Feb. 27, 2017

  
In the Community
Gun Seminar

 
I am hosting a Concealed Carry and Gun Law Seminar on Tuesday, February 28, from 6 - 8 p.m., on the ground floor of the East Pennsboro Township Building, 98 South Enola Drive, Enola. The event is designed for area residents to learn about Pennsylvania concealed carry laws and to learn some useful gun safety tips.

There will be informational packets available, along with several knowledgeable and note-worthy speakers. Cumberland County Sheriff Ron Anderson will discuss Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, East Pennsboro Police Chief Todd Bashore and East Pennsboro Police Lt. Mark Green will discuss gun safety tips, and Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed will talk about legal issues related to Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine.

All attendees will have the chance to interact with presenters during a question-and-answer session.

Please pre-register by emailing KMoyer@PaHouseGOP.com, calling our district office at 717-975-2235 or visiting my website.


Construction Activity Resuming on Interstate 81 in Cumberland County

 
The unusually warm weather this week in February has prompted the contractors for the Interstate 81 widening project in Cumberland County to resume construction activity several days earlier than originally scheduled. The warmer temperatures are more conducive for painting new traffic lines for the upcoming traffic shift for northbound and southbound motorists.

The project involves extending the northbound on-ramp as an auxiliary ramp between the two interchanges and extending the westbound ramp from Route 581 along southbound I-81 to the interchange with Route 114. Prep work on this project began last September. The entire project should be completed by the end of May 2018.

Construction officially resumed on Wednesday, February 22. Both northbound and southbound traffic on I-81 between Exit 57 for Route 114 and Exit 59 for Route 581 is shifted about 4 feet to the right, toward the existing outside shoulder of the interstate highway. Traffic will also be restricted to a single lane in one or both directions during the overnight hours. The contractor will start installing a temporary concrete barrier on the left side in both directions to provide a safe condition for construction crews to work in the median area. The installation of the concrete barrier will take approximately two to three weeks to complete. Motorists should expect single-lane traffic restrictions between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. until March 9.


Adult Service Programs for Cumberland County Residents

The Employment Skills Center, located at 29 S. Hanover St. in Carlisle, provides a variety of state-funded workforce development programs for adults in Cumberland County. These include: English as a second language, adult basic education, Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED), adult literacy programs, job-readiness and employability skills training, and life management skills workshops.

The Employment Skills Center can be reached at 717-243-6040, Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. These adult service programs are provided free to Cumberland County residents.


Recycling In Cumberland County

 
The building of an electronics recycling center was recently proposed for Cumberland County to counter the growing issue of electronic waste disposal. The goal is to repurpose a barn located in the county to accommodate a recycling center.

The new center would charge 50 cents per pound, per item to be recycled. The proposed recycling center is projected to be open by late spring or early summer for two days each week, upon approval by the Cumberland County commissioners.

Rep. Stephen Bloom and I plan to introduce legislation in the near future, similar to House Bill 2089, to help provide relief for rural communities lacking viable electronic recycling options.


Visiting With Students

 

I met on January 25 with students from Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School during their trip to the Pennsylvania Capitol.









Talking with Students about State Government

 

Senator Mike Regan and I spoke with Mr. Miller’s seventh-grade social studies class at Good Hope Middle School in the Cumberland Valley School District. We participated in a question-and-answer session with the students who recently finished a unit on government, to connect what they learned with real-life application by their elected officials. I look forward to reaching out to more students in the 87th District.


Legislators Forum


 
I had the opportunity to speak at the Legislators Forum hosted by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC on January 25, where I was joined by members of the House serving Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties. There, I had the chance to discuss several of my legislative priorities for this session including corporate tax rate reform, controlling excessive spending and rolling back excessive regulations. I also addressed how the upcoming session may impact the regional business community.


Sportsman’s Show
The Great American Outdoors Show was held in a nine-day event in February at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Colloquially known as the Sportsman’s Show, this annual event celebrates hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions in the greater Pennsylvania area. With a venue of 650,000 square feet, and featuring more than 1,100 exhibitors, it was one of the biggest consumer outdoor shows in the country.
 
 
State News
State Budget

 
The annual state budget process got underway this month when Governor Tom Wolf outlined his 2017-18 spending plan before a joint session of the General Assembly.

