House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on municipal fees for state police coverage Monday in Pittsburgh

(Mar 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss fee schedules for municipalities that do not have local police forces and currently receive free coverage from the Pennsylvania State Police. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 27 at the University of Pittsburgh, William Pitt Union, Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh. A Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report released today estimated that the state police was overfunded by $222.2 million for patrol services from the Motor License Fund in fiscal year 2015-16. The state police received $755 million from this fund due to increased costs for covering municipalities that do not have local police. The current hearing agenda is: 2:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel One: Dan Cessna , District 11 executive, PennDOT Marita Kelley , deputy director, Governor’s Center for Local Government Services Lt. Col. Stephen Bucar , deputy commissioner of staff, PA State Police 2:50 p.m. Joe Kovel , president, Pennsylvania State Troopers Association 3:10 p.m. Elam Herr , assistant executive director/government affairs, PA State Association of Township Supervisors 3:40 p.m. Panel from Shaler Township: Tom McElhone , Commissioner Tim Rogers , Manager 4:10 p.m. Abe Amoros , PA Legislative Director, LiUNA! – Mid-Atlantic Read more


Policy Committee examines municipal fees for state police coverage

(Mar 17, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 17 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing today at Philadelphia City Hall to explore 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. “For too long, many municipalities throughout Pennsylvania have relied on the State Police to serve as their local police instead of participating in a regional police force or creating their own department while the rest of the state pays for their own local police,” Sturla said. “Last session, the General Assembly and Governor Wolf put a cap on money coming from the Motor License Fund to the State Police because these communities need to start paying their fair share for local police coverage. We also need to make sure the State Police has the dedicated funds needed to perform its public safety duties. 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. State agency panelists included: Leslie Richards, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Rick Vilello, Deputy Secretary of Community Affairs, Read more


House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on fees for state police coverage Friday in Philadelphia

(Mar 15, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss fee schedules for municipalities that do not have local police forces and currently receive free coverage from the Pennsylvania State Police. Chaired by Sturla, the hearing will be held 10 a.m. Friday, March 17 at Philadelphia City Hall, City Council Chambers, Room 400, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The current hearing agenda is: 10 a.m. - Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. - Panel One: Leslie Richards , Secretary, Pa. Department of Transportation Richard Vilello , Deputy Secretary of Community Affairs, Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development Ronald Stern , Local Government Policy Specialist, Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development Lt. Col. Stephen Bucar , Deputy Commissioner of Staff, Pa. State Police Major Patrick Brinkley , Director of the Bureau of Research and Development, Pa. State Police 10:50 a.m. - Panel Two: Ernie McNeely , Township Manager, Lower Merion Township Roman Pronczak , Township Manager, Whitpain Township 11:20 a.m. - Panel Three: Bob Latham , Executive Vice President, Associated Pennsylvania Constructors Abe Amoros , PA Legislative Director, Laborers’ International Union of North America – Mid-Atlantic Region 11:50 a.m. - Closing Remarks MEDIA COVERAGE IS ENCOURAGED. Read more


Sturla Honors Memory of Marvin Miller

(Mar 13, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla speaks on the House Floor in honor of former member Marvin E. Miller Jr., who recently passed away. Read more


No-Tax-Hike Budget Plan A Winner For Sturla

(Feb 07, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal is a common sense plan that makes smart choices to streamline government without compromising services to citizens or raising taxes on the middle class. The next step is the House closely examining the plan in public hearings. Read more


Sturla comments on governor’s 2017-18 budget proposal

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2017-18 fiscal year: “This year’s budget proposal seems like a smart approach to helping all Pennsylvanians while rethinking government efficiencies. The governor intends to make consolidations and cuts where necessary, while not jeopardizing gains we’ve made in education and health care, especially for those suffering from addiction. “There are investments in education and efforts to help more individuals with intellectual disabilities. The plan also includes additional funding to battle the statewide opioid crisis. “I especially applaud his proposal that would require municipalities who currently receive local police coverage for free from the Pennsylvania State Police to share in the costs. I have been fighting for years on this issue because it is unfair for 20 percent of the state’s population to get free police coverage while the rest of us pay for them and our own local police. “At first glance, the plan seems like a good starting point and I look forward to learning more in the coming weeks about how it could impact our state agencies.” Read more


