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Friday, August 28, 2015

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, August 28, 2015 The latest news from the State Capitol

Effort to Release Vital Funding for Human Services and Schools Blocked

As the budget impasse enters its third month and human service agencies struggle with the lack of funding from the state, lawmakers were in Harrisburg this week to attempt to override portions of the governor’s budget veto to get money to those agencies and the people they serve.
Unfortunately, a series of override votes failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to pass. The votes all fell along party lines.
Had we been able to override these vetoes, funding could have started flowing to programs such as domestic violence response and prevention agencies, rape crisis centers, cancer center services and many others. Instead these important services are at a greater risk every day we go without a state budget.
Among the biggest hurdles standing in the way of the budget agreement is the governor’s unwillingness to take his 20 percent income tax increase and 10 percent sales tax increase, along with his proposed expansion of the sales tax to hundreds of new products and services, off the table. The state House voted on his tax plan in early June and it failed in a unanimous vote.
Read more in my press release here.
Your Input is Needed to Help Save our Ambulance Services

With area ambulance services struggling with limited personnel and limited finances, I am inviting ambulance service personnel, county and local officials, and members of our communities to a public meeting to discuss the problem and possible solutions.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, at the Port Allegany Fire Department, 65 West Maple St.

Our ambulance services provide vital, life-saving care to people in need, and we cannot afford to lose them. But there is a very real chance that could happen if we don’t take steps to address these challenges. The organizations we rely upon to help us in the case of an emergency are facing an emergency of their own. It’s our turn to respond to their call for help.

Attention Cold War-Era Veterans
Over the years, I have had the honor of hosting events to recognize groups of veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
This year, I would like to recognize Cold War-era veterans who served between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991. If you or a loved one served during this time, please take a moment to register by signing up at my website or by calling my office at 1-866-437-8181. Once a date has been set for the ceremony, you will receive a personal invitation to attend.
The event is open to Cold War-era veterans residing in the 67th Legislative District, which includes Cameron, McKean and Potter counties, as well as their family members.
To veterans who served in the Persian Gulf conflict or subsequent operations, please know that I wish to recognize your service as well and will plan to do so at a future event.

House Committee Endorses Measure to Ask Congress to Protect Military Recruiters
The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced a resolution to further protect the safety of military recruiters by urging Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense to allow them to carry firearms while performing their duties.
House Resolution 437, which has bipartisan support, asks the Department of Defense to review current domestic force protection policies, including giving military personnel the authority to carry the weapons they have been trained to use and to protect one another should there be a threat of violence.
The resolution was drafted following the July 16 killing of four Marines and one sailor in two shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn. Since 1992, the Department of Defense has limited the presence of weapons in public settings. The measure now goes before the House for its consideration. 

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