Thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. These periodic updates allow me to keep constituents informed about state and local issues through email without burdening taxpayers with printing and mailing costs.
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Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.
State Senate Approves Bipartisan Crime Victims Package
I was pleased to support a package of bills approved in the State Senate this week that would strengthen protections for victims of crime and ensure that victims and their families are treated with respect and dignity by the criminal justice system.
Six of the bills would strengthen and reform Pennsylvania’s domestic violence laws, offer greater protections to victims of domestic violence and their children, and hold abusers accountable.
Another measure, known as Marsy’s Law, would establish a crime victims’ bill of rights in the Pennsylvania Constitution to protect and expand the rights of victims of violent crime.
Pennsylvania already has a strong history of protecting victims of crime, but with this legislation we are starting the process of putting the rights of victims on a level playing field with the rights of the accused. We need to ensure that crime victims are treated with respect and dignity by the criminal justice system. This proposal protects and strengthens their rights with a constitutional guarantee.
The following bills were approved by the full Senate:
Senate Bill 313 makes it easier for domestic violence victims with to remove the name of an abuser from a shared telephone plan.
Senate Bill 449 allows Magisterial District Judges to use a risk assessment tool when determining bail in domestic violence cases. (Tierne’s Law)
Senate Bill 500 ensures that law enforcement protection is available to a victim before or while PFA orders are being served.
Senate Bill 501 requires a domestic violence defendant who is ordered by the court to relinquish firearms to surrender the weapons to law enforcement or a licensed dealer.
Senate Bill 502 makes it easier for the court to extend a PFA order when an abuser is released from custody.
Senate Bill 919 allows domestic violence victims who live in public housing to be relocated to another unit.
Senate Bill 1011 amends the state Constitution to creating a crime victims’ “Bill of Rights.” (Marsy’s Law)
Senate Bill 449 now goes to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law. The other six bills were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
PA Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission Annual Reports
As a member of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee I was afforded the opportunity to be briefed on the annual reports of the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission. This permits me the chance to question the Commission on topics relative to the 35th District and those that have been submitted by constituents. As an avid hunter and fisherman I do not take these duties lightly and strive to be a voice for all residents of the 35th.
Specifically, I had many questions regarding the recent development of the pheasant stamp. I have heard from many in the district who are forced to purchase a stamp even after buying a lifetime senior license. I will continue to address this issue and work towards a resolution. Additionally, I have heard many concerns with regard to the ruffed grouse population decline and steps we can take to increase the number of ruffed grouse.
In addition to hearing from the Game Commission, the Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, John Arway testified. As many of you know, the Fish and Boat Commission over the last year has threatened to close fish hatcheries, eliminate programs and cut field positions until they get legislative approval for a license increase. Yet, he refuses to look at the high-paying bureaucratic positions within his office. As an avid fisherman, I am concerned with the direction the Fish and Boat Commission is taking and see it as my duty to hold them accountable to ensure our waterways can continue to be an enjoyable place for Pennsylvanians.
At the end of the hearing, it was apparent that continued legislative oversight is desperately needed over both Commissions, especially the Fish & Boat Commission.
Click the links below to review the annual reports.
If you have similar concerns, please feel free to contact me. It is important to me to know what your concerns are so I can properly represent residents of the 35th.
Bedford County Awarded $1.77 Million in Solar Grants
Two alternative energy projects in Bedford County have been awarded state grants totaling more than $1.77 million in state grants. I worked closely with Rep. Jesse Topper and county commissioners to help obtain the funding, which was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Program (SEP).
Bedford County received a $900,698 grant to install a 1,838.16-kilowatt solar system at the Bedford County Jail and Courthouse. This system will produce 2,472 kilowatt hours annually and electricity generated by the system will be purchased by Bedford County. The total project cost is $3.3 million.
Bedford Borough received an $870,481 grant to install a 1,353.78-kilowatt solar system on nearly 5 acres of land at Bedford Borough’s water treatment facility. The system will generate 1,689,660 kilowatt hours annually and all electricity generated by the system will be purchased by Bedford Borough. The total project cost is $2.5 million.
Visitors to Harrisburg
I would like to remind constituents, to please feel free to stop in my office, Room 185, when you are visiting the capitol. My staff and I welcome the opportunity to say hello to you. If you are visiting on a session day, I can also introduce you as my guest during session. Feel free to call 717-787-5400 if you know in advance that you will be visiting the capitol.
Northern Bedford FFA students stopped by my office on Tuesday, March 20. They were in town for their annual FFA legislative breakfast. It is always a pleasure to meet young adults involved in the agriculture community.
Leadership Bedford County Class of 2018 visited the capitol last week. While at the Capitol, class members attended session in the House, toured the Capitol, visited the Senate Chamber and state Supreme Court. Class members are (front row from left) Koren Woy-Smith, Tammy Lemin, Tina Imes, Adam Osman, Gregg Feaster and Deanna Weaverling. Back row: Katie Fink, Kyle Trinka, Amy Barfield, Jennifer Bailey, Beverly Geller, Brandee Pittman and Paul Gates.
Join Me and Representatives Topper and Metzgar for a Fishing Seminar on April 12
Representatives from the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission & DCNR will discuss a number of topics to get local anglers and boaters ready for the upcoming fishing and boating seasons.
This seminar is free to attend; however, seating for the event is limited and advance registration is required.
How We Can Help You
Here are some of the ways that my office can assist you: