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Friday, January 11, 2019

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, January 11, 2019 The latest news from the State Capitol

Celebrating Agriculture at the PA Farm Show

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show – the largest indoor agricultural exposition on the east coast – draws to a close tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 12) in Harrisburg. As chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I enjoyed the opportunity to visit the show, check out the animals and exhibits, and talk with a variety of farmers and producers about our state’s top industry.

First, I caught up with Larry Hamilton of Hamilton’s Maple Products in Ulysses. The Hamiltons have competed in the Farm Show for three decades, and on Wednesday, I visit with Larry at the maple products booth in the food court, where he was selling maple cotton candy, maple yogurt, maple candy and, of course, maple syrup. Watch it here:
Click here to view video. 

I also stopped by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's booth to talk with Darrin Youker, director of governmental affairs, about the organization and its legislative priorities for the year. It is an honor to work with the statewide Farm Bureau, as well as our local organizations, in fighting for policies that support our state's top industry. Watch it here:
Click here to view video. 

And finally, I had the opportunity to talk with Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding about the importance of the Farm Show and of working together to address the issues facing our agriculture industry. Watch it here:
Click here to view video. 

Veterans, Review Your Benefits

As the New Year starts, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is encouraging veterans to review their benefits to see if a change in their circumstances or in benefit policies could make them eligible for different or additional programs.

In addition to assistance available through your local county Veterans Affairs departments, I also host a veterans service officer from the American Legion in each of my three local offices every month. Help is typically available on the first Monday of the month at the Kane office (814-837-0880), the first Thursday of the month at the Coudersport office (814-274-9769) and the second Monday of the month at the Bradford office (814-362-4400). Appointments are required and can be made by contacting the office at which you’d like to set your meeting.

DMVA officials stress that veterans and their dependents should never pay for help to apply for benefits. To get the most timely information about state benefits, programs and services, veterans are also urged to sign up for DMVA’s Veterans Registry at

Slow Down to Get Around Law Now in Effect

An expansion of the state law designed to protect roadside workers is now in effect in Pennsylvania.

Act 83 of 2018 adds trash haulers to the list of vehicles, including stationary tow trucks, mail delivery vans and other vehicles involved in performing a roadside service, to those for which a driver must slow down when passing.

Drivers are required to move at least one lane away when possible or slow down and be ready to stop if they cannot.

This law is in addition to the “Steer Clear” law requiring drivers to move over when approaching an emergency response scene.

Mark Your Calendar to Help Plan for the Future

The county planning commissions of Cameron, McKean and Potter counties are holding an open house to discuss the future of the region on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Port Allegany High School Library.

Officials will share information on trends, issues and opportunities for the region and gather feedback on how to prioritize recommendations for the next 10 years.

You can also help in the planning process by taking part in an online survey available here.

The survey includes questions about residency, transportation, job issues and more.

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