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Editor's Voice: Middletown, meet your new representatives

Posted 9/3/13

You may not realize it, but your representatives to the state Senate and federal House of Representatives has changed because of redistricting.

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Editor's Voice: Middletown, meet your new representatives


This year, your new congressman, Republican Charlie Dent, took Middletown and a couple of its neighbors under his wing. Dent, of Allentown, took over the representation of Middletown, Royalton and Hummelstown, as well as Londonderry and Conewago townships from the 17th Congressional District, the district represented by former congressman Tim Holden.

Redistricting must be done every 10 years after a new U.S. Census to keep the population levels of each district level. Middletown is now a part of Dent’s 15th Congressional District.

In January, Middletown will switch state senators because of redistricting: Sen. Mike Folmar, a Republican from Lebanon, will represent the area, replacing Democratic Sen. Rob. Teplitz. Teplitz won the seat after former senator Jeff Piccola retired.

Both Dent and Folmer have toured Middletown recently to get acquainted with the newest portion of their districts. Folmer visited last week, stopping in at the Press And Journal office to give us a glimpse of his views on some issues facing the state.

Unlike Democrat Teplitz, Folmer holds conservative views on Right to Work (he’s a big supporter) and expanding Medicaid to accommodate Obamacare (he’s against it – “I don’t want another unfunded mandate being thrust down the throats of Pennsylvanians,’’ he said), He does believe healthcare reform, of some kind, is necessary, and believes that those who oppose Obamacare should come up with a plan of their own. “I don’t want to be a ‘no’ because it’s popular,’’ he said.

He isn’t keen on tax-exempt Keystone Opportunity Zones, like the one sought by Harrisburg International Airport’s governing board to entice developers to property it owns in Middletown, Lower Swatara Twp. and Highspire – but he sees it as a short-term answer in these tough economic times. He prefers reforming Pennsylvania’s business taxes. “I’d rather look at a more long-term solution,’’ he said. “Under the present tax situation we’re in, it’s a necessary evil.’’

He’s a champion of eliminating the school property tax, and replacing lost revenues with sales tax. “Is it scary?’’ he asked rhetorically. “I think the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’’

Dent’s Hershey office: 250 W. Chocolate Ave., Suite 2, Hershey, PA 17033. Phone: 717-533-3959.
Folmer’s Lebanon office: 400 S. 8th St., 101 Municipal Building, Lebanon, PA 17042. Phone: 717-274-6735. His Capitol office: Room 170 Main Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17120-3048. Phone: 717-787-5708 or 877-222-1897.



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