Senator Eichelberger Reviews 2017 Record, Previews Goals for 2018

Article posted on January 9, 2018

HOLLIDAYSBURG (January 9, 2018) – Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair) today released his annual report, giving a full accounting of his expenditures for 2017, recapping successes from the past legislative year, and previewing his goals for the year ahead.

“The people of the 30th District deserve nothing less than honest and transparent government,” said Senator Eichelberger. “I look forward to printing, in black and white, how much money I have been able to save every year by keeping operational costs low and spending at a minimum. It also proves that my staff and I can provide outstanding services while staying well below the full budget allotted to each senator.”

Senator Eichelberger traveled about 32,051 miles on Senate business in 2017, attending 69 session days, 455 meetings in Harrisburg, 318 events and meetings in the district, and 94 meetings and events other places around the Commonwealth. He did not request reimbursement for approximately $6,538 of eligible in-district mileage. He also did not request reimbursement for $10,403.12 of eligible per diem expenses in 2017. For the 10th straight year, Senator Eichelberger returned his Cost of Living Adjustment.

READ: 2017 Year End Report

2017 proved to be Senator Eichelberger’s busiest year ever as he became Chair of the Senate Education Committee. Under his leadership, the Committee conducted a series of public hearings on school choice, the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), graduation requirements, and the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“We’re in a position now to advance a number of sorely needed measures, including: introducing more accountability into the teacher and school evaluation system, and improving opportunities for vocational and technical career readiness. Everything we’re doing is for student achievement and taxpayer protection.”

In addition to chairing the Education Committee, Senator Eichelberger remained as the appointed Vice Chair of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, a subcommittee chair of the Appropriations Committee, and continued to serve on the Finance, Judiciary, and Local Government Committees in 2017.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Eichelberger again had a unique opportunity to stand up for Pennsylvania’s taxpayers, especially during the budget hearings.

“State spending is out of control, and it has been for far too long. When the department secretaries came before the committee, I asked them to explain how their departments can cut costs, instead of simply requesting additional funding. I’m not going to ask any less of them this year.”

Senator Eichelberger continued to chair the Local Government Commission, which worked this year on developing proposals that would modernize and standardize the county property assessment process. The bulk of the reassessment legislation is expected to be introduced in the near future.

Senator Eichelberger’s “Paycheck Protection” bill passed the Senate, the first time such legislation cleared either chamber. It was defeated in the House, but could be brought up for a vote again.

“It is unethical for public resources to be utilized as a means to support political activity, period. I, along with my colleagues who recognize that, will continue the fight to end this corrupt practice.”

The legislature passed Senator Eichelberger’s “Cordelia’s Law,” named after a neglected horse found so emaciated she could not be saved, as part of a larger bill to strengthen the state’s animal protection law.

“I was thrilled that the long process my staff and I took, with the support of others, to include equine abuse in the animal protection law has finally been accomplished.”

Senator Eichelberger held a series of public workshops across western Pennsylvania to explain the purpose and need for legislation he’s introduced that would allow voters to call for a limited Constitutional Convention. He’s hoping the Senate will take action on the bill early this year.

Also in the new session, among other legislation, Senator Eichelberger intends to aggressively pursue measures to ensure the state is using taxpayers’ money effectively and efficiently; fair arbitration and collective bargaining processes for uniformed municipal employees, and regulations for the involvement of lobbyists in political campaigns.

 

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

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