Newspaper Columns
06/27/2017
There is a growing trend in Pennsylvania – more and more grandparents are raising their own grandchildren. We learned about the challenges these older caregivers face during a hearing convened by the House Children and Youth Committee earlier this month in Harrisburg.
06/16/2017
Pennsylvania hunting licenses for 2017-18 go on sale Monday, June 19, and are valid starting July 1. Hunters and trappers need to be aware of some important changes that have been implemented by the Game Commission.
06/13/2017
I sometimes use this weekly column to answer your questions about matters relating to state government or any issue of concern. This week’s questions deal with a couple of bills that are currently moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would enhance the health and safety of state residents.
05/30/2017
This is a time of year when we think about the men and women who have served in our nation’s military throughout the course of history. Memorial Day is a reverent day to honor those who never made it back from war, and Flag Day and the Fourth of July reignite our patriotism and remind us that none of the freedoms we enjoy in this country would be possible without the brave men and women serving in our military.
05/19/2017
I recently joined my colleagues on the House Human Services Committee in unanimously supporting legislation that would enhance the statewide 2-1-1 system. House Bill 211, which I am co-sponsoring, will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.
05/05/2017
Pennsylvania residents and businesses that owe past-due state taxes now have a window of opportunity to pay them without being penalized. The tax amnesty program, administered by the state Department of Revenue, was adopted by the General Assembly as part of Act 84 of 2016.
04/28/2017
This week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation that would be a comprehensive overhaul of the Commonwealth’s animal protection laws. House Bill 1238, which I supported, includes the provisions of Libre’s Law, which would strengthen the penalties for animal abuse. Libre is a Boston terrier whose story of severe neglect received widespread publicity last year after it was rescued from a puppy mill.
04/17/2017
Legislation to restore mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun offenses in Pennsylvania passed recently in the House of Representatives, with my support.
04/07/2017
This week, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 209, legislation of mine that designated April 2017 as “National Donate Life Month” in Pennsylvania.
03/31/2017
To make it easier for Pennsylvania crime victims to receive the restitution owed to them, the state House of Representatives recently passed four bills designed to make sure criminals pay their legal obligations.
03/24/2017
The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution, which I sponsored, that designates the month of March as “Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. House Resolution 132 aims to raise public awareness regarding the support of those individuals with intellectual disabilities and the services that improve their lives.
03/20/2017
A new program has been launched in the continuing effort by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to restructure state government and save taxpayer dollars. The initiative, which is called “State Employees Achieving Savings” (SEAS), seeks input from government employees on how the state can rein in spending.
03/10/2017
Spring is just around the corner, and that means motorcycle riders will be hitting the road. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) suggests that motorcyclists prepare for the upcoming riding season by taking one of several free training courses that are available through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).
03/07/2017
Trout season is just around the corner, and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite stream will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). The guides are available in print form at my district office in Hazleton, online at the PFBC website and on its FishBoatPA mobile app.
02/24/2017
Application forms for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are available for eligible residents to claim rebates for property taxes or rent payments they made last year.