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State Representative Justin Simmons Nov.3rd Report

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The Weekly Roundup
Friday, November 3, 2017  The latest news from the State Capitol
Fixing a Broken State Government On Wednesday, I joined Rep. Stephen Bloom of Cumberland County at the Lehigh County Government Center to detail our support of a new proposal to host a limited constitutional convention in Pennsylvania, similar to the one that occurred in 1967. Rep. Bloom is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1967 and I am a co-sponsor.

The legislation would call for a limited constitutional convention, which could amend the state constitution to address the size of the Legislature, the state budget process and other areas.

The proposal would first allow voters to decide whether or not there should be a constitutional convention via referendum. If approved, the 163-member convention would be formed.

All final recommendations would require majority support from the 163 delegates. Those recommendations would then be placed on the ballot for approval or rejection by the voters.

You can watch a video of the news conference here.

Anti-Fraud Measure Signed into Law

Legislation to reform the local tax collection system to reduce instances of fraud was signed into law this week and will take effect Jan. 1.

Act 38 of 2017 prohibits checks made payable to a tax collector’s name only. Under the new law, checks should be made payable to the name of the tax collector along with the office, title or position; or be made out just to the office, title or position and then be deposited into a separate bank account used only for tax money.

Previously, the Local Tax Collection Law did not specify how taxes are to be paid, so it was left to individual tax collectors to determine how they want checks made out for the payment of taxes and to what account the tax money was to be deposited.

Changing how accounts are set up and how checks are written will give municipalities and taxpayers an added layer of protection by ensuring their tax dollars go where they are intended.

Economic Outlook

Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue collections for October were $2.175 billion, which was $34.6 million less than anticipated. So far this fiscal year, collections total $9.1 billion, or $9.5 million below the estimate. Learn more here.

Use Caution: Deer on the Move

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reminding motorists to slow down and stay alert for deer on the roadways.

Deer become more active in the autumn with the lead-up to their fall breeding season, commonly referred to as the “rut.” Autumn also sees a number of people taking part in outdoor activities that might flush deer from forested areas or briar thickets, and deer are more actively feeding to store energy for winter months. Add to this the end of daylight saving time, which results in more traffic between dawn and dusk, and the chances of vehicle accidents with deer increase significantly.

Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Be especially alert in “Deer Crossing” areas, and remember deer tend to travel in family groups, so if you see one deer, more are likely coming.

Honoring Our Veterans

Millions of people around the country will honor our nation’s veterans with ceremonies next weekend to commemorate Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11.

For more than 240 years, men and women in uniform have been called to serve our country by protecting our freedom and defending our democracy. Throughout the Veterans Day weekend, please take time to remember and thank the thousands of men and women who have served our country in the U.S. Armed Forces and who continue to make a positive difference in our communities.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, first marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and sought to honor the veterans of the World War – the only world war to have occurred at that time. Armistice Day was declared a national holiday in 1938 to acknowledge world peace, and then renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to celebrate the contributions of veterans of all wars.

Turn Those Clocks Back This Weekend

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, so don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

Experts recommend using this reminder to check or change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and located near bedrooms and on each level of the residence.

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