The straight scoop

Article posted on December 16, 2017

After my men’s fellowship this morning, I went to breakfast with a group of the guys.  We had a nice time together, but it put me behind for the day.  I got some office work done and stopped for a couple of items on the way home before going with Charlotte to a party and then to a friend’s for dinner.  I ran into a man at a store this afternoon who was a local private sector union official.  He asked me about SB 166, Paycheck Protection, because he had been following it.  He was confused about what the bill would do and if his union would be affected.  I was surprised to hear that from someone in his position and explained to him the premise of the bill being that public resources should not be used for political activity.  Obviously, since he doesn’t work for a government entity, his union payments are not affected.  He seemed appreciative of the information.  I told him to call my office the next time he had questions about legislation, especially a bill I’m sponsoring.  We’ll give him the straight scoop.

-John

A new chapter in her life

Article posted on December 15, 2017

We had a successful Christmas Open House today; thanks to everyone who braved the cold and to my wife and staff for making cookies and taking care of the decorations, etc.  I appreciated the opportunity to speak with people about many issues, and was able to help solve a problem or two.  Later in the afternoon I was honored to present a Senate Citation to Margaret Angle on the occasion of her retirement from the Blair County Conservation District after completing 50 years of service.  I worked with Margaret for 22 years and have always appreciated her kindness and willingness to help.  She will be missed by everyone who worked with her.  I wish her the best as she starts a new chapter in her life.

-John

So far, we’re in pretty good shape

Article posted on December 14, 2017

I was back in the District today. After a Blair Chamber Breakfast, I had the Constitutional Convention workshop at Penn State Altoona.  We had a small, but interested crowd with folks from Blair and Huntingdon Counties.  I had to do a little shopping this afternoon for the Christmas Open House tomorrow.  It’s from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Hollidaysburg Office, and everyone is welcome.  At the capitol today, the Budget Secretary held his mid-year report.  As one news service said, it sounded like an election year report, with everything going well after three years of hard work by the administration.  Revenues are coming in better this year, slightly ahead of projections.  A big question is if the state makes what was budgeted on gambling revenues.  Looks like the Governor won’t be asking for large increases in spending next year, or higher sales or income taxes.  So far, we’re in pretty good shape.

-John

Our 3rd Constitutional Convention Workshop

Article posted on December 13, 2017

The House and Senate were both putting through a lot of bills again today.  The House finished later last night and came in at 8:30 for an hour this morning.  We did our usual Wednesday schedule with meetings and hearings this morning and session at 11:00.  The bill that got the most attention today, HB 1915, provides funding for the Unemployment Compensation centers to complete their technology upgrades and maintain adequate staff levels.  This legislation is the result of the shut down of several centers last December and the subsequent look at the mismanagement of the system.  The bill lays out a $115 million appropriation over four years with performance benchmarks that must be achieved throughout the timeline.  This situation is now in the limelight and will have legislative oversight.  I’m looking forward to seeing lots of folks tomorrow at Penn State Altoona for our 3rd Constitutional Convention Workshop.  The event is at 11:00 in the Misciagna Family Center, Rooms 101-103.

-John

LISTEN: Senator Eichelberger 12/13/17 Radio Interview

Article posted on December 13, 2017

On Wednesday morning’s edition of First News on NewsTalk 103.7 FM, Senator Eichelberger spoke about his Paycheck Protection bill, SB166, and its defeat in the House on Tuesday night; the passage of SB3, which would prohibit late-term abortions; and the decision by SERS to reinstate pension payments to a now-former Senator who pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy to commit mail fraud charges.

Click here to listen to Senator Eichelberger’s interview

Senator Eichelberger is a regularly scheduled guest on First News, joining the hosts every other Wednesday morning to share his perspective on current issues in the 30th District and in state government.

 

Governor Wolf didn’t learn

Article posted on December 12, 2017

There were a lot of bills on the calendars of the House and Senate today, with the House working late into the evening.  The other chamber was the one everyone watched as they worked through SB 3, the bill that would prohibit an elective abortion after 20 weeks and 6 days (changed from 24 weeks), and prohibit tearing apart a live baby in the womb to kill it.  This bill passed 121-70.  The House also ran my Paycheck Protection bill this evening, and defeated it 90-102 with 26 Republicans voting with all of the Democrats.  There was a Reconsideration motion filed after the vote to keep the bill eligible for another floor opportunity before the end of session.  This bill was weakened in the House by stripping out the prohibition on the collection of the portion of dues that is used for political activity, leaving just the prohibition of collecting PAC money.  Governor Wolf said that he would veto both bills if they came to his desk.  Sadly, with all of the time the Governor has spent at abortion clinics, he didn’t learn about the age the baby is deemed to be viable — now 20 weeks, 6 days.  And with all of the news about Bonusgate and other scandals in this building, he didn’t learn that using official government resources for political purposes is wrong.

