Apr. 02, 2024

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It’s Time to Act on Voter ID

With a voter identification constitutional amendment having languished in committee for nearly a year, despite bipartisan support for the concept among both the public and lawmakers, House Republicans have launched a discharge petition in an attempt to advance the measure.

Under the rules of the House, discharge petitions require the signatures of at least 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans to be successful. With 22 House Democrats previously having supported voter ID, I am hopeful we can finally put this question to the voters so they can have the final say.

Requiring ID each time a person casts a ballot would help prevent election fraud, including voting under a fictitious registration, voting multiple times by registered voters in multiple states, impersonating another voter and illegal immigrant voting. There is broad support for expanded voter ID requirements, with a 2021 poll by Franklin & Marshall College showing 74% of Pennsylvanians in favor. This includes 95% of Pennsylvania Republicans, 47% of Pennsylvania Democrats and 77% of Independents.

I encourage you to:
  • Take a minute to watch my remarks about this issue here.

  • View last Monday’s press conference about the issue here.
Supporting Affordable Energy

 Watch Video Here

As Pennsylvanians deal with rising costs to heat and light their homes, I have joined several of my colleagues in unveiling a package of bills that seeks to bolster our energy industry and cut costs for consumers.

My bill seeks to address the culture and mindset of our current Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The department unfortunately views itself as being a necessary barrier to the expansion of business and development in the Commonwealth. But we don’t have to choose between energy development and the environment! A shift in thinking is necessary and changing the name of the department to the Department of Environmental Services is a good start down this road to maximizing our energy economy and saving consumers money!

Other bills in the package would boost support for energy efficiency and conservation programs; create an independent energy advocate; permit energy bills to be paid with pre-tax dollars; account for utility costs when calculating eligibility for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; encourage redevelopment of now-shuttered energy production facilities; create a new independent agency, which would oversee approving any regulation or action of a state agency that would impact the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio; require the government to show how regulations impact affordability for communities at risk for energy poverty; and direct the state’s entrance into a power-exporting state consortium within the PJM Interconnection.

Additional information is available here.
Standing Up for Your Gun Rights

Despite my “no” vote last week, the state House narrowly approved legislation targeting self-assembled firearms.

House Bill 777 requires government serialization and tracking of what the bill calls “firearm frames and receivers,” as well as other firearm components. It is unworkable for those who choose to build their own firearms, and the serial number requirements threaten the ownership of antique firearms manufactured before such markings were required.

Once again, majority House Democrats claim the bill will help solve the violent crime problems plaguing our cities, but the reality is it will only impact law-abiding citizens by infringing upon our Second Amendment rights, as well as the rights guaranteed to us in Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is unlikely it will be taken up for consideration.
Local Farm Bureau Representatives and FFA Students Visit the Capitol

It isn’t all madness in March at the Capitol! It was great to connect with some very important people from our district in Harrisburg last week. The Bradford and Sullivan, Tioga and Potter County Farm Bureaus were down for a visit to talk about important legislation that affects our farmers. Additionally, our district had several FFA students in attendance at their Legislative Conference. Cowanesque Valley, Canton, and Grand Canyon were in the Capitol! We shared some insightful roundtable discussion about a few bills they have been working on and some that the House is currently working on! It is one thing for our students to learn about state legislation from the classroom or even the farm, but to witness and experience the environment of debates, seeing the action of session and the process of voting on bills taking place is a whole other part of education. Maybe one day, some of these passionate students will represent us in our state Capitol making positive strides in legislation, ultimately improving our communities, be they rural, suburban or urban, and making impact in the overall prosperity of our Commonwealth. I always enjoy seeing local folks at the Capitol!

More Than $500K Awarded for Tioga County Transportation Projects

Great news! Two area road projects were awarded funding through the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund program last week.

Roseville Borough received $350,000 to replace the Benson Avenue Bridge, while Wellsboro received $200,0000 to improve Main Street sidewalks.

Whether we’re helping to replace a flood-damaged bridge or boosting pedestrian safety, these grants are important investments in making sure our residents can safely get where they need to go. I was happy to work with Sen. Gene Yaw and our local officials to help move these projects forward.

Read more here.
Raise the Region Celebrates Tioga County Nonprofits

There are so many amazing people within our district who continuously work and volunteer in ways to help our community thrive. Raise the Region® has designed a way to help nonprofit organizations be known throughout not just our local community but virtually through social media, ultimately helping to raise funds for participating nonprofits. Raise the Region® is a day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration and is an initiative of First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

In my absence, my wife, Lauren, shared our heart-filled gratitude to the many nonprofits who selflessly serve our community during an evening event hosted by KC101. She truly said it best, "You all are the boots on the ground, being the hands and feet to help make a difference in the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors. Thank you for the creative and practical ways you are selflessly serving and caring for those around you!" We both hope the evening was an encouragement to the leaders of many nonprofits as you continue to selflessly serve the community!
Don’t Get Fooled; Get the Tools – Sign Up Today

Coming THIS Thursday, April 4, at the Tioga County Fairgrounds. One hour training on recognizing phone, electronic, or snail mail scams and not falling victim. Protect yourself from the devastating loss of having a lifetime of earnings stolen right out from under you by a scam. Please register here or call our office 570-724-1390 to reserve your seat.
Is Your License Plate Hard to Read? Pre-Register Now!

Have you noticed your PA license plate fading, falling apart? Is it difficult to read? Those hard-to-read PA license plates could cost you a ticket of $100! We are offering you a simple way to have your plate replaced at no charge. Please be sure to pre-register here for your fastest drive through option. Or to make an appointment, call 570-724-1390.

For additional information on PennDOT license plate reissuances, click here for frequently asked questions.