Jun. 16, 2017

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

FREE Concealed Carry Seminar
 
I am hosting a Concealed Carry Seminar on Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 6-8 p.m., at the Palmyra Sportsmens Association, 410 Sportsmans Road, Annville.

Seating is limited and will fill up quickly. Interested individuals should pre-register online for this FREE seminar as soon as possible by visiting RepFrankRyan.com and clicking on the “Concealed Carry Seminar” banner. You may also call Ryan’s district office at (717) 838-3823 for any additional questions you may have.

This event is open to all adults age 21 and older who reside in the 101st Legislative District, which includes the City of Lebanon; the boroughs of Cornwall, Palmyra and Mount Gretna; and the townships of North Cornwall, North Londonderry, South Annville, South Londonderry and West Cornwall.
 

Sanctuary Cities Defy Rule of Law
Click here to Watch
My remarks during a State Government Committee voting meeting this week where we were debating “sanctuary city” policies that disregard federal immigration law.
 

Restoration of Justice for Disabled Veterans

 
The House this week unanimously approved my resolution urging the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress to enact House Resolution 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2017, which is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The problem I want Congress to fix without delay is that, traditionally, a career military person receives lower pay and retirement than his or her civilian counterpart even though he or she has invested a life of hardships and long hours without the benefit of overtime pay.

Allowances to dependents of veterans with a 30 percent disability are increased with the amount of disability. But, the Department of Defense deducts the entire amounts of dependents' allowances, essentially leaving the disabled military retiree with no dependent allowance, a discrimination which extends to the families of military retirees.

It is unfair to require disabled military retirees to fund their own veteran’s compensation by deductions on a dollar-for-dollar basis in the Department of Defense. No such deduction applies to similar federal civil service personnel or congressional retirement beneficiaries who receive veterans’ compensation.
 

Birth of the Marine Corps
This week, the House unanimously passed my resolution recognizing the founding of the United States Marine Corps. During remarks on the measure, I presented Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny), a fellow Marine who served from 1965 to 1971, a challenge coin of the 101st District which is emblazoned with the Liberty Bell and the Seal of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

I also gave Harry my military cover that I wore in Iraq as a token of my esteem and appreciation for his continued support of our Marine Corps.
                                   
As a retired Marine Reserve Colonel, I want folks to remember our history. The Corps was founded as the Continental Marines by a resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775.

The birth of the Marine Corps was to augment naval forces and the Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia, which was the original recruiting headquarters and is considered the Marine Corps’ birthplace.

The Marine Corps has fought with great courage on six continents and in every conflict in American history. They have fought valiantly in defense of the United States and its citizens and principles and additionally supports peacekeeping missions and humanitarian operations in numerous countries.

My resolution would establishes November 10, 2017 as “Marine Corps Day” in Pennsylvania in honor of the United States Marine Corps’ birthday.
 

Honoring Cardinal Keeler
This week the House passed House Resolution 345, a measure I authored honoring the life and achievements of Cardinal William H. Keeler.
 
Born in Texas, Keeler was raised in Lebanon, Pa. and attended Lebanon Catholic High School. He continued his education via St. Mary’s School in Schwenksville, St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
                                   
My deep admiration and respect for Cardinal Keeler stems not just from my faith, but for the work he did. As a Marine officer serving in the Middle East, my job was as much international relations as it was as a commanding officer. Keeler was also a leader in the church and participated in a wide range of national and international issues. As president of the U.S. bishops' conference from 1992 to 1995, he is particularly noted for his work in furthering Catholic-Jewish dialogue.
                                   
Keeler also established the Partners in Excellence program, which provides tuition scholarships for children in inner-city Catholic schools. Since its inception in 1996, Partners in Excellence has provided more than $26 million in tuition assistance.
                                   
Keeler was the bishop of Harrisburg, Pa., when he was appointed the 14th archbishop of Baltimore in 1989. Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in 1994. He retired in 2007 and passed away on March 23, 2017.
 

Relieving Veterans Groups of Excessive Taxation
 
The House this week voted to pass my legislation to exempt Veterans’ Service Organizations (VSO) from realty transfer taxes as defined under Act 2 of 1971, known as the Tax Reform Code.

As you may know, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently collects a realty transfer tax, which is imposed at the rate of 1 percent on the value of the real estate being transferred by deed, instrument, long-term lease or other writing. Both the grantor and grantee are held jointly liable for payment of this tax. Counties can also impose an additional local realty transfer tax.

I believe Veterans’ Service Organizations should be granted the same relief from real estate transfers that are already granted to these groups:
                                   
• transfers among family members
• transfers to governmental units
• transfers between religious organizations
• transfers to shareholders or partners
• transfers to or from nonprofit industrial development agencies
• transfers involving volunteer fire companies

Specifically, this legislation will exempt veterans’ service organizations, such as the American Legion and VFW from the realty transfer tax when the home association property is transferred to the VSO.
 

CHIP Extension to Help More PA Kids
 
To help ensure children can access health care coverage, the House recently passed legislation to continue the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire on Dec. 31.

CHIP provides insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance. CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria.

House Bill 1388 received unanimous support in the House and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

More than 174,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP. Information about the program is available at CHIPCoversPAKids.com.
 

Protecting Senior Eligibility for Prescription Coverage
 
About 12,000 senior citizens currently enrolled in the state’s prescription drug assistance programs would be able to keep their coverage thanks to legislation that passed the House recently.

House Bill 425 would prevent seniors from losing their eligibility for PACE and PACENET programs due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by extending the COLA moratorium until Dec. 31, 2019. Without this legislation, a small Social Security COLA can make a senior ineligible for benefits.

The state’s PACE and PACENET programs provide prescription drug assistance to about 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors. A 2015 state law allowed seniors previously eligible to not lose their PACE and PACENET benefits due to a Social Security COLA. However, this law sunsets in December.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
 

Pay Turnpike Fines During Amnesty; Avoid Fees, Suspension
 
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is offering a partial amnesty program to enable Pennsylvania motorists to pay all unpaid turnpike tolls, violations or invoices before a new law takes effect that would suspend vehicle registrations for such violations.

Act 165 of 2016 allows the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to request the PA Department of Transportation to suspend the vehicle registration of any Pennsylvania motorist who has six or more unpaid turnpike violations, and/or unpaid invoices totaling $500 or more.

Enforcement of the new suspension rule would take effect on Aug. 4. Until then, toll violations that have not been placed with a collection agency may be settled by paying in full all tolls for any violations or invoices, and all administrative fees will be waived.

For more information, visit PATurnpike.com/violationenforcement.
 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended
 
The deadline to apply for the state’s 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is being extended from June 30 to Dec. 31.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2016. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Complete eligibility information is available here.

Residents are reminded that they need not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Checks will begin to be mailed on July 3. Claimants who already applied for their rebates may check the status of claims online at revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
 

2017 Fair Guides Now Available
 
If you’re looking to visit one of the state’s many fairs and festivals this summer, the 2017 Pennsylvania Fair Guide is now available online here.

Published by the state Department of Agriculture, the guide lists the dates, locations and contact persons for more than 100 agriculture fairs and events scheduled this summer and fall in Pennsylvania.

The guide also highlights 16 fairs that offer live harness racing as part of one of the nation’s leading fair-racing programs.
 

Adult Adoptees Can Now Request Birth Certificates
 
To help connect adult adoptees with their original birth information, they can now apply for that record from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Act 127 of 2016 allows adult adoptees, those over the age of 18, to access their original birth information.

Currently, the department is offering an early acceptance period, and applications will not be processed until after Nov. 3. Submitting during this early acceptance period will allow applicants to receive a noncertified copy of the original birth record by Dec. 18. Submitting an application after Nov. 3 will require 45 days for processing.

The application for an original birth certificate is available here.

This law will help make it easier for adoptees to prove one’s identity, especially if obtaining other forms of identification, such as a passport.
 
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Office Locations
1044 East Main Street, Palmyra, PA 17078 | Phone: (717)838-3823
149A East Wing, PO Box 202101 Harrisburg, PA 17120-2101 | (717) 783-1815
Email Address: FRyan@pahousegop.com
 
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