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Friday, February 20, 2015

Capitol Update From Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, February 20, 2015

Hunting Heritage License Plates Now Available

A new Pennsylvania license plate designed to celebrate the state’s hunting heritage and support youth hunting is now available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

The plates cost $56, of which $25 will be sent to the PGC. Two-thirds of those funds will be directed to nonprofit groups to promote sport hunting, youth hunter education, or conservation and enhancement of game species. The remaining one-third will be used to support the Hunters Sharing the Harvest initiative, which encourages hunters to donate their extra venison to food banks across the Commonwealth.

Created by Act 109 of 2014, the plate is available for passenger cars, motor homes, trailers or trucks with a registered gross weight up to 14,000 pounds. For additional information and forms to order the plates – as well as commemorative patches and decals featuring the Hunting Heritage logo – click here.

Modernizing PA’s 911 Emergency Response System

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee recently held a hearing on a potential plan to overhaul Pennsylvania’s 911 Emergency Telephone Act.

The hearing gave local government officials, 911 administrators and telecommunications executives the chance to share their views on how to make the system more effective, with a specific focus on adjusting the surcharge to allow for maintenance of the emergency system. The current 911 surcharge of $1 has not been adjusted since the creation of the law in 1990.

The advent of next-generation technology including texting, calls from video, non-human (e.g. OnStar) calls and calls from non-specific devices, such as an iPad, was also discussed.

Another hearing on this subject is scheduled for March 18 in Harrisburg to provide interested individuals another opportunity to offer their comments and opinions. Legislation to overhaul the system is being drafted and is expected to be introduced in April. The legislative proposal is still being drafted, but is expected to be introduced in April.

House to Consider Liquor Privatization Proposal

The House is scheduled to take up legislation next week that would get the state out of the business of selling wine and spirits and instead leave it to the private sector.

House Bill 466 is substantially the same as a bill adopted in the House nearly two years ago that phases out the state-run liquor stores as private operators open in various areas of the Commonwealth. The Senate did not act on that bill, so we are starting over again in the new session.

For more information on the bill, click here.

2015 Trout Stocking Guides Now Available

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has announced the 2015 adult trout stocking schedules are now available online at Hard copies also will be available at my offices in Bradford, Coudersport and Kane.

The PFBC annually stocks approximately 3.2 million adult trout in more than 700 streams and 120 lakes open to public fishing. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout, 641,000 brown trout and 525,000 brook trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length. In addition to these fish, the PFBC plans to stock about 8,500 trophy golden rainbow trout that weigh an average of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches long.

Trout season opens on Saturday, April 18 – think spring!

Fishing licenses are available here.

Reminder: You’re Invited to a Firearms Safety and Rights Seminar

Join me for a discussion about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, the Castle Doctrine and other valuable information regarding state gun laws at one of three upcoming Firearms Safety and Rights Seminars:

 • Thursday, March 12, 6-8 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, 5660 U.S. Route 6 West, Ulysses. Speakers: Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson and Chief Deputy Sheriff Glenn Drake. Co-hosted with Rep. Matt Baker.
 • Thursday, March 26, 6-8 p.m. at the Emporium Volunteer Fire Department, 419 N. Broad St., Emporium. Speakers: Cameron County District Attorney Paul Malizia, Sheriff Allen Neyman, Emporium Police Department Officer in Charge David Merritt and Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Darren Burford. 
 • Tuesday, April 7, 6-8 p.m. at the Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department, 46-48 Main St., Lewis Run. Speakers: McKean County District Attorney Ray Learn and Deputy Sheriff and Firearms Instructor Roger Sager.

Registration is required due to a limited amount of seating available. Click here to register online, or call the office at 1-866-437-8181.

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