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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 29, 2016

I continue to question why some want to expand access to alcohol, a dangerous drug, yet oppose medical cannabis (Senate Bill 3), a natural plant. Patrick Henry said: “give me liberty or give me death.” He didn’t say, “give me liquor or give me death.”

2/10/16 - Medical Cannabis

Given my ongoing commitment to openness, transparency, and accountability, I questioned the Governor’s Budget Secretary as to how the Administration is able to spend moneys not appropriated by the General Assembly.

2/22/16 - Budget Hearing Questions: Budget Secretary (2015-16 Budget)

As one of the biggest cost drivers of state budgets are collective bargaining agreements, I asked the Governor’s Budget Secretary about my Senate Bill 644 (Independent Fiscal Office analyses of collective bargaining agreements) to give both the General Assembly and citizens more information on these contracts two weeks before they’re signed.

2/22/16 - Budget Hearing Questions: Budget Secretary (2016-17 Budget)

Senate Resolution 284 to Remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane
SR 284, addressing the Governor to act under section 7 of Article VI of the Pennsylvania Constitution to remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office for reasonable cause, failed to get a two-thirds majority vote (29-19).  I supported this measure as I believe Article IV, Sections 4 and 6 are clear:  the Attorney General “shall be the chief law officer of the Commonwealth and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be imposed by law” and “No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General except a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”  With the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspending the Attorney General’s law license (twice), I do not believe she can serve as the chief law officer who is able to exercise the powers and duties of the office.  The Attorney General’s guilt or innocence on the charges she is facing is a separate matter that will be decided by the courts.

2/10/16 - Senate Resolution 284 (Removal of Attorney General Kathleen Kane from Office)

Bills Signed into Law by the Governor
Senate Bill 166 – Act 5 – expands expungement of criminal history records;
House Bill 158 – Act 4 – gives the Secretary of Education flexibility in satisfying mandatory instructional time requirements due to weather, safety and health related emergency declarations;
House Bill 561 – Act 6 – earned income tax exemption for active duty military pay;
House Bill 941 – Act 7 – historical distillery license fee reduction. 

2016 PA Farm Show Award-Winning Recipes
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is known for its outstanding food.  If you couldn’t make it to the show this year, you can still find award-winning recipes for apple pies, brownies, cookies, whoopee pies and more here.

150th Anniversary of Lebanon Valley College
I was pleased to attend the 150th Anniversary celebration of Lebanon Valley College, located in the 48th Senatorial District, which was founded in 1866 as a private coeducational institution on the site of the Annville Academy.  It became a four-year institution in 1883.  The college now has more than 1,600 full-time students and offers more than 30 majors.

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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