Here's the latest State Capitol ROUNDUP courtesy of Rep. Bob Mensch (R-147):
Gaming, Transportation, Voting to be Discussed in Upcoming Hearings
Several public hearings and committee meetings are scheduled this coming week in the state House. On Monday, the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the status of national and state transportation infrastructure. On Tuesday, the Gaming Oversight Committee will discuss a number of reform proposals to bring integrity to the state's gaming industry. Also on Tuesday, the House Education Committee will hold a public hearing on proposed basic education funding for the 2008-09 budget year. On Thursday, the State Government Committee will hold a public hearing on legislation that would allow 17-year-olds to register and vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the time of the subsequent municipal or general election. For more information on upcoming committee meetings, visit PAHouseGOP.com.
Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus Program Applications Available
Veterans of the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 are now eligible for a bonus from the state of up to $75 per month served. The Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus Program was created by Act 29 of 2006 and was approved by voters during that year's general election. The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs this week presented checks to the first three recipients of the bonus program, two to the veterans themselves and one to the family of a veteran killed in action. In addition to the time of service bonus, families of veterans killed in action are eligible for a $5,000 survivors bonus. Also, a one-time benefit of up to $5,000 may be awarded if the service member was declared a prisoner of war at any time during the period of qualifying service, which is Aug. 2, 1990, to Aug. 31, 1991. For more information or to apply for the bonus, visit RepMensch.com.
Proposal Aims to Protect Propane, Heating Oil Consumers
Consumers who enter into long-term, pre-paid contracts with propane gas or home heating oil companies would be better protected under legislation introduced by Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester). More consumers are pursuing these contracts to establish a fixed price for their heating fuel, but many have lost their money when the companies with whom they contracted went out of business. House Bill 2473 requires propane and oil companies to take one of three steps before entering into any long-term contracts to ensure its customers are protected. The bill also ensures consumers are protected under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, which allows them to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit in court and to pursue the matter through the state Attorney General's office. The bill was referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee.