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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 October 2, 2017

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Expand Homestead Exclusion
Should the constitutional amendment be approved, the General Assembly will be authorized to pass legislation exempting up to “100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction.” The change increases the amount of the homestead property that may be exempt from local property taxes and bases relief on the value of the particular property, not a figure based on the value of all properties in a taxing jurisdiction. The sponsor of the original legislation authorizing the constitutional change notes that this legislation provides the potential for the elimination – not just reduction – of residential school property taxes via the homestead exclusion.

PA Department of Health Seeks Patient and Caregiver Input on MMJ Regulations
The PA Department of Health is encouraging patients and caregivers to provide comments on the Medical Marijuana Program proposed regulations. Draft regulations can be found here, and comments will be accepted until October 2 at this link. Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be e-mailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov.

Congratulations to Kathy Michels, “Art: The Universal Language” Contest Winner!
On September 25, the Governor’s Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities honored artists from across the state who entered the Art: The Universal Language” contest. Kathy Michels, of Palmyra and the 48th Senatorial District, won First Place in the Painting (age 18 and older) category! Congratulations!

The RASE Project: Recovery. Advocacy. Service. Empowerment.
The RASE Project is a non-profit Recovery Community Organization, comprised entirely of staff and volunteers from the Recovery Community to serve the Recovery Community (any person in or seeking recovery, their families, partners, close friends and other loved ones) in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties. The RASE Project offers support, educational, intervention, and residential services. For more information, e-mail education@raseproject.org or visit www.raseproject.org.

PDE Submits Proposed ESSA Consolidated State Plan to USDE
The PA Department of Education (PDE) has submitted its proposed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan to the US Department of Education (USDE).  The plan can be accessed on PDE’s ESSA website. More than 400 stakeholder comments were submitted to PDE during the 30-day public comment period, which can be found here. PDE also developed the Future Ready PA Index to serve as “Pennsylvania’s one-stop location for comprehensive information about school success,” which will use a dashboard model to indicate how schools are performing and making progress.

Fire Company and EMS Grant Program Accepting Applications
The Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program through the PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner is available for volunteer and career fire, emergency medical services and rescue companies. Applications are being accepted now through October 20. Eligible organizations may apply for grant funding for a combination of up to two projects in the following categories: construction and/or renovation of facilities; purchase or repair of equipment; debt reduction; training and education materials, and; career department overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. Career ambulance companies can apply for the grant as long as they are designated as a municipality’s primary EMS provider.


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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