Feb. 10, 2017

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The Weekly Roundup


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Expecting the 2017-18 Budget Process to be More Effective than Years Past

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The annual state budget process got underway this week, when my House colleagues and I were part of a joint session of the General Assembly to hear the governor’s budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year on Tuesday. The governor provided a brief outline of his proposal spending plan. As we move forward with this year’s budget process, I want to share my thoughts with you about what I think is most important.

This is a new year, and I expect that the Legislature, the governor and his administration will be able to work together to successfully reshape our state government, specifically when it comes to crafting the annual state budget. We need to rein in government spending, and reprioritize how we are allocating taxpayer dollars to ensure each cent is being used in the most effective manner. We should be examining each line of spending, not just giving more money to programs because that is what has always been done.

I want this year’s budget to partly focus on job creation so more Pennsylvanians can get back to work. As a business owner, I want to see us restore a healthier economy for Pennsylvania, by lessening government regulations and improving our overall business climate. Government’s role is to support businesses, as they are the job creators. I want to see our businesses and their employees succeed and generate future prosperity.

One of the most recent and largest issues plaguing every region of our state is the heroin and opioid epidemic. As we craft this year’s budget, we need to ensure efforts to address opioid and heroin abuse, along with prevention, education and treatment programs, are considered and appropriately funded. Last year, it was reported we lost more Americans to drug overdoses than in automobile accidents. Every life that is saved as a result of our efforts is beyond worth our investments in such programs.

The next step in the budget-crafting process will be the budget hearings in the House, which will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Click here for more information about the schedule
Wearing Red for Women

Earlier this week in Harrisburg, my House colleagues who were wearing red in honor of last Friday’s “Go Red for Women” day, stopped for a photo on the House floor. The day is to raise awareness about women’s heart disease. Legislative efforts over the years have made the official designation in Pennsylvania as a way to remind women about the risks of heart disease.
2017 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules Now Available Online

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced that the 2017 adult trout stocking schedules are now available online and on the PFBC’s “FishBoatPA” mobile app. Paper copies will be available in our district office in the coming weeks. Anglers can easily search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of interest. To view the list, simply go to fishandboat.com, click on the link “Fish” in the upper right corner, then select Trout Stocking Schedules. From there, select a county and enter start and end dates from the calendars at the top of the page. Then press “Go.” For anglers with smartphones, an even easier way to view the schedules is through the FishBoatPA app, which is available for free from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Connecting Nonprofits Through 2-1-1

To raise awareness of a free service by the United Way that partners local nonprofits and social service groups together to help assist Pennsylvanians in need, the House passed House Resolution 49 recognizing Feb. 11 as “2-1-1 Day in Pennsylvania.”

By dialing 2-1-1, people are instantly connected to a wealth of information related to their area’s nonprofit and human service providers. This “one stop shop” helps people cut through red tape and more easily find the help they need. These services are offered on a regionalized approach, ensuring that people are helped by their neighbors and people in their own community. More information is available at pa211.org.
Monthly Services Available
Monthly Veterans Assistance Hours in Elysburg
First and third Wednesdays of every month
Elysburg District Office, located at 467 Industrial Park Road
A representative from Northumberland County Veterans Affairs will be available during this time to assist any veteran living in the 107th Legislative District.

Danville Satellite Office
Located at the Danville Borough Building, 239 Mill St., Suite 1
Open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please stop in – we can provide all the same services at this office as we can at the full-time district office in Elysburg. Call 570-275-3700 for more information.

Federal Casework Day
Second Thursday of each month, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Elysburg District Office, located at 467 Industrial Park Road.
A staff member from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be available during this time to assist residents with federal issues. Please bring all relevant paperwork with you.
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Office Locations
467 Industrial Park Road, Elysburg, PA 17824 | (570) 648-8017 | Toll-free: (855) 271-9386
415 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202107, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2107 | (717) 260-6134
TTY: 855-282-0614