It will be an interesting caucus meeting on Monday

Article posted on September 30, 2014

I received an email today from our Senate Majority Leader Domenic Peleggi. It contained a letter he received last week from Senator Scott Wagner criticizing him for his actions as Leader. Not surprisingly, this letter ended up in the hands of the press. I fielded two media calls on this subject and heard from one member. The main point of the criticism is the lack of movement of some bills. This comes down to a policy decision that has been debated lately, especially since Paycheck Protection awaits action. We received another email tonight from several others in leadership who said that the matter would be better resolved internally. It will be an interesting caucus meeting on Monday.

-John

Thanks for the hospitality over the years

Article posted on September 29, 2014

I’m all over the district this week. I was in Huntingdon this afternoon and Bedford tonight for my last town hall in that county. We met at the senior center at the Fort Bedford Inn. Since it was my last town hall there, the people wanted to know what I liked about representing Bedford County and how I saw things progressing. There weren’t many, if any, tougher questions about legislation or my positions on things. I thanked them for coming out and their hospitality over the years. Tomorrow night is another town hall at the Penn Twp. Municipal Building in Hesston. Hope to see you then.

-John

The public should know everyone who has been involved

Article posted on September 28, 2014

The papers over the last few days have had numerous stories about pornographic emails circulating in the Attorney General’s office when Tom Corbett was the AG. The subject matter was released by Kathleen Kane, the current occupant of that office. She went a step further later this week and released the names of a few of those employees involved. There has been criticism from various quarters of the people named and attempts to drag the Governor into the fray. I agree that the office, especially a government office, is no place to pass around pornographic emails. With sexual discrimination and related issues being a common subject of legal action against employers, the Attorney General’s office is the last place you’d think something like this would happen. Given the history of AG Kane using her office for political gain, I have been watching this story closely. Only the names of men who have been appointed to high profile positions in the Corbett administration have been released. We’re not sure how many people were engaged in this activity, but we do know that there are considerably more. Supreme Court Chief Justice Castille wants to know if any judges were in the email chains, because that may be an ethics violation for them. Since the media isn’t asking, I’d like to know who else was involved. Were there people who now are key people in General Kane’s office or another Democrat’s office or high profile Democrats themselves? If these actions are worthy of public attention, then it’s important for the public to know everyone who has been involved.

-John

So far, it looks pretty good

Article posted on September 27, 2014

Last night I attended the St. Thomas Volunteer Fire Company’s 50th Anniversary Banquet. I had my first Franklin County town hall meeting in their building earlier this year. I was glad they included me last evening and appreciate their efforts to protect that community. Today I participated in the Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy 6th Annual Trap Shoot. I’ve done this one a couple of times before. It’s held at the Laurel Run Rod and Gun Club in Mineral Point. I shot a 43 out of 75, not great. Two of the guys on my team were in the 60’s and the other guy hit a 72. I’m going to have to step it up a little to shoot with this crowd. I got home in time to do a little painting on the truck. I had body work done a couple of weeks ago and I need to do the painting. I have two colors to work with, so the Arizona Beige went on today and the True Blue is scheduled for tomorrow. So far, it looks pretty good.

-John

I’m anxious to try it out at the range

Article posted on September 26, 2014

Each year Penn State hosts an Ag Research Tour for legislators and I always try to attend. The 2014 Tour was yesterday at Rock Springs. We visited 6 stations staffed by professors, who discussed various issues involved with GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). I learned a lot about how far along science has brought our food supply, both with plants and animals. After taking care of some office work in the afternoon and stopping by a Chamber reception, I attended the Blair County Friends of the NRA Dinner. Having been to many of these dinners and many more gun raffles over the years and never winning anything, my luck changed last night. The final drawing of the evening was for a Kimber Custom II – 45 caliber hand gun, and I won it. I wasn’t familiar with this gun, but heard great things about it from everyone I’ve spoken to. I’m anxious to try it out at the range.

