As the 2017-18 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives winds down, this is a good time to reflect on accomplishments in Harrisburg and the 169th District.
This session, I was the prime sponsor of eight bills and five resolutions. So far, two of my bills were signed into law and a third needs one more vote in the Senate before it can head to the governor’s desk.
My House Bill 411, now Act 66 of 2017
, updated the state’s antiquated bingo law and further assists community organizations that rely on revenue from the games. The law doubles prize limits and gives organizations the freedom to advertise the dollar value of cash prizes and to advertise bingo games on the internet. Both provisions were not allowed under the old law. Additionally, the law removes restrictions on the number of days a licensed association can hold games, permits pre-draw bingo and allows for guest callers and for new organization members to help with bingo. It also allows a volunteer fire company created from a merger to immediately apply for a bingo license.
My second bill to become law assists people at possibly the worst instances of their lives: Divorce Act 55 of 2018
creates a uniform standard for collaborative law across Pennsylvania. Collaborative law, an alternative dispute resolution process, has proven itself in practice and can be used in additional proceedings, such as family law, business law and estate distribution.
As an attorney, passage of this bill was very important to me. Under collaborative law, parties are individually represented by counsel dedicated not only to their respective clients’ interests, but also to resolving the dispute without resorting to traditional litigation. Parties agree that, should they fail to negotiate a resolution, they will each be required to retain new counsel for any subsequent litigation.
Naturally, there were some bills that didn’t reach the governor’s desk this session. One I would like to highlight is legislation to ensure all police officers in the state are trained in the lethality assessment program to better assist victims of domestic violence. This is an extremely effective method for officers to identify domestic violence victims who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partner. Though this bill didn’t become law, I will continue my work until it is on the books.
Though a lot of what happens in Harrisburg makes the news, I want to tell you about some of the things that happen right here in the 169th District you likely won’t see on the nightly newscast or in the morning papers.
My staff and I are always available to assist residents with state-related issues and to handle their concerns. For instance, each month my office hosts a representative from the American Legion who helps connect our veterans with benefits they’ve earned. Since I began this outreach initiative, 232 appointments were conducted in my office.
Veterans’ outreach assistance is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday, and from 2-6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month. It will next be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
My job also entails ensuring residents can safely travel our roads. As you may have noticed, Hanover is amid a major roadwork project that will wrap up in the coming weeks. I want to thank everyone for their patience during this project. I assure you the headaches that left many motorists with visions of orange traffic cones swirling in their heads will be worth it. This is a project many people have known about, but I would also like to touch on some lesser-known projects.
The Blooming Grove Road bridge between Codorus and Manheim townships; and the Steltz Road Bridge in Shrewsbury Township are currently closed for construction but are set to open next month. On tap for next year is the replacement of the Pierceville Run bridge in Codorus Township, which will close in February and will reopen in the summer of 2019.
As part of a public-private partnership, three bridges in the 169th Districts have been replaced. They were the Seven Valleys Road bridge over Centerville Creek in Shrewsbury Township, the Jacobs Mill Road bridge over Oil Creek in Heidelberg Township and the Tollgate Road bridge over Conewago Creek in West Manheim Township.
The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, a public-private partnership known as P3 between PennDOT and private company Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, allows for the company to finance, design, replace and maintain the bridges for 25 years. This approach allows PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impact on motorists.
There’s a lot happening in Harrisburg and in the district. To stay on top of legislation, transportation projects, and other outreach initiatives, I urge residents to checkout my website, RepKlunk.com
, where they can also sign up for my e-news updates.
Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross