Oct. 03, 2017

In The Community
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Visits the 87th District


This Friday, I was honored to host United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin during his visit to Hampden Township. Secretary Shulkin led a roundtable discussion at Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 6704, on the Carlisle Pike. The roundtable was attended by retired veterans in the area, as well as Congressman Lou Barletta, state Senator Mike Regan, and several of my colleagues from the state House of Representatives.

The secretary expressed his goal of fixing the fundamental problems within the veterans’ health care system. He spoke about his plans to prevent those problems in the future. He is working to give veterans more choices, modernize facilities, hold staff accountable, and implement mandates for greater transparency.

Secretary Shulkin chose to come to Cumberland County to support the large number of active duty personnel at the Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, the New Cumberland Army Depot, and the United States Army War College in Carlisle. We are grateful for his visit, and for taking the time to speak with our brave local veterans who fought for this country.

Fall in Love with Pennsylvania’s Autumn Colors

Pennsylvania will soon be covered in a variety of brilliant colors as trees begin to morph from greens into various shades of reds, yellows, and oranges.The fall colors are beginning to brighten several areas in Pennsylvania, helping to boost tourism activities in many regions.

According to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation. Both in-state and out-of-state visitors can find the best places to view fall foliage and track the locations of the peak colors throughout the state, beginning in late September. For more information on fall tourism activities, visit the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website at visitpa.com/season/fall.

Harrisburg Out of the Darkness Walk


My chief of staff, Kaytee Moyer, spoke on my behalf at the Harrisburg Out of the Darkness Walk on September 9. She provided updates about legislative efforts related to suicide prevention, such as House Resolution 401, which was approved by the House in June. The resolution designates September as Suicide Prevention Month and September 10 as Suicide Prevention Day.

House Resolution 401 seeks to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, improve education about suicide, spread information about suicide awareness, and decrease the stigmatization regarding suicide. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1,800 Pennsylvania lives annually are taken by suicide. For every person who dies of suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages, and is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.

Senior Expo


I was pleased to be a part of Senator Mike Regan’s free Senior Expo held on Monday, September 25, at the West Shore YMCA. My office – as well as other exhibitors from state, county and local agencies – provided information about programs and services available to senior citizens

The event included a drug take-back booth, flu shots, free health screenings, door prizes, and light refreshments. As always, it was an honor to share information with seniors in the 87th District, and to discuss issues and concerns with the constituents who were able to attend.

John R. Dietz Emergency Center Reception


A reception was held for the newly renovated John R. Dietz Emergency Center at Geisinger Holy Spirit celebrating their recent accreditation as a Level II Trauma Center. A Level II trauma center works in collaboration with a Level I center and provides comprehensive trauma care. It provides 24-hour availability of all essential specialties, personnel and equipment.

I am certain the facility, with its expanded capacity for treatment and newly dedicated unit for trauma patients, is top notch and will serve the needs of our community. I am pictured with Mr. Robert Dietz, son of John R. Dietz, whom the facility is named after.
State News
Check That New Car for Signs of Hurricane Damage

With hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged recently by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, consumers should take caution when purchasing a new or used vehicle. After major flood events, some flood-damaged vehicles are cleaned and taken out of state to be sold to unsuspecting customers as new or used, but not identified as flood damaged. These damaged vehicles can legally be sold as long as they are titled as such, but owners of these vehicles will likely get lower payments on insurance claims than for non-flood damaged vehicles.
As always, if something sounds too good to be true, research the vehicle further. For tips on finding out if the car you’re interested in purchasing has been damaged, visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website at www.insurance.pa.gov and click on “Auto” under “Insurance Coverage Resources.”

Stopping Welfare Checks to the Deceased

Recently introduced legislation in the state House aims to save taxpayer money by preventing welfare checks from going to individuals who have passed away. Last year an audit found the Department of Human Services provided nearly $700,000 in welfare benefits to more than 2,300 individuals who had been dead for at least 60 days.

House Bill 1614 would require DHS to regularly cross-reference its list of welfare recipients with the death records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Social Security Administration. Funds that would have gone to deceased individuals would then be redirected to help those truly in need or reverted back to the General Fund. The bill has been referred to the House Health Committee.

Budget Update

In mid-September, the state House approved a bill that would balance the current state budget and close a deficit from the previous year’s state budget without borrowing money or raising state taxes.

The largest part of the House plan to fill the approximately $2.1 billion deficit is a proposal that would bring in a one-time, $1 billion payment to the state. In exchange, the purchaser would receive a portion of the Tobacco Settlement Funds received by the Commonwealth for up to 10 years. The House plan would also reallocate a surplus of $630 million in existing state revenues that were previously given to state agencies, but have not been spent.

The plan also projects $225 million in additional revenues would be available through proposed reforms to Pennsylvania’s gaming law and $50 million will be available if the Senate and governor work with the House to further reform Pennsylvania’s liquor sales system. The House proposal was considered and rejected by the Senate.


On Monday, September 25, I introduced two House resolutions. The first honors the Saint Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Cumberland Country, celebrating its 250 year anniversary. Since its inception in 1767, the leaders and members of the church have played a strong role in helping to shape and serve the local community, and I would like to commend the church and its congregation once again for their years of service.

The second House resolution congratulates the Synod of the Trinity in Camp Hill on its 300 year anniversary. The Synod of the Trinity provides support and resources for presbyteries located within its province and also provides training, networking, and continuing education opportunities for presbytery leadership. The Synod of the Trinity works to make a difference by nurturing, educating and serving people within the 87th District. This historic pillar in our area should be honored for its longevity and positive effects on the community.
Programs, Services, and Opportunities
Cumberland County Tire Collection Event

The Cumberland County Planning Department is partnering with PA CleanWays of Cumberland County to host a tire collection event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 21 at the Cumberland County Service Center at 310 Allen Road in Carlisle.

Pre-registration and pre-payment is required for the event by October 12. Car/truck size tires on or off the rim are $2 per tire; tractor-trailer size tires are $7 per tire; and large agricultural tires are $25 per tire. To register and submit payment, please contact Stephanie Larson at PA CleanWays at 724-836-4121, extension 104, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Payments are accepted via credit card or check.

Tires which have not been pre-registered will not be accepted. Tires used in commercial operations also cannot be accepted.

87th District Halloween Parades

East Pennsboro Halloween Parade
Wednesday, October 25, 7 p.m.

Camp Hill Halloween Parade
Tuesday, October 24, 6 p.m.

Mechanicsburg Halloween Parade
Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m.