May. 03, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Cutting Red Tape For Local Government

The Senate is currently considering three of my bills: House Bill 510, House Bill 511 and House 512. These would allow municipalities more flexibility when they partner on a project.

Under current law, in order to enter into an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement, all municipalities involved must go through the formality of enacting an ordinance detailing the specifics of the agreement. The formal enactment of an ordinance requires the publication of a legal notice and the entry of the new ordinance into the ordinance book.

The main focus of these bills is allowing municipalities to use a resolution for an agreement, rather than an ordinance. This will save townships and boroughs both time and money.
Removing Appeals Court Judges From Political Money

The House Judiciary Committee this week passed one of my bills, House Bill 111, to the full House for its review.

House Bill 111 would change the way statewide appellate court judges are chosen by replacing partisan judicial elections with a merit selection system.

In the appellate court elections of 2015, special interest groups with matters before the court spent over $16 million promoting their preferred candidates. We accept political spending when it comes to legislators and the governor, but judges are different. We expect judges to be independent and fair, not influenced by political parties and political money.

You can hear my comments on House Bill 111 here.

PennDOT’s Schedule for May 6 to May 10
  • Base repair on New Franklin Road in Guilford Township.
  • Pothole repair on American Legion Highway in Guilford Township.
  • Base Repair on Main Street in Waynesboro borough.
PennDOT also is planning for bridge washing throughout Franklin County. Motorists should expect to encounter flagging crews to direct traffic around bridges
State Tax Revenues Benefit from a Strong U.S. Economy

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.

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.
Statutory House-Cleaning

We are devoting the month of May to giving some of our state statutes and regulations a long-overdue clean-up.

Modernizing state regulations makes state government more effective and efficient while still fulfilling our mission to provide core services. The House initiative includes repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of some industries and hampered economic progress.

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. These laws are no longer even enforceable but continue to cause compliance headaches for some businesses. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code. We also repealed the law requiring the operation of the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.

You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.
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