Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PA State Grange Legislative Day 2010

Grange Legislative Day 2010

May 4, 2010 is the date for the upcoming PA State Grange Legislative Day. Events will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the Radisson Penn Harris in Camp Hill, PA.

John Barley from Versant Strategies, the Grange's lobbying group, will speak to the attendees first about legislative updates. Mr. Barley will also give the Grangers tips on talking to their legislators about issues.

Sgt. Robert Krol from the Pennsylvania State Police will then give a presentation to update everyone on the new PADOT trucking regulations as they affect agriculture.

A Proclamation from Governor Ed Rendell proclaiming April as Grange Month in the Commonwealth will be presented to PA State Grange President Betsy Huber as well as House Resolution 699 which also proclaimed April as Grange Month in Pennsylvania, sponsored by Rep. Sue Helm of Dauphin County.

After lunch, a bus will then be awaiting the attendees to transport them to the Capitol for a tour and an opportunity for the Grangers to stop in at their respective legislators' offices to talk to them about some of the major legislative policy issues of the PA State Grange as well as their local Granges. The four most prominent PA State Grange legislative issues for 2010 are: Tolling of Interstate Route 80 (opposed); Dairy Pricing (reform needed to help farmers make a profit); Marcellus Shale, and; Continued Funding for the PA Department of Agriculture.

After meeting with their legislators, Senator Elder Vogel (R-47) will address attendees in the capitol rotunda on Senate Bill No. 828, a bill he has introduced which would exempt non-profit and volunteer organizations (such as the Grange) from strict food safety standards for selling home-baked goods, providing they are not potentially hazardous foods such as foods that contain ingredients that support a rapid growth of microorganisms AND that consumers are informed that such food has been prepared in a private home which is not licensed or inspected by PDA.


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  2. Yesterday's PA State Grange Legislative Day and "Pie Day" trip to the state Capitol paid off in huge dividends! About 55 PA Grangers met at the Radisson at 10:30 a.m. They first heard from PA State Police Sgt. Robert Kroll and Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Manager Kevin Stewart who informed them of the "real" changes in PA DOT highway regulations regarding farm tractors and equipment. After a legislative briefing from John Barley from Versant Strategies and lunch, everyone boarded a bus and headed to the Capitol in Harrisburg to meet with their legislators and encourage them to support SB 828 which would legalize the sale of "home baked" items by non-profit and fraternal organizations for fund raising. Members presented their legislators with pies or other home-baked items to remind them to support the bill.
    AND...the PA House passed SB 828 with a vote of 189-0, sending it back to the Senate for concurrence on a few amendments and then, hopefully to the Governor for his signature.
    A few loud voices can make a difference!