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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 July 24, 2017

WLBR-WQIC Conquer Cancer with a Quarter
July 31st will be the first day of Lebanon Broadcasting Network’s (WLBR-WQIC) 35th year of Conquer Cancer with a Quarter campaign to benefit the American Cancer Society. Donations can be taken to the Lebanon Valley Mall the week of July 31st, where WLBR and WQIC will be broadcasting live the entire week. Prior to the event, contributions may be taken to the radio station. Checks should be made out to American Cancer Society.

PA State Fire Commission Low-Interest Loan Approvals in the 48th District
The PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner recently approved $200,000 low-interest loans to the following fire departments in the 48th Senatorial District: Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a 2018 Pierce Enforcer Dry-Side Tanker with 2500 gallon tank and 1500gpm pump, and Cleona Fire Company Number 1 for the purchase of a 2018 Pierce Saber Pumper with a 750 gallon tank and 1500gpm pump. 

Column: Lost Causes
I’m proud to support Senator Argall’s Senate Bill 76 to eliminate school property taxes because no tax should have the power to leave you homeless. 

SB 76 opponents claim very few people actually lose their homes because of not being able to pay property taxes. Yet, I often see newspapers’ legal notices about sheriff’s sales of properties. If just one person’s home is lost due to property taxes, it’s one too many. 

That’s why I joined with Senator Argall and other Senators to advance the one measure that allows for the total elimination school property taxes: Senate Bill 76

Unfortunately, I’ve been down this road before. In the beginning of my efforts to bring medical cannabis to Pennsylvania, I was ignored, ridiculed, and told “Mike, this is a lost cause; you’ll never be able to bring medical cannabis to Pennsylvania.” 

During the fight for medical cannabis, I sometimes recalled a scene from “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and was proud Senator Corman also referenced the movie in his remarks on final passage on medical cannabis – agreeing how that issue had often been called a “lost cause” so many times as well. 

As I look at the work that’s gone into SB 76, there are times I think back to the dark days of medical cannabis and those who said it was a “lost cause.” Now, I hear similar comments about SB 76 also being a lost cause. I don’t agree – just like I didn’t believe medical cannabis was a lost cause. It’s why I like to quote Jimmy Stewart’s Jefferson Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” 

In that movie, an idealistic young man is sent to the United States Senate by the powers that be because they believe they can control him. However, they turn out to be wrong because Jefferson Smith stands by his principles and runs into those powers and is discredited, humiliated, and ultimately threatened with expulsion from the Senate. 

So, he fights – by standing up and filibustering in support of his principles, just like SB 76 supporters have been doing. In one of the final scenes, the fictional Senator Smith faces his mentor, Senator Paine, who set him up for his ouster from the Senate and Mr. Smith addresses Senator Paine and the other members of the Senate. 

Senator Smith says: “I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine . . . All you people don't know about lost causes – Mr. Paine does – he said once they were the only causes worth fighting for and he fought for them once for the only reason any man ever fights for them – because of just one plain simple rule: 'Love thy neighbor.' 

“And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. 

“Yes, you even die for them.” 

The fight to pass SB 76 isn’t a movie. I’m not Jimmy Stewart. I haven’t been filibustering. I don’t know if or when Senate Bill 76 will ever become law. 

However, I do abide by Mr. Smith’s principle of “love thy neighbor.” It’s among the many reasons why I support Senate Bill 76 so strongly: because no tax should have the power to leave you homeless. And, it’s why I’ll continue to fight for Senate Bill 76 to eliminate school property taxes. 

If you missed it, you can also watch my comments on the Senate Floor in regards to this topic by clicking here

Bill Unanimously Passes Senate, Goes to House for Further Consideration
Senate Bill 211 – enhances the PA 2-1-1 system. 

Executive Nominations Confirmed by the Senate
The Senate unanimously confirmed the following to the PA Fish & Boat Commission: William C. Brock, Saint Marys; Richard S. Kauffman, Leesport; Richard Lewis, Gettysburg, and; Robert J. Small, Mechanicsburg. Michael F. Mitrick, of York and the 48th Senatorial District, was unanimously confirmed to the PA Game Commission, as well as Stanley I. Knick, Jr., Dupont, by a vote of 34-15.


Contact Information
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