Apr. 19, 2024

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The Barb Wire
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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Capitol Update
Politics As Usual in Harrisburg
The constitutional majority of the House Democrats was in question this week, as one of their members voted by designation (remotely), while no one knew his whereabouts. The House minority leader questioned the rules multiple times; however, the Democrat speaker of the House maintained that a member can vote on bills even though he/she could potentially be in jail or not present anywhere. I voted “no” to remote voting after the pandemic was over because if someone can’t make it to the House for any particular reason, they can go on leave. Our own Rep. Kerwin is overseas fighting for our country right now and cannot vote, yet someone in jail apparently can?

Pennsylvania State Rep. Boyle, wanted by police, votes by proxy.

Pennsylvania Dem Rep. Kevin Boyle on the lam — and still voting — after violating abuse order.

Office Closed for Primary Election Day
Our office will be closed next Tuesday, April 23, for primary Election Day. Please be sure to vote! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Future of Newville
Last Wednesday I attended a meeting with the Newville Historical Society and representatives from the Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council, South Mountain Partnership, the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. and others to discuss the future of Newville.

Discussion highlighted the borough's assets like Big Spring Creek, the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail and its history, and ranged from potential short-term projects to long-term planning. A comprehensive plan for the borough could be in the pipeline in accordance with state and county recommendations. This could come in the form of a strategic plan, a comprehensive plan or both.
Concealed Carry
Thank you to all the 199th residents who came to my Concealed Carry Seminar at the Newville Lions Club Fairgrounds on Thursday night! Special thanks to Firearm Owners Against Crime's Jim Stoker for the outstanding presentation, our Cumberland County Sheriff Jody Smith and staff for helping out with the applications, and the Newville Lions Club for hosting.

Andrew Lewis
On Friday I had the honor of attending the oath administration ceremony at the Army Heritage and Education Center for my former colleague, Andrew Lewis. Andrew was selected for a direct appointment to the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, to serve on the Civil Affairs team. Thank you for your service, Andrew!
Eagle Scout Award
On Saturday, I was honored to attend the Court of Honor Eagle Scout Ceremony for Ian Heishman and presented him with an official Pennsylvania House of Representatives citation and U.S. flag. Congratulations, Ian!

Challenger Baseball Opening Day
On Sunday, I had the pleasure to watch players from all over the area, including Carlise’s own Alexia Bucher, Jimmy Christie, Cooper Lauer, Billy Spong and Anthony Sweeney, play in the Little League Challenger Division on opening day!

The Camp Hill Challenger Baseball League is a baseball league for children with special needs residing in Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York counties in Central PA. The league was founded in 1989 and is Little League’s adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. Any individual with a physical or intellectual challenge may participate. There are currently over 950 Challenger programs in 10 countries around the world. Over 30,000 athletes participate in the Challenger Division every year.

Grove Calls on Governor, Department of State to Stop Third-Party Websites from Stealing Personal Data Under Guise of Voter Registration
House Republican Appropriations Chairman Seth Grove this week called on Gov. Josh Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Department of State to stop misinformation websites like vote.pa from stealing personal information for political purposes following a troubling report published by Broad and Liberty.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for third-party entities to use the guise of ‘voter registration’ as a cover for their data theft operations,” Grove emphasized. “Vote.pa is a prime example of such a malicious attempt, preying on unsuspecting voters or potential voters who are likely seeking the official Department of State’s website, vote.pa.gov.”

Grove questioned the effectiveness of Shapiro’s Election Threats Task Force for not picking up on this scam. Shapiro said the task force will “ensure all levels of government are working together to combat misinformation.”

“Intentionally misleading voters to believe they are on an official government website to register to vote or request a mail-in ballot is blatant misinformation,” Grove said. “Why is the governor’s Election Threats Task Force not sounding the alarm?”

As the former House State Government Committee Chairman, Grove authored legislation which would have stopped bad actors like vote.pa.

“House Bill 1300, a comprehensive and bipartisan Election Code update bill I authored last session, would have outlawed this practice,” Grove added. “Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed this bill because it contained a voter ID provision. Wolf, of course, changed his position a few weeks later, but his veto has left scores of unresolved election issues.”

April is Financial Literacy Month
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID), Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS), and Pennsylvania Department of Education, remind Pennsylvanians that financial literacy is essential to build their futures to maintain economic success.

PID encourages Pennsylvanians to make the most of their insurance dollars by letting their agent or insurance company representative know about major events in their life, such as a marriage, a divorce or the birth of a child.

