Capitol Roundup from Rep. Mike Peifer
Bill to Help Schools after Emergencies Signed into Law

Last year, Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne) introduced legislation to help school entities make up instructional time following a weather-, health- or safety-related emergency. The bill was signed into law last week.

House Bill 158, now Act 4 of 2016, gives the secretary of the Department of Education the discretion and authority to issue school emergencies. If granted, school entities would be provided instructional flexibility to meet the state’s 180-day requirement for classroom instruction.

Potential scheduling options for school entities facing extended closings may include approving a school year with a minimum number of hours of instruction, in lieu of the state’s 180-day requirement, and approving additional instruction days on not more than one Saturday a month.

This legislation was in response to extended closings that some Pocono Mountain-area schools faced during the manhunt in 2014 for accused cop killer Eric Frein. Wallenpaupack Area High School was forced to change its graduation date due to the many instruction days missed in the fall of 2014.

PennDOT Seeks Savings by Removing Registration Stickers in 2017

More than $3.1 million in savings is being estimated by eliminating vehicle registration stickers, PennDOT recently announced.

As part of Act 89 of 2013, the comprehensive transportation funding bill, PennDOT is moving ahead to eliminate the license plate stickers and switching to an automated system that will allow law enforcement to better verify expired tags and insurance coverage.

The vehicle registration stickers will not be issued after Dec. 31, 2016. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, customers who renew their registrations online will be able save a copy of and print a permanent registration card on demand. Future plans also include allowing customers to eventually upload their registration cards to their smart phones and eliminate the requirement to print a copy altogether.

For more information on the plan to eliminate registration stickers, visit and look under the Registration Stickers tab under Vehicle Registration.

House Appropriations Committee to Begin Budget Hearings

The House Appropriations Committee has started its annual review of the budget proposal with hearings beginning on Monday, Feb. 22. This grueling, three-week process entails a detailed budget analysis whereby members examine line-by-line the details of spending and revenue projections and economic forecasts for revenue.

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, it’s important to find ways to facilitate more efficient spending through technology, innovation and thinking outside the box on delivery of service-oriented programs. Raising revenue streams should be met with more efficient spending plans,” said Peifer.

First on deck will be the Independent Fiscal Office with an economic and revenue outlook, and then the Treasury Department, Office of Auditor General, Gaming Control Board and other agencies will appear on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hearings will continue through March 10.

For the full schedule of budget hearings, visit

Representative Mike Peifer
139th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Dux
(717) 260-6695
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