Meet Seth Grove “Lest anyone think we don’t understand how the Legislature works, that no one can go to Harrisburg and immediately start making a difference, we offer exhibit A: State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, elected in 2008 and one of the hardest-working legislators around.” - York Dispatch Editorial, Oct. 30, 2012 “Grove is savvy, politically astute, and he won’t back down if is the right issue at the right time , , ,” The Caucus, March 5, 2019 Hard-working, dedicated and effective are three words to describe Rep. Seth Grove’s approach to legislating. Seth has tirelessly served the 196th District since 2008, and during his time in office, he has consistently advocated for streamlined, more efficient government and commonsense- conservative principles. Seth’s path to public service began in high school when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was selected for its nuclear engineering program and submarine school. Due to a childhood heart condition, he was unable fulfill the enlistment. Undeterred, Seth opted for a major in public administration at York College to find another way to serve. He attributes this deep sense of civic responsibility to his grandfather’s World War II stories and his father’s service in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Seth honed his knowledge of government while serving as a legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Todd Platts (R-York) and state Rep. Stan Saylor (R-Windsor) and as chief of staff for state Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam). In these capacities, Seth was a dedicated advocate for residents in resolving conflicts with state and federal agencies. He continues to use this expertise to serve the residents of the 196th District. During his service, Seth has served on 13 of the 26 standing committees. This has given him a broad perspective on the issues facing all Pennsylvanians. He shepherded numerous bills into law and had resolutions adopted by the House of Representatives. As a policy wonk and someone who enjoys innovative policy solutions, Seth is regularly asked to speak or participate at national conferences on state fiscal and tax policy. He is a leading voice in Harrisburg on fiscal issues, entitlement reform, education reform and funding, cybersecurity, career and technical education, reducing the size and scope of state government, tax policy, property taxes, gun rights, rights of the unborn, economic growth, community pharmacy issues and pensions – both state and municipal. Seth is dedicated to furthering the interests of the 196th District, York County and Pennsylvania, and he employs this passion outside his legislative endeavors. He has served as an APPRISE counselor for the York County Area Agency on Aging. He is a member of the HACC York Campus Advisory Committee, Dover Lions Club, the Dover Fish and Game Association, Life Member of the National Rifle Association, and the Dover/York YMCA. These associations illustrate his commitment to providing healthy and wholesome activities for York County residents, his conviction to uphold Second Amendment rights and his concern for senior citizens. Seth resides in Dover with his high school sweetheart, Dr. Kacey Grove, and their children, Andrew, Connor, and Raegan. The 196th District is comprised of Dover, Jackson, North Codorus, Paradise and West Manchester townships, and the boroughs of Dover, New Salem and Spring Grove. Seth has received numerous awards including: 2010 - National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): “Guardian of Small Business” 2010 - York County ACTION: “Statesman of the Year” 2011 - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve: “Patriot Employer” 2011 - PA State Alliance of YMCA: “Legislative Champion Award” 2011 - National Association of Social Workers – PA Chapter: “Legislator of the Year” 2012 - York College of Pennsylvania Alumni Association: “Distinguished Recent Graduate Award” 2012 - Pennsylvanians for Right to Work, Inc.: “Sophomore Class Statesman of the Year” 2012 - National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): “Guardian of Small Business” 2012 - American Conservative Union Federation: “Defender of Liberty” 2013 - York County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs: “York County Conservation Public Servant of the Year” 2013 - Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association: “Pennsylvania Legislator of the Year” 2013/14 - Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association: “Legislative Champion of Hospitality Industry” 2014 - American Conservative Union Federation: “Defender of Liberty” 2014 - National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): “Guardian of Small Business” 2014 – Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association: “Friend of the Food Industry Award” 2015/16 - Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association: “Legislative Champion of Hospitality Industry” and the first ever 2-time recipient 2016 - American Conservative Union Federation: “Defender of Liberty” 2016 – Pennsylvania Health Care Association: “Better Life Award” 2017 - Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children: “Champion for