Additionally, PID reminds Pennsylvanians to:
Do research: Study the different types of insurance and their associated keywords and meanings, and shop around for the best insurance that covers all your needs. PID’s website offers educational insurance tips sheets, guides, and information.
Know your rights and seek help: Pennsylvania law allows consumers to file a complaint or appeal a coverage, claim, and healthcare service decision made by your insurance company. Additionally, Pennsylvanians can learn if they are the beneficiary of a missing life insurance policy. PID reminds consumers that the Department is here to help, and anyone with questions about automobile, homeowners, life, health, and other insurance types, or anyone wishing to file a complaint, can contact PID's Consumer Services Bureau, or by calling 1-877-881-6388.

DoBS Investor Education and Consumer Outreach staff works with state and local government agencies, service providers, community and trade organizations, the General Assembly, the military community, schools, and other partners to help Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth become well-informed about the financial marketplace.

Policy Committee Holds Hearing on Fueling PA’s Future
Continuing its work to highlight the vital role of Pennsylvania’s energy industry, the House Republican Policy Committee convened a hearing and press conference to discuss the growing demand for liquified natural gas (LNG) and the negative implications of the Biden administration’s efforts to halt new exportation.

The hearing, “Fueling Pennsylvania’s Future: Liquid Natural Gas,” featured testimony from Carl Marrara, executive director, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association; John Bane, director of government affairs, EQT Corporation; and Rob Bair, president, Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council.

In the United States, Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of natural gas, following Texas. Globally, the demand for LNG is on the rise, and this increased use of LNG is having a positive impact on the environment. According to an economic impact report published by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, 500 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions were reduced since 2010 because of natural gas use. Pennsylvania’s LNG will boost the economy, create jobs and spur manufacturing. It will also ensure affordability and reliability for consumers.

To watch the complete hearing, visit pagoppolicy.com/video/policy.
Bill to Honor Gold Star Families Advances
I joined my fellow lawmakers this week in giving unanimous approval to a bill that would permit the Department of General Services to construct a memorial monument on state Capitol grounds recognizing Gold Star families.

Dating back to World War II, Pennsylvania has 36,584 Gold Star families that would be honored by this memorial monument. Gold Star families are those that have experienced the loss of an immediate family member who died as a result of active-duty military service.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joe Kerwin of Dauphin County, who serves in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and was deployed to forward operating positions in East Africa earlier this year.

House Bill 71 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Protecting Children from Abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. While state laws have identified people, such as teachers, health care providers and clergy members, who are mandated to report suspected cases of abuse, we all have a role to play in protecting our children.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call PA ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
Stay Alert in Work Zones
This week, April 15-19, is National Work Zone Awareness Week, a time to remind drivers to be cautious, alert and respectful while traveling through areas of roadway and bridge construction. This year’s theme is “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.”

When you encounter work zones, PennDOT offers the following tips: drive the posted work zone speed limit; stay alert and pay attention to signs and flaggers; maintain a safe distance around vehicles; use flashers if traveling slowly; avoid distractions; and be patient.

State law requires motorists to travel with their headlights on in all posted work zones, not just active work zones. Daytime running lights are not sufficient; drivers must have their headlights on to also activate their taillights.

Drivers also should be aware that interstate work zones with a project cost exceeding $300,000 will have a speed-monitoring device to alert motorists of their speed prior to entering the work zone. This past week, three construction workers were killed on the job, on I83 in York County. We pray for their families and urge everyone to slow down in construction zones.

For more information about work zone safety, click here.  Remember: The men and women working on our roadways are parents, children, siblings and spouses. They deserve to return home from work each day safely.

Food Processing Residual Update

On April 11, the State workgroup met to review draft regulatory changes to the food processing residual (FPR) manual. The three small groups, technical, management and legal gave their recommendations for the future. Animal-based and high-fat FPRs will be considered a “Tier 2” FPR in the farmer’s FPR plan and, therefore, a checklist of best management practices will ensue. Notification and certification will be required throughout the entire process, from the manufacturer/producer, to the hauler broker, to the farmer, and if the process is not followed, the act of spreading will be considered “dumping” under the Solid Waste Management Act, which carries penalties under the law.

Currently, the legislation is in draft form, and the legal small group team still has work to do. Our last meeting is May 2, and I will give an update after that meeting. We do anticipate the legislation to be introduced soon after this meeting and be ready for the approval process through the House and Senate during the budget process.

In the meantime, all complaints regarding spreading and odor need to be directed to: PA Department of Environmental Protection Complaints

To report an environmental complaint to DEP online: Click Here or call 866-255-5158.

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Office Locations
District Office: 437 E North Street | Carlisle, PA 17013 | Phone: 717-249-1990
427 Irvis Office Building | House Box 202199 Harrisburg, PA 17120-2199 | 717-772-2280