Legislature Studies PennDOT/Turnpike Merger

Apr. 12, 2018 /

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission recently announced another series of rate hikes. I am often contacted by folks who ask why the Turnpike is a separate entity from state Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Budget Outlook 2017-18

Apr. 11, 2018 /

As we start the 2018-19 budget season, House Republicans intend to pursue a budget that does not increase taxes. Pennsylvania’s government needs to live within its means and not spend more than it takes in. We need more accountability in state spending and we need to ensure that the dollars we spend align with the needs of Pennsylvanians. By holding the line on spending and looking out for taxpayers, House Republicans have saved the taxpayers of Pennsylvania millions of dollars.

Reducing the Size of the Legislature

Mar. 08, 2018 /

Jan. 23, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives took another step to reducing the size of the legislature. The House State Government Committee passed House Bill 153 along party lines, 14 Republican “yes” votes and 11 Democratic “no” votes.

Redistricting in Pennsylvania

Mar. 08, 2018 /

Every 10 years, the United States conducts a Census to determine shifts, growths or declines in our nation’s Populace. Based on population, the Census requires the adjustment of both Congressional and state legislative districts., .This process is called redistricting. The next Census and resulting redistricting is scheduled for 2020.

DEP Regulatory Review Process

Feb. 02, 2018 /

On Friday, Jan. 26, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a plan for speeding up the permitting process in Pennsylvania. This was of particular interest to me as I spend a great deal of time trying to resolve permitting issues for businesses and individuals alike.

Working to Reform the Commonwealth’s Budget Process

Jan. 18, 2018 /

The past few years have made it abundantly clear that Pennsylvania’s budget process needs major modifications. The large budget deficits that were avoidable and skyrocketing spending proposals – among other things – have been an embarrassment, and it’s time for things to change.

Legislative Year in Review

Jan. 08, 2018 /

During the first half of the 2017-18 legislative session, the House advanced a number of important bills that seek to improve education, make our communities safer, enhance quality of life for families and senior citizens, and reform government – all while standing up for taxpayers.

What is Biodiversity?

Jan. 03, 2018 /

According to Wikipedia, biological diversity or biodiversity, is defined as ‘The variability within species, between species and between ecosystems,’ in other words, the ‘variety and variability of life on Earth.’ Over the years, I have made an effort to plant new trees and shrubs in my yard, especially Black Walnut and Black Locust. I enjoy the shade these trees provide, so I went to a nursery and was informed that they were not available due to a lack of demand for native trees. I was determined to find a Black Locust and finally found some at a small nursery specializing in native plants.

Moving Forward on Property Taxes

Dec. 19, 2017 /

On Nov. 6, the people of Pennsylvania spoke loudly and clearly to advance the issue of protecting their homesteads and farmsteads from school property taxes.

Nurse Family Partnership

Dec. 07, 2017 /

On Nov. 3, I was invited to observe the Lancaster County Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) Advisory Committee. NFP is a program that has positively transform the lives of babies, mothers and families. The national program is evidence-based and has proven outcomes ranging from improved birth and child health to improved outcomes for mothers and families leading to a decreased use of the welfare and judicial systems. The NFP program changes lives for generations and saves taxpayers $5.70 for every $1 invested.

Improving Infrastructure, Easing Congestion

Nov. 30, 2017 /

The completion of Sixth Street to connect Orange Street and Rothsville Road on either side of Lititz has been a priority for the Lititz region for well over a decade. It was identified as a major transportation priority in 2004 specifically to improve traffic flow and pedestrian access through the borough by providing a much-needed east-west alternative to PA Route 772.

Reducing the size of the PA Legislature

Nov. 16, 2017 /

Could having 52 less legislators make it easier to reach agreement and pass a balanced budget on time? I agree with both the former Speaker of the House Sam Smith and our current Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai in supporting the concept of a reduction in the size of the Legislature.

New Unemployment Compensation Legislation

Nov. 09, 2017 /

In last week’s column, I outlined problems with the state’s Unemployment Compensation program (UC) that have arisen due to mismanagement. This week, I want to explain legislation that I support which is being drafted by Rep. Rob Kauffman, the chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee on which I serve.

Pennsylvania Needs to Better Reduce and Manage its Debt

Nov. 03, 2017 /

The House of Representatives earlier this month advanced debt reduction legislation similar to what I have been advocating for the past several years. Last session, I authored House Bill 80 that would have restricted the debt load the state is allowed to carry at any given time.

Wolf Vetoes Welfare Reform Bill

Oct. 23, 2017 /

By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz) Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf chose to veto House Bill 59, the comprehensive Human Services Code bill that would have helped provide critical treatment to opioid abusers; prevent fraud, waste and abuse within the welfare system; pave a pathway to prosperity for those who can work; and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars through reforms.

Budget Update, Part II

Oct. 02, 2017 /

By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz) In last week’s outlining the issues surrounding the 2017-18 state budget, I promised readers a detailed timeline of all budget-related events that have transpired this year. Here is that timeline:

Ceremony to Honor Vietnam Veterans

Sep. 22, 2017 /

The state representatives and senators representing Lancaster County are holding a commemorative ceremony honoring U.S. Vietnam War veterans on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at Hempfield High School, Performing Arts Center, 200 Stanley Avenue, Landisville.

Don’t Be Scammed by Skimmers

Sep. 22, 2017 /

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is warning consumers to be on the lookout for credit or debit card skimmers that steal your information when the card is swiped or inserted.