Jun. 07, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Bills Advance to Grow PA Agriculture

Recognizing the important contributions of the state’s agriculture industry, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week approved a package of bills to support current and future farmers in the Commonwealth.

Among the bills approved by the committee are ones to create a Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to ensure a quick state-level response to threats such as invasive species or disease; establish a Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help farmers create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan; and empower the State Conservation Commission to provide technical assistance and financing options for implementing best management practices.

To ensure our youth have greater exposure to and understanding of the importance of farming, other bills would revive the PA Farm-to-School Program to support child nutrition and reestablish the former Agriculture and Rural Youth Development Program to fund youth organizations that promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Other measures aim to boost enrollment in the veteran farmer Homegrown by Heroes program, provide specialty crop block grants, aid with meat inspection costs for small or new processors and protect agritourism business from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injuries or damages.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
 
 
Supporting PA’s Bikers


As I do every year, I was one of the guest speakers at Monday’s Motorcycle Rights Rally at the Capitol, sponsored by ABATE of Pennsylvania. I asked for their help in enacting House Bill 634, my legislation to make motorcycle processions, or “rides,” safer for both bikers and motorists.
 
 
Remembering D-Day and Honoring Our Veterans


The Pennsylvania House of Representatives paid tribute to World War II veterans this week and commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day with a resolution. One of those veterans took part in the invasion. Joseph “Zeb” Zebertavage served as an anti-aircraft gunner on the USS O’Brien.

The 10 veterans are pictured here with House members who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We thank them all for their service to our great nation!
 
 
Continuing Support for PA Military, Veterans

In recognition of the service and sacrifice of active duty military and veterans in the Commonwealth, the House is always working to enact policies that help and support these men and women and their families.

This week, we approved House Bill 630 to extend Pennsylvania’s current employment protections to Pennsylvania citizens who are members of another state’s National Guard and are called up to serve outside of the Commonwealth.

We also approved House Bill 1050 to ensure an in-state tuition rate for military families as soon as a student enrolls in a public college or university, regardless of whether his or her military parent is reassigned out of the state. Both bills are now pending consideration in the Senate.

Finally, lawmakers joined with representatives of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to send off seven new vans that will help DAV volunteers transport veterans to their VA medical appointments.

For more information about state services and support for our military and veterans, visit the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website at www.dmva.pa.gov.
 
 
Senior Fishing Derby Set for June 15

Older residents interested in doing a little fishing are invited to take part in a Senior Fishing Derby hosted by the Ickesburg Sportsmens’ Association on Saturday, June 15, in Perry County. The free event will be held at a private residence located at 306 Snyder Lane, Newport. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the fishing gets underway at 9 a.m. Should be a fun day!
 
 
Bridge Project to Begin Monday

On Monday, June 10, a PennDOT contractor will close the bridge that carries Route 17 over a tributary to Panther Creek near Ickesburg, Perry County, and begin preparation work to replace the span. The road will be closed until the $1.9 million project is completed in early August. Until then, a detour that uses Route 74, Route 849, Buckwheat Road, Creek Road, and Racoon Valley Road will be available for motorists.
 
 
Economic Outlook

General Fund revenue collections for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during May were $2.62 billion, which was $14.9 million less than the official estimate. So far this fiscal year, General Fund collections total $31.8 billion, which is $813 million more than anticipated. Learn more here
                                   
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Office Locations
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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Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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