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Friday, November 22, 2013

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, November 22, 2013 The latest news from the State Capitol

Gas Tax Plan Goes Too Far

This week, the state House and Senate adopted legislation – now awaiting the governor’s signature – to increase gas taxes and fees on Pennsylvania drivers. I voted “no.”

While there is clearly a need to invest in our roads and bridges here and across the Commonwealth, I could not support this proposal. I believe it goes far beyond what is truly necessary and far beyond what the people I represent can afford.

Under the bill, the tax on gasoline could increase by as much as 28.5 cents and the tax on diesel fuel by 39.8 cents per gallon by 2017. The tax hikes, along with increases in more than 100 other user fees such as vehicle registrations, driver licenses and traffic ticket fines, are expected to generate an additional $2.3 billion per year, including $1.65 billion for highways and bridges and nearly $500 million for mass transit.

Pennsylvania’s current budget invests $6.8 billion in transportation.

I had hoped to have the opportunity to vote for a proposal that would have been more affordable to taxpayers and still enabled the state to fix structurally deficient bridges and repair the roads that need it the most. However, the proposal was not brought up for a vote.

Outreach Office Hours Set for Dec. 5

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, Dec. 5:
 • Emporium Borough Office – 9-10 a.m.  
 • Port Allegany Borough Office – 11 a.m. to noon.  
As always, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor) or Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) Monday through Friday, or visit my website at or my Facebook page at for the latest news from state government.

Safety Tips for this Hunting Season

As you prepare to head out to our fields and forests, be sure to keep safety in mind. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers these important tips:
Basic Safety
 • Positively identify the target – Be sure you are shooting at legal game and not another hunter. And never shoot at sounds or movement.
 • Know your zone of fire and never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.
 • Wear the mandated amount of fluorescent orange clothing and use layers of clothing that wick moisture, insulate and block wind or rain to help keep you safe and comfortable.
 • Let someone know where you are hunting and when you will return. They should alert authorities if you do not return at the appointed time.
 • Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.

Firearms Safety
 • Handle all firearms as if they’re loaded. Never assume they are unloaded and double check to be sure.
 • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction and don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
 • Unload and place your firearm on the ground before crossing a fence, log or other obstacle, or climbing a tree.
 • Shoot only when a safe and adequate backstop exists. Don’t shoot at hard, flat surfaces, water, or a target on the horizon.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at   

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