Jun. 24, 2019 / Email Archives

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Taxpayers Deserve Better Budgeting Practices

Respecting the taxpayers who foot the bill for the annual state budget, we adopted several measures to bring more transparency to the budget process.

To help limit “supplemental” spending beyond what is approved in each year’s budget, House Bill 855 would require the secretary of the budget to project revenue shortfalls for the fiscal year starting in December and put that amount of money in budgetary reserve to ensure the budget is balanced at the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, House Bill 923 would require the governor to explain the reasons for any supplemental spending requests and offer recommendations for cost-savings or other reforms to address the cause.

Other reform measures would require the administration to provide additional details as part of the governor’s proposed budget (House Bill 922); require quarterly reports on funding committed and awarded through special funds that provide grants and subsidies (House Bill 921); and update budget procedures related to unspent appropriations and how those amounts are dealt with at the close of a fiscal year (House Bill 920). I voted in support of all three measures.

The bills are part of the #GovtDoneRight initiative and now go to the Senate for consideration. To learn more, click here
Discussing Water Issues in Newberry Township

I recently hosted an informational meeting for Newberry Township residents who have water quality concerns in their area. This meeting allowed the residents to hear directly from officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection and Suez Water. I applaud all the concerned residents who attended to learn more about this issue.

Once private well testing is complete, I plan to hold another meeting to ensure all residents are kept in the loop of this situation and to learn what the next steps are.

Boosting PA Agriculture, Dairy Farmers

The focus on supporting our state’s top industry continued with House approval of several bills to help carry on our agriculture traditions for future generations and a Capitol rally in support of two federal bills aimed to boost the dairy industry.

The House gave overwhelming approval to measures to ensure a quick state-level response to threats such as invasive species or disease; establish the Dairy Investment Program to provide grants to support dairy farmers; create a Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help farmers develop a business plan, transition plan or succession plan; enhance youth exposure to opportunities in the agriculture industry; and empower the State Conservation Commission to provide technical assistance and financing options for implementing best management practices.

We also approved bills to boost enrollment in the veteran farmer Homegrown by Heroes program, provide specialty crop block grants and aid with meat inspection costs for small or new processors.

Also on Tuesday, dairy farmers and advocates from across the Commonwealth gathered in the Capitol rotunda to rally support for two bills pending action in Congress to help the dairy industry as well as our children.

The “Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019” would allow flavored and unflavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias to give students more choice, while the Dairy PRIDE Act would protect the integrity of dairy products by calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce existing labeling requirements for milk. Essentially, non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds and plants could no longer be marketed as milk, yogurt or cheese.

The rally followed a meeting of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in which committee members heard from two members of the state’s congressional delegation about the bills and unanimously approved resolutions endorsing the measures.
Meeting with Future Leaders

Students from the 92nd District who are participating in the American Legion's Keystone Girls and Boys State programs visited me in the Capitol this week. These important initiatives are week-long programs to educate and get youth involved in the political process.

Pictured with me in the first photo is Sara Richard and in the second are constituents Brock Lightner and Jackson Hazen with a fellow Keystone Boys State Program participant.

Small Business Development

The York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) will hold curriculum-based training sessions to assist entrepreneurs and existing contractor businesses across the county. Through the sessions, the YCEA hopes to connect them to the resources necessary to support redevelopment projects across the county.

The first five-week session starts on July 25 and runs weekly to Aug. 22 and will be held from 5-7 p.m. The second session begins Aug. 29 and runs to Oct. 10 and will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. All sessions will be held at the Loretta Claiborne Building, 605 S. George St., York. Dinner will be provided. Bilingual services can be available upon request. Registration is required for this program.

To register, contact Michaela Cumor at 717-771-4579 or by email at mcumor@yceapa.org.
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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12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com