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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Headline Harrisburg By Rep. Matt Gabler

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Headline Harrisburg
Thursday, April 07, 2016
The latest news from the State Capitol 

Gov. Wolf’s Preferential Treatment of Philadelphia

On Wednesday, we were made aware of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plans to illegally redistribute school funding from local schools to Philadelphia in a manner counter to language that was part of the 2015-16 budget, which is now law. The governor’s unilateral attempt at creating his own plan to distribute billions of dollars without legislative approval is an assault on our constitutional separation of powers.

The bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission generated a formula last year to distribute our state funding for schools among all 500 districts in Pennsylvania. It is a formula that is widely supported by Republicans and Democrats in all corners of our state. This formula was included in our Fiscal Code bill, which Gov. Wolf vetoed. After executing that veto, the governor then decided to create his own distribution plan in an illegal and unconstitutional manner. His plan distributes several hundred thousand dollars less to schools in my legislative district while shifting an additional $34 million to Philadelphia.

Both the governor’s AND the commission’s formulas increase school funding. The big difference is the uneven distribution under the Wolf plan, which clearly favors the School District of Philadelphia.

Gov. Wolf also vetoed a program that would provide for immediate state reimbursement of backlogged requests from school districts for construction costs. This is also causing considerable financial difficulties for school districts.

I am proud of the work we have done to enact a responsible budget with a $200 million increase in public school funding over last year. I will continue to fight to ensure that local school districts will receive their full distribution of state funding, rather than the governor’s skewed distribution that leaves local schools short.
 

Attention Anglers -
This Saturday, April 9, is Mentored Youth Trout Day in Clearfield and Elk counties. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish on stocked trout waters.

Click here for more information.
 

Recognizing Our Future Leaders -
Congratulations to new Eagle Scouts Seth Daniel Sloppy and Douglas Martonik. Seth’s Court of Honor was held last Saturday at the Knights of Columbus in Clearfield, while Douglas’ Court of Honor took place last Sunday at the Wilcox Community Center.
 

Congratulations…..
to the DuBois Area Middle School on being one of 118 districts in the country to receive the Support Music Merit Award. The honor was given out by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation, a music industry partnership which advances active participation in music by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.
 

Elk License Auction -
Pennsylvania’s Special Elk Conservation Tag – a license created by legislation which I authored and auctioned off by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to benefit wildlife – commanded a stunning $85,000 at auction last Saturday. The record amount eclipses the previous high of $52,500.

I commend the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which has been an important partner with the Pennsylvania Game Commission for decades in purchasing land, establishing elk habitat and working to benefit elk and other wildlife.

The money raised through the auction will stay in Pennsylvania. 

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