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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Senator Scavello to Host "Get Outdoors PA" Event
  • Senate Acts to Complete Work on State Budget
  • Senate Approves Scavello Bill Allowing Leashed Tracking Dog for Harvested Game
  • Additional Bills Approved by the Senate
  • Committee Roundup
  • Around the 40th District
  • Up Next

Senator Scavello to Host “Get Outdoors PA” Event

I am hosting my second annual Get Outdoors PA Festival on Saturday, September 30 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Brodhead Creek Park (North Fifth Street, Stroudsburg) in partnership with Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission. This family-friendly event will be held rain or shine for all ages.

The Get Outdoors PA Festival is a free event and will highlight the many outdoor experiences available throughout the region. Exhibitors will provide hands-on activities and experiences including the opportunity to meet Smokey the Bear and Woodsy the Owl. Children and parents can also practice their archery and fishing skills, take a guided nature walk, participate in a live animal presentation, learn about stream wildlife and much more.

I am very excited to host this event in partnership with the Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission and highlight numerous local and regional organizations focused on protecting our precious natural resources and providing exciting outdoor experiences through many fun activities.

The schedule of events will include a Live Animal Presentation at 1:30 p.m., a nature walk at 2 p.m. and a Stream Study led by Monroe County Conservation District at 3:00 p.m. Representatives from the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, PA Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission will be present to answer any questions that attendees may have.

For more information about the Get Outdoors PA Festival please visit www.marioscavello.com or call 610-863-1200.


Senate Acts to Complete Work on State Budget

The Senate took steps Wednesday to complete the 2017-18 state budget.

The Senate voted 43-7 on Wednesday to non-concur on House amendments to House Bill 453  and empowered Senate President Pro-Tempore Joe Scarnati to appoint members of the Senate to serve on a bicameral Conference Committee to iron out a final Fiscal Code component for the FY 2017-18 budget package.

A Conference Committee, made up of members representing the General Assembly’s four caucuses, is created when the Senate and House of Representatives are deadlocked on developing language for a bill. Once a compromise is reached, the Committee will submit a report to the two chambers for an “up or down” vote -- meaning no amendments can be made and the compromise must be considered on its own merit.


Senate Approves Scavello Bill Allowing Leashed Tracking Dog for Harvested Game

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved legislation I am sponsoring to allow the use of leashed tracking dogs to track white-tailed deer to assist in recovering an animal which has been legally harvested or wounded.

Currently under the Pennsylvania Game Code, it is unlawful for any person to make use of a dog in any manner to hunt or take big game, other than wild turkey during the fall season, or to permit a dog under a person’s ownership or control to pursue big game. Senate Bill 135 would not change this prohibition, rather it would assist in the tracking of the harvested game.

As sportsmen know, it can sometimes be very difficult to track a wounded or harvested deer that may have traveled some distance, especially in areas of varied terrain or when weather conditions are poor. The use of properly trained and controlled tracking dogs can prove instrumental in recovering a mortally wounded animal, and greatly decrease the chances of leaving deceased white-tailed deer unrecovered in our Commonwealth’s woods and wild lands. This simple and humane proposed change in the law will be of great benefit to both our sporting community and one of our most valued natural resources, the white-tailed deer.

The use of leashed tracking dogs are allowed in approximately 35 states, six of which surround Pennsylvania.


Additional Bills Approved by the Senate

Senate Bill 252 amends the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s enabling act to assist in supporting private development.

Senate Bill 751 provides for regulation and licensure of mortgage servicers.

Senate Bill 785 would allow golf cart use on highway crossovers for recreational purposes as well as golf cart and low-speed utility vehicle use on highways for maintenance purposes.

The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Committee Roundup

Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four bills on Monday.

Senate Bill 251 would permit all municipal police to utilize radar for speed enforcement.

Senate Bill 252 amends the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s enabling act to assist in supporting private development.

Senate Bill 552 redirects funds from the Veterans Trust Fund that came from the Pennsylvania Monuments License Registration Plate to the new Pennsylvania Veterans' Monuments and Memorial Trust Fund and would require those funds be used for the operation and maintenance of monuments designated by Department of Military & Veterans Affairs in consultation with the State Veterans’ Commission.

