New Aquaponics Facility Dedicated
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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
New Aquaponics Facility Dedicated

As vice-chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I had the pleasure of speaking at Tuesday’s grand opening celebration for AgWorks at the Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) in Harrisburg. AgWorks is the largest public educational aquaponics facility in the country, where students are learning the skills they need for some of the agricultural careers of the future.

Under the guidance of teachers and horticulture experts, students manage the facility by growing and maintaining nearly 3,000 plants and approximately 400 fish, all while learning about aquaponics, hydroponics and aeroponics.

Congratulations to CCA and all those involved in this very impressive program. Learn more here.


Good News for Farmers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with a significant rollback of an Obama-era “clean water” regulation.

The new rule would replace an Obama administration regulation, known as the “Waters of the United States” rule that piggybacked on the 1972 Clean Water Act to expand federal overreach to include low areas in a cornfield that stay wet year after year.

Farmers and property rights groups have long pointed out that the Obama rule unduly prevents property owners from being able to fully use their land because the rule’s overly broad definition regulates ditches that temporarily flood as federally protected waterways.

Two Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 came down on the side of landowners, ruling that ponds at the bottom of a gravel pit and a marsh that are many miles from any lake or river were not navigable and thus not subject to the Clean Water Act.
New Tool to Fight Addiction

Building on the work of lawmakers to develop policies to combat the opioid crisis, a new online tool is available to help individuals identify drug and alcohol treatment options and support services for themselves or a loved one.

The Drug and Alcohol Referral Tool (DART) is not a diagnostic assessment and does not gauge eligibility for any programs. It is designed to assist people who are looking for services but are not sure where to begin. Users get the results based off their answers to survey questions.

DART does not ask any identifying information and does not save answers after it’s closed. After completing the questionnaire, people are able to email, download, and/or print their results.

DART is a free, anonymous resource and can be found here.
Clean Slate Law to Take Effect Soon

Pennsylvanians with certain low-level offenses on their records will have their records automatically sealed under a new law taking effect this month.
Act 56 of 2018 allows records of second and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions to be automatically sealed after a 10-year period without subsequent offenses. The law does not apply to violent offenses or those committed with a firearm or other dangerous item; sexual offenses; cruelty to animals; or corruption of minors.

This legislation balances the opportunity for low-level, nonviolent offenders to move forward with their lives, while at the same time not shielding the records of violent criminals.

Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to enact a so-called “clean slate” law.
Renew Dog Licenses Now

Pet owners are reminded that all dogs in Pennsylvania three months of age and older must be licensed by Jan. 1, 2019. You can purchase a 2019 license through your local county treasurer’s office.

Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs. Learn more here.
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Perry County Office, 18 West Main Street, PO Box 9. New Bloomfield PA 17068 | Tel: 717-582-8119
Cumberland County Office, 81 Walnut Bottom Road, P.O. Box 705, Shippensburg, PA 17257 | Tel: 717-477-0905
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