Speaking from his office in Hollidaysburg, Eichelbeger touched on a variety of topics which included transportation issues, liquor store privatization and the state pension system.
Eichelberger, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee last year, talked to WRTA News about the Public Private Partnership Transportation legislation that was passed last year.
Eichelberger also called the pension situation the biggest issue state lawmakers face this year.
We also asked the senator about the right to work issue in Pennsylvania.
He says there is a lot of interest in a bill that would change the dues collection process for public sector unions which would outlaw the government from collecting dues through the payroll deduction system.
2012 YEAR END REPORT
with JOHN H. EICHELBERGER, JR.
2012 Committee Assignments
Local Government, Chair
Agricultural and Rural Affairs
Communications and Technology
Game & Fisheries
2012 Caucus Membership
Biotechnology/Life Sciences Caucus
Joint Senate and House Pennsylvania Fair Caucus
Senate Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus
2012 Senate Appointments
Pennsylvania Local Government Commission
Chairmanship of the Senate Resolution 323 Task Force
Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation
Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home Advisory Council
Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (Ex-officio)
Bedford County Planning Commission (Ex-officio)
Blair Countians for Drug Free Communities
Blair Senior Services Advisory Board (Ex-officio)
Campaign 2010 Committee
DiSepio Institute at Saint Francis University Advisory Council
Fulton County Chamber of Commerce (Ex-officio)
Hollidaysburg Community Partnership
Huntingdon County Business & Industry Board of Directors (Ex-officio)
Huntingdon County Center for Community Action Board of Directors
Huntingdon County Partnership for Economic Progress (Ex-officio)
Huntingdon County Prison Task Force
Route 22 Task Force
Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Board
Southern Alleghenies Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) (Ex-officio)
YTI Program Advisory Committee
Senator Eichelberger reminders
has never accepted calendars given to legislators for their personal advertising and dispersal. (The Senate removed this benefit effective three years ago.)
does not use taxpayer-funded Public Service Announcements.
does not take reimbursement for meals.
does not mail out newsletters to constituents.
did no "targeted mailings.’
did not take a car lease, but rather uses his own vehicle.
when outfitting the District Offices, acquired as much used furniture from the Senate warehouse of returned furniture as possible, bought used furniture where permitted and even has one office mostly furnished with pieces loaned to the Senate at no cost.
has staff perform janitorial functions in each District Office, saving the taxpayers the cost of janitorial service contracts.
did not accept taxpayer funded beverages in any of his offices including the capitol. He and his staff personally purchase refreshments.
Maintained regular office hours in four visible and accessible district offices in Bedford, Blair, Fulton, and Huntingdon counties.
Maintained a toll-free telephone number, 1-866-509-EICH (3424), to allow constituents from across the district to contact the office free of charge.
Performed routine constituent services, such as:
PennDOT driver’s and vehicle license services
Property tax/rent rebate applications
DEP permit assistance
Copies of legislation upon request
Local government and social service agency assistance
Funding resource assistance
Senator Eichelberger continued to update his web site. Senator Eichelberger has one of the most innovative legislative web sites in the country at www.senatoreichelberger.com where he posts his daily blog.
Senator Eichelberger posts updates on the social network Facebook, including his daily blog, and checks comments regularly from his over 1,000 Facebook friends, giving his constituents another avenue to stay connected.
Accomplishments and Honors
2012 Goals Accomplished
Chaired the Senate Resolution 323 Task Force on local government mandates which led to the first report to the Senate on mandates in the Commonwealth’s history.
Conducted Local Government Committee hearings on debt and distressed municipalities, and in particular the Harrisburg fiscal crisis, as well as Pennsylvania’s collective bargaining arbitration law.
Continued work with the Local Government Commission to streamline local government operations, abolishing antiquated offices, and repealing outdated statutes.
Advanced work to establish a Community Based Health Program which would provide medical services to uninsured and underinsured Commonwealth residents.
Received a "Defender of Liberty Award 2012" from the American Conservative Union.
Received a 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12 "Guardian of Small Business Award" from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) for having a strong voting record on key small business issues, being one of only eight senators who had a 100 percent voting record on issues important to small businesses in the 2011-12 legislative session.
Named "2010 Statesman of the Year" by Pennsylvanians for Right To Work (PARTW) at its annual Reagan Luncheon. PARTW was organized in 1962 to achieve and guarantee for Pennsylvania workers the right to obtain and hold a job, whether or not they belong to a union.
Presented with an "Award of Commitment" in 2010 from the Center for Independent Living for outstanding dedication, service to the community and ongoing commitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Amendments.
Received "The Spirit of the Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter Award 2010" in recognition of outstanding service to the GLBT community.
Received a 2009 Alumni Achievement Award from Penn State Altoona.
In 2007, Senator Eichelberger received the "Friend of County Government Award" from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.