Jul. 28, 2017

In the Community
Travel Pennsylvania!

Tourism is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries, and the state Tourism Office has compiled a list of customized road trips for a wide variety of interests and locations across the Commonwealth.

The road trips emphasize the diversity of Pennsylvania and feature a broad spectrum of interests including: nature, religious and spiritual destinations, kid-specific sites, historical attractions, photographic gems, shopping, the keystone countryside, small-town charm, arts and culture, ghost rides, sporting events, and culinary delights.

For full information on Pennsylvania road trips, visit the state’s official tourism website at VisitPa.com/pa-road-trips.

Cumberland County Electronics Recycling Center Now Open

Cumberland County’s new electronics recycling center, located at 1001 Claremont Road in Carlisle, is now open for business.

With this recycling center, the county is primarily addressing the lack of television recycling opportunities in central Pennsylvania. Televisions are the one of the most expensive electronics to recycle, which makes it difficult to find a place to recycle them. Since Pennsylvania's electronics recycling law bans televisions and computer equipment from being thrown in the trash as solid waste, having an electronics recycling center in our area was imperative.

Please visit the Cumberland County website for more information about the recycling center’s hours of operation and frequently asked questions.


Prothonotary & Chief of Clerks Conference Held in Camp Hill


On July 12, I had the pleasure to speak at the 71st Annual Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts State Conference in Camp Hill. While commonly misunderstood, the offices of prothonotary and clerk of courts are elected by voters in their respective counties and serve vital roles in our court system. They ensure that the legal process is quick and efficient and work behind the scenes to make it so.

The responsibility of the prothonotary is to keep the judge informed of upcoming cases and to ensure the required documents and persons are present for a case to be reviewed. The clerk of courts handles the record keeping and maintenance of needed court documents. These local positions instill long-lasting leadership skills and allow individuals to serve their fellow citizens in unique ways.

Eagle Scout Ceremonies in our Area

Congratulations to Cam Morgan, Drew Heidelbaugh, and Matt McCandless, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the month of July!

 Cam Morgan

 Drew Heidelbaugh and Matt McCandless

Ten Digit Dialing
Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin next month in Cumberland County, as well as 16 other counties in south central Pennsylvania. Those counties will be getting a new area code to overlay with the existing 717 area code.
The 10-digit dialing will begin August 26 and it will require all calls in the 717 service area to be made using the area code as well.

The commission’s order says new phone numbers with the 223 area code can be released starting September 26, and that requests for numbers with a 717 area code will be honored as long as numbers are available.

Joint Land Use Study

On Monday, July 25, township officials and members of the Naval Support Activity Base in Mechanicsburg met to discuss a joint land use study in order to evaluate the effects of drainage problems and future land use. The study was implemented as a way for the Navy base and local officials to communicate and will help bring the base and community together. The research will take a year to complete and will help cover drainage problems and future land use.

The naval base in Hampden Township is similar to a large industrial complex in the community. It currently employs approximately 2,400 people, including its countless civilian, military and industry partners. This study will be an important step to help our community and the naval base support each other for years to come.

Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce Meeting Focuses on State Budget


On July 6, the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee held a meeting to discuss this year’s state budget. The main purpose of this committee is to assess state and federal issues and their impacts on the Capital Area.

I was given the honor of presenting the current budget proposal and plans put forth by the Legislature during the committee meeting.
State Capitol News
Budget Update: Continuing the Fight Against Higher Taxes

The $32 billion budget passed by the General Assembly in late June became law without the signature of Governor Tom Wolf. This is the third consecutive fiscal year budget to become law without the governor’s signature.

With the governor largely absent from negotiations, House Republicans have been working in good faith to advance a plan with the necessary revenues to support the spending plan.

Presented with a variety of options, including proposed reforms to our state’s liquor sales system and gaming expansion, the administration has rejected each proposal, instead calling for new and increased taxes on hard-working Pennsylvania families or small employers.

Talks will continue until an agreement is reached.

Holding Caretakers Accountable

Individuals who endanger children in their care will face stronger criminal penalties under legislation that was recently signed into law.

Under Act 12 of 2017, parents, guardians or those tasked with the care of a child will face harsher penalties in cases of child endangerment if the child is under the age of 6, if the endangerment results in serious injury or death, or if the endangerment is part of a continuing course of conduct.

Currently, a person who endangers the welfare of a child under the age of 18 can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, and if the conduct is part of a continuing course of conduct, the offense is graded as a third-degree felony.
The new law will take effect in late August.

Voters to Decide Property Tax Issue

This fall, voters will have the opportunity to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow local governments to exclude more of a property’s median assessed value for property tax reductions.

Currently, the state Constitution only permits local governments – counties, municipalities, and school districts – to exclude up to 50 percent.

The referendum is made possible through House Bill 1285, which recently passed both chambers of the General Assembly this summer. It is identical to legislation, House Bill 147, which cleared both the House and Senate last session.

Voters will be able to consider the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 7 ballot. Should the people of Pennsylvania vote in the affirmative on this question, the Constitution will be amended as the governor’s signature is not required for it to become law. Municipalities will still need to make decisions regarding any property tax reductions.

Active Work Zones

With the summer road construction season in full swing, motorists are reminded to follow state law and to be safety conscious in highway work zones. Since 1970, 87 PennDOT employees have lost their lives in the line of duty. In posted work zones, state law requires all motorists to travel with their headlights turned on. Drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights must turn on their headlights to activate their taillights. Many interstate work zones now have speed-monitoring devices to alert motorists of their speed prior to entering the work zone.

Remember, a white flashing light attached to the “Active Work Zone” sign means construction workers are present. Motorists in an active work zone who are caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit, or who are involved in a crash, or convicted for failing to drive at a safe speed, will automatically lose their license for 15 days. Additionally, fines for traffic violations are doubled for active work zones. Five years of additional jail time may be imposed for individuals convicted of homicide by vehicle for a crash in an active work zone.

For more information on work zone safety, visit PennDOT’s website at www.PennDOT.com and look for safety tips in the “Travel in PA” pull down menu.

Winter Maintenance Programs

As in years past, PennDOT will sponsor a Winter Maintenance Program. This program runs from September through April to supplement the permanent workforce in the more treacherous winter months.

All candidates, including those previously employed by PennDOT, must complete an online application to be considered for employment. Candidates must apply online at www.employment.pa.gov or you may call our district office to receive a recommendation. Please note that the deadline for recommendations is Friday, August 11.