Feb. 17, 2017

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 The latest news from the State Capitol


Detailed Look into Governor’s Budget to Begin Next Week

 
My colleagues and I on the House Appropriations Committee will begin our detailed look into the governor’s $32.3 billion budget proposal as hearings begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The opening day of hearings will include testimony from the Independent Fiscal Office, and the departments of Revenue and State.

The remainder of the week will include looks into the proposed budgets of the pension systems, departments of Labor and Industry and Transportation, treasury, offices of auditor and attorney general and the State System of Higher Education.

The full schedule is available here, which will also include video of the archived hearings.

More information about the governor’s proposal is available here.
 
 
Committee Accepts Hunting, Fishing Reports from State Agencies

 
The House Game and Fisheries Committee accepted the annual reports of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during meetings this week.

In the face of declining revenues, both groups advocated for legislation that would allow them to set their own license fees. Last session, similar legislation that originated in the Senate passed out of committee in the House but was never voted on the floor.

Among the PGC’s top issues presented to the committee were the recruitment of a new class of wildlife conservation officer cadets, the closing of two of Pennsylvania’s four pheasant farms due to insufficient funding and a decline of the ruffed grouse population.

The PFBC addressed the agency’s fiscal challenges, noting that license fees have not increased since 2005 and expenses are expected to exceed revenue during the current fiscal year.
 
 
Protecting Our Children

 
To help educate the public about ways to further protect children, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has unveiled three new short YouTube videos that are also being aired statewide.

The videos are designed to raise awareness of the state’s child abuse reporting hotline (available at 800-932-0313) and background clearance requirements for people who have routine and direct access to children.

The videos are also available on the newly redesigned KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov website, which includes information for mandated reporters, child abuse clearance links and contact information for other child protection-related concerns.
 
 
Constituent Outreach Offered Next Week

 
A member of my staff will be at two locations next week to provide assistance with Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms:

• Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Falls Active Adult Center, 2813 Sullivans Trail, Falls.
• Thursday, Feb. 23, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Dallas Senior Center, 1158 Twin Stacks Drive, Dallas.

Veterans outreach hours will be offered on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Dallas district office, located at 1108 Twin Stacks Drive in Dallas, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A claims consultant from the Wilkes-Barre Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be on hand to address questions and concerns of local veterans and their families. For more information, call my Dallas office at 570-675-6000.

An outreach specialist from the Center for Independent Living will be at the Tunkhannock district office on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. These hours are offered by appointment only. To make an appointment, call my Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777.
 
 
Reminder: Offices Closed Monday, Feb. 20

All offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents Day. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 9 a.m.

Many state forms and legislative information are available 24/7 at RepBoback.com.
 
 
PennDOT Offers Internship Opportunities

PennDOT is offering internships for those seeking engineering, science and technical degrees, along with general government service, this summer.

A variety of internship positions will be filled, including those that may lead to full-time employment after graduation. Click here to learn more about the types of internships offered

Applications for the summer program will be accepted through March 30.

More information, including application instructions, is available here.
 
 
PennDOT Urges Drivers to Use Caution During Winter Weather

 
Winter weather and the potential for heavy snow squalls are in the forecast for areas of northeastern Pennsylvania.

PennDOT recommends motorists avoid traveling during winter storms if possible, but motorists who must be on the road are urged to use caution while driving.

If motorists do encounter snow squalls while traveling, PennDOT offers this advice:

• Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
• Turn on your headlights.
• Stay in your lane.
• Increase your following distance.
• Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
• Reduce in-car distractions since your full attention is required.
• Use defroster and wipers.
• Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
• During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.
• Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could create a chain-reaction collision.
• Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
• Always buckle up and never drink and drive.

Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.
 
 
PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

 
In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18, through Monday, Feb. 20. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
   
 
Lackawanna County Concealed Carry Seminar Set for April 11


Registration is now available for my first concealed carry seminar of 2017, which will be held on Tuesday, April 11, from 6-8 p.m. at the Dalton Fire Hall. The seminar is free and open to residents of the 117th Legislative District who are interested in learning more about our state’s concealed carry laws.

For more information and to register, visit Rep.Boback.com or call my Tunkhannock district office at 570-836-4777. 
 
 
Are You Interested in Another Luzerne County Concealed Carry Seminar?

I would like to hear from you! Discussion is currently underway for another Luzerne County Concealed Carry Seminar, and I would like to gauge the demand for such an event. I have offered 13 concealed carry seminars over the past few years in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

Please call my Dallas district office at 570-675-6000 to express your interest. I will schedule a seminar if it becomes apparent there will be adequate participation.
 

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Office Locations
1108 Twin Stacks Drive, Dallas PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
314-C Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com
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