Sturla: Protect Our Clean Water

(Jun 06, 2016)

At a Capitol news conference today, Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla comments on the importance of House Bill 2114, known as the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act. Sturla says the bill would enact a water resource fee which would generate funds to clean and protect Pennsylvania's waterways. Read more


Sturla unveils plan that would generate $245 million annually for state budget and water-related programs

(Jun 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced he is introducing House Bill 2114, known as the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act. The Pennsylvania Water Resource Act would enact a water resource fee on 4.4 billion gallons of daily water withdrawals in Pennsylvania that has the potential to generate $245 million annually, based on current usage rates. The bill would exempt the 1.5 billion gallons of daily water withdrawals for agricultural and municipal water usages. “The Pennsylvania Constitution makes it clear that Pennsylvania’s public natural resources belong to the people of the commonwealth. This bill ensures that entities that are currently using our water for free would pay a nominal fee that will be used to fund water-related programs and projects while freeing up money for the General Assembly to close structural deficits in the state budget,” Sturla said. Water withdrawn from commonwealth waterways in excess of 10,000 gallons a day is already required to be reported to the Department of Environmental Protection. House Bill 2114 would result in a charge of 1/100th of a cent per gallon if water is withdrawn for use and eventually returned to the source. Water withdrawn and not returned beyond 10,000 gallons a day would be charged 1/10th of a cent per gallon. Revenue generated from H.B. 2144 would be used to fund water-related programs and general governmental operations in the Read more


Sturla to unveil water fee bill to generate $245 million for state at Capitol News Conference Monday at 10:30 a.m.

(Jun 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 1 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that he will host a news conference to discuss his House Bill 2114 that could generate $245 million annually from a water resource fee for major water withdrawals in Pennsylvania. Weather permitting, the event will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 6 on the front steps of the Main Capitol Building . In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Main Capitol Rotunda. Over 5.9 billion gallons of water are reported as used every day in the Commonwealth. Under the state constitution, Pennsylvanians own this water that is currently being used free of charge. Sturla’s legislation would use this revenue to fund state water-related programs, major watersheds, and an optional $3 billion Growing Greener bond. Cosponsors and stakeholders that helped to craft the legislation will attend. Media coverage is invited and encouraged. Read more


2-1-1 in Pennsylvania

(May 06, 2016)

Learn more about 2-1-1 PA, a one-stop phone call to connect residents with human services throughout the state. Read more


Sturla lauds House approval of medical marijuana

(Apr 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, voted today to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. “I was proud to vote for this legislation that will help to alleviate suffering for so many Pennsylvanians. We’ve seen so many stories of how medical marijuana will help patients with severe medical conditions and it is past time we give them a new option under the direct care of their doctor,” Sturla explained. Patients with serious medical conditions, a total of 17 qualified diagnosed conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder would be permitted to use medical marijuana under authorization from their physician. Under the bill, the commonwealth would license up to 25 growers and as many as 50 dispensaries. Each dispensary would be authorized to operate three locations. Medical marijuana would be dispensed as a pill, oil, topical form or in a form appropriate for vaporization or nebulization. The legislation would impose a 5 percent tax on gross receipts that a grower or processor gets from the sale of medical marijuana to another grower or processor. The taxes would establish the Medical Marijuana Program Fund. The Pennsylvania Department of Health would use 40 percent of the money for operations and outreach; 30 percent would be used for medical treatment research; 15 percent would go to help medical marijuana patients and caregivers with the costs of background checks or Read more


Sturla honors the life of Lancaster icon Nelson Polite

(Apr 11, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – The state House of Representatives unanimously adopted H.R. 773 honoring the life of Lancaster civil right leader Nelson M. Polite Sr., introduced by state Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster. Polite, who died in February at 92, served as former president of Lancaster City Council and former chairman of the Lancaster City Planning Commission. In addition to his service to the city, he was a member of the NAACP, Crispus Attucks Community Center, Lancaster Recreation Commission, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Way. A member of the Boy Scouts, Polite formed Troop 15 in 1947. He was also a member of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons and was a 33rd Degree Mason, the highest honor in the Free Masons. During the civil rights era, Polite protested segregation in Lancaster. He helped to lead protests at the segregated Rocky Springs pool and outside downtown stores that offered few jobs to African-Americans. After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., he walked the streets to urge calm. Polite was a civil rights icon who always worked for equality and fairness. “I am privileged to commemorate Nelson Polite’s life and contributions to Lancaster. He truly embodied a good citizen and I am proud to have called him a friend. I will miss him and his profound advice and explanations, and I’m sure all who knew him will miss him as well,” Sturla said. Read more


Gov. Wolf right to let Republicans own their policies

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that he will allow the most recent budget proposal to become law without his signature: “Governor Wolf has made extensive efforts to work with legislators on both of sides of the aisle to craft a budget that provides for the needs of all Pennsylvanians, pays down the structural budget deficit and improves our fiscal outlook. Unfortunately, Republican majorities repeatedly sent unbalanced budgets that protect special interests and continue to increase the structural deficit to the governor’s desk. After three separate attempts by the governor at compromise over nearly 10 months, a change in direction had to happen. “By simply allowing this budget to stand without his signature, the governor forces the Republican majorities to own their failed policies in this budget. Time is already telling by the multiple credit downgrades from independent credit rating agencies. We’ve seen increased school property taxes, teacher and school staff layoffs, increased class sizes and plummeting test scores in our school districts. Pennsylvania cannot afford to go down this same path, but that is the only path that Republicans will allow for now. “In the interest of moving forward and focusing efforts on the 2016-17 budget, I stand with the governor and hope we can focus on finding sustainable revenue sources that produce Read more


Sturla calls for action on Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint

(Mar 02, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement: “Pennsylvanians want and need clean water resources. We need to focus on these efforts for ourselves, as well as for those downstream from us. “It’s important that the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and Agriculture work together to identify ways to reduce pollution in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. That does not mean that agriculture should bear all of the financial burden. It is in all our best interests to share in the cleanup costs because the benefits will be reaped by everyone in the watershed. “I realize some may view the Supreme Court’s ruling as detrimental to agricultural operations; however, the ruling should be viewed as an opportunity for everyone to roll up our sleeves and work together for the common environmental good and restoring the Chesapeake.” Read more


Sturla and community groups to express concern TODAY AT 3 P.M. about possible elimination of magisterial district in Lancaster

(Feb 24, 2016)

LANCASTER, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today announced that he will join the Crispus Attucks Self Determination Matters Committee and other Lancaster community organizations to express concern about the possible elimination of a magisterial judge district in Lancaster city. WHEN: Today, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. WHERE: Crispus Attucks Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 407 Howard Ave., Lancaster WHAT: Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker is considering a preliminary staff proposal to reduce the magisterial judge districts in Lancaster from five to four, by redrawing neighboring districts, including the currently vacant magisterial district 02-2-01 in Southeast Lancaster. Media coverage is invited and encouraged. CONTACT: Jim Dawes Office of State Rep. Mike Sturla Phone: 717-772-0036 Email: Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Sturla introduces plan to better meet transportation, state police funding needs

(Feb 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla has introduced a bill that would increase funds available for transportation projects and ensure adequate, reliable funding for the Pennsylvania State Police. House Bill 709 would establish the State Police Municipal Patrol Services Act, which would establish a fee structure for municipalities to pay for the routine state police patrol services that some are currently receiving for free and restore an estimated $450 million to the Motor License Fund. A yearly fee of $156 would be assessed annually per capita and would be billed to municipalities who fully rely on state police coverage. Municipalities with part-time local police and part-time state police coverage would be assessed a discounted rate of $52 per capita annually. Municipalities that employ a full-time local police force would not be charged a fee. “Each year, nearly $750 million, or about 30 percent of the total funds available for roads and bridges, is transferred from the Motor License Fund to pay for the Pennsylvania State Police instead. At a time when our state is in drastic need of funds to repair our aging infrastructure, we need to spend every dollar effectively,” Sturla said. “Sacrificing vital transportation dollars while giving away free policing services doesn’t make sense.” “About 74 percent of the state’s population pays for full-time local police coverage, and 6 percent is paying for part-time Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more