Sturla, Policy Committee explore blended learning

(Jan 31, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion in Lancaster to learn more about educational opportunities that mix online courses, hybrid learning and traditional learning practices. Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, facilitated the discussion at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 which provided a presentation on its Lancaster-Lebanon Virtual Solutions program. “At a time when the state budget outlook is bleak at best, we need to consider educational opportunities that save money, but also best serve Pennsylvania’s children,” Sturla said. “Thank you to Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 for helping to facilitate a well-rounded discussion on another option for Pennsylvania children to have access to a high-quality education that helps them compete in the national and global economy." Participants in the roundtable discussion included Colette Cairns, education innovation specialist, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13; Ken Zimmerman, instructional media technology, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13; Larry Mays, director of student services, School District of Lancaster; and Liz Lubeskie, coordinator of online learning, Manheim Central School District. Copies of roundtable materials are available at Read more


Kim holds Policy Committee hearing on raising minimum wage

(Jan 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on raising the minimum wage. Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, co-chaired the hearing at the YWCA, which discussed the effects of increasing the minimum wage. “Pennsylvania is long overdue for an increase in the minimum wage,” Kim said. “It’s been eight years since the floor was raised to $7.25 in Pennsylvania. In 2016, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage was about one-third below its 1968 level – even though productivity has doubled since 1968.” “When we talk about a minimum wage, we should be talking about a livable wage,” Sturla said. “Pennsylvanians who work 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. I support raising the minimum wage, and I’m glad the Policy Committee can bring more attention to the issue.” Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only earns $15,080, some $4,700 below the poverty line, requiring many people to rely on government assistance programs to get by. Testifiers were Sean Ramaley, deputy secretary at the state Department of Labor and Industry; John Traynor, owner of Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and the Kitchen Bar; Mary Quinn, president and CEO of the YWCA Harrisburg; and Mark Price, Ph.D., a labor economist from the Keystone Research Center. For hearing testimonies, Read more


Policy Committee to explore blended learning Tuesday in Lancaster

(Jan 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable on blended learning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, Conference Center, Room 104, 1020 New Holland Ave., Lancaster. Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said the roundtable will feature a presentation by Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 about their Lancaster-Lebanon Virtual Solutions program (LLVS) in support of local school districts and students. LLVS is similar to a cyber school but operates at a fraction of the cost. The discussion will also address blended learning practices and two local school districts will share how LLVS has impacted their students. Speakers participating in the roundtable include: Colette Cairns , Education Innovation Specialist, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 Ken Zimmerman , Instructional Media Technology, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 Larry Mays , Director of Student Services, School District of Lancaster Liz Lubeskie , Coordinator of Online Learning, Manheim Central School District Blended learning is a blend between online courses, hybrid learning, and traditional learning practices. The roundtable is open to the public and media coverage is invited. Read more


Commonwealth Commonsense

(Jan 20, 2017)

Here's my list of top 10 things to look forward to in a Trump Administration Read more


Policy Hearing: Blended Learning

(Jan 17, 2017)

State Rep. Mike Sturla, Chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to discuss blended learning. The hearing will be held at the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, Conference Center, 1020 New Hollland Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601. Read more


Sturla prepared to tackle tough issues in 2017-18 House session

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – Today, state Rep. Mike Sturla began his 14 th term representing residents of the city of Lancaster and parts of Lancaster and Manheim townships in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The 201 st legislative session began with today’s swearing-in ceremony at noon due to the state’s constitutional mandate to begin each legislative session at noon on the first Tuesday of the year. “We are facing a $2 billion structural budget deficit, and the legislature still has a long way to go in adequately funding education, from quality early childhood education through higher education. We’ve made progress in the previous session with the Basic Education Funding Formula, but we still have a long way to go to make funding education more equitable,” Sturla said. “I am eager to continue working on legislation that will improve education, tackle environmental issues, improve our ailing infrastructure, address the heroin, opiate and prescription drug epidemic, and close the structural budget deficit with sustainable revenue sources. We have a challenging budget year ahead, and I am ready to get to work.” Sturla, reelected by his Democratic colleagues as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, will continue to host hearings throughout the state on how to improve government functions. “These hearings allow us to learn from experts and citizens from every corner of the state and develop policy Read more


