PODCAST: PA Budget Talk with Eric Epstein/WHP 580

(Sep 27, 2017)

PA State Rep. Mike Sturla talks with Eric Epstein, filling in on The Ken Matthews Show, on WHP 580 about the state budget and Republican's failure to close the budget deficit. Read more


Sturla: Republican Budget Gimmicks Hurt Pennsylvanians

(Sep 14, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says the risky and reckless Republican budget that robs millions from special funds is just a budgeting gimmick that will add to our structural deficit and cause cuts to many programs and services that Pennsylvanians rely on. Read more


It's easy to see where the blame lies for state's fiscal failures

(Sep 07, 2017)

FEATURED IN LANCASTER ONLINE We’ve passed the fiscal year budget deadline of June 30, the July Fourth holiday, and now Labor Day. So why has no revenue plan been approved for Pennsylvania? In spite of all that Pennsylvania has going for it, the state is in some dire financial straits. Through a series of bad decisions that have compounded over the years, Pennsylvania has descended from near the top of the heap when compared to other states, to near the bottom when it comes to state finances and our ability to attract outside investment, businesses and jobs. So that begs the question, who is to blame? Looking back over the last 24 years, we’ve had multiple governors, both Democrats and Republicans — in fact, twelve years for each party. First blush says to blame all politicians regardless of political party. But a closer look is much more enlightening. Any governor (executive branch), Republican or Democrat, needs to deal with the co-equal branch of government, the Legislature — the House and Senate. On this mark, the culprit is pretty clear. Republicans have controlled the Senate for the entirety of the past 24 years, including all the way back to 1981. In the House, the Republicans have been in control for 20 of the last 24 years, with the brief exception of 2007-10, when Democrats had a one-vote and then five-vote edge compared to the Republicans’ current 39-vote edge. Ironically, the Republican House and Senate leaders continue Read more


Sturla Getting Kids Ready to Go Back to School

(Aug 14, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla held his annual Back to School Giveaway, outfitting Lancaster City K-5 students with backpacks and school supplies for the new school year. This year, Sturla also provided school uniforms and shoes. The day was an Education Celebration with books giveaways, face painting, free haircuts and more attracting an estimated 5000 people from the community at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Read more


Under the Dome: View this virtual tour

(Jul 18, 2017)

A tour of the PA Capitol Dome Read more


REPORT: Opioid Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania

(Jul 07, 2017)

The Joint State Government Commission recently released a report requested by House Resolution 893 of 2015 on Opioid Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania. Read more


Sturla to host 6th annual Back to School Giveaway Saturday, Aug. 12

(Jun 28, 2017)

State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will hold his sixth annual Back to School Giveaway Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Lancaster Barnstormers Stadium, 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster. Read more


Veterans Appreciation Open House – Wednesday, July 12

(Jun 28, 2017)

Veterans are welcome to attend a Veterans Appreciation Open House from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, July 12 at my Lancaster office located at 150 E. King St. Veterans will have the opportunity to speak with me and representatives from the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the American Legion of PA and the Lebanon VA Hospital. Come and enjoy light refreshments and gain information about state and federal services available to veterans. Some of the topics to be discussed include: State programs VA benefits Disability Education Burial benefits Please RSVP by July 7 by calling my office 717-295-3157 or email Rep.MikeSturla@pahouse.net . Read more


The Truth About My Vote for Video Gaming Terminals

(Jun 26, 2017)

You may have recently received a mailer claiming that I voted to create 12,000 mini-casinos or “drastically reduced funding” for prescription drug coverage and property tax/rent rebates for seniors. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read more


College affordability focus of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Jun 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 19 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster and chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today in the Capitol to discuss college affordability in Pennsylvania. “College affordability is important to keeping education attainable and keeping Pennsylvania’s economy on the fast track. Educating the leaders of tomorrow and keeping them in the state has to be our goal. I will continue to support funding education so that we have the resources to attract and re-train the nation’s and the world’s brightest talent to our commonwealth,” Sturla said. “Whether we explore new endowment options to help individual schools make a quality education more attainable, or we guarantee access to universities for Pennsylvania students, we have to consider all options on the table to improve and invigorate our state system of higher education. We need an overall, long-term strategy for the system to accomplish this.” Testifiers included Peter Garland, executive vice chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education; Ken Mash, president, Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties; and Mark Price, PhD, labor economist, Keystone Research Center. Hearing testimony is available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more


McCarter, Sturla seek to amend the way cyber charter schools are funded

(Jun 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, and House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, called attention to legislation that would amend the Public School Code to change the way cyber charter schools are funded. Their bill — H.B. 1206 — seeks to cap the amount of funding unaffiliated cyber charter schools receive for students who live in an area in which the school district or an intermediate unit operates its own cyber charter school. Under their proposal, unaffiliated cyber charter schools would receive either the per-student funding amount of the school district cyber school program or the intermediate unit cyber school program, whichever figure is higher. “The actual cost of cyber charter education has dropped dramatically in the 20 years since Pennsylvania’s charter school legislation was passed, whereas our reimbursement formula for cyber charters, which is still based on the cost of a brick-and-mortar education, has not, and the Pennsylvania taxpayer has shouldered the burden,” McCarter said. Sturla added: “I want all Pennsylvania kids to have access to exceptional educational opportunities and to do that, we need to have fair, reasonable and accountable reimbursement practices in place. The proposal by Representative McCarter and myself is a fair and reasonable approach that makes sure cyber charters aren’t receiving more than what it Read more


