Apr. 06, 2018

Should State Legislators Get Taxpayer-Funded Cars?

State legislators currently are eligible to receive a taxpayer-funded car as long as the monthly lease payment is not more than $628. Most of the costs for repairs, insurance, gasoline, oil changes, tolls and car washes also are paid by taxpayers. There are approximately 30 legislators who currently have state cars.

I do not accept a state car, have never accepted a state car, and have introduced legislation to ban the practice of providing state cars for legislators.

The House State Government Committee on Tuesday, April 10, will host an informational meeting about my legislation beginning at 10 a.m. I plan to show the hearing live on my website and the video from the hearing should be on my website for the public to view a few days after the event.

Committee informational meetings often are the first step in the legislative process. After the informational meeting, the committee may at a future hearing bring the legislation up for a vote. If the bill is approved by the committee, it then would go to the full House for consideration.

I will continue to fight for commonsense reforms like this to save taxpayer money by eliminating the unnecessary perks enjoyed by some state legislators.
Hearing Focuses on Distracted Drivers

In Pennsylvania, 16,050 distracted driving crashes resulted in 69 fatalities during 2016, with the state courts reporting a 52 percent increase in citations for distracted driving last year. That’s why the House Transportation Committee is continuing to look into the issue with a public hearing this week on two current proposals.

House Bill 1684 would prohibit operating a motor vehicle while making or taking calls on a hand-held mobile phone, except with the use of a hands-free accessory. The bill would further prohibit a driver under age 18 from operating a motor vehicle while using any hand-held mobile phone, including a hands-free accessory.

House Bill 892 would create an additional summary offense for distracted driving if a driver is also found to be driving carelessly. The fine for distracted driving would be $50.

A wide variety of behaviors are considered distracted driving, including using an electronic device, grooming device, food and drink, and printed material. More information about distracted driving is available here.

April is also recognized as National Distracted Driving Month, a good time to put down the phone and other distractions, and practice safer driving.
Check Out a State Park Near You

Now that spring has arrived, the nicer weather will allow Pennsylvanians more opportunities to explore our state’s 121 beautiful state parks, operated by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

Pennsylvania’s state parks system manages 300,000 acres for popular recreation activities, such as hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, hunting and boating.

Pennsylvania state parks do not charge an entrance fee; however, fees do apply for some activities.

If you like to enjoy the outdoors with your dog, 56 of our state parks offer dog-friendly campgrounds. Click here to learn more or to find a park nearby.

Visitors can make reservations online here or by calling 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
New Motorcycle Safety Clinics Offered

PennDOT is offering new Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) clinics in 2018 that are designed to focus on developing operator proficiency among prospective, experienced and new Pennsylvania riders. Clinics are offered free of charge to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license.

PAMSP will offer five revamped training syllabuses tailored not just to hone riders’ knowledge, but to test their ability to physically manipulate a motorcycle properly.

All training clinics are conducted under the supervision of certified instructors at one of numerous riding ranges located throughout the state. Three of the clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC) and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) – offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license.

Act 84 of 2012 requires that all permit holders under age 18 successfully complete the BRC to receive their motorcycle license.

For more information or to enroll in a clinic, visit pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533.