Feb. 17, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Committee Accepts Hunting, Fishing Reports from State Agencies

The House Game and Fisheries Committee accepted the annual reports of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during meetings this week.

In the face of declining revenues, both groups advocated for legislation that would allow them to set their own license fees. Last session, similar legislation that originated in the Senate passed out of committee in the House but was never voted on the floor.

Among the PGC’s top issues presented to the committee were the recruitment of a new class of wildlife conservation officer cadets, the closing of two of Pennsylvania’s four pheasant farms due to insufficient funding and a decline of the ruffed grouse population.

The PFBC addressed the agency’s fiscal challenges, noting that license fees have not increased since 2005 and expenses are expected to exceed revenue during the current fiscal year. 
Detailed Look into Governor’s Budget to Begin Next Week

Members of the House Appropriations Committee will begin their detailed look into the governor’s $32.3 billion budget proposal as hearings begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The opening day of hearings will include testimony from the Independent Fiscal Office, and the departments of Revenue and State.

The remainder of the week will include looks into the proposed budgets of the pension systems, departments of Labor and Industry and Transportation, treasury, offices of auditor and attorney general and the State System of Higher Education.

The full schedule is available here, which will also include video of the archived hearings.

More information about the governor’s proposal is available here.
Concealed Carry Seminar to be Held Tuesday, March 7

I will be offering a Concealed Carry Seminar on Tuesday, March 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Buckhorn Fire Hall, located at 19 Fire Hall Rd., Bloomsburg. The event is free and open to the public. Columbia County District Attorney Thomas E. Leipold and Columbia County Sherrif Timothy Chamberlain will provide information about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws and how to safely interact with police while carrying a concealed firearm. Reservations are needed due to limited seating.

To sign up, click here.

For more information, call my district office at 570-387-0246.
Protecting Our Children

To help educate the public about ways to further protect children, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has unveiled three new short YouTube videos that are also being aired statewide.

The videos are designed to raise awareness of the state’s child abuse reporting hotline (available at 800-932-0313) and background clearance requirements for people who have routine and direct access to children.

The videos are also available on the newly redesigned KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov website, which includes information for mandated reporters, child abuse clearance links and contact information for other child protection-related concerns.
Congratulations, Ruby Crane

It was my pleasure to join Reps. Lynda Culver and Kurt Masser to present Ruby Crane with a House citation earlier this week. Ruby was recently honored with an Embracing the Ability Award by UNIQUESource. She is a photograph license technician at the Department of Transportation.
PennDOT Offers Internship Opportunities

PennDOT is offering internships for those seeking engineering, science and technical degrees, along with general government service, this summer.

A variety of internship positions will be filled, including those that may lead to full-time employment after graduation. Click here to learn more about the types of internships offered.  
Applications for the summer program will be accepted through March 30.

More information, including application instructions, is available here
Local Businesses Honored

Several area businesses and individuals were honored during the annual meeting of the Columbia-Montour Partnership for Community Development.

Patti Leighow and Stephanie Rothery, co-owners of Freas Farm Winery, received the Small Business of the Year award; Harry Mathias, Central Columbia School District superintendent, received the Large Business of the Year award; and Bob Stout, director of Montour Area Recreation Commission, received the Travel and Tourism Buddy award.

Geisinger Health System Woodbine Lane received the Community Progress Award; and Steve Phillips, executive director of Berwick Industrial Development Association, was honored with the Outstanding Citizen Award.
PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18, through Monday, Feb. 20. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
Upcoming Events

• Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents Day.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Feb. 23, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• A Fireworks Extravaganza will be held at the Lightstreet Fire Department Carnival Grounds on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 6-9 p.m.
• Central Columbia High School presents “Beauty and the Beast” Friday, March 3, through Sunday, March 5.
• Bloomsburg High School presents “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” Friday, March 3, through Sunday, March 5.
• A representative from the American Legion will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Tuesday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• A representative from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Thursday, March 9, from 1-3 p.m.
• Daylight Savings time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
• Benton High School presents “The Wizard of Oz” Friday, March 17, through Saturday, March 19.
• A Children’s Fair will be held at Columbia Mall on Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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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
Email: dmillard@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614