|Budget Proposal is a Realistic Starting Point
The annual state budget process got underway this week when Gov. Tom Wolf outlined his 2017-18 spending plan before a joint session of the General Assembly.
The $32.3 billion proposal is balanced without any broad-based tax increases and includes several initiatives aimed at reducing spending and improving efficiencies by consolidating some state agencies. The administration estimates this could save the Commonwealth about $2 billion.
House Republicans are committed to a “restart” of state government, focusing on funding programs and services that work, rooting out waste and reining in overall state spending.
They are equally committed to responsibly funding the core functions of government, including education, transportation and human services, while helping to make the state more attractive to job creators.
Budget hearings in the House begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21. More information can be found at PAHouseGOP.com.
To hear more of my thoughts, click here.
Gaming Proceeds Fund Grants for First Responders
More than $380,000 in state gaming proceeds will benefit fire and ambulance companies throughout the 102nd Legislative District.
These grants, which are not funded by General Fund tax dollars, will allow local first response agencies to better afford training, equipment, facility improvements and other needs.
The program, which provides $30 million to fire and ambulance companies statewide, is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
Click here for the list of local recipients.
Concealed Carry and Gun Safety Seminar
I will be hosting another Concealed Carry and Gun Safety Seminar on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9-11 a.m. at the Mt. Zion Fire Company, 1520 Mt. Zion Road in Lebanon.
I will be joined by attorney Joshua Prince, who will discuss Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, and Lebanon County Sheriff Bruce Klingler, who will discuss how to safely interact with the police while carrying a firearm.
These events have been very popular and I encourage you to RSVP as soon as possible. Call my district office at (717) 277-2010, or send an email to Jweister@pahousegop.com.
Gone Fishin’: Trout Stocking Schedules Available
Trout season is just around the corner, and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite fishing hole will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The guides are available in print, online and on the commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.
The commission stocks approximately 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling each year. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout; 640,000 brown trout; and 500,000 brook trout. The average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.
The statewide opening day for trout season is Saturday, April 15, but a regional opening day in 18 southcentral and southeastern counties is set for Saturday, April 1. Click here for a list of those counties.
Additionally, the commission will host Mentored Youth Trout Days on Saturday, March 25, for those same 18 counties and Saturday, April 8, statewide. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish for trout the Saturday before the regular opening days. Youth anglers must obtain a mentored youth permit or voluntary youth fishing license as well. Click here for more information about the program.
For more information about fishing licenses or regulations, or to check the online stocking schedule, click here.
Connecting Nonprofits Through 2-1-1
To raise awareness of a free service by the United Way that partners local nonprofits and social service groups together to help assist Pennsylvanians in need, the House passed House Resolution 49 recognizing Feb. 11 as “2-1-1 Day in Pennsylvania.”
By dialing 2-1-1, people are instantly connected to a wealth of information related to their area’s nonprofit and human service providers.
This “one stop shop” helps people cut through red tape and more easily find the help they need. These services are offered on a regionalized approach, ensuring that people are helped by their neighbors and people in their own community.
More information is available at pa211.org.