Tracking Every Cent of Taxpayer Money
Facebook Website Bio Latest News State Forms Photo Gallery Contact
[[Opt In Top]]

Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Tracking Every Cent of Taxpayer Money
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House last week approved legislation to greatly enhance the public’s ability to track every cent Pennsylvania receives and how the state spends taxpayer dollars.

House Bill 1843 would enhance the Pennsylvania Treasury’s Transparency Portal website and make the program permanent so it is always available to taxpayers.

Specifically, the legislation would create the Commonwealth Checkbook, a user-friendly online ledger to show the public how and where their tax dollars are spent. The bill would also require state agencies to post budget requests online.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Staying Safe Behind the Wheel
To help reduce incidents of distracted driving in Pennsylvania, the House Transportation Committee recently endorsed House Bill 1684, which would prohibit the use of hand-held mobile telephones and similar devices, except with the use of hands-free accessories, while operating a motor vehicle.

Under the bill, all motorists ages 18 and older would be prohibited from using a hand-held phone while the automobile is in motion. Additionally, drivers under the age of 18 would be prohibited from using both hand-held and hands-free devices. The bill would also make it clear that if an individual is holding his or her device while the car is in motion, he or she is presumed to be using it.

The first offense for violating this law would be $50 and two points to a driver’s license and $100 for a second or each subsequent offense.

The northeastern region of the United States – including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, New Hampshire and West Virginia – all ban hand-held cell phone use. In total, 16 states ban hand-held cell phone use.

The bill has now been sent for consideration to the entire House.

Wall That Heals Attracts Thousands
Already this week, thousands of Pennsylvanians have visited The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the grounds of the State Capitol Complex.

“The Wall That Heals” and an accompanying mobile Education Center has been on display since opening ceremonies on Wednesday, May 9, and will be available for public viewing, 24 hours a day, until 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. Admission is free.

Constructed of powder-coated aluminum, the wall features 24 individual panels bearing the names of more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Since many Americans have not been able to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), creators of both the original wall and the replica, want to give all citizens, veterans and their family members an opportunity to see the memorial.

Additional information about the mobile replica can be found at For more information about the Capitol event, visit

Attention Women Veterans: Survey Available on State Services
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is currently conducting an online survey to identify issues of concern to Pennsylvania’s approximately 60,000 women veterans.

Survey topics include benefits and services, access to health care and veterans’ service organizations. The data submitted by respondents will be used by DMVA to recommend policies or procedures that address issues women veterans face as a result of military service.

The survey will be available through June 18 here

Benefits Available for Amputee and Paralyzed PA Veterans
The Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension program offers eligible Pennsylvania veterans a pension of $150 per month through the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

To be eligible, veterans must have served in the military honorably; resided in Pennsylvania upon entering the military; suffered a service-connected injury or incurred a disease resulting in the loss or loss of use of two or more extremities (arms/hands or legs/feet); and have at least a 40 percent disability compensation rating or higher in each limb as determined and certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pennsylvania veterans should contact the County Veterans Affairs Director in the county they reside to apply. More information about the DMVA Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension program can be found at Pension Program.

About 1,800 veterans are currently enrolled in the program.

Around Our Community
We had a wonderful turnout on Tuesday evening at our Spring Artist Reception in my Bloomsburg district office. Local artists (pictured from left) Freda Quail, Tim Weaver and Michelle Yost showcased their talents, and their work will be on display in my Berwick, Bloomsburg and Harrisburg offices. Thank you to all those who attended this special event.

I met with nurse anesthetists from Geisinger Medical Center regarding their legislative concerns. Pictured with me (from left) are Brittany Miller, Luke Pisker, Jessica Danner, Ryan Rohla, Nathan Tomlinson and Christopher Heiss.

Last Friday, I visited the “History Come Alive” civil war encampment and craft demonstration at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds. Michael McCay from Bloomsburg demonstrated the lathe.

Dirt Bike Safety
Off-roading is a recreational activity that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, but the risk of injury is present for all when these vehicles are driven across rough and rocky terrain.

Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nonfatal injuries caused by dirt bike accidents increased by a third from 2001 to 2004, the last period for which data is available. Injuries suffered while riding a dirt bike can be painful, life-altering or even fatal, whether racing motocross or traversing trails in the woods.

Always follow the following dirt bike riding tips:

• Wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
• Except for dual-purpose models, never ride on paved surfaces, except to cross when done safely and permitted by law. Another vehicle could hit you. Dirt bikes are designed to be operated off-highway.
• Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Supervise riders younger than age 16. Dirt bikes are not toys.
• Never permit youngsters to ride dirt bikes that are too tall or too powerful for their capabilities.
• Don’t ride alone on remote trails. Use the buddy system.
• Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
• Take a hands-on riding course.

Upcoming Events
• Buckhorn United Methodist Church Community Sale will be held on Friday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• My offices will be closed on Tuesday, May 15, for Primary Election Day.
• The Jingle Hall-Berwick Car Cruise will be held on Wednesday, May 16, from 5-8 p.m.
• West Berwick School will be holding its carnival on Friday, May 18, from 5-8 p.m.
• The ALS Walk in Bloomsburg will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 9 a.m. at Town Park.
• The Mifflinville Community Carnival will be held from May 25-27.
• Catawissa Community Sales will be held on Saturday, May 26.
• My offices will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. Thank you to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, May 31, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
Let's Get Connected

Connect on Facebook
Our District

Web Site

[[Opt In Wide]]

Office Locations
904B Orange St., Berwick PA, 18603 | Phone: (570) 759-8734
Market Street Plaza, 1000 Market St. (Suite 39), Bloomsburg, PA 17815 | (570) 387-0246
316 Main Capitol, PO Box 202109, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2109 | Phone: (717) 783-1102
TTY: 855-282-0614