State Rep. Matt Gabler speaks at Ledvance’s St. Marys facility in August when the company announced its first large scale LED light bulb production in the city.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his election-year budget address Tuesday afternoon, proposing $33 billion in spending and included a Marcellus Shale natural gas tax to put more money into public schools, skills training, opioid-addiction prevention and social services.

Following the address, the Courier Express contacted Scott Little, spokesman of State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), for a reaction but none came.

Gabler will not be voting on legislative issues or in committee until his return from deployment in the Middle East with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

“He’s not able to vote due to his proximity,” Little said.

Gabler deployed about one month ago to serve as a medical logistics officer in the 28th Infantry Division. He is expected to be gone most of 2018.

Gabler has served as an officer in the 28th Infantry Division, since 2012. He was commissioned as an Army Reserve Officer in 2006. Two years later, he assumed command of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 424th Multi-functional Medical Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, in Newtown Square. Gabler held that position until he transferred to his current position in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. During his military service, Gabler has earned promotion to 1st lieutenant and captain.

“He is in an excuse absence state right now due to his military responsibility,” Little said.

Little added that in the coming months what will come out of Gabler’s office will be information concerning government programs that tax money provides for, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). However, Gabler’s office cannot issue any statements regarding anything legislatively.

“I am making certain that during my upcoming deployment, my office will continue to seamlessly serve the people of the 75th District with their state-related issues,” Gabler said in a past interview with the Courier Express. “Whether serving in the Army or the state House, I am honored to do my part to help our country and communities, but I look forward to again taking up the duties of state representative when I return.”

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