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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 October 23, 2017

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 53 – includes distance education in the PHEAA State Grant Program;
Senate Bill 472 – limits prescriptions for a controlled substance containing an opioid to seven days unless there is a medical emergency;
Senate Bill 499 – updates to Board of Prison Inspectors in counties of the eighth class;
Senate Bill 552 – establishes the PA Veterans’ Monuments and Memorial Trust Fund;
Senate Bill 663 – (40-9) requires municipalities to contract with at least three construction code officials or third party agencies;
Senate Bill 728 – exempts Schedule V epilepsy drugs under the PA Drug Monitoring Program;
Senate Bill 888 – prohibits the obstruction of access aisles for disabled parking spaces;
House Bill 790 – replaces the Noxious Weed Control Law with the updated Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
Both bills passed unanimously.
House Bill 16 – prohibits checks collected by a Tax Collector from being made payable to an individual;
House Bill 1288 – includes optometrists in the list of medical providers who may certify a disability for a handicapped plate or placard.

Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 SEE Program Visits PA Capitol
I had a great time speaking to the Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 Student Enrichment Experience (SEE) Program at the State Capitol. They are a wonderful group of students – Maybe a few future legislators, too! Listen to my introduction here.

Recent and Upcoming Senate State Government Committee Activity
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, held a confirmation hearing and committee meeting on October 17 to consider the following: Greg Fajt, Pittsburgh, to the Board of Claims; SB 99 (Greenleaf) to regulate donation bins; SB 563 (Stefano) to require PA Department of State to develop a secure online system for military-overseas voters’ absentee ballots; SB 817 (Rafferty) to authorize the PA Department of General Services (DGS) to extend the lease of property in East Vincent Twp., Chester County; SB 900 (Boscola) to authorize the transfer of title for Project 70 lands owned by Lehigh County to Whitehall Twp., Lehigh County, and; SB 921 (Browne) to authorize DGS to grant and convey land in the Cities of Allentown and Bethlehem, Lehigh County to TCA Properties, L.P. All were reported unanimously and move to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Committee will also hold a public hearing on SB 595 relating to electronic notarization on October 24 at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room One, North Office Building. Panelists include Acting Secretary Robert Torres, PA Department of State; Michael Chodos, Notarize; Ray Pepe, PA Bankers Association; Michael O’Neal, PA Land Title Association; Marc Aronson, PA Association of Notaries; Nicole Ehrbar, Quicken Loans, and; Kerry Smith, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
Gregory C. Fajt, Pittsburgh – Board of Claims
Molly E. Gallagher, Kutztown; Donald E. Houser, Jr., Coraopolis; David M. Maser, Philadelphia; Marian D. Moskowitz, Malvern; Samuel H. Smith, Punxsutawney, and; Neil R. Weaver, York – Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education
Daniel J. Delligatti, Grove City and Stanley I. Rapp, Camp Hill –Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University
Jeffrey L. Sterner, of Lebanon and the 48th Senatorial District; Donald G. Cargas, Jr., Lancaster; Paul R. Hoffer, Millersville; Patricia Hopson-Shelton, Lancaster; Michael P. Maguire, Lititz, and; Richard A. Watson, Jr., Lancaster – Board of Trustees of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Senate Guest Chaplain: Rev. James Smith, III, Country Meadows Hershey
On October 3, Reverend James W. Smith, III, of Palmyra and Managing Chaplain at Country Meadows Hershey Campus, was the Senate’s Guest Chaplain. Rev. Smith is the retired Managing Chaplain of the State Correctional Institution of Camp Hill, and has been ordained for 35 years having served two parishes, two prisons and two retirement centers. Rev. Smith is also an avid Penn State fan. Watch my introduction of Rev. Smith here.

Navigating the Aging Process Informational Sessions
WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, the Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging and I will hold two informational sessions in November on Navigating the Aging Process. The sessions will benefit those beginning advanced care planning and family members who may bear responsibility for their elder family members down the road. Topics will include medical directive forms, Medicaid and differences between levels of care with speakers from WellSpan Health, the Area Agency on Aging and Attorney Edward J. Coyle. Click here for details. For questions or more information, email

“Talk to Your State Senator” Middle and High School Statewide Video Competition
The PA Senate is holding a statewide video competition with support from the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of PA. The competition is open to all PA students grades 6-12. The video entry must address preventing teens from starting drugs – legal and illegal – including alcohol. Help the legislature create policies that work. Deadline for entry is December 10. Find more information, official rules and the registration form here. Videos will be judged in two categories: Middle School and High School. First place in each category will receive $2500, second place will receive $1500 and third place $1000. Prize money will be awarded through the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan.

Nominations Open for Lebanon County Commission for Women’s Hall of Fame
Nominations are now open for the Lebanon County Commission for Women’s 2018 Women’s Hall of Fame. Consider nominating a colleague, friend, relative or acquaintance who goes above and beyond in their volunteer or professional efforts and who have made significant contributions to their community while serving as role models and hidden heroes. Nomination forms can be found here and will be accepted through November 30.

October Cable Show: Strite’s Orchard
My October Community Report cable show is ready to watch! In this month’s show, we feature Strite’s Orchard in Lower Swatara/Swatara Twp., Dauphin Co., who are celebrating over 100 years and are in their fourth generation of farming! Talking to Jon Strite took me way back to my produce broker days. Check out this wonderful local family farm…agricultural and small business at its best! Comcast On Demand and WHBG TV 20 should also be airing through the month of October.

October 2017 - Strites Orchard

Contact Information
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