-John

Governor Wolf’s radical agenda

Article posted on December 11, 2017

The House and Senate are both in session today.  We finished a number of bills on the floor including a concurrence vote on the CHIP program, which was amended in the House to remove the language that prohibited taxpayer-funded sex change operations on kids.  This program is scheduled to expire and reauthorization is critical for thousands of children who need healthcare.  The Governor unilaterally started using these funds for the sex change operations, and the hormone therapy and counseling that leads up to them.  We were hopeful that the General Assembly could change the program back to how it has always operated, without the additional cost of these dangerous procedures for the children of this state.  But most of the Senate felt it was too late to continue the fight for the program as it was originally intended.  We lost that battle as a two year extension was passed for Governor Wolf’s radical agenda, 42-7.

-John

Senator Eichelberger, Representatives McGinnis and Ward to Hold Multi-County Constitutional Convention Workshop

Article posted on December 11, 2017

HOLLIDAYSBURG (December 8, 2017) – Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr., (R-Blair), Representative Judy Ward (R-Hollidaysburg), and Representative John McGinnis (R-Altoona) will hold a regional public workshop to explain the purpose and need for proposed legislation calling for a limited Constitutional Convention.  Participants will include representatives from local organizations and state government officials from Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, and Huntingdon counties.

“I hear from folks all the time about changes they would like to see in the General Assembly, the court system, and the executive branch of state government, and the system just doesn’t have the political will to make substantial changes to itself,” said Senator Eichelberger. “My legislation would provide Pennsylvanians with the opportunity to directly take charge of reforming a system that needs reform.”

The presentation will include details on the legislative process, the structure and scope of the convention, as well as potential subjects of debate.

“It’s been 50 years since the previous review of our Constitution; it is definitely time for another to address a host of governmental issues,” Representative McGinnis said.

“I encourage area residents to join us to learn more about this proposed legislation,” added Representative Ward.

The workshop is free and open to the public.  Q&A will follow the presentation.

 

WHO:             Sen. John H. Eichelberger, Jr., Rep. John McGinnis and Rep. Judy Ward

WHAT:          Limited Constitutional Convention Workshop

WHEN:          Thursday, December 14, 2017, 11:00 AM to Noon

WHERE:       Penn State Altoona

 Misciagna Family Center, Rooms 101-103

 3000 Ivyside Park

 Altoona, PA 16601

 

This is the third in a series of Limited Constitutional Convention Workshops being held by Senator Eichelberger across western Pennsylvania.  Workshops in other parts of the state are expected to be scheduled in the future.

For more information, please contact Patrick Schurr, Executive Assistant, at 1-866-509-3424(EICH) or pschurr@pasen.gov.

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It’s a busy week

Article posted on December 10, 2017

There wasn’t much in the papers today; I thought there may be a story or two about legislation scheduled for this week, but I didn’t see anything.  We have a list of bills we expect to have on the calendar, but we could add to that depending on what the House might send over.  There are several hearings scheduled including one the Majority Policy Committee is holding on a matter before the PUC regarding the flow of gasoline to Pittsburgh from the east and the west.  The Laurel Pipeline is asking to change the direction of their product, which will change the dynamics of the market pricing in western PA, and not for the better.  Any caucus member is invited to attend this hearing, but I have two other committee conflicts at that time.  It’s a busy week.

-John

Senator Eichelberger to Host Annual Christmas Open House

Article posted on December 10, 2017

HOLLIDAYSBURG (December 8, 2017) – As we enter the heart of the holiday season, Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. and staff extend a warm invitation to join them at their annual Christmas Open House.

“It seems like every year people get busier and busier, especially around the holidays,” said Senator Eichelberger. “We’re welcoming folks to come in, take a break, and relax for a few minutes. I’m really looking forward to personally wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, not to mention sharing some very good food!”

Lunch with complimentary pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs and sauerkraut, homemade cookies and other goodies will be served. Senator Eichelberger is covering all of the expenses; no taxpayer dollars will be used.

The Christmas Open House runs from 10 AM to 2 PM on Friday, December 15, 2017, at the district office, 309 Allegheny Street in downtown Hollidaysburg.

RSVP is appreciated, but not required.

For more information, please contact Andrea Verobish, Legislative Aide, at 814-695-8386 or averobish@pasen.gov.

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