May. 03, 2019

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Legislative Report
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Getting Government Out of Your Lives and Pocketbooks
President Ronald Reagan once famously quipped, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

In the spirit of the Gipper, House Republicans are devoting the month of May to slimming down the government and stopping Harrisburg from regulating every aspect of your lives.

We are fighting to repeal out-of-date and burdensome laws, to reexamine the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and to put a stop to the overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.

We kicked off the effort this week by passing House Bill 762 to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to facilitate better understanding of new and existing regulations and boost compliance rates among affected businesses.

We also passed House Bill 509, which would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.

Finally, we started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.

You can read more about what we are doing to make Pennsylvania’s government work for the people here.

Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers
We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget!

State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.

House and Senate Republicans came together earlier this week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for the next “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.

The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.

The taxpayers of Pennsylvania expect us to be saving money, not overspending it and leaving our children with a debt crisis.

We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.

Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.

Watch the press conference here.

Gun Law Seminar May 29
I will be hosting a free gun law seminar for residents of the 84th District on Wednesday, May 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Loyalsock Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, 715 Northway Road, Williamsport.

This event offers a unique chance for potential and experienced firearm owners to expand their knowledge of gun laws, so they have a better understanding of how to responsibly exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

Judge Lovecchio will speak on Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground. Sheriff Lusk will speak on carrying firearms. State Trooper Angela Bieber will speak on interacting with the police and an officer of the Game Commission will speak on laws relating to hunting.

RSVPs are required. Please call 570-326-2084 or email

Repairs Begin Next Week on Route 220 Bridges Near Williamsport
Next week, PennDOT will begin repairs on the Route 220 northbound and southbound bridges spanning railroad tracks just south of Williamsport near Antlers Lane in Woodward Township. Work begins the morning of Monday, May 6.

There will be alternating lane restrictions in place in each direction 24/7 for approximately two weeks.

There may be delays and traffic queues, especially in the northbound direction during peak hours in the morning, and in the southbound direction during peak hours in the afternoon.

Community Volunteers Honor Korean War Veterans
Recently, I had the honor of presenting a certificate of appreciation to Howdy and Jean Wilt for their 20 years of dedicated service to the Korean War Veterans of Lycoming County.

Howdy is a founding member of the organization and the founding member of the Honor Guard, which has performed Military Honors at over 1,600 veterans' funerals and other services in the past 20 years.

Our community is forever grateful to citizens like the Wilt's who dedicate their free time to ensuring our veterans are not forgotten.

Lycoming Rail Freight Improvement Projects Approved
The governor recently announced that he will be approving 27 rail freight improvement projects, including two projects in Lycoming County, which Sen. Gene Yaw and I advocated for and urged the approval of for our community. These rail freight tracks are vital to our state’s economy and the moving of goods and services, which in turn supports job growth and business development in the industries that rely on our rail services.

Below is a list of the approved projects for Lycoming County:

• John Savoy & Son, Inc.-- $204,835 to construct a new rail siding and unloading dock to enable new rail service.
• Lycoming Valley Railroad Company -- $531,727 to rehabilitate approximately 3.5 miles of track by replacing ties and surfacing track.

“I was very pleased with Harrisburg’s decision to award Savoy Furniture the RFAP grant. There are many advantages to utilizing intermodal transportation and capitalizing on them will help ensure Savoy’s position in our community for years to come.”
– Adam Savoy, VP of Manufacturing and Operations Management, Savoy Contract Furniture

“We are happy to receive the news from Governor Wolf’s office this week. We have three large projects we are preparing to embark upon, system-wide, and we are fortunate that PennDOT sees the importance of these projects and the impact they have on Central Pennsylvania. The need for these projects is indicative of the success of our customers. We are willing and ready to expand and embark on major rehabilitation projects on our rail lines in order to keep freight moving to and from our customers. We are thankful for the state rail freight grants program and look forward seeing all of these projects come to completion, which represent: economic development, job retention/creation, and safety enhancements.”
– Jeb Stotter, President & CEO, Lycoming Valley Railroad

