Mar. 01, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

REAL ID Mobile Verification Unit
 
On Thursday, March 14, from 5-8 p.m., I will be hosting a REAL ID Mobile Verification Unit. The event will be held at the Allen Township Fire Hall, 3530 Howertown Road, Northampton.

Residents of the 183rd Legislative District should bring their required REAL ID documentation to the event, and PennDOT staff will scan the documents to a person’s driver record and mark it as “REAL ID Eligible.” Then, when REAL ID becomes available in March, customers can apply online and pay the applicable fees. It will then be mailed to them directly within 10 business days.

Information about documents required is available here

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by filling out the form on my website at RepMako.com.


Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims
 
Understanding the struggle many crime victims face when seeking justice, lawmakers have been working to advance a package of bills designed to protect the rights of crime victims.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved five bills for consideration by the full House. The package includes:
House Bill 276, a joint resolution known as Marsy’s Law, would add a victims bill of rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
House Bill 502 would ensure victims can attend proceedings against their abusers.
House Bill 503 would help victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism testify in court.
House Bill 504 would shield rape victims from irrelevant cross examination.
House Bill 505 would strengthen protections for young abuse victims.

Just as those accused of a crime have certain rights, House Republicans are ensuring crime victims are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire criminal justice process.
 

Free Admission at Several Local Museums
To help the Commonwealth celebrate its 338th birthday on Charter Day, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History on Sunday, March 10.

Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives displays the original document, for a limited time, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. For the remainder of the year the charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the archives.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. This year, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here
 

Budget Hearings Continue
 
The second full week of budget hearings wrapped up on Thursday, with members of the House Appropriations Committee asking agency and department officials a variety of questions about executive functions, programs and efficiencies. These questions, along with submitted written testimony, will serve as the foundation for budget negotiations this spring.

This week’s hearings featured the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the departments of Transportation (PennDOT), Corrections, General Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

Next week concludes the House’s budget hearings with appearances by the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The full schedule is available here. The site also includes links to video of the archived hearings once available.
 

Bill to Save on State Pensions
Last week, House Republicans passed House Bill 60 to prohibit future hires of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), which serves three states, from participating in the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).

The SRBC was created by federal law in 1970 that also was adopted by the legislatures of Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

According to the Independent Fiscal Office – a non-partisan entity created to provide unbiased information to the state Legislature – there were 65 employees of the SRBC who were active, contributing members of SERS in 2017.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 
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Office Locations
2030 Center Street, Northampton, PA 18067 | Phone: 610-502-2701
Slatington Borough Hall, 125 S. Walnut Street, First Floor, Slatington, PA 18080 | Phone: 610-760-9805
402A Irvis Office, PO Box 202183. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2183 | (717) 772-5398
Email Address: ZMako@pahousegop.com
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