Oct. 18, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The latest news from the State Capitol
Educating All Students for Success

Working to ensure Pennsylvania’s special education students have access to the quality education they deserve, the General Assembly recently reestablished a Special Education Funding Commission to review the formula that determines payments to school districts across the Commonwealth.

First formed in 2012, the commission conducted several meetings to gather information and made recommendations to improve the special education funding formula by better reflecting student need, as well as community differences such as market value/personal income aid ratio, equalized millage rate, and small and rural school districts.

The changes were adopted by the General Assembly and since the 2013-14 fiscal year, lawmakers have continued their commitment to supporting all students, increasing funding for special education by 15.6% or $160 million. Total education funding has jumped by 29.5% from $9.85 billion to more than $12.75 billion this year.

The newly reestablished commission features a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers, as well as the secretary of education and other representatives of the Wolf administration. The group will meet throughout the fall and intends to issue its report to the General Assembly no later than Nov. 30.
Schedule Your Capitol Tour!

President Theodore Roosevelt called Pennsylvania’s state Capitol “the handsomest building” he ever saw. Tours of the historic building, which highlight its artistic and architectural features as well as provide information about state government, are offered daily for individuals and groups of up to 80 people.

Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more, but all visitors interested in touring the Capitol are encouraged to make reservations through the Capitol tour office. Tour dates fill up quickly in the spring due to school field trip season.

Tour reservations may be made by calling the tour office directly at 1-800-868-7672. When you call, have your group name, total number of participants and contact information ready.

Tours are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and most holidays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Capitol is closed for tours New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Weekday tours begin at the top of the hour and every half hour. The tours last between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the size of the group.

You may also explore the Capitol using the self-guided tour mobile app available at Google Play and the App Store. Self-guided tours may only be done on regular weekdays.

More information about visiting the Capitol is available here.
Licensing Behavior Analysts

I have introduced a new licensure bill to protect patient care and reduce fraud as vulnerable populations seek applied behavior analysis (ABA) in their treatment.

House Bill 1900, which has bipartisan backing, would expand ABA services in Pennsylvania and establish well-defined standards for those claiming to be qualified behavior analysts. It is long overdue for Pennsylvania to recognize this profession.

Without a clearly defined behavior analyst license in our state, these talented, well-trained professionals are lured every day toward any one of 30 other states that recognize this distinction.

House Bill 1900 was referred to the Professional Licensure Committee.
Veterans Breakfasts

Thursday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon
Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department
1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown

Friday, Nov. 8,  from 8 - 10 a.m. * (Currently Full)
Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department
1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown

This annual appreciation breakfast and patriotic program is open to veterans in residential facilities as well as other veterans and U.S. military personnel residing in the 106th District. State-related veterans information will be distributed at this event. Worn, torn or defaced flags will be accepted at the event for proper retirement.

The RSVP deadline for Thursday's event has been extended to Monday, October 28th.

Seating is limited and registration is required. RSVP by calling 717-534-1323 ASAP.

*The Friday event is currently at capacity and no openings are available.
Click here to view video.
I recently had the privilege of speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research at Penn State Harrisburg.

This center is going to serve those struggling with substance abuse, particularly veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 1 in 10 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.

I’m thankful to have this new resource in the area.

The Dauphin County Housing Authority held a back-to-school picnic in the Genesis Court community in Middletown. Best wishes to all children throughout this school year!

The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is renovating the STEM labs in the Harsco Science Center. This is an exciting project that will allow for education encouraging collaboration and creativity.

I had the opportunity to tour First Discoveries at Bright Horizons in Hershey with the center’s director, Colleen Sheehan. I presented her with a Keystone Star – Star 4 certificate.

The Kuppy’s Diner Cruise-in raised approximately $17,800 for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Inc. What a great event!

I recently welcomed Vista Autism Services to 659 Spring Garden Dr. in Lower Swatara Township! We’re glad to have this additional resource in the 106th District.

Keystone Mountain Lake Carpenter's Union, under the direction of Keith Gutshall, restored Stoner's Cemetery off West Harrisburg Pike. This job was well done by a great group of volunteers. We marked the restoration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 23.

Feesers Food Distributors has been a part of this area for 118 years. That is an unbelievable tenure, and this business has remained in the family for four generations. The business recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its expanded storage facility. Kudos to them!

Hummelstown Arts Fest on Sept. 14 had great turnout despite some periods of rain. Everyone was smiling as they perused crafts and arts for sale and took in the entertainment. It was wonderful seeing Dr. Gary Kirman and his daughter. 
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Email  Address: TMehaffie@pahousegop.com