Canton High School Student Named Miss Teen of America 2018
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Harrisburg Happenings


The latest news from the State Capitol

Canton High School Student Named Miss Teen of America 2018

Earlier this week, I presented a citation to Alana Castle in the House chamber in recognition of her being named Miss Teen of America 2018. Alana is the daughter of Jonathan and Yonna Castle of Canton, and is a student at Canton High School. Pictured (from left) are Jonathan Castle, Alana’s father; JanNeita Taylor, her grandmother; The Rev. Dwayne Taylor, her grandfather; Alana; me; and Yonna Castle, her mother.

House Passes Measure to Update State’s Abortion Law
The House this week approved legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s abortion law by changing the timeframe in which a woman could get an abortion from up to 24 weeks gestation to 20 weeks. This change is due to new medical advancements that allow for a child to live outside the mother’s womb beginning at 20 weeks, instead of the previous 24 weeks. Due to the infants’ viability, and new information that a child can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks gestation, Senate Bill 3 passed the General Assembly. The legislation would also prohibit dismemberment abortions in most circumstances. Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf has already stated he will not sign the bill.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Extension
To help ensure coverage of the popular and successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), legislation is currently on the governor’s desk to extend the program for two more years.

For 25 years, CHIP has provided insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance.

CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria.

More than 180,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP.

More information about CHIP is available online at

House OKs State Budget Reforms, Spending Control Measures
In ongoing efforts to stand up for taxpayers, the House this week approved historic legislation to change budget-making in Harrisburg by bringing integrity, transparency and spending limits to the state budget and budget process.

The legislative package – House Bills 1940-1945 – requires transparency through an official estimate of how much money the state will have, more information about the balances in taxpayer-supported special funds used to provide grants and subsidies, and the creation of monetary reserves during revenue shortfalls.

Additionally, a proposed state constitutional amendment to limit state spending, House Bill 110, would impose a cap based on recent increases in the Consumer Price Index and state population growth. A constitutional amendment must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions and then by the state’s voters.

These measures, which are now headed to the Senate, are in addition to a new state law requiring performance-based budgeting. This information will help legislators decide which programs to fund and which to shut down.

Farmers Be Counted! Census of Agriculture Underway

Farmers across Pennsylvania are encouraged to take part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The census seeks to count anyone who earns at least $1,000 per year growing food or other crops. The data is used to develop food and agriculture policies and programs for the entire country, including funding decisions.

Census questionnaires are being mailed to farmers, ranchers and growers this month. The 2017 census form, which requires an estimated 50 minutes to complete, must be returned by Feb. 5, 2018, but respondents are encouraged to respond online at

The web-based questionnaire allows access from any electronic device, and farmers can return their draft responses as their schedules allow. The new online form saves time and improves convenience for respondents, while capturing a more detailed account of U.S. farming and ranching.

With Pennsylvania a leader in the agriculture industry, it is important our farmers and producers stand up and be counted.

Renew Dog Licenses Now
Pet owners are reminded to renew their dog’s license for 2018. All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed in Pennsylvania, either on an annual basis or with a lifetime license.

Annual license fees vary from $6.50 to $8.50, with fee reductions for senior citizens and those owners with disabilities. Lifetime license costs are $31.50 or $51.50. Applications for license renewals can be found here. Completed applications must be returned to the owner’s county treasurer’s office.

Under Pennsylvania state law, owners who fail to license and/or immunize their dogs could face fines up to $300 per violation for each dog three months of age or older. In addition, owners of non-vaccinated pets may be fined up to $300 plus court costs.
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74 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 | Phone: 570-724-1390
121 Canton Street, Troy, PA 16947 | Phone: 570-297-3045
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