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Friday, September 29, 2017

News from Harrisburg

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Capitol Update
Friday, September 29, 2017 The latest news from the State Capitol
Fish Commission Playing Politics With Proposed Oswayo Hatchery Closure

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted 6-4 to authorize Executive Director John Arway to cut $2 million from the agency’s budget by closing the Oswayo trout hatchery in Potter County, as well as two warm water facilities in Erie and Juniata counties.

According to the announcement, the hatchery would not close until late next year…or not at all if the House would approve legislation giving the commission the sole authority to increase its license fees (this is currently done through legislative action). It’s clear Director Arway and his supporters are playing politics and undermining their own mission to serve the state’s boaters and anglers. I was encouraged that our local fish commissioner, Bill Brock, voted against the decision, knowing threats are not the best way to work toward a solution to the agency’s financial stability.

The agency is currently sitting on more than $60 million in uncommitted reserve funds, which amounts to more than 100 percent of the agency’s annual budget. It is certainly more than enough money to keep these vital hatcheries open in the short term while lawmakers, who are genuinely interested in ensuring quality fishing and boating opportunities for our residents, continue to engage in reasonable, cooperative negotiations to address the fiscal situation.

According to the PFBC, closing the Oswayo hatchery alone would result in the elimination of 240,000 adult stocked trout in four lakes and 61 streams, including many in McKean, Potter, Cameron and Clinton counties. Of all the trout hatcheries in the state, Oswayo is the only one targeted for closure. This is just another example of how Harrisburg bureaucrats treat our rural communities like second-class citizens.

Click her to view a map of the waterways that would be impacted by the closure of the Oswayo hatchery.

Or click here to view a list of the waterways that would be affected
Outreach Hours Set for Oct. 5

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, Oct. 5:
  • Emporium Borough Office – 9-10 a.m.
  • Port Allegany Borough Office – 11 a.m. to noon.
Services available include assistance with any state-related issues or concerns, driver license and vehicle registration applications, and applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE/PACENET prescription drug assistance programs.

As always, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor), Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) or Kane (55 Fraley St.) Monday through Friday, or visit my website at or my Facebook page at for the latest news from state government.
Earlier this year, I was honored to sponsor House Resolution 369, which designates September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. This week, the front of the state Capitol is shining in teal in recognition of all who have been touched by this horrible cancer. I am especially sharing this photo for ovarian cancer survivor Susan Evans of Bradford, who has made it her mission to educate people about this deadly disease, which claims an average of 14,000 lives a year in the United States and 140,000 worldwide.
Reminder: Veterans Assistance Available

Veterans service officers will be available in my Bradford and Coudersport offices in October 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, Oct. 2, 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, Oct. 5, 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.
Hours for the Bradford office are canceled in October due to the Columbus Day holiday and will resume in November.

For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here.
Preventing Welfare Fraud

To help prevent the fraudulent use of public assistance benefits, the House passed legislation this week to further crack down on welfare fraud by requiring proper documentation of citizenship and residency when applying for local and state benefits.

Under House Bill 1095, individuals who apply for benefits directly must provide an acceptable form of identification, or an affidavit certifying their citizenship. The bill would not change any eligibility criteria for the receipt of public benefits. It merely would update Pennsylvania law to ensure compliance with federal law.

The bill would also prohibit individuals from possessing multiple ACCESS cards. Any person who violates this prohibition would be charged with a third-degree felony. House Bill 1095 now goes to the state Senate.


Anonymous said...

Nothing on what Causer is doing about funding the state budget.

Anonymous said...

Marty, you inject politics into everything you do. How does it feel?

Anonymous said...

It says you are always welcome to drop by his offices, if no one is ever there to answer the phone, never how can ya drop in if the door is locked. This is said, over and over, does anyone actually work there, if so do taxpayers pay the salary?