“The Chamber welcomes the investment by the Commonwealth in the two rail projects here in Lycoming County. Investment in rail infrastructure provides easier shipment of bulk commodities and finished goods in bypassing over-the-road transport of these products. Many companies rely on the rail line serviced by Lycoming Valley and it’s important to see that the track improvements will be made in the Montgomery-Muncy corridor to keep the operational. Additionally, having Savoy now being able to get finished goods out will provide them with more timely delivery to their customers. We appreciate the investment by PennDOT and the Wolf administration and the work by Senator Yaw and Representatives Everett and Wheeland in championing these projects.”
– Jason Fink, President/CEO, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce

Annual Susquehanna Greenway Photo Contest
This open and free photo contest seeks to inspire and celebrate the connections that are shared between communities and the Susquehanna River. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the first through third place winners within each category. Winning images will also be printed, framed, and added to a traveling gallery to be exhibited throughout the Susquehanna region within Pennsylvania. To enter, visit the Susquehanna Greenway website HERE.

American Lung Association Warns of E-Cigarette Epidemic
The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania is warning that e-cigarettes are now the most common tobacco product used by youth. Startling statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 40.8% of Pennsylvania high school students have used an e-cigarette at least once, and 24.1% of high school students currently use e-cigarettes. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use increased 78% among high school students, according to U.S. Health and Human Services.

Kids often don’t realize that they are harming their lungs and their brain by using e-cigarettes. Kids may not realize that the products they are using contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.

It’s not just harmless water vapor: secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes can contain nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin and lead. Some JUUL pods contain roughly as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. These products are designed to appeal to and be used by teens and can go undetected by adults.

In March, to help keep harmful vaping products out of the hands of minors, the PA House passed legislation that would add “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the law that currently makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to possess or use such products on school grounds. ENDS include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes, JUULs and vape pens. The legislation is now being considered by the PA Senate.

Prevent Lyme: Check for Ticks
With May designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, individuals who spend time outdoors should check themselves for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments.

The first line of defense against Lyme is to take precautions in the outdoors by using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, checking for – and promptly and properly removing – any ticks, and showering shortly after exposure.

If bitten, an individual should monitor the area for the next month. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, a bull’s eye rash may appear, and other symptoms that can be mistaken for viral infections, such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis.

Pennsylvania has led the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease for three straight years.

Last year, a $500,000 grant was provided to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) to allow all Pennsylvania residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free by the university. The Tick Lab is located within the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute at ESU. Click here to access the Tick Lab website with all the details.

For tips about how to protect yourself from Lyme disease, click here

Veterans Outreach Hours at My Office
I want to remind the veterans in the 84th District that American Legion Service Officer Dan Falls is available at my Muncy office to meet with them. Dan stops by every fourth Tuesday of the month, or by appointment.

Call (570) 546-2084 to schedule an appointment in advance.

Veterans in the 84th Legislative District can also contact retired MSGT George W. Heiges, Jr., director of Lycoming County Office of Veterans Affairs at (570) 320-2101 or (570) 327-2365. In Union County, contact Director J.D. Kerstetter, Union County Office of Veterans Affairs at, (570) 524-8677.

Services to veterans and their dependents include assistance with:
• Compensation, pension, and death benefits.
• Education and health care.
• Veterans benefits.

Veterans do not need to be a member of the American Legion to receive services.

Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a resident of the 84th District and need assistance with a state agency, please feel free to contact my Muncy office at 570-546-2084. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.

Stay in Touch with Me on Social Media
You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my House website,, or my official Facebook page. You can watch my House floor speeches and press interviews at my YouTube channel HERE
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Office Locations
Penn Hills Plaza, Halls Station, 21 Kristi Road, Suite 1, Muncy, PA 17756 | Phone: (570) 546-2084
Tiadaghton Valley Mall, Room 105, 701 Allegheny Street, Box 4. Jersey Shore, PA 17740 | Phone: (570) 398-4476               
401 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202084, Harrisburg PA 17120-2084 | Phone: (717) 787-5270
TTY: 855-282-0614