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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 17, 2017

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 6 – (40-9) changes welfare benefit eligibility (Public Assistance Integrity Act);
Senate Bill 172 – (45-3) allows a PennDOT pilot program for speed cameras in active work zones on certain highways;
Senate Bill 403 – changes to the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission;
Senate Bill 431 – increases littering fines;
Senate Bill 449 – allows Magisterial District Judges to use a risk assessment tool in cases of domestic violence (Tierne’s Law);
Senate Bill 590 – increases merchant service charge caps for bad checks;
Senate Bill 677 – allows tax exempt savings in the PA ABLE program (PA ABLE Savings Program Tax Exemption Act);
Senate Bill 697 – authorizes $1,615,000,000 in borrowing for capital projects;
House Bill 59 – allows parents who adopt a child to appeal to the PA Department of Human Services for adoption subsidies by local authorities;
House Bill 97 – (26-23) charter school changes;
House Bill 176 – exempts roadside produce stands from the Uniform Construction Code;
House Bill 290 – changes to the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board;
House Bill 785 – reduces the maximum amount of outstanding capital project obligations.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 144 – (48-1) PA Sewage Facilities Act updates to allow “alternative systems” for planning purposes;
Senate Bill 527 – (47-2) creates an independent Office of Inspector General;
Senate Bill 553 – Title 75 (Vehicles) updates for impaired driving, blood tests and ignition interlocks;
Senate Bill 624 – (28-21) changes to the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act;
House Bill 422 – updates provisions for vacancies of election of officers in First and Second Class Townships;
House Bill 1426 – (39-10) allows overweight trucking permits during holiday periods;
House Bill 1494 – allows the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to enter into cooperative agreements with federal agencies for timber, forests and watersheds.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Appear on November Ballot
House Bill 1285 (46-2) to provide for a residential property tax exemption was passed by both chambers for a second consecutive Session of the General Assembly and will appear on the November General Election ballot to be voted by citizens. If approved by the voters, this “Homestead Exemption” would allow for a 100% exemption of the assessed value of residential properties. Under the current Pennsylvania Constitution, exemptions are limited to 50% of the median value of homestead properties.

Bills Signed into Law by the Governor
Senate Bill 288 – Act 20 – strengthens PA’s “Steer Clear” law;
Senate Bill 365 – Act 21 – increases the threshold for Second Class Townships to sell personal property without bids;
Senate Bill 560 – Act 22 – allows body cameras for police and other recordings;
House Bill 239 – Act 14 – creates a Rare Disease Advisory Council;
House Bill 423 – Act 16 – updates provisions for the election of officers in cases of vacancy in Second Class Townships;
House Bill 424 – Act 17 – allows Physician Assistants to sign death certificates;
House Bill 1269 – Act 19 – extensions for municipal authority construction projects.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
PA Public Utility Commission – John F. Coleman, Jr., Port Matilda
PA Turnpike Commission – John N. Wozniak, Johnstown
PA Board of Probation and Parole – Anthony C. Moscato, Emporium

Senate Bill 76 Telephone Town Hall Meeting Statistics
Senator Argall and I recently held a telephone town hall meeting for residents of the 29th and 48th Senatorial Districts regarding Senate Bill 76, which provides for the total elimination of school property taxes. This town hall had 5,809 attendees, with 225 people entering the queue to ask us questions! We were happy to have had 21 constituents live on the line to speak to us during the hour long call. Thank you to everyone that listened and participated. We were happy to talk with constituents and to answer questions about the bill to eliminate school property taxes. During the town hall, we were able to survey listeners for input on:
What plan do you support to eliminate school property taxes?
75% (469 callers) responded “support the total elimination of school property taxes”

17% (106 callers) responded “support a school property tax for senior citizens”
5% (31 callers) responded “support allowing school district to pass own tax”
3% (19 callers) responded “the current system of school property is fine”
What are your thoughts on a 2/3 majority of school district directors being required to raise school taxes?
67% (315 callers) said at least seven school members should be required

14% (68 callers) were undecided
12% (56 callers) said at least six school board members should be required
6% (30 callers) support current law for simple majority
What are your thoughts on the new law that will move future state employees to more 401(k)-like pension plans to help address school costs?
38% (137 callers) thought these were good changes
38% (137 callers) thought these changes didn’t go far enough

15% (52 callers) were undecided
9% (31 callers) thought these changes went too far

Congratulations to RKL, Leadership York’s Outstanding Business of the Year
Congratulations to RKL of Springettsbury Township, York County, in the 48th Senatorial District, for being named Leadership York’s Outstanding Business of the Year for their ongoing commitment to leadership development and community involvement! According to the Summer 2017 edition of the Leadership York newsletter, “ RKL’s mission challenges them to enrich the lives of their clients, team and community. In the last year, RKL and their team members have supported 250 organizations, contributed more than 10,000 volunteer hours, served on more than 115 boards and committees, and collected 12,000 school supply items for local classrooms.”

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

Contact Information
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