Jun. 07, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

Sims Censure Resolution Filed


On Thursday, I filed House Resolution 387 (excerpted below) calling for the censure of Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia).

“Representative Brian Sims recorded himself, on two separate occasions, verbally attacking individuals who were peacefully protesting at Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania.

“In one video, Representative Sims recorded himself berating, harassing and violating the First Amendment rights of an individual, whom he labeled an ‘old, white lady,’ for peacefully protesting and praying in public.

“In the second video, Representative Sims again recorded himself berating and harassing others; and went a step further calling for the ‘doxing’ of three female children.

“Representative Sims posted these videos on social media; and the ‘doxxing’ called for in the second video refers to an effort by Representative Sims to solicit strangers on his social media page to provide the personal-identifying information, (i.e. names and addresses of the three female children), stating on the video, ‘I’ve got $100 to anyone who will identify these three.’

“It should be noted that Representative Sims also used his elected position to intimidate the individuals with whom he was interacting; clearly stating on the videos that he was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“Be it resolved, pursuant to Section 11, Article 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, that the House of Representatives censure Representative Brian Sims for his actions which tend to bring the House of Representatives into dishonor and disrepute.

“Be it further resolved, pursuant to Section 11, Article 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, that the House of Representatives remove Representative Brian Sims from his position on all standing committees; and that the House not appoint him to any standing, select or special committee, agency, authority, board or commission.”

“I am appealing to as many of my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support House Resolution 387 and to strongly consider signing on as a co-sponsor.”
Committees Examine Impacts of Medical Marijuana on Gun Rights

Earlier this week, as a member of both the House Health and Judiciary committees, I participated in a joint public hearing focusing on medical marijuana use and Second Amendment rights.

While medical marijuana use is legal under state law, it remains a violation of federal law. Federal law also prohibits anyone who is an “unlawful user” or addicted to any controlled substance from buying or owning a firearm.

Committee members heard from law enforcement officials and representatives of gun rights organizations.

Key points of the discussion included the need to better inform medical marijuana users about the impact on their Second Amendment rights and how HIPAA laws protect patients from disclosing their use of medical cannabis.

Law enforcement officials also talked about other enforcement-related issues, such as how to administer field sobriety tests on a driver suspected of using cannabis.
Continuing to Support PA Military, Veterans

In recognition of the service and sacrifice of active duty military and veterans in the Commonwealth, I am always working together with my colleagues to enact policies that help and support these courageous men and women and their families.

This week, the House approved House Bill 630 to extend Pennsylvania’s current employment protections to Pennsylvania citizens who are members of another state’s National Guard and are called up to serve outside of the Commonwealth.

We also voted to approve House Bill 1050 to ensure an in-state tuition rate for military families as soon as a student enrolls in a public college or university, regardless of whether his or her military parent is reassigned out of the state.

Both bills are now pending consideration in the Senate.

For more information about state services and support for our military and veterans, visit the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website at www.dmva.pa.gov.
Follow the PA Ice Cream Trails!

There’s nothing like a delicious ice cream cone or sundae on a warm summer day or night…or both!

To help Pennsylvanians find the best of the best and support local farms, the state departments of Agriculture and Community and Economic Development have unveiled an expanded Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail program for 2019.

The program includes a passport that visitors can have stamped at each of 32 stops along the three trails in eastern, southcentral and western Pennsylvania. More information about creameries on the trail, including a downloadable passport and prize information, can be found at www.visitPA.com/scoops.

The trails officially opened June 1 in conjunction with the start of PA Dairy Month. The Commonwealth is ranked sixth in total milk production nationally, with 525,000 cows producing more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk each year.

We have the second largest number of dairy farms in the country, second only to Wisconsin. The average herd size is around 80 cows, and 99 percent of all dairy farms in Pennsylvania are family owned.
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237 West Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
Email: jknowles@pahousegop.com
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