House Democratic Policy Committee explores Marcellus Shale Severance Tax

(May 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 22 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing in the state Capitol to discuss a potential Marcellus Shale severance tax. State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster and Policy Committee Chairman, chaired the hearing. “It’s important that we implement a fair and reasonable severance tax that reflects what other states with natural resources also impose. I believe they can add a great economic benefit to the state, but that must be done while protecting our resources and quality of life,” Sturla said. “Prices and impact fee revenues are low now because pipelines are not yet in place to export, but when that occurs over the next year or two, we should have a mechanism in place to capture revenue on our natural resources leaving the state.” Testifiers from state agencies included: Patrick McDonnell, acting secretary, Pa. Department of Environmental Protection; Dennis Davin, secretary, Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development; Gladys Brown, chairman, Pa. Public Utility Commission; and Matthew Knittel, director, Independent Fiscal Office The committee also heard testimony from the shale and environmental industries including: Jim Welty, vice president of government affairs, Marcellus Shale Coalition; Todd Stager, associate vice president, Pennoni; Kevin Sunday, director of government affairs, Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry; Rob Altenburg, director, PennFuture Energy Center; and Thomas Read more


Sturla: Treat All Public Schools Equally

(Apr 19, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla stood with his House Democratic colleagues to unveil a package of eight charter school reform bills designed to treat all Pennsylvania public schools – both traditional and charter – and their students equally under law. Read more


Pa. charter school reform bills' goal: Treat all public schools equally

(Apr 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 19 – House Democrats today unveiled a package of eight charter school reform bills designed to treat all Pennsylvania public schools – both traditional and charter – and their students equally under law. "I am hopeful we can pull together bipartisan support for these bills that improve efficiencies and accountability, which means that there will be more money available for education. Providing high-quality education to all Pennsylvania students should be the ultimate goal of our educational system," said Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, has introduced a bill ( H.B. 1199 ) that would end conflicts of interest in tax-funded payments for charter school leases. "The auditor general's office has identified millions of dollars in questionable charter school leases. We need to prevent these conflicts of interest up front, and we need to recover taxpayers' money to benefit students when there has been an inappropriate payment for one of these leases. Every dollar that goes to an inappropriate lease is a dollar that doesn't go to educate our kids," Roebuck said. Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Luzerne, introduced a bill ( H.B. 1198 ) that would bring charter schools in line with school districts by imposing limits on the surpluses that charter schools may accumulate. "My legislation Read more


Sturla: Intellectual Disabilities Programs Need More Funding

(Apr 12, 2017)

Pa. state Rep and House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla says that more funding is needed to operate programs already in place to help people with intellectual disabilities. Sturla points out that many people qualify for help, but due to a lack of resources they often can wait up to 5 years to actually receive the benefits they are entitled to. Read more


News Conference: Municipal Fee for State Police Coverage of Local Municipalities

(Apr 07, 2017)

At a Capitol news conference, Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla speaks about his House Bill 959, which would enact a municipal fee for state police coverage of local municipalities that have no local police departments. Read more


Sturla: Mandatory Minimums Do Not Work

(Apr 05, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla took to the House floor to fight against bringing back mandatory minimum sentencing. Sturla argues that these laws don’t necessarily deter crime and past efforts have only increased corrections costs and expenditures. Read more


Sturla's plan would generate over $2 billion by 2028 for PSP patrol services

(Apr 04, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 4 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, outlined his plan that would require municipalities to pay a fee if the Pennsylvania State Police provides part or all of their local municipal police patrol services. House Bill 959 would phase in a municipal fee with a formula that replaces funding the Pennsylvania State Police is losing as a result of the cap on the Motor License Fund. The measure would charge a per capita, part- or full-time fee based on the most recent decennial census population. Municipalities receiving part-time state police coverage would be charged a rate of one-third of those receiving full-time state police coverage. “The Pennsylvania State Police estimates that it costs them $234 per capita to provide local municipal patrol services to areas without local police. This bill offers these municipalities a bargain by phasing in a max fee of $110 over a 10-year period,” Sturla said. “It’s really about fairness and asking people to pitch in and pay for the services they are receiving. About 28 percent of the population is receiving coverage from PSP without paying for it and that’s really unfair to the other 72 percent of Pennsylvanians that are subsidizing free PSP coverage while paying for their own coverage.” Municipalities that opt in after the enactment date would enter into an agreement with the Pennsylvania State Police commissioner for part- or full-time patrol services. The Read more


Policy Committee explores municipal fees for state police coverage

(Mar 27, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, March 27 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today at the University of Pittsburgh to continue its exploration of implementing a fee for municipalities to cover the cost of the Pennsylvania State Police providing local police coverage, according to Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Municipalities throughout the state have relied on the State Police to provide their local coverage free-of-charge and now more than half of the State Police’s budget is going toward this coverage. With the General Assembly and Governor Wolf putting a cap on using the Motor License Fund in last year’s fiscal code, it is important that these municipalities pay their fair share so that the State Police have the funds needed to provide that coverage, without asking the rest of the state to continue to subsidize their policing costs,” Sturla explained. In Pennsylvania, 22 percent of the state’s population live in municipalities with no local, full-time police coverage and 6 percent live in municipalities that have only a part-time police force. The remaining 72 percent pay for their own local full-time police coverage, essentially subsidizing “ free” police protection for the rest of the population. Testifiers included Dan Cessna, District 11 executive, PennDOT; Marita Kelley, deputy director, Governor’s Center for Local Government Services; Lt. Col. Stephen Bucar, deputy Read more


Sturla: Expanded Gaming Helps Our Communities

(Mar 27, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla joined fellow democrats and republicans at a news conference held at the Capitol Media Center to discuss the regulation of video gaming terminals across the commonwealth. Read more