Week of June 26, 2017
Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further
Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
Bill Signed into Law by the Governor
Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
Floor Remarks: How Senate Bill 76 Deals with School Debt
Katie Schreckengast, of Palmyra, Crowned
2017 Miss Pennsylvania!
Dept. of Health Press Release: Medical Marijuana
“With today’s announcement, we remain on track to fulfill the Wolf Administration’s commitment to deliver medical marijuana to patients in 2018,” said John Collins, Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana. “The applications from the entities receiving permits were objectively reviewed by an evaluation team made up of members from across commonwealth agencies. Any letters of recommendation or support for an applicant were not considered during the evaluation.”
The 12 permits were issued to:
“The next step for the permit holders will be to ramp up their operations so they can prepare to grow medical marijuana,” Collins said. “Our teams will perform a series of site inspections before the locations can be certified as operational. Once that happens, the permittees will be able to begin growing and processing medical marijuana.”
The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented in 2018. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by Act 16.
Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov. Information is also available on the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook and Twitter.”
A total of 25 grower/processor permits are provided under the law, plus 50 dispensary permits (with up to three locations). Five permit holders will be able to have both a grower/processor and a dispensary permit. Eight additional clinical registrant permits will be issued for research after the regulations are finalized.
Department of Homeland Security Grants Pennsylvania REAL ID
Congratulations to Northeastern and Central York Boys’
Opponents want a “conversation” on property taxes – even though history is filled with such discussions.
In 1215, English citizens fought for property rights by forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta to end royal abuses – including for the first time – protecting property rights. Our country’s founding 600 years later mirrors these protections for life, liberty, and property.
In 1689, English philosopher John Locke highlighted the importance of property: “being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
Thomas Jefferson rephrased Locke’s words in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Like Pennsylvania’s Constitution, which would follow, Jefferson added: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
These principles helped spur the 1787 Constitutional Convention. A year earlier, Daniel Shays, a Continental Army and Bunker Hill veteran deep in debt and fearing seizure of his farm, joined with his neighbors and fellow veterans to protect their properties, leading George Washington to write: “If three years ago any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws and constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite – a fit subject for a madhouse.”
Shay’s Rebellion failed but protecting property became a goal of the Constitutional Convention and when property wasn’t adequately protected by the proposed Constitution, it led to the 5th Amendment: “No person . . . shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
Property rights were again strengthened after the Civil War with the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
In 1874, Pennsylvania’s Constitution added similar protections, which remain today: “All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.”
We’ve had many “conversations” on property. Meanwhile, school property taxes have risen while the base has shrunk, hurting young people seeking first homes and senior citizens fighting to stay in theirs.
Attempts have been made to reduce property tax burdens but all have fallen short. There’s just one bill providing for the total elimination of school property taxes: SB 76.
It’s time to either support this measure or offer an alternative that gets to the much needed and long overdue goal of total elimination of school property taxes because no tax should have the power to leave you homeless.
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