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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 November 20, 2017

Senate State Government Committee Public Hearing on Senate Bill 761
This week, the Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, held a public hearing on Senator Argall’s Senate Bill 761 to amend the PA Constitution to allow gubernatorial candidates to select their running mate, similar to how Presidential candidates select their running mate. Testifiers included past Lieutenant Governors James Cawley, Robert Jubelirer and Mark Singel, as well as TJ Rooney and Alan Novak, former Democratic and Republican State Chairs. You can watch the hearing below.

11/14/17 - Process for Electing the Lieutenant Governor in PA (SB 761)

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 113 – family visitation of incapacitated persons (Peter Falk’s Law);
Senate Bill 251 – (46-3) radar for local law enforcement;
Senate Bill 540 – excused absences for students participating in Veterans events or funerals;
Senate Bill 629 – establishes the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act;
Senate Bill 658 – (47-2) designates the Eastern Hellbender as the official amphibian of PA;
Senate Bill 877 and Senate Bill 878 – updates insurer rebates and inducements.

Bills Pass Senate, Go to Governor for Further Action
All bills passed unanimously.
Senate Bill 785 – expands use of low-speed vehicles on public highways;
House Bill 165 – creates two new Military decorations: the PA Medal of Achievement and the PA Veterans Service Award;
House Bill 425 – PACE/PACENET Social Security cost of living adjustment moratorium;
House Bill 1019 – allows access to cemeteries on private lands.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
Constables’ Education and Training Board – Craig Westover, Franklin
PA Labor Relations Board – James Darby, Lancaster
PA Public Utility Commission – Norman Kennard, Harrisburg
State Tax Equalization Board – Peter Barsz, Media and Daniel Guydish, West Hazleton

Medical Marijuana Program Update from PA Department of Health
Patient & Caregiver Registry: The PA Department of Health (DOH) has launched the Patient & Caregiver Registry, which allows Pennsylvanians to register to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program. Over 5,000 patients and 300 caregivers have registered.

Physician Registry: DOH also has launched the Practitioner Registry, which allows medical professionals to register with the Medical Marijuana Program and become eligible to recommend medical cannabis to their patients. Over 100 practitioners have already registered with DOH and completed the required training. A list of practitioners eligible to recommend medical cannabis to their patients is available here.

Patient & Caregiver Temporary Regulations: Temporary regulations relating to patients and caregivers were recently published in The PA Bulletin, and are available here. The following is a complete list of temporary regulations promulgated by DOH to date:

Online Medical Marijuana Resource Guide: DOH published a new website to help the public navigate information relating to medical cannabis at Through this website, the public can learn about the 17 serious medical conditions defined in the Medical Marijuana Act, learn how to get medical cannabis, a Safe Harbor letter, find a physician, apply for a Medical Marijuana ID Card, find a dispensary and keep up on the latest news on the program.

“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.

November Cable Show: Miss Pennsylvania, Katie Schreckengast
My November Community Report cable show is ready to watch! In this month’s show, we feature Miss Pennsylvania, Katie Schreckengast, of Palmyra, Lebanon County. Katie made Pennsylvania very proud during the Miss America competition in September where she made it into the Top 10! Learn more about Katie in this month’s show when she visits the Senate of Pennsylvania, including her journey to Miss Pennsylvania and her platform, “Building Families Through Adoption.” Comcast On Demand and WHBG TV 20 should also be airing through the month of November.

November 2017 - Miss Pennsylvania

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.

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