Feb. 23, 2017

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Budget Hearings Begin

 
Members of the House Appropriations Committee were briefed Tuesday on the state’s financial status during the first week of budget hearings. The Independent Fiscal Office, a non-partisan state agency, confirmed an anticipated shortfall of at least $2.5 billion by July 1, 2018, reflective of sluggish economic growth, rising health care and pension costs, and an aging workforce. That shortfall can be reduced by substantive changes in public policy.

Next week’s hearings will include appearances by the majority of state departments, along with the judiciary, Public Utility Commission, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and the PA Liquor Control Board. To view the schedule or archived video of the hearings, click here
  
 
Examining EMS Councils, Community College Training Bills

 
The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held two meetings this week to discuss further efforts to efficiently deliver emergency medical services, improve fire and EMS training, and meet veterans’ needs.

Tuesday’s meeting involved a discussion of the consolidation plan for the Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council System, which is overseen by Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of EMS. On Wednesday, the committee was updated on the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission and discussed the fire/emergency medical services training available through community colleges. To watch those hearings, click here
 
 
Recognizing an Area Award Recipient

Congratulations to Ruby Crane (center) who was recently honored with an Embracing the Ability Award by UNIQUESource. Ruby works as a photograph license technician at the Department of Transportation. Trained by SUNCOM Industries, she was selected from more than 30 applicants to receive this award. She truly exemplifies the finest virtues of hard work and commitment. Ruby is from Millville, and I was happy to join Reps. Dave Millard and Kurt Masser in presenting her with a House citation. Congratulations, again, and we wish Ruby all the best!
 
 
Keep PA Beautiful!

 
As part of the 2017 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, registration is now open to organizations that wish to organize a wide range of beautification projects. Registered cleanup events can get free trash bags, gloves and safety vests from PennDOT district offices, while supplies last. Events can be litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, beautification projects, special collections and educational events.

In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association are sponsoring “Let’s Pick It Up PA – Everyday” from April 18 through May 8. During this time, trash collected at registered events can be taken to participating landfills for free or reduced-cost disposal with prior approval. The 2017 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania runs from March 1 to May 31. Last year’s campaign included 6,118 events in all 67 counties with 158,821 volunteers. To register an event, click here
 
 
Be Informed of New State Traffic Laws

With this week being observed as Highway Safety Law Awareness Week, PennDOT reminds motorists of several new highway laws.

• The Child Passenger Safety law update, which went into effect in August 2016, states that children are required to be buckled into a rear-facing car seat until they are age 2 or meet the maximum weight or height requirements set by the manufacturer of the seat.
• “Daniel's Law,” now in effect, increases the penalty for texting while driving resulting in serious bodily injury or death.
• To improve pedestrian safety, a driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alley, building, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk extending across the alley, building entrance, road, or driveway. Failure to do so could lead to a fine and three points on the driver's license. It is illegal to overtake or pass a vehicle yielding to a pedestrian within a crosswalk.
• Under a new law passed by the General Assembly last year, drivers convicted of a first-time offense with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent or higher after August will be mandated to use ignition interlock for at least a year.
 
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106 Arch Street, Sunbury, PA 17801 | (570) 286-5885 | 1-800-924-9060 | Fax: (570) 988-1627
402B Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202108, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2108 | (717) 787-3485 | Fax: (717) 782-2892
Email: lculver@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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