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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of June 12, 2017

Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
All bills passed unanimously unless otherwise noted.
Senate Bill 1 – (40-9) changes to Pennsylvania’s public pension systems to stop the bleeding red ink;
Senate Bill 434 – reduces the time to acquire a title through adverse possession;
Senate Bill 497 – eliminates the waste designation for steel slag;
Senate Bill 589 – increases the maximum allowable weight limit for natural gas vehicles;
Senate Bill 624 – (32-17) amends the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act.

Bill Unanimously Passes Senate, Goes to Governor for Further Action
House Bill 202 – creates an alternative pathway for career and technical education students to demonstrate readiness for high school graduation.

Medical Marijuana Program Updates
Temporary regulations for physicians to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program have been published in The Pennsylvania Bulletin and can be viewed here. This set of temporary regulations is the sixth set issued by the PA Department of Health (DOH) to date. The entirety of published regulations are: Chapter 1131: Safe Harbor; Chapter 1141: General Provisions; Chapter 1151: Growers/Processors; Chapter 1161: Dispensaries; Chapter 1171: Laboratories, and; Chapter 1181: Physicians and Practitioners

Applications are now available for any entity that wishes to provide a four hour training course for continuing education credits to a physician registering to become a practitioner with the Medical Marijuana Program or any medical professional who wishes to be employed by a dispensary. Proposed training must meet DOH requirements and also be approved by one or more of the State Boards for continuing education credits. Applications are available here

A first draft of potential temporary regulations relating to Chapter 20 Clinical Registrants is also now available. The draft can be viewed here. DOH will accept public comments on the draft, which can be submitted here, until June 15. 

June Community Report Cable Show: Dauphin Co. Breweries in the 48th District
My June Community Report cable show is ready to watch! This month’s show features breweries in Dauphin County and the 48th Senatorial District, including The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey (Londonderry Township), Boneshire Brew Works (Swatara Township), and Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works (Middletown). These local and talented entrepreneurs have really built their small businesses into success stories in our community! You can watch the show below or on my website, and Comcast On Demand and WHBG TV 20 should also be airing the show through the end of the month. Enjoy!

June 2017 - Dauphin County Brewery Tour

Congratulations to Ben Ilgenfritz, Bill Bering Jr. and Robert Bering
Congratulations to Ben Ilgenfritz, of Genesis Lighting + Electric (Lebanon) on his selection as the 2017 Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year! Ben is to be commended for providing friendly, professional and quality services while treating each customer with dignity, respect and honesty. Also, congratulations to Bill Bering Jr. and Robert Bering, of Bering Real Estate Co. (Palmyra), the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce 2017 Leon Hoover Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winners! A locally owned, independent, family oriented company, Bering Real Estate Co. is to be commended for building strong and successful relationships, exceeding client’s expectations.

Senate Bill 76: The Only Bill for the Total Elimination of School Property Taxes
Senate Bill 76, the Property Tax Independence Act, the only bill for the total elimination of school property taxes, has officially been introduced. The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee. Taxpayers can’t continue to bear the burden of constant increases to meet our constitutional requirement of funding public education. It is time to overcome the fear and change the status quo. Watch my continued remarks on the Senate Floor below.

6/6/17 - School Property Tax Elimination

Senate State Government Committee Activity
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, held a meeting to consider the following legislation: Senate Bill 527 (Aument) to establish an Independent Office of Inspector General (reported as amended, 8-4), and my Senate Bill 595 to authorize the electronic notarization of documents (unanimously reported as amended).

The Committee also held a public hearing on various election topics impacting Pennsylvania. My hope is this overview was the first of many public discussions on election issues. We started at a 30,000 foot view, and will work our way to more focused issues as time moves on. There are too many important issues relating to elections and we want to be sure to touch upon as many as we can in this series of hearings. You can watch the hearing in its entirety here.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, Senate Bill 8, Reported from House Judiciary Committee
My and Senator Scarnati’s Senate Bill 8 to bring much needed reforms to Pennsylvania’s civil asset forfeiture laws was overwhelmingly reported from the House Judiciary Committee and will now go to the full House for consideration. Thank you to Chairmen Marisico and Petrarca for allowing this important measure to advance.

Resolutions Unanimously Adopted by the Senate
Senate Resolution 33 – creates a task force on lead;
Senate Resolution 76 – directs the PA Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to study the feasibility of increasing passenger rail service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

Executive Nominations Unanimously Confirmed by the Senate
State Board of Dentistry – Alice Hart Hughes, Newtown
State Board of Occupational Therapy Education & Licensure – Joanne Baird, Murrysville
Sheriff, Blair County – Paul Richard Books, Altoona


Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

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