By Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland)
About a year ago, I was fortunate enough to have been sworn in to represent the people of the 193rd Legislative District in the state House of Representatives. I often reflect on the responsibility you have entrusted to me and want to take a moment to renew that commitment.
As we enter a new year, my 2020 resolution is to continue working hard for each of you. Every day, my staff and I work hard with the lone goal of improving the lives of everyone in the district and Pennsylvania. Whether it is a piece of legislation that garners your interest, helping you with a property tax rebate or birth certificate, or you would like our presence at a event, our team has made an effort to deliver on each request received. These efforts will continue into 2020. We do not always provide the answers you want, but we strive to make your life and our community the best it can be. So never be afraid to reach out to our office…Catherine, Branwyn, Derek and I are here to assist.
I am also committed to working on rational legislation in Harrisburg. This past year we passed a lot of commonsense, bipartisan legislation into law, such as the career and technical education package to improve educational opportunities for students looking to enter the trades. We also worked on criminal justice reform and victims’ rights legislation that will both protect our most vulnerable from dangerous criminals but give reasonable second chances to individuals to keep them out of the criminal justice system. Though you often hear about political discord in Washington, D.C., and even Harrisburg, the truth is. the elected officials who serve you have more in common than you think. These commonsense legislative packages are examples of that.
Another part of my resolution is to improve fiscal responsibility in Pennsylvania. To that end, I support a package of House bills to strengthen the financial management of the Commonwealth that was recently introduced. These bills serve to shore up the state’s finances by increasing the Rainy Day Fund, moving special funds back to the General Fund and altering the budgeting process to make it truly nonpartisan.
No tax dollar collected by state government, or any government for that matter, belongs to the government. Rather, the money belongs to the people who entrust elected officials to be good shepherds of their money. That is why I support these bills and others to improve transparency, decrease costs and ensure residents are receiving the biggest bang for their bucks.
In keeping with my New Year’s resolution, I will continue to push my bills toward the governor’s desk. As a freshman, I am particularly proud of having three bills passed out of the House. It is my goal that these bills be become law before the 2019-20 session comes to the end.
To modernize requirements for junior firefighters and to bolster membership of valued volunteer fire services, my House Bill 1522
is currently before the full Senate. House Bill 854
would strengthen the penalties for strangling someone is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Finally, my House Bill 1021
would allow the House and Senate to take a more active role in legal proceedings when a law is challenged as being unconstitutional. This bill is also in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I am continuing to work on additional legislation in the House to help bolster our rich agricultural heritage. This includes civil liability protection for persons who offer agritourism activities on their farm and reducing/eliminating unnecessary fees our small, family-owned farms pay to the Commonwealth. Stay tuned on these proposals.
My final resolution is to continue our dedication to the community. Whether it is volunteering at the dime pitch, laying wreaths on a veterans’ grave or reading a story to a class full of enthusiastic preschoolers, my team and I want to be a part of our community. As a state representative, I get to see how so many of you give back to your communities. It is truly inspirational. That is why our office will continue to take advantage of volunteer opportunities to improve our community.
This past year has been a blessing for me. I am honored to serve you. Please never hesitate to drop by my office, located at 282 W. King St. in Abbottstown, or call it at 717- 259-7805 if you need assistance with a state-related matter.
I sincerely hope 2020 brings you blessings and prosperity.
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross