Office Locations 
Capitol Office
53B East Wing
PO Box 202051
Harrisburg PA 17120-2051
Phone: (717) 783-5173
FAX: (717) 782-2963
                    
District Offices:
Fayette Chamber of Commerce Building
65 West Main Street, Suite 200
Uniontown, PA 15401
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 724-438-6100
Fax: 724-438-6104

Meyersdale Community Center
215 Main Street, Meyersdale, PA 15552 
Open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Telephone: 814-634-4390

Confluence Community Center
711 Logan Place, Confluence, PA 15424 
Open the first and third Thursdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Telephone: 814-634-4390 

Ohiopyle Stewart Community Center
15 Sherman Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Open the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Telephone: 814-634-4390
 
Current Legislation

It continues to be an honor and privilege to serve you, the residents of the 51st Legislative District.

The following is a listing of some of the legislation I have introduced and supported so far in this 2017-18 Legislative Session:



Reinventing State Government for the 21st Century

Package prime sponsors: Reps. Seth M. Grove, Stephen Bloom, Jonathan Fritz, Francis X. Ryan, Justin M. Walsh, and Matthew D. Dowling.

As part of his 2017-18 budget, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed merging state agencies including the Department of Corrections with the Board for Probation and Parole; and the departments of Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging with the Department of Human Services. While this proposal did not make it into the final budget, we believe the governor was right to assess where the Commonwealth can streamline state government to improve state services and reduce costs to taxpayers.

Under these proposals, state government is streamlined by merging eight Commonwealth agencies to operate government more efficiently and effectively.

These new agencies would be the Commonwealth Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development (DBTWD), the Department of Local Government and Community Affairs (DLGCA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Our proposal will serve to foster economic prosperity by creating a one-stop shop for workers and job creators through DBTWD. This proposal would consolidate all economic development initiatives within one state agency. This allows state government to coordinate these programs, while eliminating redundancies, to meet industry needs and match more workers with employment.
In addition, this proposal would create healthier communities by adopting Wolf’s proposal for establishing the new Department of Health and Human Services while placing greater emphasis on coordination to ensure continuity of care.

Finally, our proposal would work to establish safer and healthier communities by realigning state government to be more responsive to the needs of local governments. This would be done through the DLGCA, which would work with local governments to reduce the burden of complying with state regulations and mandates. This is the bill I have sponsored. Read more below.


Department of Local Government and Community Affairs, House Bill 2103

Part of Reinventing State Government for the 21st Century Package

Under Gov. Tom Ridge, the Commonwealth merged multiple departments together to form the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This merger diluted the Commonwealth’s focus on economic and community development by merging the two under DCED.

This proposal would merge elements of different state agencies to create a new state department, called the Department of Local Government and Community Affairs.

This department would be comprised of powers and authorities from the Department of State and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).


Promote Work and Community Engagement among Medical Assistance Beneficiaries, House Bill 2138

Under my House Bill 2138, the Commonwealth will apply to the federal government for approval of a waiver to require work or community engagement as a condition of eligibility for Medical Assistance for able-bodied recipients.

Once approved by the federal government, the program will be critical to promoting better mental, physical, and emotional health in furtherance of the Medical Assistance program objectives.
The following exceptions ensure the requirement is applied only to those who are truly able to work:
  • An enrollee who is attending high school full time.
  • An individual who is receiving temporary or permanent long-term disability benefits.
  • An individual who is under 19 years of age or those who are 65 and older.
  • Pregnant women.
  • SSI beneficiaries.
  • An individual residing in a mental health institution or correctional institution.
  • An individual experiencing a crisis, serious medical condition or temporary condition, which prohibits employment, including, but not limited to, domestic violence or a substance use disorder.
  • Those who are a primary caregiver to a dependent under 6 years of age.
  • Those who are the primary caregiver for a person who is permanently disabled or in hospice.
The policy goals of helping individuals and families rise out of poverty and attain independence aligns with the current work requirements applicable to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This has passed the House 115-80 and is now in the Senate for consideration.


Programs of Study for High Priority Occupations (has yet to get a bill number)

Under this legislation, the Department of Education will identify programs of study that train individuals for high priority occupations, with a focus on programs that provide industry-recognized credentials, including programs that are non-credit and programs that can be earned in less than two years. Students attending these programs will be eligible for scholarships from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

This legislation expands on the Targeted Industry Cluster Certificate Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to students seeking employment in only three sectors, which leaves out a number of in-demand careers.


State Routes as Scenic Byways Legislation, House Bill 2066

I have introduced legislation clarifying the designation of State Route 40 in Southwestern Pennsylvania as a scenic road. It is the intent of this legislation to designate the original National Road and not any rerouted portion of U.S. Route 40.


Legislation to ensure the protection of Second Amendment Rights during declarations of emergency, House Bill 2021

Considering the Governor’s declaration of emergency on the opioid epidemic, some concerns have been raised regarding the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
For example, a declaration of emergency, as defined by Title 18 of the PA Crimes Code, limits, among other things, the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. During an emergency, “no person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property…” with the exemption of those licensed to carry a firearm under section 6109, exempt from licensing under section 6106(b), or “actively engaged in defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.” An argument could be made that this declaration of emergency would limit commonwealth residents’ right to open carry. Our Second Amendment rights are part of the very fabric of our nation and should not be infringed upon.


Electronic Incapacitation Devices for Self-Defense (yet to have a bill number)

This bill would further protect individuals using electric or electronic incapacitation devices (Tasers) for self-defense.

Under current law, it is required for the electric or electronic incapacitation device to be labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the damages involved in its use. If the device itself is not labeled with, or accompanied by, these items it can be a criminal offense to possess the incapacitation device.

Amending this law would allow people to own the incapacitation device if the label has been worn off, removed or not on the device without fear of legal ramifications. The owner would still need to be a law-abiding citizen to be able to legally own the device.


Fleeing a Police Officer on Foot, House Bill 2305

It is illegal for a driver to willfully fail to stop, flee or elude a police officer who has given a signal to the driver to bring his vehicle to a stop. The language of the law, however, does not apply to a person who pulls his vehicle over, but then flees on foot or otherwise fails to remain with the car.

Many police officers report this frequently occurs, and when it does it not only requires additional police response, but if a foot chase occurs, it may pose a danger to the officer as well as the public. If the person eventually surrenders without a struggle, there are no consequences for the trouble caused.

I have introduced legislation which will correct that loophole by requiring a person who has been ordered to pull his vehicle over not only to stop, but also remain in or at the vehicle. Grading of the offense would be the same as is now applied to a failure to stop the vehicle.


Legislation Requiring Local Government Approval before Abandoning State Roads, House Bill 880

This bill would require local government approval before a state road can be abandoned within its borders by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Under current law, a state road abandoned by PennDOT is automatically maintained by, and at the expense of, the township, borough, incorporated town or city wherein the road is located. As a result, these municipalities are often forced to support abandoned state roads without giving any consent. By mandating local ownership over such roads, we are harming the delivery of essential local services and forcing property tax increases to pay for the necessary maintenance. For these reasons, local governments should not be forced to accept responsibility for any abandoned state road unless they have first given their approval prior to PennDOT taking action.