With rise of stormwater fees, planning needed now more than ever
3/16/2020
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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Extra, Extra! Column Released

I teamed up with Sen. Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland) to write a column about stormwater management. You can read an excerpt of it below, and click here to read it in full.

“Many of our constituents have contacted us recently expressing concern and frustration with a new storm water fee being imposed by their municipalities. While this is not a new issue generally speaking, we are equally concerned as more and more municipalities choose to impose a fee on their residents in response to clean water mandates coming down from the Federal government.

“Let us be clear that we do not fault any municipality that has taken the step to approve a storm water fee. We recognize that our fellow elected officials are facing mandates to reduce supposed pollution levels in local waterways. With that said, we are calling on municipal leaders to act as responsible stewards of your money and join us in calling on Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to provide substantiated, comprehensive data of current water quality and plans for monitoring water improvements.

“This matter has evolved from the original 1972 Clean Water Act. From there, in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Federal government took steps to reduce “nonpoint source” pollution, such as storm water runoff, which as it flows over the ground collects items including fertilizer, snowmelt, oil, sediment, and animal waste. Ultimately, these “pollutants” can make their way into our streams and creeks that feed into the Susquehanna River, which ultimately feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.”

 
 
Pennsylvania Takes Steps to Combat Coronavirus

With the first cases of coronavirus appearing in Pennsylvania, officials are continuing their work to protect public health and limit spread of the virus. This is a very fluid situation that changes daily, if not several times a day.

To ensure potential cases are identified promptly, the Wolf administration announced the state’s major health insurers have all agreed to cover medically appropriate COVID-19 diagnostic testing and associated treatment for consumers and have committed to waive any cost-sharing for the testing. The insurers include Highmark, UPMC Health Plan, Geisinger, Independence BlueCross, Capital Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Pennsylvania Health and Wellness, and Oscar.

Much like the flu, symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some will suffer mild symptoms while others may experience severe illness or death. It is important to seek testing and treatment if you think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold, including through the air by coughing or sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; touching an object or surface with the virus on it; or occasionally, fecal contamination.

Help protect yourself and others by covering coughs or sneezes with your elbow instead of your hands; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes and other frequently touched items; and be sure to stay at home if you are sick.

The state Department of Health offers a wealth of resources about coronavirus to help you better understand the potential risk and how to mitigate it for yourself and your loved ones. Click here to review the information. Resources are also available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

Also, the COVID-19 disaster declaration for the Commonwealth triggers protections under state law against price gouging for consumers and businesses. Under rules governing a disaster emergency, companies and vendors are prohibited from charging a price for consumer goods or services that exceeds 20% of the average price for which those goods or services were sold for in the seven days preceding the date of declaration. If you believe you experienced price gouging, send the details in an email to pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov.
 
 
Discussing Standards for Minors Experiencing Gender Dysphoria

 
Click here to view video.

As a member of the House Health Committee, I took part in a public hearing to discuss appropriate standards of care for minors experiencing gender dysphoria. Check out the above video to learn more.
 
 
Loss of a Hero


Our community is in mourning following the death of Jerome Guise, a firefighter with Citizen Fire Company in Mount Holly Springs. The father of three gave his life battling a fire at a home in Monroe Township. The fire also claimed the life of Jessica Diehl, who lived at the house.

Words cannot express the sorrow I have for the two victims’ families. Guise gave his life helping those in need. His death is a tragedy for his family and the firefighting community. I am saddened but remain reassured that the close-knit firefighting community will pull together and get through this horrible time. My thoughts are with the Diehl and Guise families, and with the firefighter community. You can read more here.

Guise returned home on Wednesday and was escorted by first responders. You can read about that by clicking here.
 
 
House in Session as Planned

The House is preparing to return for a historic session week today. As a result of the Capitol complex being closed to visitors, several committee meetings, hearings and informational sessions have been postponed. Floor proceedings will go on as scheduled with an effort to work as expeditiously as possible to address key issues related to COVID-19. The session schedule could be shortened if legislation to address the virus is agreed upon. There will be no guests in the House chamber or in the gallery.

Legislation to be considered by the House is still being determined as leaders from the House, Senate and the Wolf administration collaborate on the best legislative course of action to assist in the continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Discussions are on-going and planned through the weekend to address possible funding, access to health care services, insurance and workplace protection reforms and the scope of a health emergency declaration.

The swearing-in ceremony for Roni Green, recently elected to represent the 190th Legislative District, will proceed as scheduled.

The public is encouraged to follow live web streams of House session and the majority of committee meetings at PAHouseGOP.com. Up to the minute changes to committee meetings and schedules is available at www.legis.state.pa.us. Important information and events may also be viewed by visiting Facebook.com/PAHouseGOP.
 
 
Speaking at the Dillsburg Lion’s Club Meeting


It was a privilege to address the Dillsburg Lion’s Club to discuss issues we are working on in the House and here in the district. I was honored to have John Cocklin, the club president present me with a clock as thanks for my service to the community.
 
 
Meeting Pennsylvania’s Bears

I had a great time at the annual bear trip in Renovo. Thank you to the PA. Game Commission and the House Game and Fisheries Committee for organizing this.
 
 
House in Session This Week

The House is back in session this week. You can stay up on all the latest news on my website, www.RepKeefer.com and the House GOP site, www.PAHouseGOP.com, where you can also find this week’s schedule.
 
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Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com