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Friday, August 19, 2016

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer




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Capitol Update
Friday, August 19, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Ag Committees Hear Concerns of PA Dairy Industry
    
 
   
Environmental and permitting hurdles are among the greatest challenges facing the future of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, according to information presented at a joint meeting of the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees earlier this week.

The meeting was held at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days in Centre County, and the goal is to help lawmakers identify and adopt policies that will support and enhance the dairy industry, which represents the largest sector of the state’s agriculture industry overall.

Dairy farms, dairy processors and other related industries represent thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for our state’s economy, but our dairy industry is struggling. It is growing at a slower rate than that of other top dairy-producing states, and in fact, the state was just bumped from its spot as the fifth highest dairy-producing state in the nation.

While there are a number of factors influencing this downturn that we cannot control, such as dry weather and changing markets and consumer demands, we heard about a number of things we can do to help, including developing more reasonable environmental policies and proactive economic initiatives to encourage growth and expansion here in the Commonwealth.

Click here to read more about the meeting.
 
Click here to watch video of the hearing.
   
    
 
I had a great time at Ulysses Old Home Day last weekend and was especially honored to take part in the memorial dedication at Tri-Town Fire and Ambulance Company. Pictured left to right are: Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel, Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson, Ulysses Mayor Maryjane Haskins, me, Potter County Commissioner Doug Morley, and Tri-Town Chaplain Jason Reed. Thank you to the men and women at Tri-Town and all of our volunteer fire and ambulance personnel for your service!
     
 
Fire, EMS Grant Program to Open Sept. 7
   
 

The 2016-17 grant program for fire companies and ambulance services will be open for applications starting on Sept. 7.

These important public safety grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. Since its inception, the grant program has provided nearly $4.5 million in funding to fire and ambulance companies in the three-county area.

A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program, which is funded through state gaming proceeds.

For more information about the program, click here. The application period closes on Oct. 21.
      
 
Slow Down for School Buses
 
    
As students head back to school, it’s a good time to refresh our memories about school bus safety.

Pennsylvania law requires that motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.

Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.

Click here for more information and tips for school bus safety.

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