Children” 2017 - American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): “National Legislator of the Year” 2017/18 – Americans for Prosperity (AFP): “Legislative Torchbearer” 2017/2018 – American Conservative Union Foundation: “Conservative Excellence” 2018 – The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA): “Friend of Government Accountability” Fiscal Watchdog A fiscal watchdog, Seth led the charge to limit Act 1 exceptions, which allow school districts to bypass the voter referendum requirements for property tax increases above the inflation index. His efforts reduced these exceptions by 70 percent and have made school districts more accountable to the taxpayers. To date, it has stopped over $3 billion in potential property tax increases on the residents and businesses in Pennsylvania. In 2014, Seth along with his colleagues Reps. Cris Dush and Jim Christiana issued a report, Report on State Spending During the Budget Impasse, analyzing the spending of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Administration during the 2014 budget impasse that lasted nine months. The report showed numerous transparency flaws in PennWATCH (the state’s financial transparency website) Act 146 Waivers (a tool the budget office uses to allow appropriations from lapsing back to the general fund) and prior year funds dating back to 2005. He also co-authored the Taxpayers’ Caucus report that identified $3 billion in savings in state government. Some of the cost-saving measures have been implemented since the report was released in May 2016. They include: a tax amnesty program, expansion of the U.S. Treasury Offset Program, liquor reforms and an initiative which came to fruition as the Keystone Offset Program. The program requires the state to intercept payments for work done by state contractors who owe back taxes. In early 2016, Gov. Wolf attempted to defund the Pennsylvania Employee Retirement Commission (PERC), which has sole authority to provide the General Assembly actuarial notes for pension-related legislation. The move by Wolf was an attempt to subvert the constitutional legislative process by stopping pension reform from moving through the General Assembly. As it was a clear violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Seth and colleague Rep. Steve Bloom successfully sued the governor to stop this unconstitutional power grab. Ultimately, the PERC was dissolved and the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) was given the duty of actuarial notes. This led the General Assembly to landmark pension reform. Showing a dedication to transparent government, Seth maintains an active Twitter and Facebook presence and reaches out to constituents using multi-media formats, such as email and video. He also posts his monthly legislative expenses online. In addition, he authored the most expansive financial transparency law in the country, requiring Pennsylvania to open its internal accounting system for public review. This legislation serves as a testament to Seth’s ability to work across the aisle as the bill reflects the collaboration of his office with the Office of the State Treasurer to ensure it has the tools to develop the Treasurer’s Transparency Portal. Seth authored the provision in the Unemployment Compensation (UC) reform law (Act 60 of 2012) which holds individuals responsible for making fraudulent unemployment claims. The law allows the Department of Labor and Industry a 10-year look-back window to collect on faulty overpayments in the UC system. He followed this work by ensuring county jails are connected to the JNET system to ensure prisoners are not fraudulently collecting U/C benefits saving an estimated $100 million to the UC Trust Fund. He followed this success of the UC law with Act 144 of 2016, a comprehensive amendment to an unemployment compensation (UC) bill which would make 48,000 seasonal workers eligible for unemployment benefits while also saving the UC trust fund $1.5 billion and put the fund on pace to be solvent two years ahead of schedule. Additionally, more anti-fraud measures were put into place. Seth has led the charge to reform municipal pension systems to protect employee pensions and provide taxpayers budgetary predictability. While not all municipal pensions are in disarray, a significant number are in severe financial distress. Government Oversight Committee Recognizing state government needs better oversight, the House of Representatives created the House Government Oversight Committee based on a bill Seth authored. As someone who has preached the need for better accountability and transparency in state government, Seth was honored to have been elected by members of the House to serve as the inaugural chairman of the fact-based, bi-partisan committee. This was the first time in the history of the General Assembly where a chairman was elected by his or her own members. Serving on the Oversight Committee is a job Seth believes he is extremely prepared for. As chairman, Seth’s first action was to require every member of the committee and staff to participate in training by the Levin Center at Wayne State Law School. This training provided the backbone of what the committee’s future investigations will