pay fees in each county;
Senate Bill 859 and Senate Bill 860 – (37-10) merges the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole into the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (I was not able to support these measures due to concerns with implementation);
Senate Bill 912 – (48-2) $244.4 Million appropriation to Pennsylvania State University;
Senate Bill 913 – (48-2) $29.6 Million appropriation to University of Pennsylvania;
Senate Bill 914 – (48-2) $146.9 Million appropriation to Temple University;
Senate Bill 915 – (48-2) $143.1 Million appropriation to University of Pittsburgh;
Senate Bill 916 – (48-2) $14 Million appropriation to Lincoln University;
Senate Bill 984 – (48-2) regulates Transportation Network Companies (Uber and Lyft);
Senate Bill 1065 – adds falconry to the list of exemptions for Sunday hunting;
House Bill 477 – the Activities and Experiences for Children in Out-of-Home Placement Act to help children in foster care.

Bill Passes Senate, Goes to Governor for Further Action
House Bill 698 – allows hunting from motorized wheelchairs.

Syrian Refugees
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, reported out Senate Resolution 248, “directing the Governor to reject the placement of Syrian refugees within the Commonwealth until the federal government establishes increased security procedures to screen refugees coming from this region.” The Resolution will “request the President of the United States to direct the Department of Homeland Security to review its security procedures for vetting refugees and to send a report detailing the increased measures to the states that are under consideration to receive refugees.” The full Senate adopted this Resolution, 37-13.

Sympathies and Condolences to France
The Senate unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 249, “extending sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Paris, France.”

Route 230 Bridge Rehab over Swatara Creek in Middletown
The PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) installed temporary traffic signals and will set a barrier and close a lane on the Route 230 bridge over the Swatara Creek at the east end of Middletown Borough, Dauphin County on December 7. The $4,340,500 contract was awarded to Kinsley Construction, Inc. of York County to demolish and replace the superstructure, repair existing concrete piers and abutments, improve drainage, install scour protection, do roadway approach work, and replace guardrails. The steel thru-girder bridge was built in 1941 and is considered structurally deficient. PennDOT advises that traffic will be restricted to a single 12-foot lane on one side of the bridge around-the-clock until October 2016. The sidewalk will also be closed during construction. Route 230, known as Main Street in Middletown and Harrisburg Pike east of the borough, averages 6,130 vehicles traveled daily.

Contact Information
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