Aug. 21, 2017

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

Interview with Dennis Owens on Tax Reform and Controlling Spending
I was recently interviewed by Dennis Owens of ABC 27 News on property tax elimination and saving Pennsylvania from insolvency:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is a fresh face in the state legislature.

But the 66-year-old is a bit more grizzled in life. He spent 41 years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a colonel. He did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a certified public accountant who laughs that he’s spent 30 years trying to keep companies out of bankruptcy.

The CPA warns that PA is running out of time to fix its finances.

“That’s two to four years from now before we have to turn this ship completely or the game’s over,” Ryan said from his Capitol office Monday.
The retired Marine colonel has what he calls a financial rescue plan and he’s on a mission to implement it.
“We can fix this, but it requires all of us to be realistic,” he said.

Click here to read the rest of the story and see video of the interview.

Legislation Mandating Cuts Government Spending Introduced
I have formally introduced legislation would mandate meaningful reductions in government spending until Pennsylvania is fiscally solvent.

Pennsylvania faces a number of serious fiscal challenges. Politicians will have to take concrete steps to confront these challenges and on some levels, sacrifice will be required.”

My legislation, House Bill 1691, currently has 19 co-sponsors and we are actively seeking more. The measure would mandate a 10 percent reduction in spending for General Government Operations funding, which includes the executive branch, the attorney general’s office, the auditor general’s office, as well as the both houses of the General Assembly. These reductions would take affect retroactively to July 1, 2017.

This problem did not begin with Gov. Tom Wolf, and in fact, it began long before, but Wolf’s reckless deficit spending and refusal to budget within our means have hastened my action on this. Spending and budgetary concerns can be met both by reasonable and prudent increases in revenue and decreases in spending. My legislation addresses both immediately as a reverse supplemental for the budget appropriation that was just completed for fiscal year 2017-18.

In light of the current fiscal crisis, this legislation is intended to send a strong message that spending reductions across-the-board are appropriate and that the executive branch and the legislature must lead the way toward fiscal responsibility.

Fiscal Responsibility Measures Move Forward
The state Senate on July 27 voted 40-10 to approve House Bill 453, legislation I authored that would will require any agency receiving funds to respond within 120 business days of an audit by the state Auditor General with their response or funding will be suspended.

The Senate altered my bill and amended it to include it within the entire Fiscal Code which authorizes the spending from the budget. Unfortunately, these amendments include three wasteful spending items to which, as a fiscal conservative, I am strongly opposed:
• Supplemental funding for the Erie School District in excess of $13 Million per year going forward. Originally the House had agreed to a one-time payment of $13 million to the financially distressed school. My preference would be that the Legislature amend the entire school fiscal code so that all schools receive funding from the state consistent with the changes in the demographics of the area.
• A First Chance Fund which required contracts to the Department of Corrections in excess of $5 million to rebate one percent back to the Department of Corrections to provide scholarships for children of criminals. My concern is two-fold: the children of the victims receive no such scholarships; the funding for this type of grant should not be outside the control of the Legislature and the Department of Education.
• A taxi cab fee increase for the City of Philadelphia.

The Act of April 9, 1929, empowers the Auditor General to audit the agencies receiving state funding yet the same act provides no recourse for the failure by the agencies receiving funds from responding to and potentially implementing the recommendations.

I am working with my colleagues to amend the language within the fiscal code so that it focuses on its original intent of creating a strong fiscal watchdog. Harrisburg has become too accustomed to spending money the state does not have and that condition needs to change before the state and its taxpayers become bankrupt.

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 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.

Ms. Pennsylvania
When you are beginning to question the sanity in the world, I want you to think about Miss Pennsylvania 2017, Katie Schreckengast of Palmyra.
As the most recent winner of the Miss Pennsylvania pageant she built her platform on building families through adoption.
Her poise, self-confidence, and humility are heartwarming. Then I met her family and understood why.
It was wonderful to meet her parents and grandmother and so many other delightful members of our community.
I presented a House of Representative citation to her on behalf of all Lebanon County members of the House of Representatives: Russ Diamond, Sue Helm, and myself. I mentioned to Katie that an entire Community was now honored to be part of her family.
Katie, good luck on September 10, at the Miss America pageant and God bless you!
More pictures here.

Honoring Excellent Teachers
Jeff Remington, Life Science teacher at Palmyra Area Middle School, was recently selected as a 2017 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Teacher Ambassador for the National Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The role of STEM Teacher Ambassador is to raise public awareness of all the aspects of STEM education to help the collective prosperity of their local communities and the United States.

I presented Jeff with a House Citation for being recognized as being in the top 10 nationally in STEM education.

Well done my friend!

Ag Progress Days
I attended Penn State’s Ag Progress Days event this week. We have so much to be proud of with our agricultural and farm community.

I spent a great deal of time with the state leadership of the Future Farmers of America. Without farms, we don’t eat. But here in Pennsylvania, I know we are in good hands!
More pictures here.
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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
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