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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 24, 2017

Newberry Township, York County Drunk/Drugged Driving Town Hall Meeting
In partnership with the Newberry Township Police Department, I will be holding a Drunk/Drugged Driving Town Hall Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4th at the Yocumtown Church of God, 160 Red Mill Road, Goldsboro.

Speakers include:  John Snyder, Chief of Police, Newberry Township; Tim Barker, Chief Deputy Prosecutor – Policy and Research, York County District Attorney’s Office; Jerry Spangler, DUI Treatment Compliance Project Manager, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; Kristina Bingham, Deputy District Director, PA Board of Probation and Parole; State Representative Dawn Keefer, 92nd House District, and; myself.

We encourage you to attend this important town hall meeting to hear what is being done in York County and the Commonwealth to help combat drunk/drugged driving, and voice your concerns and suggestions to your state legislators, state department representatives and local law enforcement.

Elimination: “The Complete Removal of Something,” Synonym: Senate Bill 76
Over 20 bills have been introduced in the Senate this Session to address property tax issues, but just one provides for the TOTAL ELIMINATION of school property taxes:  Senator Argall’s Senate Bill 76.  Listen to my continued advocacy of this much needed and long overdue legislation:

4/18/17 - School Property Tax Elimination

SB 8, Asset Forfeiture Reform, Reported from Senate Appropriations Committee
The PA Senate Appropriations Committee reported my and Senator Scarnati’s Senate Bill 8 to reform Pennsylvania’s Asset Forfeiture Law to the full Senate for consideration.  Several groups worked together on this issue and reached a compromise to provide better protections for citizens’ property.  Key reforms in SB 8 include:

  • Higher burdens of proof imposed on the Commonwealth.
  • Protections for third party owners by placing additional burdens of proof on the Commonwealth.
  • Improved transparency in auditing and reporting at both the county and state levels.
  • Specific and additional protection in real property cases by prohibiting the pre-forfeiture seizure of real property without a hearing.
  • Additional procedural protections for property owners, such as returning property to the forfeiture proceeding if there is undue hardship, and an extra level of protection for anyone acquitted of a related crime who is trying to get their property back.

This is a first step towards smarter forfeiture practices to provide at least some level of due process for property owners.  I look forward to SB 8 being considered by the Senate.

April 23rd:  Pennsylvania’s Tax Freedom Day
Tax Freedom Day is the day when Pennsylvanians have earned enough money to pay their total tax bill for the year.  This Commonwealth spends $999 every second, $2,466 for each and every PA citizen.  When do we say “Enough?”  Enough taxation.  Enough excessive government spending.  Enough borrowing.  Enough burdening taxpayers!  Listen to my remarks here.  April 23rd is also the nation’s Tax Freedom Day.

It was great meeting with the PA Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA) group of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) regarding SB 274, to designate and officially recognize the skill and expertise of PA’s CRNAs.  I was pleased to support this measure when it unanimously passed the Senate.

One Year Anniversary of Act 16 of 2016: Medical Cannabis
April 17, 2017 marked the one year anniversary of my medical cannabis legislation, SB 3, being signed into law by Governor Wolf as Act 16 of 2016! It was great being surrounded by the amazing advocates once again to celebrate this milestone in PA history and bring this much needed medicine to the ill and suffering in our Commonwealth.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
Both bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 227 – reduces the mandated time for automatic renewal of a superintendent or assistant superintendent contract;
Senate Bill 365 – increases the threshold for 2nd Class Townships to sell personal property without bids.

Bill Passes Senate, Goes to Governor for Further Action
Senate Bill 250 – (41-8) allocates $15 Million in temporary funding to the PA Department of Labor & Industry for Unemployment Compensation call centers (I again was not able to support this measure as the Department has not yet justified the spending of hundreds of Millions of taxpayer moneys, and have not assured that needlessly laid-off employees will be rehired to assist claimants.  At best, this is a temporary fix to a long-term problem.)

The Senate also unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 34, directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study of the long-term viability and sustainability of the PA State System of Higher Education.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
State Board of Accountancy – David Stonesifer, Mohnton
Animal Health & Diagnostic Commission – Meghann Pierdon, Bainbridge
Architects Licensure Board – Mary McClenaghan, Coatesville & Jerry Roller, Philadelphia
State Board of Cosmetology – Tracy Bruno, Milton & Debora Neatock, Mohnton
State Board of Landscape Architects – David Morgan, York
Council of Trustees of Lock Haven University – James Gregory, Lock Haven
State Board of Nursing – Ann Coughlin, Philadelphia & Kristin Malady, Mechanicsburg
State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators – Michael Kelly, Scranton
State Board of Optometry – Carl Urbanski, Mountain Top
State Board of Physical Therapy – Cynthia Potter, Wexford
State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors & Geologists – Ronald Jumper, Jr., Carlisle & Robert Kudlawiec, Windber
State Board of Psychology – Steven Erickson, York
State Real Estate Commission – Anne Rubin, Elkins Park
State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists & Professional Counselors – Kurt Kraus, Carlisle
State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology – Amy Goldman, Philadelphia
State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers & Salespersons – William Mohler, Latrobe

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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