Questioning State Police Per Capita Fee During Budget Hearings



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Questioning State Police Per Capita Fee During Budget Hearings

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I participated in a series of state budget hearings this week, taking the opportunity to dig deeper into the details of the governor’s more than $34 billion spending proposal for 2019-20.

This week’s hearings featured officials with the Pennsylvania State Police, who I questioned in detail about the governor’s third attempt to assess a per capita fee on municipalities in the Commonwealth that do not have their own local police force. The proposal effectively penalizes communities that have such low crime rates they don’t need to have their own police force. Click here to watch that exchange.                                    

Click here to view video.

Also this week, we heard from the departments of Transportation (PennDOT), Corrections, General Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

Budget hearings will conclude next week with testimony by the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System. To check the full schedule of hearings, or watch archived video of completed hearings, click here.
PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs

Effective this Friday, March 1, PennDOT will begin issuing REAL IDs. A federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement, as will a U.S. Passport.

Under state law, REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Pennsylvanians who have pre-verified their required documentation for obtaining a REAL ID may apply online to receive it without visiting a driver license center. PennDOT has indicated those IDs will be mailed out to recipients in 10 business days.

Residents who have not pre-verified but wish to obtain a REAL ID will be required to bring original versions or certified copies of the following documents for verification to a local driver license center:
  • Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised or embossed seal, or a valid U.S. passport or passport card. Birth certificates with a sticker rather than an embossed seal will not be accepted.
  • Proof of Social Security number by providing your Social Security card. The name on the card must match the name on your current driver license or photo identification card.
  • Proof of legal name changes, such as marriage certificates or court orders issued by a family court. You must have documentation to show all name changes from your original name on your birth certificate to your current name.
  • Proof of current, physical address, such as your current, unexpired driver license or state issued ID card, vehicle registration or utility bill. TWO forms of proof must be provided.
More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and additional guidelines on documents required for REAL ID, can be found here.
Good Jobs for PA Focuses on Careers, Workforce Development

A key to economic success for all Pennsylvanians and the Commonwealth as a whole is to ensure our students and workers are prepared to fill the good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.

House Republicans launched our #GoodJobs4PA initiative last week, focusing on efforts to enhance our workforce development system to help students, under-employed and unemployed adults, as well as returning military veterans and others enter fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.

The bills aim to address the skills gap and worker shortages faced by industries across the state, as well as enhance educational programs and access to those opportunities for workers of all ages.

The House Education Committee also unveiled a package of bills to boost career and technical education opportunities in our schools for future workers and leaders.

The bills are designed to help ensure the Department of Education and our schools are more attuned to workforce needs and the opportunities – and salaries – they offer. We’re also looking to have the department develop an inventory of workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions to get a better handle on all the options that are out there so we can share that information with our students.
Check Out These Upcoming Events!!

Mardi Gras Dance Party at the Campus Theatre: Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in Lewisburg. Join in for an unforgettable night of dancing, live music, and an authentic Louisiana style feast! Click here for additional information.

Packwood House Museum Dinner Raffle: Now through Saturday, March 16. Drawing to be held at 3 p.m. that day. The winner will enjoy delicious regional cuisine from around the United States, created and served by the students of The School of Business and Hospitality at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. The dinner will be held on April 6. Click here for additional information.

Bucknell Small Business Development Center Events: All events held at 416 Market St., DeWitt Building, third floor, Lewisburg. Branding and Rebranding for the Small Business Owner, 9-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 13; Social Media 101 for Small Business, 1-3 p.m. Thursday, March 14; and Take the First Step to Starting Your Business, 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 20. Click here for additional information, including registration cost.

Lewisburg Children's Museum Upcoming Programs and Events: The Emotion Commotion (March 2); Polar Bear Parachute (March 9); reading “A Rainbow of my Own,” and making a stained glass rainbow catcher (March 16); Leprechaun Trap Challenge (March 17); making fizzing bath bombs (March 23); learning about vertebrates and invertebrates (March 24); bubble painting (March 30); learning about bees (March 31). Please note: fees and registration requirements apply to some of these events. Click here for additional information.

For additional events across Central PA, visit the Susquehanna Valley Visitor Bureau’s Website here.
What’s Happening in the PA General Assembly?

If you want to know more about what’s happening in your state government, look no further than the Pennsylvania General Assembly website. You will find information about upcoming committee meetings, specific bills, roll call votes, House and Senate calendars, existing state statutes and more. You can even watch session live through the site. Check it out here!
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