Senate Ag Committee to Consider Bills Making Fireworks Law Changes, Helping Dairy Farmers

HARRISBURG – The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee will meet off the floor in the Senate Rules Room on Monday, June 20, to consider two bills, according to Committee Chair Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47):

  • House Bill 223, sponsored by Rep. John Lawrence (R-13), creates the Keystone Opportunity Dairy Zone Act to facilitate new or additional processing capacity for Pennsylvania milk.
  • House Bill 2157, sponsored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-142), includes omnibus amendments to the Fireworks Law.


CONTACT:               Cara Laudenslager        

Senate Ag Committee to Consider Very Small Meat Processing Grant Program Update, Horse Racing Regulations Legislation

HARRISBURG – The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee will hold a voting meeting at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 24, in Room 461, Main Capitol, to consider the following legislation:

  • Senate Bill 1236 (Sen. Vogel) – Amends Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to make several updates to the Very Small Meat Processor Federal Inspection Reimbursement Grant Program.
  • Senate Bill 1237 (Sen. Vogel) – Amends Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to extend the existing temporary horse racing regulations by three years and provide the Horse Racing Commission the authority to issue temporary regulations in compliance with forthcoming federal regulations.

The meeting will be streamed live on the committee website.


CONTACT: Cara Laudenslager

ADVISORY – Wednesday, April 13 – Joint Public Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease

A joint hearing about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) will be held in the state Capitol on Wednesday, April 13 by the Senate’s Game and Fisheries and Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees, according to committee chairs Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-49, and Sen. Elder Vogel, R-47.

The hearing follows up a joint hearing held by the committees on Feb. 9 in Bedford, PA, during which the committee heard about the prevalence of CWD in Pennsylvania and what is being done to address this neurological disease that affects members of the cervid family (deer, elk, moose and reindeer/caribou).

Since first being detected in Pennsylvania deer roughly a decade ago, CWD has spread to all or part of 27 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. The abnormal proteins that cause CWD are shed in saliva, urine, and feces, meaning animals can be infected via animal-to-animal contact or through contaminated environments. CWD-infected animals might not show symptoms of the disease for 18 to 24 months, but all white-tailed deer and elk that contract CWD die, there are no exceptions.

The April 13 hearing will focus on the science behind CWD and related research efforts to combat the disease, and feature testimony from Dr. Erick Gagne, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Disease Ecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Futures Program; Dr. Michelle Gibison, Manager of Research Projects, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Futures Program; Dr. Richard Roush, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University; Calvin Norman, Forestry and Wildlife Extension Educator, Penn State Extension; and Darell Rowledge, Director of the Alliance for Public Wildlife.

The Alliance for Public Wildlife is a group of scientists and professionals whose stated goal is establishing, developing, promoting, and defending principles and policies that will ensure the conservation of North American wildlife. The organization has produced documents (The Challenge of CWD: Insidious and Dire, as well as a supplement to that analysis) examining the science behind CWD, the history and process of its spread, and the public policy implications and recommendations for dealing with it.

WHAT: Joint public hearing of the Senate’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Game and Fisheries committees about Chronic Wasting Disease.

WHEN: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 13

WHERE: Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, PA State Capitol



CONTACTS:           Koty McGowan

                                   Cara Laudenslager