Sep. 06, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Pennsylvania’s Oil Production Highlights “Overregulation”

 
I recently had the opportunity to tour the Commonwealth’s conventional (not Marcellus) oil and gas fields. Pennsylvania was the first state to commercially produce oil, and the same regions of the state continue to produce high-quality petroleum. Bradford, Pa., is host to the world’s oldest continually operating refinery, which produces top-quality lubricants. When you use products like motor oil, grease and petroleum jelly, you are likely using a product that had its origins in Pennsylvania sandstone.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates the oil and gas industry, ensuring compliance with state laws and department-created regulations designed to protect the environment. However, there is a growing chorus of individuals and businesses arguing that DEP’s requirements are growing too stringent and its approval process too long. The complaints are coming from businesses, like oil and gas, which can more easily work in neighboring states without costly and time-consuming approvals.

As a member of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, I am exploring the impact that Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and regulations have on our competitive business climate. Pennsylvania can keep our environment clean without surrendering more of our jobs to other states.
 
 
Join Me Next Week at a Town Hall

I am hosting a town hall-style meeting Thursday, Sept. 12, to discuss initiatives to expand the role of certified nurse practitioners. I am interested in hearing all viewpoints on this issue.

The meeting will be held in the Waynesboro Hospital board conference room from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Senate has advanced legislation to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently after an initial, three-year period with a physician. Senate Bill 25 was referred to the House’s Professional Licensure Committee in June.

Increasing authority given to nurse practitioners may be one way to improve access to primary care in rural areas. I welcome your feedback at the town hall.
 
 
 
Educating All Students for Success

The General Assembly recently reestablished a Special Education Funding Commission to review the formula that determines payments to school districts across the Commonwealth.

First formed in 2012, the commission conducted several meetings to gather information and made recommendations to improve the special education funding formula by better reflecting student need, as well as community differences such as market value/personal income aid ratio, equalized millage rate, and small and rural school districts.

The changes were adopted by the General Assembly and since the 2013-14 fiscal year, lawmakers have continued their commitment to supporting all students, increasing funding for special education by 15.6% or $160 million. Total education funding has jumped by 29.5% from $9.85 billion to more than $12.75 billion this year.

The newly reestablished commission features a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers, as well as the secretary of education and other representatives of the Wolf administration. The group will meet throughout the fall and intends to issue its report to the General Assembly no later than Nov. 30.
 
 
Schedule Your Capitol Tour!

President Theodore Roosevelt called Pennsylvania’s state Capitol “the handsomest building” he ever saw. Tours of the historic building, which highlight its artistic and architectural features as well as provide information about state government, are offered daily for individuals and groups of up to 80 people.

Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more, but all visitors interested in touring the Capitol are encouraged to make reservations through the Capitol tour office. Tour dates fill up quickly in the spring due to school field trip season.

Tour reservations may be made by calling the tour office directly at 1-800-868-7672, or call my office and we’ll set it up for you. When you call, have your group name, total number of participants and contact information ready.

Tours are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and most holidays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Capitol is closed for tours New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Weekday tours begin at the top of the hour and every half hour. The tours last between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the size of the group.

You may also explore the Capitol using the self-guided tour mobile app available at Google Play and the App Store. Self-guided tours may only be done on regular weekdays.

More information about visiting the Capitol is available here.
 
 
Prepared. Not Scared.

In recognition of September being National Preparedness Month, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all of us to take steps to plan for emergencies by participating in September’s 30 Days/30 Ways preparedness event.

This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Prepared. Not Scared.” Much like a fire drill, knowing what to do in an emergency makes the situation a little less frightening for everyone.

Some simple steps to boost your preparedness include taking a basic first aid or CPR class, creating a family emergency plan, assembling a small kit of emergency supplies for your home and car, reviewing insurance coverage, and building up an emergency fund.

PEMA is inviting anyone who wants to participate to register here for weekly updates with helpful hints and tips to get them started on their journey to preparedness. At the end of the month, participants who fill out a brief survey about their experience will be entered to win a random drawing of a wind-up radio, flashlight or phone charger.

More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the ReadyPA webpage.
 
 
Fighting Back Against Spotted Lanternfly

Recognizing the devastating impact the ongoing spread of spotted lanternfly could have on key sectors of the state’s agriculture industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is again inviting students to help spread the word about this threat.

For the second year in a row, first- through eighth-grade students are being invited to submit entries in a calendar contest designed to educate people about this invasive insect that was first identified in Berks County but has since spread to more than a dozen counties in the eastern and central regions of the state. Spotted lanternfly could be devastating to the state’s grape, hops and hardwoods industries.

All entries must include one fact about spotted lanternfly with artwork created by the student in an 11-by-17-inch, horizontal poster format. A completed contest submission form must be attached or emailed with each entry. All entries must be original artwork; no copies will be accepted.

More than 800 entries were received for the 2018 calendar contest. This year’s competition runs through Oct. 31.

For contest rules and additional information, click here.

 
 
PennDOT’s Schedule for Sept. 9
to 13
  • Shoulder bulldozing on U.S. 11 (Molly Pitcher Highway) in Antrim Township
  • Skin patching on Williamsport Pike and Bino Road in Antrim Township
  • Skin patching on Path Valley Road in Fannett Township
  • Skin patching on Corner Road in Peters Township
  • Shoulder cutting on Monterey Lane in Washington Township
  • Shoulder cutting on Hades Church Road in Antrim Township
  • Shoulder cutting on Falling Spring Road in Guilford Township
  • Crack sealing on U.S. 11 (Molly Pitcher Highway) in Southampton Township
  • Crack sealing on Roxbury Road in Southampton Township
  • Pipe replacement on U.S. 30 (Lincoln Way West) in Peters Township
 
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1402 E. Main Street, Waynesboro, PA 17268 | Phone: (717) 749-7384
1270 Crottlestown Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202 I Phone: (717) 263-1053
10655 Antrim Church Road, Greencastle, PA 17225 I Phone: (717) 895-3902 
Room 150-B, East Wing, PO Box 202090, Harrisburg PA 17120-2090 | Phone: (717) 783-5218
Email: pschemel@pahousegop.com
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