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Pennsylvania briefs

April 18, 2013

Pa. Senate passes legislation that would allow counties to eliminate position of jury commissioner

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation Thursday that would allow most Pennsylvania counties to eliminate the position of jury commissioner, according to a news release from state Sen. Richard Alloway II, R-Franklin/Adams/York.

Senate Bill 808 would allow county commissioners to eliminate the position by passing a resolution by a majority vote. Current officeholders would be allowed to serve out the remainder of their terms, the release stated.

“In most of our local counties, potential jurors are selected and educated regarding their responsibilities without the need for a jury commissioner. Many counties are struggling to balance their budgets, so this common-sense measure would give local officials another way to reduce costs to taxpayers,” Alloway said in the release.

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The legislation is similar to a bill signed into law last year to eliminate the position in most counties. The law was overturned by the state Supreme Court on procedural grounds, the release stated.

Senate Bill 808 was sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.

Mont Alto Volunteer Fire Dept. to get $29,165 grant

MONT ALTO, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster announced this week that the Mont Alto Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighter Grant for $29,165.

The funds will be used to purchase 25 sets of new turnout gear specifically designed for fighting forest fires, according to a news release.

“They will now have the necessary equipment to keep their firefighters safe while keeping Franklin County safe,” Shuster said in the release.

The gear consists of fire-resistant boots, helmets, Nomex hoods, pants and coats.

“We are absolutely thrilled with these funds and help from Congressman Shuster,” Mont Alto Fire Chief Danny Reed said in the release.

Since 2001, the Assistance to Firefighter Grant program has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards, the release stated.

General Asembly urged to back prevailing wage law reforms

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners on Tuesday added their voices to urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support reforms to prevailing wage laws.

Under the Prevailing Wage Act, local governments must pay prevailing wages on projects of $25,000 or more, an amount unchanged since the 1960s.

“Even smaller projects that once fell below the threshold, such as roofing repairs, are now subject to this mandate. As a result, these outdated and unnecessary prevailing wage requirements cost taxpayers millions of dollars by increasing the cost of capital projects by an estimated 10 to 30 percent,” Commissioners Chairman David Keller said in a news release.

Representatives of school districts, townships, boroughs and counties held a press conference about prevailing wage Monday at the state capital.

Alloway encourages anglers to buy multiyear licenses

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Richard Alloway II, R-Franklin/Adams/York, is urging local anglers to purchase a multiyear fishing license from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The new licenses, which were authorized by legislation that Alloway introduced last year, are available at the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com or through one of the more than 900 issuing agents across the state, including county treasurers’ offices and PFBC regional offices, according to a news release.

A three-year fishing license is valid through 2015 and a five-year license is valid through 2017. Customers who buy multiyear licenses save money by not having to pay transaction and processing fees each year, the release stated.

“Multiyear licenses were designed to help anglers spend more time on the water and less time waiting in line to purchase a license,” Alloway said. “I encourage local residents to take advantage of the added convenience and cost savings these multiyear licenses offer.”

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