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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 31, 2017

Budget-Related Bills Pass Senate, Go to House for Further Consideration
Senate Bill 667 – (46-3) expands PA’s Land Bank Program;
House Bill 59 – (35-15) 2017-18 Human Services Code;
House Bill 118 – (37-13) 2017-18 Administrative Code;
House Bill 178 – (34-16) 2017-18 Education Code;
House Bill 453 – (40-10) 2017-18 Fiscal Code (also includes language to require any agency receiving state funds to respond to audits by the Auditor General);
House Bill 542 – (26-24) 2017-18 Tax Code.

Bills Signed into Law by the Governor
Senate Bill 144 – Act 26 – PA Sewage Facilities Act updates to allow “alternative systems” for planning purposes;
Senate Bill 399 – Act 28 – clarifies other positions a Second Class Township Supervisor may hold;
Senate Bill 527 – Act 29 – creates an independent Office of Inspector General;
Senate Bill 553 – Act 30 – Title 75 (Vehicles) updates for impaired driving, blood tests and ignition interlocks;
Senate Bill 589 – Act 31 – increases the maximum allowable weight limit for natural gas vehicles;
Senate Bill 624 – Act 32 – changes to the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act;
Senate Bill 680 – Act 2A – appropriates $32,619,000 from the State Employees’ Retirement Fund to the State Employees’ Retirement Board;
Senate Bill 681 – Act 3A- appropriates $52,453,000 from the Public School Employees’ Retirement Fund to the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board;
Senate Bill 682 – Act 4A – appropriates $48,039,000 from the General Fund to the Department of State for the Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs and State Athletic Commission;
Senate Bill 683 – Act 5A – appropriates $78,356,000 from the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund to the Department of Labor & Industry for the Workers’ Compensation Act and PA Occupational Disease Act;
Senate Bill 684 – Act 6A – appropriates $73,499,000 from the General Fund and $5,537,000 from federal funds to the Public Utility Commission;
Senate Bill 685 – Act 7A – appropriates $5,686,000 from the General Fund to the Office of Consumer Advocate in the Office of Attorney General;
Senate Bill 686 – Act 8A – appropriates $1,715,000 from the General Fund to the Office of Small Business Advocate in the Department of Community and Economic Development;
Senate Bill 687 – Act 9A – appropriates $78,052,000 from the State Gaming Fund for the PA Gaming Control Board, Department of Revenue, PA State Police and Attorney General, for their responsibility under the PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act;
Senate Bill 688 – Act 10A – appropriates $3,619,000 from the Philadelphia Taxicab & Limousine Regulatory Fund and $2,000,000 from the Philadelphia Taxicab Medallion Fund to the Philadelphia Parking Authority;
House Bill 422 – Act 23 – updates provisions for vacancies of election of officers in First and Second Class Townships;
House Bill 1426 – Act 24 – allows overweight trucking permits during holidays;
House Bill 1494 – Act 25 – allows the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to enter into cooperative agreements with federal agencies for timber, forests and watersheds. 

Senate Bill 76 Tele-Town Hall Meeting Poll Question Results
Senator Argall and I held a telephone town hall meeting on July 11 for nearly 6,000 residents of the 29th and 48th Senatorial Districts regarding Senate Bill 76, which provides for the total elimination of school property taxes.  Here are the results of the three poll questions asked during the call.

 

Department of Health Launches Medical Marijuana Program Practitioner Registry
Physicians can take the first steps to participate in the PA Medical Marijuana Program by completing the Practitioner Registry.  The Department of Health surveyed physicians and found that 75% (of 191 participants) said they would register with the program.  Two continuing education providers have been approved to offer the required four-hour training:  The Answer Page Inc. and Extra Step Assurance LLC.

Lebanon VA Medical Center Annual Report:  “Beyond the Numbers”
I found the “Beyond the Numbers” feature in the 2016-17 Lebanon VA Medical Center Annual Report to the Community to have interesting information.  Check it out here.

PA Unemployment Compensation Amnesty Program
The PA Unemployment Compensation (UC) Amnesty Program was established to give eligible claimants who received UC benefits they were not entitled to, and employers who have not made mandatory tax contributions to the UC Trust Fund, an opportunity to make payments on delinquent accounts at a reduced rate.  The program runs through September 30, 2017, and is not an annual opportunity.  The total owed to the UC Trust Fund from both claimants and employers eligible for the amnesty program is $651 Million.


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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