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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 December 4, 2017

LAST CHANCE: “Talk to Your State Senator” 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.

PA Game Commission Preliminary Statewide Bear Harvest Results
The 2017 statewide bear season harvest was 1,796 – about a 30 percent decrease from the 2016 season.  Extensive rain on the season’s opening day attributed to the decline.  Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included – comprehensive bear harvest totals will be released in the coming months.  The top 10 bears were estimated/confirmed to have live weights of over 576 pounds.  The state’s heaviest bear was a male estimated at 700 pounds in Venango County.  Click here for more details. 

PA Department of Health Increases Cost of Death Certificates
My office recently became aware the PA Department of Health has increased the fee of a death certificate from $9 to $20 (already effective).  For more information on Pennsylvania birth and death certificates, click here.

Veterans in Agriculture at the PA Farm Show
The PA Department of Agriculture is partnering with the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to host Veterans, Military and their families on Thursday, January 11 at the PA Farm Show.  The day will begin with an opening ceremony on the Lancaster Farming Stage at 9 a.m. in the Expo Hall, which will include patriotic music, a ceremonial color guard and featured speaker Greg Stegall.  Stegall, a Veteran, manages mobile distribution programs at the Central PA Food Bank and the MilitaryShare program, which provides fresh, nutritious foods for families with at least one member who served in the Military.  In 2017, the program distributed 15,100 boxes of food through more than 20 monthly distributions at VFWs, American Legions and other Veterans’ organizations.

At 1 p.m., the annual Army vs. Navy Cook-Off will be on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage.  Culinary Specialist First Class Frida Karani will represent the US. Navy, and Chef Adalberto Campos will represent the U.S. Army.  And at 2 p.m., also on the Culinary Connection Stage, awards will be presented to PA’s newest inductees in the PA Preferred Homegrown By Heroes program.  Homegrown By Heroes is the official farmer veteran branding program of America, available to farmers, ranchers, fishermen and value-added producers of all branches and eras of Military service. 

The DMVA Mobile Veterans Outreach Van will also be set up in the Exposition Hall all week to provide assistance to Veterans and family members who may be eligible for programs, benefits and services, such as service-connected disability compensation, pensions, health care benefits, burial benefits, education benefits, vocational rehabilitation, active service bonuses, state nursing home care and more.

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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