Apr. 13, 2018

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Mark Your Calendars
My office will be hosting a number of events in the coming months.

My Concealed Carry Seminar will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 9-11 a.m., at Word of Life, 4497 State Route 136, Greensburg. A number of speakers including attorney Ed Bilick and Kim Stolfer, a certified firearms trained instructor, will provide valuable information about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, the Castle Doctrine and firearms safety. To preregister for this free seminar, please call my Greensburg office at 724-834-6400.

My office will be hosting a morning coffee on Thursday, April 26, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Dapper Doughnut, 1669 New Stanton/Ruffsdale Road, Hunker. The event will include a discussion of state-related issues. Reservations are not required, but appreciated. To RSVP, please call 724-834-6400.

An evening coffee will be held on Thursday, May 3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Panera Bread, Walmart Plaza, 300 Greengate Centre Circle, Greensburg. This will be another opportunity to discuss state-related issues. Reservations are not required, but appreciated. To RSVP, please call 724-834-6400.

Finally, my annual Senior Expo is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Delmont Volunteer Fire Department, 2360 State Route 66, Delmont. A wide variety of vendors and exhibitors will be available from local, state, federal and nonprofit organizations to answer questions on health care, insurance, nutrition, personal safety and much more.

House Approves Nelson Small Business Bill

The House this week approved legislation I authored that would permit small businesses to take a full state tax deduction for qualifying purchases.

House Bill 333 would allow pass-through businesses like subchapter s corporations, limited liability companies and sole proprietors to deduct their reinvestment into machines, company vehicles, facility expansions and equipment at the same level that the Internal Revenue Code currently allows large corporations. More specifically, it would directly benefit farmers, machine shops and construction employers by allowing them to deduct the purchase of new and used equipment and other qualifying purchases.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. To see the debate of the bill on the House floor, please click here.

              Keystone Scholars Program Available

This week, I joined state Treasurer Joe Torsella at the Westmoreland County Courthouse in officially launching the Keystone Scholars Program. This pilot program provides each child born or adopted in six select counties in the state with a $100 college savings account. Children born or adopted in Westmoreland, Indiana, Delaware, Elk, Luzerne and Mifflin counties will be eligible for the program in 2018 and 2019. The hope is to expand the program statewide.

The accounts, which are being funded through private philanthropic organizations and revenues from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), can be tapped for college or trade school any time until the recipient is age 29. For more information, please click here.

Protecting Children from Abuse

To help raise awareness of child abuse and seek ways to prevent this crime, the House passed House Resolution 757, which designates April 2018 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Pennsylvania.

In 2016, 4,416 children were victims of abuse or neglect in Pennsylvania, with 46 of those children dying as a result. Additionally, reports of child abuse or child neglect hit an all-time high that year with 44,359 cases. This illustrates that the public at large is becoming more vigilant and taking their responsibility to report seriously.

Over the last several years, the House has passed nearly two dozen laws to make abusers pay the price, improve child abuse reporting and investigations, expand due process protections for those wrongly accused, share information to increase protection and strengthen prevention efforts.

Many of those laws will continue to be re-examined and revisited to ensure that our laws are among the best in the nation to protect some of our most vulnerable members of society.

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearings on Firearms Bills

To find ways to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania while respecting the Second Amendment, the House Judiciary Committee began a series of hearings this week on various pieces of legislation pertaining to firearms and public safety.

Nearly 30 members from both sides of the aisle are bringing their ideas before the committee. The proposals involve ways to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, prevent domestic violence, enhance school safety, address street crimes and strengthen background checks.

The hearings will continue next week. Live webstreaming is available at  PAHouseGOP.com.

Workplace Harassment, Misconduct Focus of House Republican Announcement
Working to ensure Pennsylvania has the most effective laws to address sexual and workplace-related harassment, the House Republican Caucus this week unveiled new legislation to further protect employees. Workplace harassment and misconduct are wrong and must be stopped because no one should ever be uncomfortable going to work.

The two-bill legislative package would create a task force to investigate the laws, practices and procedures surrounding harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. This comprehensive review would reveal any inadequacies in current laws, regulations and policies surrounding this subject and produce a report to the General Assembly with its findings and recommendations.

A second bill would review anti-harassment and discrimination laws and policies affecting Commonwealth employees. The Joint State Government Commission would be tasked with reviewing the number, types and results of workplace complaints in state government agencies and entities and provide a comparison of workplace policies related to harassment and sexual misconduct.

An array of federal, state and local laws are already in place that prohibit harassment and sexual misconduct at work. To begin that review process, the House Labor and Industry Committee will hold a fact-finding hearing on April 24.

State Parks, Forests Seek Volunteers
If you are seeking a way to volunteer and spend time outdoors, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Conservation Volunteer program encourages individuals to check out their local parks and forests for a wide range of opportunities.

The DCNR program is in addition to a volunteer initiative developed by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF). Under the PPFF umbrella, 41 chapters or “friends of” groups have formed in individual state parks and forests, focusing their energy on the local park and forest in their neighborhood.

Opportunities also exist in the “Stewards of Penn’s Woods” program. More information on that program, which allows volunteers to set their own schedule, is available here.

Pennsylvania has 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forest land.
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Office Locations
101 Ehalt Street, Suite 105, The Train Station, Greensburg, PA 15601-2300 | Phone: (724) 834-6400
Youngwood Borough Bldg, 17 South 6th Street, Youngwood, PA 15697 | Phone: (724) 925-5490                                  
117B East Wing, House Box 202057, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2057 | Phone: (717) 260-6146
Email: enelson@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614