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 $33 billion budget proposal as hearings begin on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The opening day of hearings will include testimony from the Independent Fiscal Office and the Department of Revenue, while Wednesday will focus on the themes of job creation and ensuring stability of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
The remainder of the week will include looks into the proposed budgets of the departments of Transportation and Conservation and Natural Resources.
The full schedule is available here, which will also include video of the archived hearings once available.
More information about the governor’s proposal is available here.
PennDOT, Safety Partner Honor Local Police Officers for Aggressive-Driving Enforcement Efforts
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the North Central Highway Safety Network met in Bloomsburg on Monday to honor local police officers for their outstanding participation in PennDOT’s Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project in 2017.
The award recipients from Columbia County included Patrolman Ken Auchter with the Bloomsburg Police Department, Officer Vincent Taggart with Scott Township Police Department, Patrolman Devan Defrain with Locust Township Police Department and Patrolman Jeremy Moyer with the South Centre Township Police Department.
Also receiving awards were Sgt. Michael McNeal with the Salem Township Police Department in Luzerne County and from Kelly Campbell with the Mount Carmel Township Police Department in Northumberland County. Columbia County District Attorney Thomas Leipold presented the awards.
It was my pleasure to attend the award ceremony and thank these officers.
The Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Protecting the Public from Dangerous Sex Offenders
Legislation is on its way to the governor that would strengthen existing laws to protect Pennsylvanians from dangerous sex offenders, namely those who are released back into the community without supervision to monitor their transition.
House Bill 631 would require the court to impose a mandatory three-year probation period consecutive to any term of total confinement for a person convicted of a Tier III sex offense under Pennsylvania’s Adam Walsh Act, commonly known as Megan’s Law.
Under existing law, the court has the flexibility to order supervision by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, or county probation. If a person is paroled and adequately adjusts to freedom under parole supervision, current law permits the court to modify or even terminate probation supervision.
Additionally, this bill would ensure sexual offenders remain registered under Megan’s Law. Its language addresses the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Muniz, when the court ruled that Megan’s Law provisions could not be applied to defendants who committed their crimes before the enactment of the Adam Walsh Act in 2012. Without the enactment of this legislation, up to 17,000 sexual offenders could be removed from the state sexual offender registry.
Congratulations Are In Order
Congratulations to high school student Madison Klock, from Southern Columbia High School, who recently achieved the milestone of scoring 1,000 points in her basketball career.
Half-Million PA Veterans Opt for ID Card Designation
More than a half-million Pennsylvania veterans have opted to have a “veterans” designation added to their driver’s license or photo ID card, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The designation – an American flag with the word “VETERAN” beneath it – began in 2014.
Qualified applicants for a veterans designation must have served in the United States Armed Forces and/or the reserve component, and have been discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable. There is no fee for the veterans designation; however, regular renewal or duplicate fees still apply.
Forms for driver’s license or ID renewals and duplicates have a box for applicants to certify that they are a veteran, and to have the designation added. Once the veterans designation has been added to a driver’s license or identification card, it will automatically appear each time it is renewed. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov and click on the American flag/veterans designation icon.
The veterans designation does not entitle a veteran to any special consideration or discount but rather identifies the bearer as a veteran. Any other recognition, such as a discount, complementary meal or other token of appreciation is completely and solely determined by the organization, business or entity providing a service.
Pennsylvania is home to the fourth-largest veterans’ population in the country.
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. 17, through Monday, Feb. 19. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
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• Our Legislative Farmers Breakfast will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 a.m. For more information and to RSVP, call our Bloomsburg office at 570-387-0246.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 19, for Presidents Day.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• Farming Safety Day will be held at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Central Columbia High School will be performing Les Miserables from Thursday, March 8, through Sunday, March 11.
• Bloomsburg High School will be performing Mary Poppins on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10.
• Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11. Remember to turn ahead clocks and check smoke detectors.
• Our office will hold a Drug Forum at Central Columbia High School on Monday, March 19, from 6-8 p.m.
• Our office will hold a Drug Forum at Millville High School on Tuesday, March 27, from 6-8 p.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, March 29, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• Offices will be closed on Friday, March 30, for Good Friday.