Mar. 02, 2018

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Legislative Report

#Listrak\DateStampLong#   The latest news from the State Capitol

Mark Your Calendars
My office will be hosting a number of events in the coming months. Due to legislative rules, I will be limited in advertising these events after March 15th, unless you opt in to continue to receive my eblasts. For more information about signing up, please see the item below.

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 two morning coffees from 8:30-10:30 a.m. to discuss state-related issues. The first is scheduled for Friday, March 23, at the VFW Post 33, 516 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. The second is set for Thursday, April 26, at Dapper Doughnut, 1669 New Stanton/Ruffsdale Road, Hunker. 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.

Sign Up to Continue Receiving My Bi-Weekly Email Updates

If you would like to continue receiving my legislative updates throughout the 60-day blackout period that limits what I can send you before an election, click here and simply enter your email. This will guarantee that you keep receiving my bi-weekly updates.

State Capitol Bus Trip
My office again will be hosting a bus trip from Greensburg to tour our state Capitol in the fall. The exact date will be determined once the fall legislative session schedule is released.

For more information and to find out how to reserve your seat, please call my district office at 724-834-6400.

Budget Hearings Continue to Form Basis for Upcoming Negotiations
The second full week of budget hearings wrapped up on Thursday, with members of the House Appropriations Committee asking agency and department officials a variety of questions about executive functions, programs and efficiencies. These questions, along with submitted written testimony, will serve as the foundation for budget negotiations this spring.

Appearing this week were the departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture, Corrections, General Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Military and Veterans Affairs, along with the Liquor Control Board and the Office of Attorney General.

On the agenda for the third and final week of budget hearings are full days for the departments of Education and Human Services, along with the Pennsylvania State Police, Office of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and Gaming Control Board. The final day will feature Budget Secretary Randy Albright.

The hearings can be viewed live at, with archived videos posted within 24 hours of the hearing.

Committee Takes Look at School Preparedness
The issue of school safety and security, especially the prevention and handling of active shooters and other emergency situations, was one of the discussion topics at a meeting of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee this week.

In Pennsylvania, schools are required to have an emergency plan, but that may or may not cover active shooter situations. Under Act 55 of 2017, schools are encouraged to conduct at least one security drill per school year in each school building. The security drills may be used in place of one of the school’s monthly fire drills.

In further discussion on this serious nationwide issue, the House Education Committee will hold a day-long hearing on March 15 to examine further prevention methods.

Challenges Within the Dairy Industry
Members of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week met with state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and other leaders about the challenges facing the dairy industry and efforts to overcome them.

A major focus of the discussion was an ongoing study of the industry, commissioned by the department and the Center for Dairy Excellence, which has indicated investing in additional dairy processing capacity in the Commonwealth could generate as much as $34.7 million annually in combined revenue generation and cost savings. Information about the study is available here.      

Other suggestions for improvement included capitalizing on branding and marketing opportunities, improving regulatory processes and the business climate, broadening workforce development and education opportunities, and investing in broadband infrastructure.

More than a third of the state’s agriculture revenues come from the dairy industry; however, many of these mostly family-owned farms are struggling because of an oversupply of fluid milk in the market and persistently low prices. Other challenges discussed in the meeting include regulatory issues and permit delays.
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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
TTY: 855-282-0614