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.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Maintains RGGI Stay
Skill Games Sustain Veterans’ Organizations, Social Clubs
West Pharmaceuticals Expanding in Jersey Shore, Lycoming County
170th Annual Sullivan County Fair
‘Let Freedom Roar’ Rolling Memorial Motorcycle Ride to be Held in Lycoming County
Inaugural Wyalusing Music Fest Set for Holiday Weekend
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Labor Day Holiday
Muncy Legion Receives Contribution from PA Skill Games
This week, I joined Congressman Dan Meuser, Steve Haefner, Commander of the Muncy American Legion Post 268, Miele Manufacturing, along with NFL Greats LaVar Arrington & Lito Sheppard to discuss skill game regulation in the Keystone State.
Legal skill games provide much-needed revenue for restaurants, bars, fraternal organizations and veterans groups. During the pandemic, they have been lifelines for small businesses and organizations, such as VFWs and American Legions, that say they would have shut down for good if not for skill game funds.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments One Step Closer to Voter Input
To ensure that citizens are heard, the General Assembly approved a measure that would put five proposed amendments to the state constitution on the ballot for voters to decide. The measure must be approved again in the 2023-24 legislative session to go before the voters.
The proposed amendments would:
The process of amending the constitution is lengthy and deliberative and will give citizens across the commonwealth the appropriate time to weigh the merits of the proposals and have their voices heard.
Visiting the 170th Annual Sullivan County Fair
I attended the 170th Annual Sullivan County Fair this week! Located along the scenic Loyalsock Creek in Sullivan County, the fair was established in 1851. Today, the Sullivan County Fair continues to promote agriculture and encourages visitors to understand and be proud of the role of agriculture within the county.
Western/Eastern Bradford County Dinner Meeting
The annual Western/Eastern Bradford County COG dinner meeting was held on Monday, August 22nd at the First Christian Church of Alba on Route 14 in Alba Borough.
Education Improvements Enacted by the General Assembly
When the General Assembly passed the 2022-23 state budget last month, we also enacted several provisions to improve education in Pennsylvania.
One problem we addressed was the potential teacher shortage faced by schools across the commonwealth. We took the first steps toward attracting more quality educators by streamlining the process for out-of-state teachers to receive certification in Pennsylvania. This critical provision will help get teachers who move to Pennsylvania into the classrooms quicker without any unnecessary delays due to red tape.
Additionally, we extended continuing education requirements to ensure good educators aren’t taken out of the classroom when we need them most. We also created a new Committee on Education Talent Recruitment that will provide grants and other resources to ensure we get the best and brightest teachers in front of students.
With statewide graduation requirements going into effect this school year, the reforms also included a provision to create an alternative graduation pathway for students impacted by COVID-19. In addition, we expanded dual enrollment so more high school students can enroll in higher education classes. This offers more young people a chance to earn college credits before high school graduation, better preparing them for college and allowing them to reduce the total cost of earning a degree.
Supporting education also means encouraging new learning options, no matter where the instruction takes place. Record new funding for the state’s popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) scholarship program will ensure more kids can learn in an environment that suits their unique educational needs, including both public and private schools.
Finally, the General Assembly acted to eliminate onerous regulations that would have shuttered many quality charter schools. In addition to historic levels of state funding, these actions will help ensure Pennsylvania’s children have the educational foundation needed to thrive.
Please Watch for Children as Schools Open
With children returning to school, it’s a good time to revisit the state school bus stopping law.
The penalties if convicted of violating the law include a $250 fine, five points on your driving record and a 60-day license suspension. For your sake and that of students and school employees, please be careful around school buses.
PennDOT Jobs Available for CDL Drivers
The Department of Transportation is hiring Winter CDL Equipment Operators. The job involves operating highway construction and maintenance equipment to perform snow removal duties and related tasks.
This is a seasonal position lasting from September through April, but there are frequent opportunities for promotion that include good benefits and career advancement.
Winter CDL Equipment Operators earn $18.53 to $20.49 per hour, based on location. To see counties where you might be interested in working, view PennDOT’s District map. Watch this video to learn more about this position.
PA ABLE Helps Pennsylvanians with Disabilities
PA ABLE is a savings program that helps to provide increased financial independence for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. Since being created by the General Assembly five years ago, the program has helped nearly 7,000 Pennsylvanians and their families save more than $71 million.
PA ABLE accounts allow individuals and families to save without affecting eligibility for means-tested federal benefits – and they offer tax advantages. Growth in PA ABLE accounts is tax-deferred, and withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified disability expenses – which can include day-to-day things like groceries or rent, or larger, more long-term expenses such as assistive technology or vehicle modifications.
Eligible Pennsylvanians can open a PA ABLE account and choose from investment options or an interest-bearing checking account to best meet their savings goals. PA ABLE is administered by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. To learn about program eligibility and how to open a PA ABLE account, visit paable.gov or call 855-529-2253.
Lackawanna College to Offer PNG Courses in Towanda
Lackawanna College’s Towanda Center hosted a small event on Tuesday, Aug. 24th to announce that they will start offering three introductory Petroleum & Natural Gas (PNG) courses in January to provide additional access to the degree program in Bradford County.