NEWS

Summit brings lawmakers together

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Rep. Todd Rock, second from left, and Rep. Rob Kauffman and Sen. Rich Alloway, fourth and fifth from left, met with legislators from West Virginia and Maryland to discuss how each state handled mutual issues. The summit was held at the Parlor House in Waynesboro.

Fourteen bipartisan legislators attended the 24th Quad State Summit, hosted by Rep. Todd Rock on Sept.11, to discuss issues of mutual concern. The I-81 corridor made the top of the list.

Rock was joined by Pennsylvania co-horts Rep. Rob Kauffman and Sen. Rich Alloway, and guests from Maryland and West Virginia. No one from Virginia was able to attend. They talked while dining at Parlor House Restaurant in Waynesboro, footing their own meal ticket.

“The purpose is to exchange ideas,” said Rock. “Many of us face the same issues and resolve them differently.”

Alloway agreed. “It’s good to get together and discuss what each state is doing. I’m more interested in the common concerns we all face and can work on together.”

His office was tasked with creating a letter to send to U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster from Pennsylvania and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, asking the federal government for help for the interstate, which ran through all of the states. Wanting it to be safer, the legislators sought options on ways to improve it, along with funding.

The elected officials also talked about state pensions, gasoline taxes, prisons systems, drugs and the Chesapeake Bay initiative.

The summit, started by Sen.Terry Punt, Waynesboro, and West Virginia Rep. John Overington in 1987,  was not held for a few years, and has changed format. It used to run for two days and include guest speakers.

“Now we get better attendance and people can speak freely,” said Rock.

"They are not afraid to say what’s on their mind.”

“It’s good for everyone,”said Alloway. “I hope we can keep it going.”