The word “miracle” has been used

Article posted on February 28, 2014

Lillie turned 7 today. She has all of the spotlight at home after we lost Keano a couple of months ago. We can see a difference in her behavior since she’s on her own, but she seems to be adjusting reasonably well. Charlotte is baking a “dog” birthday cake for her tomorrow. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I walked down Allegheny Street at lunchtime to see last night’s fire damage. It was devastating. Most of the one side of that block will have to be leveled. The word “miracle” has been used when talking about the absence of death and injuries during the evacuation. There were 7 families in the apartment building, and people in the businesses when the fire started. Thanks to the volunteer firefighters who worked most of the night in the cold.

-John

I appreciate programs that educate those who attend

Article posted on February 27, 2014

I’ve been tied up today and haven’t heard or seen any news, but as I attended a reception and meeting tonight, I was told about a very large fire in Hollidaysburg and a fatal auto accident in the Cove. It’s a difficult time for those people affected by these tragedies. Please keep them in your prayers. This morning, I was in Huntingdon for the Chamber’s State of the County Address. The Commissioners did a very nice job of explaining the highlights of 2013. They used a power point to list the many issues they’ve encountered, including many numbers to emphasize the severity of the problems. I appreciate programs like this that educate those who attend.

-John

These are meetings I look forward to

Article posted on February 26, 2014

I was in Harrisburg for a day of meetings. I am the Senate’s representative on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation. This was my first meeting at 10:00. Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas represents the County Commissioners Assoc. on the committee and was in attendance, as well. We work on county probation issues of all types. In response to a problem identified by this committee, I’m sponsoring legislation that would provide for a means of disposal of property confiscated by probation agents. The bill is through the Senate and awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee. Courts and corrections issues have always interested me, so these are meetings that I very much look forward to.

-John

These officials should be in for a big raise

Article posted on February 25, 2014

I see that the temps are going way down again this week. I’m headed to Harrisburg early in the morning for a series of meetings. When I’m not in session and I have to attend something at the Capitol, part of the list of folks waiting to see me about an issue fill in whatever time I can spare. Time is a valuable commodity these days. A story broke today about the federal Attorney General telling state AG’s that they can skip defending their state’s laws if they feel they are unconstitutional. Of course, this has been his practice and the practice of some of his state counterparts since he took the lead a couple of years ago. This is more evidence of the constitutional crises we face in government. People neglecting their constitutional responsibility and making their own decision about what they think is right or, maybe, politically advantageous. These officials should be in for a big raise; they’re doing the work of an AG and a judge and the legislature.

-John

I’m looking forward to seeing the lake restored to its full glory

Article posted on February 24, 2014

So much for the break in the weather. At least Charlotte and I got our driveway cleared up over the weekend. I attended a Friends of Meadow Grounds Lake meeting this evening in McConnellsburg. Newly-elected State Rep. Jesse Topper was also invited to the meeting, so I picked him up in Bedford and we drove out together. They had a nice turnout of people at the meeting, including some from neighboring Franklin County. Jesse and I gave an update about the status of the Lake restoration, which is about a four-year project. The geotechnical report is nearly ready and the design work will follow. If the money is in place, the construction work will then be bid and completed. The Fish and Boat Commission is paying for the geotechnical study and the design. This really gets the project off to a great start. We’ve identified other funding and have asked the Friends group to work on a match of $100,000. The generosity of the people in this county is incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing the lake restored to its full glory.

-John

The two biggest topics of the weekend

Article posted on February 23, 2014

Well, the 2014 Jaffa Sports Show is in the record books. I never heard a final attendance number, but the consensus was that Sunday was a little light and that kept the weekend total less than last year, which was a record, as I recall. In any event, it was a big show and we had very little material to carry back to the office. I had a luncheon this afternoon, so I didn’t get to talk to as many people as I did on Friday and Saturday. But the topics I did hear about were public pensions, school property taxes, a start-up program for youth shooting and hunting, a proposed bill to outlaw tethering dogs, and a proposed catch and release program for bass. Two topics were brought up to me this weekend far more than the others, the state pension and Barack Obama. Taxpayers are worried that they are not going to be able to afford the pension costs and want something done to make the system more reflective of what’s standard in the private sector. Union employees are getting misinformation from their union bosses about what could happen to their pension. I guess the union boss strategy is to scare their members into action. This isn’t fair to anybody and shows a lack of respect for the people they are supposed to help. Barack Obama and his policies were brought up by people very frequently. Only two people all weekend said something nice about him, dozens of other comments were critical of his foreign policy, ObamaCare, regulatory and executive order abuse, and his anti-business, anti-energy positions.

-John

I learned a lot again today

Article posted on February 22, 2014

Another great time at the Jaffa Sports Show. I didn’t ask about the numbers, but the break in the weather brought out everybody and their brother. Yesterday was a little light, in my opinion, but we made up for it today. We ran out of many of the pickup truck load of items we brought. The discussions I had with people today included the topics of: pension reform, problems with trucks in a rural part of Huntingdon County, ObamaCare, Barack Obama in general, forming a nonprofit corporation, nonresident hunting license fees, out-of-state boat registration, truck registration fee increases, several groups talked to me about participating with events they’re having to help kids, and an interesting story about how the PA Game Commission could help with finding stolen guns. I learned a lot again today about the concerns of the people I represent.

-John

Nine hours’ worth of good conversations

Article posted on February 21, 2014

We had a good first day at the Jaffa Sports Show. I spoke with hundreds of people about a multitude of subjects including pension reform, the new rule about FCC monitoring of radio content, ObamaCare, the federal debt, the federal budget, state and federal regulations, unemployment compensation, public education, the new transportation act, and economic development. I get a good overview of what people are interested in after 9 hours of conversations.

-John

If you get a chance, stop by

Article posted on February 20, 2014

I end up writing my blog post in various places, under all sorts of conditions.  Tonight, I just got out of a dinner in Huntingdon and had to get a few things for the Jaffa Sports Show before driving home, so I’m at the Walmart parking lot.  We’ve done a lot of work for the Sportsman’s Show, as usual, and look forward to seeing everyone.  We have a few new items at our table along with the usual informational pieces.  The show is Friday 12:00 to 9:00, Saturday 10:00 to 9:00, and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00.  If you get a chance, stop by.

-John

New Electronic Proof of Insurance Law to Take Effect

Article posted on February 20, 2014

HOLLIDAYSBURG (February 20, 2014) – No more digging through the glove box trying to find your paper proof of insurance card. Starting Friday, February 21, 2014, the law will be effective to allow drivers to simply pull out their smartphones.

Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair) authored the legislation set to go into effect that makes two significant amendments to insurance sections of the state vehicle code.

Under the new law, Pennsylvanians will gain the option to receive their automobile financial responsibility identification card from their insurer solely in electronic format. Drivers can then use a mobile device as a legally-acceptable way to show that proof of insurance to a police officer.

The new law also eliminates the state requirement that policies with collision coverage include a $100 minimum deductible.

“This is a measure that allows Pennsylvania insurance companies to offer options, such as ‘vanishing deductibles,’ that are available in other states,” said Senator Eichelberger. “Their consumers have been anxious to take advantage of the latest technology and possibly save a little money.”

Governor Tom Corbett signed Senator Eichelberger’s legislation into law (2013 Act 132) in December after it was unanimously approved in both the House and Senate.

 

Please contact Patrick Schurr, Executive Assistant, at 814-696-6039 or email pschurr@pasen.gov for additional information.

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