Concealed Carry Seminar Set for April 25
Join me for a Concealed Carry Seminar on Wednesday, April 25, at Reliance Fire Hall from 6-8 p.m. Columbia County District Attorney Thomas Leipold and Columbia County Sheriff Timothy Chamberlain will share information about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, as well as how to safely interact with the police while carrying a firearm. Seating is limited and registration is required. Please RSVP by calling my office at 570-759-8734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ensuring Fairness in Lodging Industry
In an effort to ensure fairness among overnight lodging facilities, the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee held a public hearing this week on legislation that would require online home-sharing platforms and short-term rental companies to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
The registration would allow counties and state government to better collect the hotel occupancy taxes from patrons, and hosting platforms cannot facilitate the booking of lodging until they are registered.
The legislation, House Bill 1810, would help ensure that all entities that provide overnight lodging in their residences apply local and state hotel taxes and are aware of their obligation to do so. Some online platforms already collect and remit taxes, while others do not.
The hearing included testimony on both sides of the bill, with supporters arguing that online companies should be remitting taxes and providing basic information to ensure transparency and compliance with the law, while opponents cited differences within the industry that would make the legislation impractical and ineffective.
Protecting Children from Abuse
To help raise awareness of child abuse and seek ways to prevent this crime, the House passed House Resolution 757, which designates April 2018 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Pennsylvania.
In 2016, 4,416 children were victims of abuse or neglect in Pennsylvania, with 46 of those children dying as a result. Additionally, reports of child abuse or child neglect hit an all-time high that year with 44,359 cases. This illustrates that the public at large is becoming more vigilant and taking their responsibility to report seriously.
Over the last several years, the House has passed nearly two dozen laws to make abusers pay the price, improve child abuse reporting and investigations, expand due process protections for those wrongly accused, share information to increase protection and strengthen prevention efforts.
Many of those laws will continue to be re-examined and revisited to ensure that our laws are among the best in the nation to protect some of our most vulnerable members of society.
State Parks, Forests Seek Volunteers
If you are seeking a way to volunteer and spend time outdoors, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Conservation Volunteer program encourages individuals to check out their local parks and forests for a wide range of opportunities.
The DCNR program is in addition to a volunteer initiative developed by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF). Under the PPFF umbrella, 41 chapters or “friends of” groups have formed in individual state parks and forests, focusing their energy on the local park and forest in their neighborhood.
Opportunities also exist in the “Stewards of Penn’s Woods” program. More information on that program, which allows volunteers to set their own schedule, is available here.
Pennsylvania has 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forest land.
Around Our Community
It was my pleasure to join Sen. John Gordner, local officials and Pennsylvanian American Water employees to celebrate 200 years of dedicated Pennsylvania American Water service to Berwick Borough and nearby communities. Founded in 1818, Berwick is the oldest American Water predecessor company and was one of the first 50 communities in the United States to have public water service.
Pictured with me are Eleonora Fracchia from Italy and Gigi Issina from Kazakhstan. They are junior exchange students at Central Columbia School District and it was great to see them at the Capitol this week.
Aggressive Driving: Are You Part of the Problem?
We’ve all encountered an aggressive driver at some point. You know the one who speeds, tailgates, illegally passes or runs red lights or stop signs… But do you know what to do to keep yourself out of danger?
Avoid the aggressive driver by getting out of their way, avoid eye contact, ignore rude gestures and do not give an indication of disapproval. Then, contact 911 or your state or local police and report the driver by giving a description of the vehicle, license plate number, road name/number and direction of travel. Also include a description of the driver if possible.
If you do not have a passenger capable of calling, then pull over in a safe area to make the call.
For your own safety, do not follow or attempt to pursue the aggressive driver.
• Berwick YMCA will hold a Diva Day tonight from 6-9 p.m.
• Orangeville Fire Department will hold a Spring Craft Show on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Our Senior Caregivers Forum will be held at the Northern Columbia Community Center in Benton on Tuesday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration is required. Call (570) 387-0246 to register.
• Our third Spring Drug Forum will be held at Benton High School on Tuesday, April 24, from 6-8 p.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, April 26, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• The Renaissance Jamboree will be held in Bloomsburg on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The Berwick ALS Walk will be held at Crispin Field on Saturday, April 28, at 9 a.m.