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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 April 3, 2017

3/28/17 - School Property Tax Elimination

I continued the fight for TOTAL ELIMINATION of school property taxes this week, addressing the myths against Senate Bill 76 on the Senate Floor.

My April Community Report Cable Show:  Hidden Still Spirits
Check out Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon City, who will release their all-American made David E Bourbon April 1st!  Hidden Still is the largest bourbon producer in PA, and also produces internationally award-winning gin, rum, shine and vodka, and has a full PA Preferred menu.  You can watch the show below, on my website, Comcast on Demand and Harrisburg Broadcast Network (Harrisburg, WHBG-20).

April 2017 -  Hidden Still Spirits

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
Senate Bill 30 – (47-2) allows the PA Fish & Boat Commission to establish their own fees;
Senate Bill 133 – (46-2) repeals the REAL ID Nonparticipation Act (I was not able to support this as my question of how REAL ID makes us safer has not been clearly answered, and I also believe the federal government has failed to adhere to the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution);
Senate Bill 171 – (37-10) requires Senate confirmation of PA Turnpike Commission CEO;
Senate Bill 192 – (47-2) allows the PA Game Commission to establish their own fees;
Senate Bill 250 – (39-8) allocates $15 Million in temporary funding to the PA Department of Labor & Industry for Unemployment Compensation call centers (I was not able to support this measure as the Department has not yet justified hundreds of Millions of dollars’ worth of spending in the past, and has not assured the laid-off employees if they will be rehired to assist claimants.  This is a temporary fix to a long-term problem).

SR 36 Adopted, Urging US Congress to Reauthorize Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment
My Senate Resolution 36, urging US Congress to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to restrict the US Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws, was adopted this week.  The Senate Secretary’s office will transmit a copy of SR 36 to the President of the United States, the presiding officers of Congress and to each member of Congress from Pennsylvania.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
State Board of Accountancy – Sheri L. Risler, Lafayette Hill
Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education – Shaina M. Hilsey, Garnet Valley; Logan L. Steigerwalt, Walnutport, and; Brian H. Swatt, Indiana
State Board of Landscape Architects – Dina M. Klavon, Pittsburgh
State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators – Robert L. Wernicki, Fair Oaks
State Board of Optometry – Luanne K. Chubb, King of Prussia
State Board of Physical Therapy – Sandra L. Campbell, Media and Geraldine M. Grzybek, Allison Park
State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists – Elizabeth A. Catania, Woodlyn and Francis J. Stanton, Jr., Richboro
State Board of Psychology – Katherine L. Bradley, Gardners
State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and SalespersonsNeal L. Hufford, Jr., Harrisburg (a constituent of the 48th Senatorial District); George F. Mermon, Nesquehoning; Daniel G. Murphy, III, Bryn Mawr, and; Scott D. Weisser, Langhorne

Etters VFW Post 537 Donates $16,000 to Lebanon VA Medical Center
The Etters VFW Post 537 (York County), in the 48th Senatorial District, along with their Auxiliary, presented the Lebanon VA Medical Center with $16,000 raised through an event and donations.  The money will be used for hospice care, a Christmas fund, social activities and services for the latest generation of combat veterans.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Deadline Extended
The deadline to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to April 7 (from March 31).  LIHEAP offers cash grants sent directly to the utility company or crisis grants for households in immediate danger of being without heat.  Cash grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region.  In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or statement from their fuel dealer verifying customer status and the type of fuel used.  Individuals can apply for the LIHEAP online at, or in-person at local county assistance offices.  Questions can be answered by calling 1-866-857-7095.

Annville-Cleona High School Stadium Earns KAFMO 2017 Field of Distinction Honors
Congratulations to Annville-Cleona High School (Lebanon County), in the 48th Senatorial District, for earning the Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization’s (KAFMO) 2017 Field of Distinction honors!  Field of Distinction honors are awarded to facilities dedicated to providing safe and playable conditions for students, regardless of the level of play.  Michele Seltzer, Field Manager, maintains the field with the assistance of Wes McCurdy.  The two were recognized in February at the KAFMO/PRPS Athletic Field Conference.

Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries and the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund
The Chesapeake Bay Trust, supported by the Treasure of Chesapeake license plate, distributes yearly grants to non-profit organizations, schools, local governments and other organizations.  Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries of Middletown (Dauphin County), in the 48th Senatorial District, received a $4,990 grant for approximately 25 students, grades 7-12, to investigate stormwater runoff.  The project will help educate and engage citizens in water quality and habitat improvements in the local watershed.

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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