Mar. 12, 2018

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Education, Human Services Focus of Final Budget Hearings

Making sure every dollar of state tax money is used to its maximum benefit, the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings Thursday, with two full days of questions about the education and human services aspects of the governor’s proposal and accountability measures.

Monday’s hearing featured both K-12 and higher education, with main topics addressing school safety, state financial investment and career-technical education. Special attention was placed on the long-term future of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its increasing expenses, tuition rates and contract costs.

Citing the governor’s veto of the Human Services Code last year, both the committee and the administration focused much of their discussion about ways in which the Department of Human Services can be more innovative to better serve the neediest of citizens and reduce costs.

Thursday’s hearing was with Secretary Randy Albright from the Office of the Budget. Several members questioned the governor’s unilateral decision on a financing agreement. The agreement originally involved the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex but it is no longer included in the signed loan agreement. Albright described the agreement as a straight-up borrowing plan. Under the agreement, the Commonwealth received $200 million for its General Fund but will pay back $391.5 million over 29 years.

Apart from being a bad deal for taxpayers, the governor sidestepped the Legislature in making this decision. The General Assembly should have been not only involved in the decision-making process, but should have had the final say in the matter. Now future generations are on the hook for $191.5 million in interest payments, about $6.6 million a year, for the next nearly three decades.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2018-19 budget. All the hearings are available here.
                
         
Register Now for My Concealed Carry Seminar

I will hold a second Concealed Carry Seminar at the James A. Danner VFW Post 537, 1095 Pines Road, Etters, on Wednesday, April 4, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. To register for the seminar, call my office at (717) 432-0792, or go online to RepKeefer.com and click on the concealed carry banner.

During the seminar, gun owners will learn more about their rights. The speakers, which include law enforcement officials, have a firm grasp of our laws and will do an excellent job explaining them.

Spots fill up quickly and I strongly encourage you to reserve your spot now.
                  
         
Education Focus of Commerce Committee Meeting

The House Commerce Committee, of which I am member, recently held an informational meeting with officials from the Department of Community and Economic Development. I had the opportunity to ask questions about educational aspects of the department.
                  
         
Town Hall Meeting in Monroe Twp.

Later this week, I will hold a town hall meeting at the Monroe Township building, located at 1220 Boiling Springs Road, and I hope to see you there. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 15, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Meetings like this allow me to hear your concerns and for you to learn about what’s happening in Harrisburg and in the 92nd District. I hope you can attend.
                  
         
Sign Up to Continue Receiving My Weekly Email Updates

If you would like to continue receiving my legislative updates throughout the 60-day blackout period that limits what I can send you before an election, click here and simply enter your email. This will guarantee that you continue to receive my weekly updates.
                  
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