operate under – not a witch hunt, but a truly cooperative process which focuses on good government and fact finding. The committee does have the power to issue subpoenas. This is the hammer the committee can use to ensure we can garner the facts we need to complete an investigation. The only other standing committee in the House of Representatives with subpoena power is the House Appropriations Committee. Part of the purpose of the bi-partisan, fact-based training was to set up an internal process to avoid using subpoenas. The House Government Oversight Committee was established with a referral system, which means the speaker of the House, majority leader or minority leader must request an investigation. The committee cannot unilaterally launch an investigation without this referral. While the committee does not have a timeframe to complete an investigation, it must issue a final report and even the minority party can issue a minority report. Seth looks forward to providing oversight on matters of government which impact taxpayers and continuing his quest to make state government even more transparent. Economic Prosperity for All In 2015, Seth was appointed chairman of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Technical Education. After two years of hearings and traveling the state, the Select Subcommittee released an extensive report detailing solutions to our skills gap. This report resulted in the House passing nine bipartisan bills in 2018. Pennsylvania has the second highest number of local government entities in the United States. If each one had their own local labor laws, it would be impossible for businesses to operate in Pennsylvania and comply with over 2,000 different laws. This is why Seth has drafted comprehensive legislation to preempt local governments from passing labor law ordinances on private businesses. Local governments should be focused on public safety, infrastructure, zoning and recreation, not socialist policies meant to harm the free market. About 20 years ago, as part of Gov. Tom Ridge’s proposal to improve Pennsylvania’s business climate, he called for the creation of business courts in Pennsylvania. It is a model which multiple states have started to provide quick and predictable adjudication of business litigation. Instead of incurring the cost of a new arm of the judicial system, Seth crafted and passed legislation in the House to create Commerce Courts by using existing court personnel. After the success of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Seth proposed the Pennsylvania Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Modeled after the federal tax cuts, this legislation would close tax loopholes and reduce the tax rates. This is the best and fairest form of taxation, and ultimately will put more money in your pockets while driving job creation and capital investments for long-term economic growth. Even status quo policies are pushing Pennsylvania backward as other states are cutting tax rates and improving their economy. Also, due to Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he helped push the PUC to cut utility rates for customers by over $400 million. To promote self-sustainability, build on Pennsylvanians’ strong work ethic and build pathways to jobs, Seth introduced the first work requirements for medical assistance in Pennsylvania. National trends, and specifically in Pennsylvania, show 51 percent of non-disabled individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive assistance do not work. To move work-capable Pennsylvanians back into the workforce, grow our economy and provide sustainable revenue for budgeting, work requirements for Medical Assistance recipients is a powerful economic development tool. Reinventing Government for the 22nd Century Pennsylvania hasn’t re-evaluated its state agencies since Gov. Tom Ridge consolidated some agencies 20 years ago. Seth led a team of House members to design a remodel of state agencies by taking eight state agencies and reducing them to four to provide better services at a lower cost for Pennsylvania residents. The agency design is to focus on better governance, streamlined business relations, stronger communities and better health outcomes. This proposal also consolidates workforce development programs into one agency and eliminates boards and commissions which have not met in over a decade. Realizing the entitlement programs are a top budget-driver for more than 20 years, Seth developed legislation to roll all Medical Assistance programs into an independent entity called the Independent Medical Assistance Director. The director would manage the medical assistance budgets within the approved budget, instead of overspending its budget by hundreds of millions of dollars and focus on increasing health care outcomes for our most vulnerable residents. Furthermore, this entity would be the sole entity in charge of changing the state Medicaid plan to remove political decisions and provide consistency in our medical assistance program. After officials used several politically motivated revenue forecasts using nonexistent revenue and failed assumptions, Seth worked with research-based think tanks like the Volker Alliance to develop the Joint