Senate Bill 564 requires PennDOT to include protective fencing in the construction of new bridges and major renovations of existing bridges over interstate highways.

The Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 530 on Wednesday. The bill updates Act 136 of 1998, the Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Act. After that vote, Committee Executive Director Greg Jordan was honored for his 32 years of state service as he attended his final meeting before his upcoming retirement.

State Government

The Senate State Government Committee approved six bills on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 625 would require the flying of a POW/MIA flag at rest areas and welcome centers.

Senate Bill 822 would require the flying of a POW/MIA flag at state-owned properties.

Senate Bill 826 is a land conveyance bill.

House Bill 1287 is a land conveyance bill.

House Bill 1420 sets new auditing thresholds for charitable organizations that receive annual contributions.

House Bill 1421 makes changes to the filing time frame for Charitable Organizations, Professional Fundraising Counsels and Professional Solicitors.

Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved six bills on Tuesday.

House Bill 561 amends the Crimes Code to repeal a sunset provision relating to the issuance of administrative subpoenas in an investigation involving child sexual exploitation or abuse.

Senate Bill 742 provides for a comprehensive bill of rights in Pennsylvania for survivors of sexual assault.

Senate Bill 790 establishes a charitable trust to help reverse the direction of prison-bound youth.

Senate Bill 827 gives individuals the power to plan for the management and disposition of their digital assets by providing instructions in a will, trust, or power of attorney.

Senate Bill 854 removes “interference with custody of children” from the offenses for which an offender must be included on the sex offender registry.

Senate Bill 883 provides for automatic expungement of criminal records for any offense that has been the subject of an executive pardon.

Law & Justice Committee

The Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing Tuesday on Liquor Control Enforcement of “Stop and Go’s” and illegal gambling devices. The panel heard from the Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Division on the estimated 50,000 illegal slot machines in Pennsylvania, and discussed how they proliferated and what can be done to address the problem. Hearing Video

Rules & Executive Nominations

The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee considered House amendments to House Bill 453  on Wednesday. The bill is the Fiscal Code component of the Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget package. The bill was reported to the full Senate, as a procedural vote, prior to the non-concurrence vote by the full chamber.

Transportation

The Senate Transportation Committee approved five bills on Wednesday.

House Bill 407 would allow for contributions to the Pediatric Cancer Research Fund when renewing a driver's license, identification card, or vehicle registration electronically through PENNDOT's website.

Senate Bill 796 exempts CDL licensees from the change of address fees if they have not actually moved from their home and the change of address is due to a governmental action beyond their control.

Senate Bill 837 is a highway renaming bill.

Senate Bill 887 is a highway renaming bill.

Senate Bill 888 would improve access to disabled parking spaces by prohibiting the obstruction of access aisles and strengthening enforcement measures.

The committee also held its annual hearing with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to collect testimony on their budget and program priorities. You can view the hearing here.


Around the 40th District

Congratulations to the new, top of the line Pocono Bike Company as they celebrate the opening of their location on Main Street in Stroudsburg!

Pocono Brewing Company in Scotrun recently celebrated their grand opening under new ownership. I joined PA State Rep. Jack Rader in presenting a plaque commemorating the event. Best wishes for many years of success!

 

Congratulations to the citizens of Stroud and Ross Townships as they recognize their respective Bicentennial celebrations. I look forward to continuing to work together for the betterment of our communities!

This week I joined residents of Wind Gap and the surrounding areas to take part in the Trail to Town Jamboree at Wind Gap Park. It was a pleasure meeting with area residents and their families and providing them with a number of state related resources.

My office joined PA State Rep. Rosemary Brown and PA State Rep. Jack Rader in celebrating the groundbreaking for three new restaurants in Bartonsville this week. This area will soon be home to Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell and La Tolteca, providing additional options for area patrons to enjoy.

This past weekend I had the honor of performing my 1,000th wedding ceremony for Bryan and Alexandra Evans. What a gorgeous day and beautiful ceremony. Congratulations to you both!


Up Next

The Senate is in recess to the call of the President Pro Tempore. The next scheduled session day is Monday, October 16. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.


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Offices

Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-1200
FAX (610) 863-1214
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

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