Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
May 3, 2019
“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” – Abraham Lincoln
Senate Republican Leaders Say Sound Fiscal Policies Have Contributed to Healthy PA Revenue Collections
PA revenue collections have soared to a healthy surplus, thanks in part to Republican economic policies that have focused on holding down spending and rejecting proposed tax increases. At a news conference this week at the State Capitol, Senate Republican leaders noted that commitment to fiscal restraint, rather than supporting massive spending increases and higher taxes proposed by the governor, has improved Pennsylvania’s financial position and kept more money in taxpayers’ pockets.
“Farming First” Bills Supporting PA Agriculture on Schedule for Next Week
A package of bills that would help Pennsylvania agricultural operations remain competitive and profitable for current and future generations of farmers are on deck to be considered next week.
The “Farming First” package is designed to build on the longstanding efforts of Senate Republicans to support Pennsylvania’s farm families and maintain agriculture’s status as the state’s top industry.
Yaw Bill Would Promote Local Stream Cleaning and Maintenance Efforts
I will soon introduce legislation that would authorize Pennsylvania counties to adopt stream-cleaning and maintenance programs to encourage local efforts in removing obstructions and flood-related hazards from local waterways.
The bill would direct the state Environmental Quality Board to develop regulations permitting the programs under the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.
The programs would give counties greater tools to conduct stream maintenance activities in a timely and environmentally sensitive manner, and assist landowners and regulatory authorities in identifying the scope of maintenance needs and remedial actions.
To read more, click here.
$1.8 Million in School Safety Grants Awarded Across Senate District
I was happy to announce that 10 local schools across the 23rd Senatorial District were awarded funding this week through the School Safety and Security Grant Program.
School districts that were awarded grants include:
The grants were awarded by the School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) as part of the School Safety and Security Grant Program, which was created by lawmakers in 2018.
To read more, click here.
Bill Exempting Milk Haulers from Travel Bans Earns Committee Approval
A bill I sponsored, along with Sen. Judy Ward, exempting milk haulers from travel bans imposed during an emergency declaration was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 588 would allow a licensed milk hauler to transport milk on highways even during commercial travel bans during inclement weather. The legislation is necessary due to the highly perishable nature of raw milk.
Cows just don’t turn themselves off when it snows. There is a very limited window for milk to be transported before it perishes. When travel bans impact milk haulers, dairy farmers may be forced to dispose of their product as cows continue to produce milk regardless of the weather. Losing an entire day of work and revenue is extremely hard for dairy farmers who are already suffering due to low market prices.”
Celebrate “Drinking Water Week,” May 5th-11th, in Pennsylvania
Recognizing the importance of safe and clean drinking water, this week I offered a Senate Resolution declaring May 5th through the 11th, 2019 as “Drinking Water Week” in Pennsylvania.
The week coincides with National Drinking Water Week, which celebrates the contributions of public water supply operators in providing safe drinking water for the nation’s residents. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 9,200 public water supply systems providing drinking water to eight out of 10 state residents.
What We’re Watching….
As noted above, Pennsylvania revenue collections have soared to a healthy surplus, thanks in part to Republican economic policies that have focused on holding down spending and rejecting proposed tax increases. The state’s General Fund collections through April are $828.5 million above estimate, and the state should end the year with a healthy surplus, which will help the state build up its weak Rainy Day Fund. Continued spending restraint is critical.
Agriculture is not only an important contributor to our Commonwealth’s economy, but also an important part of our heritage. Bills in the “Farmers First” package are designed to help new farmers enter the industry, identify ways to confront market challenges, facilitate the transportation of farm equipment and ease regulations that prevent farmers from earning extra income. The package of bills is a continuation of the dedicated efforts of Senate Republicans to help Pennsylvania farms remain viable and profitable, even in the face of serious financial challenges.
In addition to “Drinking Water Week”, I also introduced a Senate Resolution this week recognizing our County Conservation Districts. They are the boots on the ground when it comes to conserving our natural resources and developing programs and projects consistent with environmental stewardship. I am proud to extend warm wishes to our county conservation districts and recognize the week of May 5th as ‘Conservation District Week’ in Pennsylvania.
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, of which I Chair, has again scheduled a voting meeting on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 9AM to consider the nomination of Patrick McDonnell as DEP Secretary. The nomination was not considered as part of this past Tuesday’s agenda. You can watch the meeting LIVE, click here.
Congratulations to DCNR’s Cindy Adams Dunn who was unanimously approved this week by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to again serve as Secretary. Ms. Dunn’s nomination now heads to the full Senate for consideration. I congratulate Ms. Dunn on the support she has garnered. While we may have differences of opinion on certain issues, I feel she has worked to manage and maintain Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks to the best of her ability, promote our state’s water resources, forests, and educate the public on a number of important issues, including our state’s endangered species. I am pleased to continue working with her.
TUNE-IN NEXT WEEK: The Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure, of which I am a member, was formed as the result of Senate Resolution 33. I will join several Senate colleagues on May 7, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the legislative recommendations from the ‘Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure,” which was recently released by the Joint State Government Commission, as well as legislation we plan to introduce to address lead contamination in our state.