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


2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget first in five years to cover costs

(Jun 30, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, released the following statement following the passage of the 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget: “This is the first budget in five years, assuming we can get the revenue, which does not increase the structural budget deficit. While it doesn’t reduce the existing deficit, at least it doesn’t continue the practice of spending more than we have in the state coffers. “I still have some concerns including the practice of stealing money from the Motor License Fund, a total of $814 million this year. This budget increases money to basic education, but does not solve the problems of inequity in funding those schools. It removes some people with disabilities off of waiting lists for services; however, there is still a five year waiting list for people hoping to access services. Can you imagine if we ran other parts of our government this way? “I challenge those who refused to support this budget with the excuse that they wanted more cuts to propose what specifically they would like to cut and not just rely on the blanket statement of identifying ‘waste, fraud and abuse’. Propose specifically which classes they’d like to cut from school curriculum, how many prisoners to let out of jail or how many seniors to kick out of nursing home care facilities. The frivolous claim to find dollars where they do not exist is simply not enough and has not been enough for Read more


Spring 2016 Newsletter

(Jun 10, 2016)

Rep. Mike Sturla's Spring 2016 Newsletter Read more


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