-John

Headed to the House for concurrence

Article posted on September 25, 2014

Another bill that was passed in the Senate yesterday was the Act 47 rewrite that has been in the works for several years. I amended it earlier in the week to include three changes, the most noted was a clarification that brings parity to the authorization of additional tax options across the Commonwealth. The City of Pittsburgh was not happy because they could have added a new tax beyond what other municipalities could add, without this language. It passed unanimously and is expected to get to a House concurrence vote in October.

-John

I hear that the House will not be as supportive

Article posted on September 24, 2014

The Senate passed the medical marijuana bill today by a vote of 43-7. I was one of the 7. I have the utmost respect for the sponsor, Mike Folmer, and I have sympathy for the people who think marijuana will help them with pain or seizures, but every drug and alcohol professional I know said legalizing this would be a mistake. Although the people that advocate for this are very passionate and cite lots of anecdotal evidence that it helps with medical problems, the scientific and medical communities are not supportive. There is also the fact that federal law states this is an illegal drug, although our current President says that his Justice Dept. will not enforce this law and several others that he personally doesn’t like. I hear that the House will not be as supportive of this bill.

-John

I appreciate their advocacy and the recognition

Article posted on September 23, 2014

A lot of bills are moving through the system quickly. Today, we had somewhat of a floor fight over amendments to the Act 47 legislation that I am helping with in the Senate. We won the battle today and hope to get the bill passed tomorrow and sent to the House for concurrence. The medical marijuana bill passed through the Appropriations Committee today, without my vote. It is expected to be on the floor calendar tomorrow and will have the votes to pass. I don’t think it will get through the House, however, at least if it were voted on today. I was honored to receive another Guardian of Small Business award today from NFIB. They present these to members at the end of each session if their voting records are favorable to the interests of small business. I appreciate their advocacy and the recognition.

-John

Senator Eichelberger Named Guardian of Small Business

Article posted on September 23, 2014

HARRISBURG (September 23, 2014) – For the fourth consecutive legislative session, Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair) has been recognized for his staunch support of small businesses in Pennsylvania.

“Small businesses are undoubtedly the backbone of the state’s economy. They provide good jobs, manufacture top-notch products, offer outstanding services, and reinvest in their local communities,” said Senator Eichelberger. “In addition to being an elected official, I am a small business owner, so I fully understand the importance of passing legislation that can promote a healthy business environment.”

Senator Eichelberger was presented the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) at a ceremony in Harrisburg this morning. The NFIB rates every lawmaker at the end of each two-year legislative session based on their voting record. Senator Eichelberger has been named a Guardian of Small Business every session since taking office, earning a 100 percent rating for voting favorably on key small business issues each time. Key issues include health care, legal reform, private property rights, competition and a variety of tax measures.

“I’ve always supported efforts to eliminate or repeal prohibitive taxes and reduce government interference and will continue to do so in order to ensure small businesses and working families will succeed,” said Senator Eichelberger.

Neal Lesher (left), NFIB Legislative Director, and Kevin Shivers (right), NFIB Executive State Director, presented Senator Eichelberger with the Guardian of Small Business statue at a ceremony in Harrisburg on September 23, 2014.

Neal Lesher (left), NFIB Legislative Director, and Kevin Shivers (right), NFIB Executive State Director, presented Senator Eichelberger with the Guardian of Small Business statue at a ceremony in Harrisburg on September 23, 2014.

Please contact Patrick Schurr, Executive Assistant, at 814-695-8386, or email pschurr@pasen.gov for additional information.

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An example of politics trumping common sense

Article posted on September 22, 2014

I had a bill get through Appropriations today. The legislation would make Navigators, the people who are appointed by the federal government to help citizens purchase insurance through the exchange, register with the PA Insurance Dept. and undergo a criminal background check. These are reasonable consumer protection measures for people who have access to people’s personal financial information and social security numbers. The largest association using Navigators sent out a letter to support the bill. Unfortunately, the Democrats unanimously voted against it. So, the bill passed on a party line vote. The Democrats’ positions were an example of politics trumping common sense. Their concern about changes to any part of ObamaCare outweighed protecting the interests of the very people they are elected to represent.

-John