HOPE Caucus Rallies to Fight Opioid Epidemic

(Sep 20, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla joined colleagues from the legislative PA HOPE Caucus, Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, administration officials, advocates and families for a “Day of HOPE” rally at the state Capitol Rotunda calling for funding, support and educational efforts to combat Pennsylvania’s growing opioid epidemic. Read more


Fall 2016 Newsletter

(Aug 29, 2016)

Rep. Mike Sturla's Fall 2016 Newsletter. Information on district events, legislative updates and more. Read more


Sturla to host annual Day of Caring river cleanup Sept. 9

(Aug 22, 2016)

LANCASTER, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, is inviting residents to join him for a Conestoga River cleanup in recognition on United Way's annual Day of Caring. The cleanup will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Participants will meet on South Conestoga Drive behind Conestoga View on East King Street. Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and long pants are recommended. Lunch, shirts and gloves will be provided. Participants can register at the link at Sturla’s website- or call Sturla’s constituent service office at 717-295-3157 for additional information. While registration is not required, it is encouraged to ensure there will be enough supplies and refreshments for all volunteers. Media coverage is encouraged . Read more


Sturla Helps Kids Start School Right

(Aug 22, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla held his fifth annual Back to School Giveaway, providing Lancaster City school children with a backpack and selection of school supplies for the upcoming academic year. The backpacks and supplies were donated by local businesses and residents. Read more


2016 Backpack Giveaway

(Aug 08, 2016)

State Rep. Mike Sturla will host the 5th Annual Back to School Giveaway at Lancaster Rec to make sure Lancaster City students start the school year off right! Students in grades K thru 5 who stop by on August 20 will receive a backpack and school supplies. Students must be present and accompanied by an adult to receive a backpack. If you or your business is interested in donating supplies, backpacks or food, contact Mena in Rep. Sturla's office at 295-3157. Read more


Sturla to host fifth annual Back to School Giveaway Saturday, Aug. 20

(Aug 04, 2016)

LANCASTER, Aug 4 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will hold his fifth annual Back to School Giveaway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Lancaster Recreation Center, 525 Fairview Ave. Sturla welcomes parents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade to stop by LancasterRec for a free backpack filled with school supplies to prepare children for their upcoming school year. Students must be in attendance to receive a backpack and accompanied by an adult. Backpacks will include: pencils, erasers, glue sticks, boxes of crayons, rulers, child-safe scissors, spiral-bound notebooks, two pocket folders and three-ring binders. Lunch will be provided and there will be activities for children, including face painting and music. Information on state programs and services for children will also be available. Those interested in volunteering or making a donation of backpacks or school supplies to the event should contact Mena Rodriguez in Sturla’s Lancaster office at 717-295-3157 as soon as possible. Media coverage is invited. Read more


House Republican and Democratic Policy Committees Join Forces to Tackle Opioid Crisis

(Jul 25, 2016)

HARRISBURG —Throughout the summer and fall, Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature are joining forces to attempt to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. Led by House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and House Minority Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), members of the House of Representatives and state Senate will be traveling the state to gather testimony from law enforcement, medical professionals, treatment centers, employers, educators, advocates and everyday Pennsylvanians about the state’s drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At a press conference on June 24, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai made the request of the governor to call a special session this fall to continue the work of addressing the addiction crisis. Gov. Tom Wolf stood with Republican and Democrat members of the House of Representatives to support the need for heightened attention on this issue. “The epidemic we face is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue,” Benninghoff said. “It is a crisis impacting Pennsylvanians from every region, background and walk of life. Opioid addiction does not discriminate – it is killing our young people, our veterans, our friends, our family members and our neighbors. Working together is critical so we can get our arms around this growing crisis before it takes more precious lives.” Opioids are a class of drugs derived from or Read more


Funding for our roads and state police

(Jul 15, 2016)

The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that, because of the number of roads in disrepair, driving in Pennsylvania costs each Pennsylvania motorist $424 per year in car repairs, a total of $3.7 billion. Pennsylvania Read more