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Friday, March 3, 2017

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, March 03, 2017 The latest news from the State Capitol
How Does Agriculture Fare in the 2017-18 Budget Proposal?
 Click here to view video
Earlier this week, Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to discuss the Wolf administration’s budget proposal for the department. I had the opportunity to ask several questions about the budget, including the governor’s decision to again eliminate funding for the Hardwoods Development Council, despite recommendations by the “green ribbon” commission to increase the funding. I also inquired about a proposed increase in the General Government Operations line for the department, questioned its proposal to increase dog license fees and outlined my concerns about farm operations being recognized for their environmental stewardship efforts, especially when it comes to meeting federal requirements for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup.

Community Meeting to Help Rural Emergency Medical Services Next Week

Area EMS providers, local and county officials, and others are encouraged to take part in a meeting to discuss efforts to support the region’s ambulance services Thursday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at the Port Allegany Fire Department.

The meeting will include an update about legislation recently passed or being considered in Harrisburg, including a new law that allows EMS companies to be paid directly by an insurer and legislation I have introduced this session to increase the Medicaid reimbursement for EMS services and boost support to the state’s Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund.

It will also include a presentation from McKean County Commissioner Carol Duffy about efforts to provide EMS/fire service training for high school students at the vocational technical school in Port Allegany, and an overview of the role local and county elected officials and their communities can play in supporting EMS agencies.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact my offices in Bradford (814-362-4400), Coudersport (814-274-9769) or Kane (814-837-0880).

Investing More in Local Roads

PennDOT announced this week that municipalities will receive nearly $466.2 million from liquid fuels revenue to invest in local roads, marking a 5 percent increase, or $20.9 million, over last year.

This funding will allow municipalities to help pay for expenses such as snow removal and road maintenance. More than 60 percent of public roads in Pennsylvania are maintained by local governments. The formula for payments is based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally owned roads.

For the complete list of local payments, visit the “Municipal Liquid Fuels Program” page at www.penndot.gov under the “Doing Business” Local Government page.
Veterans Assistance Available
Veterans service officers will be available in my Kane, Bradford and Coudersport offices in March to assist veterans and their family members with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. The schedule is as follows:  
  • Monday, March 6, 1-3 p.m. – Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Kane office, 55 Fraley St. No appointments are necessary.
  • Thursday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Dan Falls of the American Legion will be at the Coudersport office, 107 S. Main St. Appointments are required and should be made by calling 814-274-9769.
  • Monday, March 13, 1-3 p.m. – Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Bradford office, 78 Main St. No appointments are necessary.
For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here.
Program Offers Assistance with Septic Systems
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), together with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, offers a program with low-interest loans to homeowners to cover the costs associated with repairing or replacing on-lot septic systems.

Assistance is available to eligible homeowners who need to repair or replace their individual on-lot septic system or to connect for the first time to a public sewer system. More information can be found here.  

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

The ducks are more interesting.