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Friday, May 12, 2017

News from State Rep. Matt Gabler

Headline Harrisburg

Friday, May 12, 2017
The latest news from the State Capitol 
         
 
Strengthening Public Corruption Laws - Public officials and employees who are convicted of public corruption crimes would be forced to forfeit their government pension under legislation that passed the House this week.

House Bill 939 would hold state, county or municipal government officials and public employees, including judges, teachers and other school district employees, accountable for crimes related to their official duties by requiring them to forfeit their government pension.

They would also need to pay appropriate restitution when they plead guilty or no contest to any crime related to their official government position or any felony offense related to their office or employment. This would prevent public officials from cutting deals under which they agree to plead guilty to a lesser crime to keep their pensions.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would also impact federal crimes that are classified as felonies or are punishable by a term of at least five years in prison.
                  
         
 
REAL ID Update – On Monday, the House State Government Committee, of which I am a member, passed legislation which would offer a solution to Pennsylvania’s REAL ID problem. Senate Bill 133 was amended in committee, meaning it would have to return to the Senate before being sent to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

Pennsylvanians who do not fly or enter federal buildings or military installations would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation passed by the House State Government Committee this week.

Instead, residents may choose to purchase a REAL ID or continue using the current form of state driver’s license or photo ID as a standard form of identification for activities other than air travel or entering federal buildings.

Lawmakers believe offering choice is the best way to ensure Pennsylvania complies with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification.

The General Assembly must act by June 6 in order to be considered for an additional extension from the Department of Homeland Security. Both the passage of this legislation and the extension will allow Pennsylvania to take the important steps necessary for the Commonwealth to reach full compliance with the federal law.

This bill would be an improvement over current law because it gives Pennsylvania residents the ability to seek a compliant ID for air travel or admission to military installations. Those however who do not wish to use their driver’s license or state ID for these purposes would not be required to deal with the costs or the paperwork involved.
                  
         
 
On the Road Again - This coming week, PennDOT will begin roadway improvement on Route 322 and the Allport Cutoff near Bigler in Clearfield County. Signage for the project was set this week, with traffic control set-up to follow.

The project includes:
  • Improved drainage
  • Updated guiderails
  • Roadway reconstruction
  • Paving
  • New turning lane from the Dollar General Store to the Allport Cutoff.
  • New signal and safety improvements will also be performed at the 322/Allport Cutoff intersection
  • Rehabilitation of the box culvert carrying Forcey Run under Route 322
  • Sight distance improvements near the Walker Lumber entrance.
  • Drainage improvements and roadway reconstruction on the Allport Cutoff Route 2030) from Shiloh Road to Route 322.
       
Traffic control through the project will consist of daylight flagging and alternating traffic patterns. Drivers will need to remain alert for flaggers in and near the roadway.

PennDOT expects the project to finish by the end of November.

                                                      
       
 
Meeting with the Elk County team from Leadership Elk and Cameron was a great way to start my day Wednesday in Harrisburg. LEC provides professional, academic, and personal opportunities through coordination with institutions of higher education and business/industry associations.

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