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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Headline Harrisburg By Rep. Matt Gabler

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Headline Harrisburg
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The latest news from the State Capitol 
Pro-Gun Hunting Legislation - Legislation I authored that would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to examine expanding firearm options for Pennsylvania hunters has been signed into law. House Bill 263, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with bipartisan support, becomes Act 168 of 2016.

One of my constituents from Elk County was the inspiration for this legislation. He brought to my attention how technology associated with air- and gas-powered rifles has improved to where they are viable, humane options for sportsmen.

I appreciate the efforts of my Senate colleagues, who amended the original bill to add semi-automatic rifles for consideration. The PGC will now take a look at each of these types of firearms as a viable option for certain hunting applications, which would bring Pennsylvania in line with many other states.

My legislation would give the PGC the authority to regulate and allow the use of these additional weapons during specific seasons or for specific species. These types of firearms are popular among young hunters and new participants in the sport.

It’s important to note Act 168 will give the commission the option of allowing these firearms to be used for hunting. Governing bodies that regulate sportsmen’s activities in other states, including some of those that border Pennsylvania, already allow their hunters to use these types of rifles in the field. We are moving a step closer to doing likewise.
Tax Credits for PA’s First Responders - Legislation that will authorize local municipalities to enact earned income and property tax liability tax credits for active volunteers of a fire company or emergency medical service company has been signed into law.

House Bill 1683, now known as Act 172 of 2016, will grant municipalities the authority to offer active volunteers a tax credit of up to 20 percent of their tax liability based on the number of calls a volunteer responded to or their training or participation in the functions of the organization

This act will hopefully help retain first responders and encourage more individuals to volunteer.
On the Road Again
- The Empire Road bridge over Hawk Run in Morris Township and the Route 255/Bennetts Valley Highway bridge over Bennett Branch near Penfield are both open to traffic again. These structures had been under construction as part of the PennDOT's Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.

Motorists may notice a slight bump as they drive across the bridges until a polyester polymer concrete (PPC) overlay is applied to the bridge deck. This is often the final step in completing these bridge projects. The PPC overlay is designed to protect the deck from the wear and tear brought about by Pennsylvania’s harsh winters and reduce the long-term maintenance costs.

The polyester material can only be applied when temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees, dry weather is forecasted and after the bridge concrete has cured for at least 30 days. The PPC overlay will be applied in November if weather permits. Flaggers will assist with an alternating traffic pattern when the overlay work takes place. 

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