Sturla calls for bipartisan solution to end budget impasse, start 2016/17 strong

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016/17 fiscal year: “Today, Governor Wolf had a very frank discussion directly with the citizens of Pennsylvania about the ongoing budget impasse and the impending crisis if appropriate action is not taken to deal with the state’s fiscal woes. “Even at this juncture, with rating agencies threatening more downgrades and the Independent Fiscal Office predicting a $2 billion structural deficit in next year’s budget without increases to any line items beyond mandated expenditures, there are still some in the legislature who would further run Pennsylvania into the ground and cause the kind of devastating consequences that the state experienced in 2010. “Those impending devastating consequences include local school property tax hikes, again; 20,000 more teacher layoffs, beyond the bare-bones staffing complements that resulted from 2010 layoffs; increased class sizes; and lower student test scores. Programs that provide health care and prescriptions for seniors would also take devastating hits; social services for the disabled would see cuts, waiting lists would get longer and government services would slow to a crawl. Local municipal, county and school governments would be left to raise taxes and pick up the pieces. That is not responsible state governance; that is passing the buck and running from Read more


Sturla: End the Budget Crisis

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more


Sturla unveils sliding scale tax plan on Marcellus Shale

(Jan 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Mike Sturla is seeking support for his legislation that would implement a graduated severance tax on Marcellus Shale to fund pension obligations at state and local levels. “The proposal is a fair approach that would capture much-needed funding for the commonwealth for one of our most valuable resources while providing a break to the industry when prices are down,” Sturla explained. Sturla’s plan would tax natural gas at the following rates: Tax rate Gas value 4% $0-$.99/mcf 5% $1-$1.99/mcf 6% $2-$2.99/mcf 7% $3-$3.99/mcf 8% $4-$4.99/mcf 9% $5 and above/mcf The legislation would exempt gas severed from a stripper well; severed from a storage field; and used within 5 miles of the well for manufacturing in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the current impact fee, post production costs and initial capital costs would be deductible from a severance tax liability. Funds generated would be used to fund the unfunded pension liability before Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for SERS and PSERS, unfunded municipal pensions and post Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for local school districts and the state. “There are myriad aspects of this legislation that have long-term benefits and impacts. I look forward to working with stakeholders to come to an agreement that provides a benefit to all involved,” Sturla said. Read more


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Sturla’s office to host health insurance sign-up Dec. 11

(Dec 01, 2015)

LANCASTER, Dec. 1 – In an effort to help residents navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace, free assistance will be available at state Rep. Mike Sturla’s 150 E. King St. office on Friday, Dec. 11. Sturla said Daniel Sosa, a health insurance navigator with SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, will provide enrollment help to residents from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a first-come basis. "This is a great opportunity for those with questions about obtaining health insurance or making changes to their existing policies. The event is free and all exchanges with the navigator are confidential," Sturla said. Residents are urged to bring their Social Security card and have the full names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of any dependents they wish to enroll. Additional information is available by calling Sturla’s office at 717-295-3157. Read more


Veterans outreach will begin Dec. 9

(Nov 30, 2015)

LANCASTER, Nov. 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, announced today that starting Dec. 9, on the second Wednesday of each month a Veterans Service Officer will be available at his office, to connect veterans or their surviving beneficiaries with valuable programs and services. “Oftentimes, veterans and military families aren’t fully aware of all the benefits they may be entitled to. I am thrilled to partner with the American Legion to offer this free service to help those who have served our country,” Sturla said. Terry Gendron, an accredited Veterans Service Officer, will be available in Sturla’s office located at 150 E. King St. to help with navigating VA compensation benefits, health benefits, educational opportunities, survivor benefits and more. “My staff also will be available to provide information and answer questions in English and Spanish. Ultimately, we hope to make it as easy as possible to help our service men and women access benefits in the most convenient manner,” Sturla said. Appointments are required to ensure there is adequate time to fully serve those in need. Residents may call 717-295-3157 to schedule an appointment for Dec. 9 and future dates. Read more