Jan. 05, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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87th District Supplies Butter for Iconic Farm Show Butter Sculpture!

Did you know the butter used to create the iconic Farm Show butter sculpture came from the 87th District this year? The more than 1,000 pounds of butter used to create this amazing display was donated by Land O'Lakes in Cumberland County. I had the opportunity to visit its facility just a few months ago.

The sculpture is made from butter that is non-food grade and would have otherwise gone to waste. Make sure to check it out when you visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show!

Click here to view video.
Kutz Hosts Civics Competition for Students

Announcing my first "There Ought to Be a Law" contest for students of the 87th District! To encourage civic participation from our youth, I'm asking students across the district to come up with a proposed law for Pennsylvania. If students wish to participate, they must submit individual proposals and the following must be written on the proposed law:

  •   The student’s name (first and last), grade, teacher and school.
  •   The defined subject of the proposed law.

By participating, the student’s law may be shared on social media, news outlets, and possibly on the House floor in Harrisburg for recognition.

The proposed laws should be no longer than one double-spaced page and may be typed or clearly handwritten. They can be dropped off at my office on or before 4:30 p.m. on March 31, emailed to athompson@pahousegop.com or postmarked by that date and mailed to the following address:

State Rep. Thomas Kutz
Attn: Adam Thompson
2 Market Plaza Way, Suite 9
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges. Every student will receive a participation award. One fifth grader from each building and one highschooler from each civics class will be named the winner and invited to a special lunch and presentation with me at our State Capitol in Harrisburg.

If you are interested in participating in this contest, please let my district office know as soon as possible by calling 717-975-2235.

A Year in Review

2023 was a busy year! I set out to be accessible and transparent about how state government works. Whether you attend a town hall, need help with a state agency, or would like to sit down and chat one-on-one, I’m eager to meet you in 2024. It’s an honor to serve as your state representative.

You’re Invited to a Human Trafficking Community Workshop

108th Pennsylvania Farm Show Starts This Weekend!

The Pennsylvania Farm Show – the country’s largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof – kicks off this Saturday, Jan. 6, in Harrisburg. The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 13.

This year’s theme is “Connecting our Communities,” which aims to bring together those who are fed, nourished and enriched by the agriculture industry to those whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.

As always, the show will feature hundreds of competitions and exhibits, as well as animals and products related to the state’s robust agriculture industry. The annual showcase is a family-friendly event with lots to see and do; and don’t forget to stop by the famous food court for a taste of some Pennsylvania cuisine.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

For all the latest news about the Farm Show, follow it on Facebook or visit www.farmshow.pa.gov.
New Funding Supports Emergency Medical Services

The arrival of the new year also brings a much-needed increase in funding for the state’s ambulance companies via a boost in Medicaid reimbursement rates.  

Act 15 of 2023 ties the reimbursement rates to federal Medicare rates and pays whichever amount is higher. As a result, the reimbursement for basic life support ambulance trips increases from $325 to $511.35, and for advanced life support ambulance trips from $400 to $607.23 or $878.88, depending on the nature of the call.

The new law also ensures EMS agencies are reimbursed by Medicaid for 100% of the miles they travel with a patient on board receiving care or transport, finally removing the previous exemption for the first 20 miles traveled. The law increases the mileage reimbursement rate from $4 per loaded mile to $13.20 per loaded mile.

This is another important step to support our EMS personnel and their life-saving work.

The reimbursement increases went into effect Jan. 1, pending federal approval.  
College Students Looking for Work?

PennDOT is looking to hire college students to supplement its permanent workforce from May through August.

The job typically entails seasonal maintenance work and sign upgrade services, maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites.

To be eligible for consideration, candidates must be 18 years of age, enrolled in college for the next semester, and have a valid Pennsylvania driver's license.

The hourly rate is $16.67. Interested applicants should contact my office before Friday, Jan. 19, and also apply online at www.employment.pa.gov. Non-student positions are also available.
PPL Offers Winter Safety, Energy Saving Tips

With temperatures dropping across the Commonwealth, PPL Electric reminds consumers of the following storm safety and energy savings tips:

Storm Safety
  •   Report power outages by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL, by visiting pplelectric.com/outage or texting “Outage” to TXTPPL. You can adjust alert preferences to receive a phone call, text or email at pplelectric.com/alerts to stay informed during a storm.
  •   Charge your phones and devices before a storm so they are fully powered.
  •   Keep generators far from buildings and do not operate them in confined spaces.
  •   Stay away from downed wires and always assume they carry electricity. Report downed wires by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL.

Winter Energy Savings
  •   Keep the damper closed when you’re not using your fireplace so warm air doesn’t escape through the chimney.
  •   Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day. At night, close your curtains and blinds to prevent heat from escaping.
  •   Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Change the direction of the blades so they spin clockwise and pull warm air downward.
  •   Inspect all your doors, windows and ductwork for gaps that could leak heat from your home. Many of these cracks and leaks can easily be fixed with caulk and weatherstripping.
  •   When you’re home and awake, set the heat as low as it feels comfortable. Aim for 68 degrees as an optimal temperature. While you’re sleeping or out of the house, lower the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees. Lowering the thermostat for at least eight hours can save up to 10% on your heating bill.

Be Prepared for Winter Weather Travel

With some winter weather in the forecast this weekend for many areas of the state, it’s a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel.

Consider having your mechanic check the brakes, battery, hoses and belts. Also make sure your fluid levels are full; the heater and defroster are working properly, as well as your radio in order to receive weather and traffic reports; tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth; and wipers and lights are in good working order.

Try to avoid traveling in severe winter weather, but if you have to go, bring a winter emergency travel kit, including a blanket and warm clothes, jumper cables, small shovel, first aid kit, medications for you and your passengers, and water and nonperishable food. A full list of suggested items is available here.

Also, keep these safe winter driving tips in mind: Slow down and increase your following distance; avoid sudden stops and starts; beware of black ice – roads that look wet but are actually frozen; use extra caution on bridges and ramps, as they tend to freeze first; do not use cruise control while driving on snow-covered roads; remove snow and ice from windows and mirrors; and do not pass or get between trucks plowing in a plow line.

Be sure to remove snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. Under state law, if snow or ice from your vehicle strikes a vehicle or person and causes death or injury, you can be ticketed.

For more information and resources to help you prepare for and get through the winter safely, visit www.penndot.gov/winter.
Enter Now for Litter Hawk Youth Award Program

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2024 Litter Hawk Youth Award Program, a recognition program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade to share how they help keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

In coordination with the release of the revision of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s popular Open your Eyes to Litter series of books for grades K-6, the theme is: Open Your Eyes to Litter – Show Us What You See.

Students in kindergarten through grade 4 are invited to submit a poster, while students in grade 5 are asked to submit an essay and students in grade 6 should submit a video.

First place and second place winners will receive ribbons and a certificate. All participants will receive a litter hawk sticker. The deadline to participate is Wednesday, Jan. 31. Winners will be announced in May in conjunction with a display of winning entries at the Capitol. For more information and an application, click here.