Feb. 17, 2017

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

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Gaming Proceeds Fund Grants for First Responders

More than $215,800 in state gaming proceeds will benefit fire and ambulance companies throughout the 101st District.

These grants, which are not funded by General Fund tax dollars, will allow local first response agencies to better afford training, equipment, facility improvements and other needs.

The program, which provides $30 million to fire and ambulance companies statewide, is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).

Here is the list of local recipients:

• Citizens Fire Co. No. 1 - $15,000
• Cleona Fire Co. No. 1 – $11,731
• First Aid & Safety Patrol of Lebanon $7,448.21
• Goodwill Fire Engine & Hose Co. No. 5 – $12,873.32
• Independent District Fire Co. No. 1 - $12,616
• Lebanon Chemical Engine & Insurance Patrol Co. No. 1 - $14,931.88
• Lebanon Fire Department - $15,000
• Lebanon Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1 - $15,000
• Liberty Fire Co. No. 3 - $13,130.64
• Mount Gretna Community Volunteer Fire Co. - $12,873.32
• Neversink Fire Co. - $12,873.32
• Perseverance Fire Co. - $14,931.88
• Rescue Hose Co. No.4 - $13,902.60
• Union Hose Fire Co. of Annville Inc. - $15,000
• Union Steam Fire Engine & Hose Co. - $14,674.56
• Washington Fire Co. No. 8 - $13,902.60
House Budget Hearings to Begin Feb. 21

The annual state budget process got underway this week when Gov. Tom Wolf outlined his 2017-18 spending plan before a joint session of the General Assembly.

Wolf told the General Assembly that his $32.3 billion proposal is balanced without any broad-based tax increases and includes several initiatives aimed at reducing spending and improving efficiencies by consolidating some state agencies. Wolf said his administration estimates this could save the Commonwealth about $2 billion.

If the governor is sincere in his desire to shrink government both by the amount we spend on it and the number of employees, I welcome his cooperation. But, simply combining departments without eliminating duplicative positions and programs is not beneficial to taxpayers or the state’s fiscal health.

As we have seen with budget proposals, the devil is in the details. The new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has served notice that “business as usual” is about to change with respect to the state budget. Republicans are committed to responsibly funding the core functions of government, including education, transportation and human services, while helping to make the state more attractive to job creators.

Budget hearings in the House begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21. More information can be found at PAHouseGOP.com.
Gone Fishin’: Trout Stocking Schedules Available

Trout season is just around the corner, and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite fishing hole will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The guides are available in print, online and on the commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.

The commission stocks approximately 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling each year. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout; 640,000 brown trout; and 500,000 brook trout. The average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

The statewide opening day for trout season is Saturday, April 15, but a regional opening day in 18 southcentral and southeastern counties is set for Saturday, April 1. Click here for a list of those counties

Additionally, the commission will host Mentored Youth Trout Days on Saturday, March 25, for those same 18 counties and Saturday, April 8, statewide. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish for trout the Saturday before the regular opening days. Youth anglers must obtain a mentored youth permit or voluntary youth fishing license as well. Click here for more information about the program

For more information about fishing licenses or regulations, or to check the online stocking schedule, click here.  
Connecting Nonprofits Through 2-1-1

To raise awareness of a free service by the United Way that partners local nonprofits and social service groups together to help assist Pennsylvanians in need, the House passed House Resolution 49 recognizing Feb. 11 as “2-1-1 Day in Pennsylvania.”

By dialing 2-1-1, people are instantly connected to a wealth of information related to their area’s nonprofit and human service providers.

This “one stop shop” helps people cut through red tape and more easily find the help they need. These services are offered on a regionalized approach, ensuring that people are helped by their neighbors and people in their own community.

More information is available at pa211.org.
Committee Accepts Hunting, Fishing Reports from State Agencies

The House Game and Fisheries Committee accepted the annual reports of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during meetings this week. In the face of declining revenues, both groups advocated for legislation that would allow them to set their own license fees. Last session, similar legislation that originated in the Senate passed out of committee in the House but was never voted on the floor.

Among the PGC’s top issues presented to the committee were the recruitment of a new class of wildlife conservation officer cadets, the closing of two of Pennsylvania’s four pheasant farms due to insufficient funding and a decline of the ruffed grouse population. The PFBC addressed the agency’s fiscal challenges, noting that license fees have not increased since 2005 and expenses are expected to exceed revenue during the current fiscal year. 
Protecting Our Children

To help educate the public about ways to further protect children, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has unveiled three new short YouTube videos that are also being aired statewide.

The videos are designed to raise awareness of the state’s child abuse reporting hotline (available at 800-932-0313) and background clearance requirements for people who have routine and direct access to children.

The videos are also available on the newly redesigned KeepKidsSafe.PA.gov website, which includes information for mandated reporters, child abuse clearance links and contact information for other child protection-related concerns.
PennDOT Offers Internship Opportunities

PennDOT is offering internships for those seeking engineering, science and technical degrees, along with general government service, this summer.

A variety of internship positions will be filled, including those that may lead to full-time employment after graduation. Click here to learn more about the types of internships offered.

Applications for the summer program will be accepted through March 30. More information, including application instructions, is available here
PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18, through Monday, Feb. 20. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
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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