The $32.3 billion proposal is balanced, without any broad-based tax increases and includes several initiatives aimed at reducing spending and improving efficiencies by consolidating some state agencies. The administration estimates this could save the Commonwealth about $2 billion.

House Republicans share an interest in rooting out waste and reining in spending, and are committed to a restart of state government that focuses on funding those programs and services that actually work. My colleagues in the state Legislature and I are in the process of reviewing the governor’s proposal and offering suggestions to change or improve it.

House Budget hearings began on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and more information on the budget process can be found at PAHouseGOP.com.

You can read my response to the governor’s budget proposal here.
 
 
Programs, Services and Opportunitites
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

 
Application forms for the state’s 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program are now available from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s website, and paper forms are also available now at my district office.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2016. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at no cost at my district office. Applications are due by June 30. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians.


Free Tax Filing

 
Taxpayers can get a head start on preparing their tax returns as free federal tax preparation and e-filing software is now available at IRS.gov/FreeFile to all Americans with a 2016 adjusted gross income of $64,000 or less.

Powered by The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 12 industry-leading tax software companies partnered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Free File program gives eligible taxpayers free access to the industry's most innovative and secure tax software in order to easily prepare and e-file their federal tax returns.

The Free File Alliance has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low- and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of taxpayers free access to the industry's top online tax preparation software. More than 49 million returns have been filed through Free File since its inception. For more information, visit freefilealliance.org.


Cumberland County High School Seniors

The PA Media Group, The Patriot-News and PennLive, will again recognize 20 high school seniors as the Best & Brightest, in the potential class of 2017.

Recipients are planned to be featured in the Sunday Patriot-News in May and on PennLive. Seniors must attend a public or independent high school or be home-schooled or attend cyber school in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry or York counties. Local residents attending schools in other counties or states are not eligible.

Selection is based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities and service to school, peers, and community, as well as an autobiographical essay and two letters of recommendation. Eligible seniors must have at least a B or 3.0 grade point average. Applications from potential participants must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, at the Patriot News office. Applications have been sent to high school guidance centers and are in the Patriot News. For more information, contact Deb Kiner at Pennlive at dkiner@pennlive.com or call 717-257-4749.


Grants to Reduce Underage Drinking

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is now accepting applications from schools, community organizations, municipalities, law enforcement organizations, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and for-profit institutions for two-year grants aimed at reducing underage and dangerous drinking.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, and community groups.

These grants are intended to fund programs that focus on proven strategies to discourage and reduce both underage and dangerous drinking. The grant cycle is for up to two years, from July 2017 through June 2019, with a maximum award of $20,000 per year.

In previous years, the PLCB has funded increased police patrols, social norms campaigns, Parents Who Host, Lose the Most campaigns, college alcohol assessment surveys, online alcohol education programs, peer training, and more. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Friday, March 31. Detailed information is available on the grants page of the PLCB website.


Trout Season

 
Trout season is just around the corner and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite fishing hole will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The guides are available in print, online and on the commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.

The commission stocks approximately 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling each year. Opening day for trout season in Cumberland County is Saturday, April 1. Opening day in some other counties does not take place until Saturday, April 15. A complete overview of opening dates is available here.

For more information about stocking schedules, fishing licenses or regulations, visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website at fishandboat.com or stop by my district office to pick up an informational packet.


Storm Water Runoff Gardens

Rain gardens are an easy and effective tool that can be used to help reduce storm water runoff from our residential properties.

These gardens can be strategically placed to intercept pollutant-laden storm water runoff until it can be fully absorbed into the ground. Their design allows the rain garden to serve almost as a bowl that collects water from downspouts or overland flow across a property. The water is then able to slowly infiltrate into the underlying soil.

Rain gardens, in all different shapes and sizes, are best with native plants that are indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These plants require little maintenance once established, have deep roots that soak up lots of water, provide food and habitat to wildlife, and are beautiful.

Many localities that currently have a storm water utility fee offer a monetary credit for the correct installation and maintenance of a rain garden. For example, East Pennsboro Township property owners are eligible for up to 80 percent off plants and materials. There is also limited funding available in East Pennsboro for professional rain garden installation. For more information, please contact your municipal government.
 
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