Revenue Estimate Committee designed to produce realistic and nonpartisan revenue estimates for the Commonwealth. This will provide better and more realistic revenue estimates for budgeting purposes. As Seth is one of the longest-tenured members of the House on the Appropriations Committee, it became abundantly clear to him that the outdated and backward budget process put into place in 1978 needed a major overhaul. For the first time in 40 years, Seth rewrote the budget process in Pennsylvania to provide more transparency for citizens, ensure budgets are done using evidence-based budgeting (performance-based budget and zero-based budgeting combined), and ensuring appropriate financial controls are in place to abide by the constitutional requirement of a balanced budget. The SMART Act is a landmark bill to reform the entire budget process, so it is more conducive to needs of Pennsylvania residents. Cybersecurity is the crime of our times. As government maintains many personal records, it is imperative the Commonwealth does everything it can to protect our citizens’ vital information. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has been plagued with many IT project failures costing Pennsylvanians hundreds of millions of dollars. Seth acted and drafted the first IT policy for the Commonwealth to consolidate IT under one agency, provide standard cybersecurity protocols for state agencies and create a permanent multi-branch cybersecurity oversight committee to coordinate against cyber threats. One pivotal tool the Legislature has is oversight or ensuring the laws are abided by state agencies. Since Pennsylvania has a full-time legislative branch, oversight should be a day-to-day occurrence. Unfortunately, oversight in Pennsylvania happens very infrequently. Therefore, Seth has sponsored legislation to create, for the first time, permanent House and Senate Oversight Committees to dedicate appropriate resources to one of the General Assembly’s core constitutional job duties. Improving Pennsylvania for Us All Seth has been a tireless advocate for senior citizens. He authored a law which increased access for over 40,000 seniors to PACE and PACENET, a prescription drug assistance program for seniors, by excluding Medicare Part B premiums as income. He also extended the moratorium to ensure seniors whose Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) exceeds the income threshold, to remain on PACE and PACENET. Seth authored a law to reduce state bureaucracy and save school districts money by exempting them from the Planning and Construction Workbook (PLANCON) approval process if they are not seeking state reimbursement for a construction project. During the 2013-14 legislative session, he authored a bill to overhaul the entire PLANCON process. This long and antiquated procedure is required of schools looking for state reimbursement of construction projects. Seth’s bill passed the House and language found in it later became law, including an end to the Department of Education’s moratorium on reimbursements. In addition, more funding was allocated for projects at schools across the Commonwealth. Seth’s initial legislation provided the backbone for the Public School Building Construction and Advisory Committee Report. He also authored legislation to close loopholes in the Commonwealth’s DUI laws. Seth’s bill, which became law, addressed situations in which defendants are arrested for a second DUI while awaiting trial for the first offense. He also removed onerous requirements limiting the sales on pedal-assist bicycles. Now instead of registering these bicycles like cars, individuals can enjoy them with less government intrusion. Human trafficking is a vile crime which traps people in slavery, usually in the illicit sex trade industry. Seth has proposed a bill to make Pennsylvania have some the harshest penalties in the country designed to go after the economics of sex trafficking to make it less profitable. The goal is to help the victim, the individual who is trafficked, and criminally go after trafficker and those individuals who exploit victims by purchasing them from their traffickers. Seth has had the honor of naming several bridges and roadways after local fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives doing their jobs on foreign soil and in our community. While it is a small token, neither they, nor their sacrifices should be forgotten. Protecting Our Children Protecting Pennsylvania’s children is another priority for Seth. He authored the Commonwealth’s groundbreaking sexting law to reduce child sexual exploitation and child pornography. Under this law, teens who are caught sexting are no longer subject to felony prosecution but now can participate in educational diversionary programs and have their records expunged. Seth also authored a law to require minors seeking a motorcycle license to complete a free motorcycle safety course and ensure motorcycle permit riders apply for their full motorcycle license. To boost child immunization rates, Seth authored a law to allow pharmacists to give influenza vaccines for children age 9 and older. This free market policy increased access points for parents to vaccinate their child by more than 2,000 locations.