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Friday, November 13, 2015

Headline Harrisburg by Rep. Matt Gabler

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Headline Harrisburg
Friday, November 13, 2015
The latest news from the State Capitol 

 
State Budget Update -
House and Senate leaders, along with the Wolf administration, have reported progress toward agreement on a general framework for the adoption of a 2015-16 state budget. While there are still many details to be worked out, I am hopeful we will have the opportunity to vote on a budget in the near future.

My colleagues and I have been working and advocating for immediate solutions to our budget impasse since Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed our balanced $30.2 billion no-tax-increase budget on June 30. We are encouraged that the Wolf administration has finally engaged in real discussions with legislative leaders that may lead to an agreement and a conclusion of this impasse. I look forward to reviewing the proposals that come out of these negotiations as soon as they are made available.

On Wednesday, I delivered the keynote address at the Veterans Day ceremony at the DuBois VFW. During the ceremony, Dick Castonguay and Lisa Labrasca were presented with awards of commendation from the VFW for their heroic actions on Aug. 12, when they apprehended a man who assaulted a woman after crashing a stolen car and taking the life of an innocent bystander.

It was an honor to be asked to participate in the presentation of these well-deserved awards to two exceptional citizens.   

Flu Shot Clinics -
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is holding flu shot clinics throughout the state as part of its “Stopping the Flu Starts with YOU” campaign. Please consider getting a flu shot if you have not done so already.

Clinics will be held this Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Dec. 8, at both the Clearfield County, 1125 Linden St., Suite 1, Clearfield; and the Elk County State Health Clinic, 778 Washington St., St. Marys. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call Clearfield at (814) 765-0542 or St. Marys at (814) 834-5351.

Attention Hunters - The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now pulling back the ban that prohibited hunters from transporting into Pennsylvania the carcasses of deer, elk and other cervids harvested anywhere in the states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

The amended rules prohibit the importation only of cervid carcasses harvested within the areas in those states where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected.

With deer seasons already in progress, Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said the timing of the announcement resulted in confusion and concerns being expressed by deer hunters, processors and taxidermists. Responding to those concerns, the agency is pulling back the whole-state ban for this deer season, and will work with those who are affected on further rule changes that might become effective next year, Hough said.

Now that the order has been amended, there are a total of 22 states and two Canadian provinces from which high-risk cervid parts cannot be imported into Pennsylvania. They are: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland (only from Allegany County), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only from Madison and Oneida counties), North Dakota, Ohio (only from Holmes County), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia (only from Frederick, Shenandoah, Warren and Clarke counties), West Virginia (only from Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties), Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Those harvesting cervids in the identified states, counties and provinces must leave behind the carcass parts that have the highest risk for transmitting CWD. Those parts are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

More information on CWD can be found at the game commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us.

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