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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 July 10, 2017

July 11:  Live Telephone Town Hall Meeting Regarding Senate Bill 76
At 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11, Senator Dave Argall and I will hold a live telephone town hall meeting regarding Senate Bill 76, providing for the total elimination of school property taxes.  Sign up here to join this live conversation. 

Standing by Principles and Loving Thy Neighbor:  Why I Support Senate Bill 76
SB 76 is not a lost cause… I’ve been down this road before, and I will stand by my principles, love thy neighbor and continue my fight for passage of Senator Argall’s SB 76.  No tax should have the power to leave you homeless.  Watch my continued Floor comments:

6/29/17 - Property Tax Independence Act (Senate Bill 76)

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 325 – appropriates $30,416,000 to the University of Pennsylvania ($30,135,000 for the Veterinary School);
Senate Bill 326 – appropriates $252,510,000 to the Pennsylvania State University;
Senate Bill 327 – appropriates $146,973,000 to the University of Pittsburgh;
Senate Bill 328 – appropriates $150,586,000 to Temple University;
Senate Bill 329 – appropriates $14,436,000 to Lincoln University;
Senate Bill 461 – provides for taking DNA samples after convictions;
Senate Bill 690 – establishes home rule or optional plans for municipalities without a mayor and will be dividing into wards;
Senate Bill 736 – authorizes parking authorities in Pittsburgh and Cities of the Third Class to enforce and administer parking ordinances and resolutions.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
House Bill 218 – (43-7) Fiscal Year 2017-18 State Budget;
House Bill 423 – updates provisions for the election of officers in cases of vacancy in Second Class Townships;
House Bill 424 – allows Physician Assistants to sign death certificates.

Executive Nomination Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons – Steve T. Fretz, Perkasie

July Cable Show: Lebanon Catholic Girls Basketball PIAA 1A State Champs!
My July Community Report cable show is ready to watch!  In this month’s show, we feature the Lebanon Catholic School girls basketball team who earned the PIAA 1A State Championship title!  The Lady Beavers demonstrated superior sportsmanship, remarkable athletic abilities and have made all of Lebanon County proud!  You can watch the show below, or on my website, while Comcast On Demand and WHBG TV 20 should also be airing the show through the month of July.  Watch and learn about the team’s journey!

July 2017 - Lebanon Catholic School Girls Basketball Team

DEP Hosting Public Hearing on Brunner Island Draft Discharge Permit
The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is hosting a public hearing to collect comments from citizens on the draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to Brunner Island LLC on April 5 and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on April 22.  Brunner Island LLC operates a 1,490-Megawatt coal and natural gas fired power plant which discharges treated industrial wastewater and cooling water to the Susquehanna River.

The hearing is Monday, July 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Union Fire Company, 201 York Street, Manchester.  Individuals will have the opportunity to present up to five minutes of verbal testimony, and comments must be limited to the conditions of the draft permit.  Groups are asked to designate one speaker, and speakers will not be allowed to relinquish time to other speakers.  All presenters should bring at least one copy of their comments and exhibits for submission to DEP.

Those who wish to present testimony are asked to register in advance by contacting John Repetz at or (717) 705-4904.  Registration will be taken through Friday, July 21.  Individuals will be called to testify in the order they register.  Time permitting, those who did not register in advance will be given the opportunity to testify.  The draft permit and fact sheet can be accessed on DEP’s South-Central Regional webpage.

July Schedule of Programs at The State Museum of Pennsylvania
3rd in the Burg:  Art of the State – Friday, July 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy refreshments and a tour of the 50th Anniversary Art of the State exhibition.  Admission is free during this event, sponsored by the Friends of the State Museum.

Nature Labs – Wednesdays and Thursdays through August 24 at 11:30 a.m.
Discover interactive, hands-on learning experiences guided by specialists in fields ranging from archeology to environmental protection.  State Museum curators and representatives of various state agencies will engage in live educational presentations.

  • Wed. July 12 – Paleontology: Evolution of Snakes with Curator Steve Jasinski
  • Thurs. July 13 – Prehistory through Artifacts with State Museum Archeology
  • Wed. July 19 – Pennsylvania Wildlife with Curator Dr. Walter Meshaka, Sr.
  • Thurs. July 20 – Forget Me Not: Preserving Artifacts for the Future with State Museum Archeology
  • Wed. July 26 – Bats Incredible! with PA State Parks Environmental Education Coordinator Carissa Longo
  • Thurs. July 27 – Flintknapping with Curator Dr. Kurt Carr, Sr.

Free Summer Fridays featuring Learn at Lunchtime – Fridays through August 25
General admission to The State Museum will be free on Fridays through August 25.  Lunch and Learn programs are from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.  Curiosity Connection will be free, with limited timed tickets available for 45 minutes of play per hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Regular Planetarium rates apply.  Art Docents will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to give tours in Art of the State.

  • Fri. July 14 – The Leadership of William Penn Tour with State Museum Education
  • Fri. July 21 – Paleontology: Dinosaurs of Eastern US with Curator Steven Jasinski
  • Fri. July 28 – Finding Your Civil War Ancestors: Researching Pennsylvania’s Civil War Veterans with the PA State Archives

Shows at the Planetarium at The State Museum – Through August 27
Planetarium shows are $3 per person in addition to general admission, and is free to members of the State Museum Affiliate and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation.

  • Astronaut (3rd grade and up) – Wed., Thurs. and Fri. at 11 a.m.; Sat. at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and; Sun. at 1:30 p.m. – Explore the worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body.  Narrated by Ewan McGregor.
  • Constellations (4th grade and up) – Wed., Thurs. and Fri. at 1 p.m.; Sat. at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and; Sun. at 2 p.m. – Explore each season and find out the basic constellations you can find in the Pennsylvania night sky.
  • Dark Star Adventure (Pre-K to 2nd grade) – Fri. at 10:30 a.m. – This animated adventure lets you join Subrah and her friends as they take a voyage of discovery.  While finding their way home, you will witness a supernova, explore the heart of a gaseous nebula, visit exotic pulsars and learn about black holes.

Please note:  The State Museum will be closed for electrical work Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16.

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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