Sen. Mike Folmer's visit: the big points


Republican Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, visited The York Dispatch's editorial board on Monday to discuss issues in the state legislature.

His district includes part of the northern York County, as well as part of Dauphin County and all of Lebanon County.

Here are five big points from the meeting.

Budget: As the state budget impasse nears the two-month mark, Folmer said talks between Republican leadership and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration continue to drag on.

"I think we gave him something to chew on with this last offer," Folmer said.

Folmer said he's begun to receive calls from social service agencies and libraries as funding for both begin to dry up because of the lack of a state budget.

Medical cannabis: A measure, Senate Bill 3, to legalize medical cannabis is in the House Rules Committee and Folmer said he believes it will come up for floor vote, and pass, in this session.

"I believe something is going to happen when we get back (in session) in September," he said. "There's still some battles."

However, Folmer said the bill will likely be altered in the coming months.

A large percentage of polled Pennsylvanians said they support legalizing medical marijuana and Wolf has said he'd sign the bill if it gets to his desk.

Property tax elimination: There appears to be growing support for Senate Bill 76, to eliminate school property taxes across the state, Folmer said.

"We're still fighting the fight," he said. "I'd like to see the floor vote."

He said there are enough votes to get the bill out of the Senate Finance Committee.

"SB 76 would help third-class cities, such as York City, tremendously," Folmer said. "It makes it easier for (homeowners) to stay in their homes. It makes it more attractive for people to buy."

He added the bill could spur on economic development.

The bill would replace school property taxes with personal income tax and sales tax.

Drone: Folmer is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 971, which would prohibit state and local agencies from flying drones in Pennsylvania for two years to allow privacy rights issues to be addressed.

Folmer said he has concerns that citizens' civil rights could be violated by drone flights.

"I'm not trying to stop the technology. I'm trying to make sure it doesn't out race the Constitution," he said. "I want to make sure American citizens' rights aren't being violated,"

There would exceptions to the moratorium, such as allowing drones to by flown by authorities to aid in search and rescues situations. Personal use of drones won't be affected, Folmer said.

My Senator: Though they may not see eye-to-eye on all the issues, Folmer said he receives a friendly greeting from Wolf when the two cross paths in the Capitol.

Wolf, who lives in Mount Wolf (Folmer's district), is always quick to point out that Folmer is "my senator."

— Reach Greg Gross at