Feb. 22, 2019

Game Warden Cadets Visit the Capitol


This week, the game warden cadets from the Pennsylvania Game Commission honored us with their presence at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

The cadets will be graduating from the Ross Leffler School of Conservation on Saturday, after nearly one year of training.

The school was created to train Pennsylvania’s game wardens. Since it’s inception in 1932, only 30 classes have graduated 673 officers. This class, the 31st, will make 700 graduates.

Cadets learn about wildlife, habitat management, law enforcement and how to work with people. They are not just wildlife professionals and law enforcement officers, but public officials.

In addition to classroom work, the cadets complete 10 weeks of field assignment training where they work in the field during hunting season with three different veteran game wardens. Field assignment is where they demonstrate the ability to apply what they have been taught face-to-face with the public.

Congratulation to the graduating cadets. I was proud to welcome you to the House of Representatives.
Improving the Do-Not-Call List

Helping Pennsylvanians cut down on the number of telemarketing calls they receive is the goal of House Bill 318, which was passed this week.

The bill gives Pennsylvanians the ability to sign up for the state’s telemarketing “do-not-call” list without requiring them to re-register every five years.

The bill also aims to cut down on the annoyance of telemarketing calls during holidays by banning telemarketing calls on legal holidays. It would also ban the use of calls from computerized auto-dialers (robocalls).

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Focusing on Careers

One of my priorities as House Speaker is to transition those who are earning minimum wage, to a career that pays well with future advancement. I want to ensure our students and workers are prepared to fill the good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.

My House Republican colleagues and I launched our #GoodJobs4PA initiative this week, focusing on efforts to enhance our workforce developing system to help students, under-employed and unemployed adults, as well as returning military veterans and others enter fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.

The bills aim to address the skills gap and worker shortages faced by industries across the state, as well as enhance educational programs and access to those opportunities for workers of all ages.

The launch coincided with the governor signing an executive order to create the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The center is charged with addressing barriers to employment and enhancing cooperation among education and workforce development entities.
Preparing Students for Careers

As a foundational part of the #GoodJobs4PA initiative highlighted in the above article, the House Education Committee unveiled a package of bills aimed at improving career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania.

There are almost 200,000 unfilled skilled jobs in Pennsylvania. These bills will partner business investment with our career and technical education students and secondary and postsecondary institutions to fill those position and grow our Commonwealth’s economy.

The package of bills includes:
  • House Bill 265, which would expand the online database that allows students to plan where courses, programs, certificates and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.

  • House Bill 297, which would direct the State Department of Education to develop materials outlining workforce needs.

  • House Bill 334, which would expedite the approval of important educational programs to respond better to industry and workforce demands.

  • House Bill 522, which would create a CTE investment incentive program, including tax credits for contributions to support CTE programs and enrollment expansion programs.

House Bills 393, 394, 395 and 396 will be introduced soon. Click on the bill number to view a detailed summary.

In order to grow our economy, it is imperative that we connect our education system with the needs of job creators.
License Your Dog in Pennsylvania

I want to remind you that all dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. January has past us by so if you are a violator, you can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.

An annual license is $8.50, and a lifetime license is $51.50. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.50, and lifetime is $31,50. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

The small license fee helps the millions of dogs in the state by funding the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

Reasons for dog licensing:
  • It’s the law.

  • If your dog gets lost, a license is the best way to get him/her back.

  • The cost of a license is less than the penalty for being caught without one.

  • License fees support animal control.

Dog licenses are available from your local county treasurer and other licensing agents.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) is inviting us to adopt local roads, waterways, parks and other areas to help keep them litter free as part of the KPB Adoption Program.

Although we have not seen many signs of spring, you probably have caught glimpses of the trash lining our roads, neighborhoods and waterways. It is never too early to start planning a spring cleanup of the places you care about.

By joining the statewide adoption program, local areas such as municipal roads, communities, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails can be formally adopted and cared for by local individuals or groups. The commitment is two cleanups per year and in turn, the organization provides a sign recognizing the group’s efforts.

The KPB adoption program helps to mitigate the costs associated with cleaning up by encouraging residents to take ownership of their neighborhoods.

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the KPB website at keeppabeautiful.org.