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, Susquehanna 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.
*Click here to find the latest information on coronavirus from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Voting in Person? Frequently Asked Questions Before You Hit the Polls Tuesday
Polling locations will be open on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Around the 23rd Senate District
Discussing ‘Civic Engagement’ During Visit to Penn College…On Wednesday, I spoke with Student Government Association (SGA) leaders on the campus of the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport. [Read More]
Supporting Rail Freight Across the Region…As a strong supporter of our rail freight industry, I want our federal leaders to know that I stand behind efforts to innovate, adapt and reinvest in our rail freight industry. It will be good for our state, our economy and our consumers. [Read More]
Reminding Area Residents of LIHEAP Program…Each year, and especially this year due to the economic downturn, many of Pennsylvania’s low income, elderly and disabled residents have had difficulty paying their home energy bills. There is assistance available. [Read More] (*Residents in Union County may also qualify for heating unit repairs though SEDA-Council of Governments).
Jersey Shore Borough Homeowners May Qualify for HOME Existing Owner-Occupied Housing Program… The SEDA-Council of Governments is encouraging borough residents to apply now to get on the wait list. [Read More]
Assistance Available for Eligible Pennsylvania Veterans and Beneficiaries… Financial assistance is available through the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ (DMVA) Veterans Temporary Assistance (VTA) program. [Read More]
Senate Passes Package of Bills to Support Veterans, Military Families
Throughout our nation’s history, Pennsylvania’s military veterans and their families have been called on to make extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of a grateful nation. I supported a package of bills last week designed to boost support for veterans and military families and honor their incredible efforts to protect their fellow citizens.
The package includes bills that would permanently establish the Military Family Relief Assistance Program in state law; update the Veterans’ Preference Law to ensure veterans receive proper credit for their skills and experience; create Veterans Courts to provide mentorship and treatment for underlying problems; help more veterans qualify for prescription drug assistance; and ensure the POW/MIA flag is flown on any ground or building owned by the Commonwealth and at all roadside rest stops and welcome centers operated by PennDOT, as well as PA Turnpike service plazas.
All of the bills were sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law in advance of Veterans Day on November 11.
Additional Funding Approved to Help Schools Meet Health and Safety Needs
Local schools will be able to apply soon for additional grant funding to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and school employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were approved as part of the $200 million COVID-19 Disaster Emergency School Health and Safety Grant program created by lawmakers in May as part of Act 30 of 2020.
Eligible uses of the funding include:
The grant program is expected to open no later than Monday, November 2. Grant applications can be submitted on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Egrants website.
Senate Votes to Protect Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Issues, Substance Use Disorder
Millions of Pennsylvanians struggle with mental health issues and substance use disorder, and many state residents report challenges in receiving the care they need. The Senate approved two bills last week to ensure mental health and substance use disorder receive the same level of insurance coverage as other health issues.
The bills will strengthen enforcement of a federal law that mandates equal access to care and coverage for these health issues. House Bill 1696 and House Bill 1439 would require insurers to annually attest the steps they have taken to comply with this law.
Applications for Community Violence Prevention Grants Due November 10th
Local municipalities, counties, colleges and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants to boost community safety and reduce the risk of violence. Applications for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Community Violence Prevention/Reduction Initiative must be completed and returned by November 10th.
The program was created by lawmakers two years ago as part of a broad package of reforms to make our schools and communities safer. Eligible uses for the grants include mentoring services and other intervention services for at-risk children and families; promoting communication between school entities and law enforcement; linking the community with local trauma support and behavioral health systems; and other programs designed to reduce community violence.
Energy Efficiency Grants Available for Farmers, Small Businesses
Farmers and other small business owners can apply now for grants to support energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects. Applications for the Small Business Advantage Grant program are available now, and grants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through April 12th, 2021.
The program covers up to 50 percent of the project costs up to $7,000. Grants are available to small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees who undertake projects that would save the business 25 percent ($500 minimum) on energy costs annually.
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