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  PA   L EGISLATIVE R  ESEARCH H ELP   A. Assistance by phone .  It is always good to know who your State legislators are, for   their offices in Harrisburg can be extremely helpful in finding and providing information about  pending legislative bills and activity. In the Lewisburg, PA area, your legislators are: Senator Gene Yaw (Republican), 23rd State Senatorial District) Telephone: (717) 787-3280, (570) 322-6457, 1-800-443-5772 Website: State Representative David Rowe (Republican), 85 th  State House District) Telephone: (717) 787-5452, (570) 966-0052, (570) 837-0052 Website: www.repdavidrowe,com/    To find and contact the offices of other legislators in the State, go to the following website which provides a map of state counties. Click on any of counties shown, and a list of the names of legislators in the selected county will pop-up, with hyperlinks to their contact information:   B. Assistance from blog authors   . Each blog post provides the opportunity to Comment, Question, or Reply to the author of the post. This blog is provided as a free service, and postings are made voluntarily for the basic information of readers. In order to encourage participation in the use of the blog, no obligation is imposed upon authors or individuals to respond to or comment upon inquiries. At the sole discretion of each individual author, a response may, or may not be occasionally  provided. Choose the Comment option and indicate what specific information you are seeking.  Note : The blog publisher monitors all postings and asks that all users be respectful of the views of others. Please refrain from polemics, partisan arguments, advertising, and inappropriate language. The publisher reserves the absolute right to block any postings which it deems inappropriate C. Assistance on the State Legislature’s website .  Set out here are some basic   instructions for blog users to find further information about legislative bills that are mentioned in the  blog postings. Much of this guidance, and more, can be found on the Pennsylvania General  Assembly’s website, but we try to reiterate it here in terms which, hopefully, might be less intimidating for the general readers of this blog site. Out of respect for individuals who may not be familiar with the legislative process, or with the use of blogs or computers, we try to keep the instructions simple and clear  —   but, at the acknowledged risk of being too detailed and pedantic. We invite you to let us know, by Reply or Comment, ways in which this guidance might be improved. First Step:     Go to the website of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:     You can do that in several ways:    Move your computer’s cursor to that hyperlink and left click your computer mouse. OR  ,    Move your computer’s cursor over the hyperlink to highlight its text.  Copy the highlighted text of the link by pressing the Control and C keys on your keyboard. Then, move your cursor to your computer’s web Search box and Paste (Control + V) the copied t ext there. Press the Enter key, and you should be taken to the Legislature’s website. OR  ,    Simply go to your computer’s web search box and type in “Pennsylvania General Assembly.” Press the Enter key and you should next see a list of choices. Select the link to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Second Step:   Notice the abundance of information that the General Assembly’s website provides. If you are looking for information about a bill pending in the current legislative session, scroll part way down the page until you see the following section near the left margin of the page: Find Legislation   Bill # /_____/ Go   Keyword /_____/ Go Sponsor /_____/ Go      If you know the specific number of the bill about which you are seeking information, type that number into the box next to the words Bill # , using the following format: For bills initiated in the Senate, enter the letters SB followed by the bill number. For example, SB22.  For bills initiated in the House of Representatives, enter the letters HB followed by the bill number. For example, HB1242 . Then,  press the Enter key. OR,      If you do not know the specific bill number, but know what the bill topic is, enter a word that you think might be included in the text of the bill by using the box next to the word Keyword. . For example, if you think the bill is about “ absentee ballots, ” you might enter those words in the box that follows the word “Keyword.”  Try to be somewhat innovative in deciding upon an appropriate  keyword, because the search engine recognizes only words that are associated with terms used in legislative parlance. The legislative search engine may return a message indicating that it could find no bill that includes a match with the word you entered. In that case, think of a different word and enter that. Then, press the Enter key. The legislative search engine will generate a list of all  bills containing the keyword you have chosen. Select the bill in which you are interested, and press the Enter key. OR  ,    If you do not know the bill number and are not able to identify an appropriate keyword, but you know the name of the legislator who introduced the bill, use the t hird box to indicate whether that person is in the “Senate” or the “House.” Then,  press the Enter key. A new window will appear with a list of all legislators in the Senate or in the House. Select the name of the person who you believe is a sponsor of the bill. Press the Enter key. A new window will appear listing all the numbers of bills that the specified legislator has introduced in the current legislative session. Use your mouse to cause the cursor to hover over each number on that list. As you do that, a drop-down box will appear, displaying the subject title of each bill. Select the one for which you are searching, and press the Enter key. A “Bill Information” page will appear, including various hyperlinks in underlined blue text. Third Step  Use your computer mouse to select any of the hyperlinks (blue colored text) on the Bill Information page. For example, selecting the name of the bill sponsor will bring you to that specific legislator’s web page.  You can return to the Bill Information page by using the Back arrow on your computer screen. Selecting the “Memo” hyperlink will bring you to a memorandum or notice that the legislator may have initially submitted to fellow legislators in an effort to alert them to his or her intent to introduce the bill. The memorandum typically offers a brief summary of the reason for and scope of the proposed bill. Again, you can return to the Bill Information page by using the Back arrow on your computer screen. Selecting the “Printer’s No.” hyperlink will bring  you to the text of the bill. An asterisk next to one of the Printer’s N umbers indicates that the number leads to the most current version of the bill, including any amended text. Reading the text of a bill requires care,  particularly if the text has been amended. Text that is bracketed, shaded, underlined or which appears with a nearby arrow may signify words or sections that are being deleted or modified. As you increase your familiarity with the use of hyperlinks, you will become more comfortable in homing in on the specific information you seek and the resources that can be contacted should you wish to submit concerns or questions to your legislator or others.
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