Jun. 10, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Working to Protect Taxpayers

I joined my House and Senate colleagues for a press conference to discuss the Taxpayers Protection Act to limit the growth of state spending. This would be done by tying spending increases to the rate of inflation and the average percentage change in state population, or average change in personal income for the three preceding calendar years, whichever is lower.

Senate Bill 116 would ensure taxpayers aren’t hit with unneeded tax increases brought on by uncontrolled spending, all while they’d continue to receive core governmental services. The state is facing a budgetary surplus this year. Though times are good, that won’t always be the case and we must keep our eyes set on reducing spending.

To learn more about the bill and to watch the press conference, click here.
Committees Examine Impacts of Medical Marijuana on Second Amendment Rights

The House Judiciary and Health committees held a joint public hearing about medical marijuana use and Second Amendment rights.

While medical marijuana use is legal under state law, it remains a violation of federal law. Federal law also prohibits anyone who is an “unlawful user” or addicted to any controlled substance from buying or owning a firearm.

Committee members heard from law enforcement officials and representatives of gun rights organizations during the hearing. Key points of the discussion included the need to better inform medical marijuana users about the impact on their Second Amendment rights and how HIPAA laws protect patients from disclosing their use of medical cannabis.

Law enforcement officials also talked about other enforcement-related issues, such as how to administer field sobriety tests on a driver suspected of using cannabis.
Celebrating 150 Years

It was my privilege to present to Franklintown Borough officials a citation from the House to mark the 150th anniversary of its founding.

Bills Advance to Grow PA Agriculture

Recognizing the important contributions of the state’s agriculture industry, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approved a package of bills to support current and future farmers in the Commonwealth.

Among the bills approved by the committee are ones to create a Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to ensure a quick state-level response to threats such as invasive species or disease; establish a Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help farmers create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan; and empower the State Conservation Commission to provide technical assistance and financing options for implementing best management practices.

To ensure our youth have greater exposure to and understanding of the importance of farming, other bills would revive the PA Farm-to-School Program to support child nutrition and reestablish the former Agriculture and Rural Youth Development Program to fund youth organizations that promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Other measures aim to boost enrollment in the veteran farmer Homegrown by Heroes program, provide specialty crop block grants, aid with meat inspection costs for small or new processors and protect agritourism business from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injuries or damages.

The bills now go to the House for consideration.
Congratulations, Essay Contest Winners

Many congratulations to the two James A. Danner VFW essay contest winners. Faith Murray, who attends Crossroads Middle School, was the Patriots Pen winner, and Lindsay Martin, who attends Red Land High School, was the Voice of Democracy winner.
Town Hall Meeting on Newberry Township Water Quality Issues

I am hosting an informational meeting for Newberry Township residents who have water quality concerns. The meeting will also include officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection and Suez Water.

This meeting will be held at the Newberry Elementary School, 2055 Old Trail Road, Etters, on Thursday, June 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. If you live in an area of Newberry Township that is impacted, please attend this meeting.
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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422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com