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.
“Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.”
Multiple Road Closures Due to Flooding in Sullivan and Lycoming Counties
The recent flooding has caused considerable damage and multiple road and bridge closures across Lycoming and Sullivan counties.
According to PennDOT, 144 of the 154 bridge inspections have been completed with the remaining ten scheduled for Monday. Three bridges will require replacement, nine others will require repairs and 23 will require scour repair and debris removal.
Five roads (Lycoming SRs 1003 & 1006 and Sullivan SRs 87, 4001, 4010) are closed due to flooding. Permanent detours are being signed.
Please allow extra travel time in flood-damaged areas and slow down to keep road crews and fellow motorists safe. Do not put yourself in harm’s way by visiting damaged sections of roadway.
For a list of current closures, visit the PennDOT District 3-0 website,
Governor, DEP Secretary Briefed on Flooding
On Sunday, October 23rd, I met with Governor Tom Wolf, Acting Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell and other state and local officials to review and survey response and recovery efforts in areas affected by the severe flooding.
Personnel from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA Dept. of Health, PA Dept. of Human Services, DEP, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania State Police, and PennDOT are presently engaged in the region.
The Department of Health has tetanus shots available to citizens who may be at risk of contracting tetanus due to the flooding.
Volunteers and staff from the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region have been assisting those impacted by the flooding.
The organization has transitioned the relief operation to disaster assessment. Red Cross staff and volunteers are making their way out into the community and are working with those impacted to assess their needs and help them on their road to recovery.
If you are in need of disaster assistance due to the storm and
flooding, please contact the Red Cross at 866-311-3832, or contact the
Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency /
Sullivan County Emergency Services.
State System, APSCUF Reach Tentative Agreement
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
Once agreed to, the new contract will go to the full APSCUF membership for a ratification vote. If ratified, the tentative agreement then would be brought to the State System’s Board of Governors for final approval. The contract would run through June 30, 2018.
The agreement would provide faculty with pay increases and would allow the State System to realize important health care cost savings.
For continuous updates and developments concerning the strike, I encourage you to monitor PASSHE’s website at
The state Senate returns to voting session this week with several Senate Committee meetings/hearings on the agenda. Live web streams of Senate session and
the majority of committee meetings are available on
On Wednesday, October 26th at 9 AM, the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee will hold a public hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) with officials from the PA Department of Agriculture and the PA Game Commission.
Also on Wednesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a joint informational meeting with the House
Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee on the State Veterans Commission.
The Senate passed legislation to prevent municipalities from targeting responsible gun owners with local firearms ordinances that are more restrictive than existing state laws. Senate Bill 1330 would allow an individual or organization to sue to block an overly restrictive local firearms ordinance. In current practice, gun owners who are accused of violating local ordinances often lack the time and financial resources to engage in a lengthy and costly legal battle necessary to overturn unconstitutional gun regulations at the local level.
Legislation allowing parents or guardians with adult children in their care to receive disability license plates has been signed into law.
Act 55 will provide access to vehicle disability license plates to the parent, including adoptive parent or foster parent, if an adult child in their care
qualifies for a disability plate. To read more,
Animal Care Sanctuary Benefit Auction Held
On Saturday, October 22nd, I joined Joan Smith-Reese, Executive Director, of the Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield/Wellsboro and members of the ACS team for a Benefit Auction at Roan’s Gallery on Lycoming Creek Road in Williamsport. All proceeds benefited ACS during their 50th Anniversary weekend.
UCATO Celebrates 100th Anniversary
The Union County Association of Township Officials (UCATO) celebrated 100 years of their convention Thursday, October 20th at
the Carriage Corner Restaurant in Mifflinburg. Formed by local township officials to address shared roadway concerns – their first moniker was “The
Township Road Supervisors of Union County.” I was pleased to recognize the UCATO on their centennial event.
Former Lycoming College Football Coach
On Wednesday, October 19th, $1 million in PENNVEST funding was approved for Laporte Borough, Sullivan County, for water system improvements.
The state funding, consisting of a $687,602 million low-interest loan and a $326,128 grant, will enable the borough to replace 3,700 feet of water lines and construct a new 150,000 gallon glass lined finished water storage tank to eliminate current system deficiencies. The project will eliminate health hazards associated with potential water contamination. The water line replacement along Muncy, Cherry and Main Streets in the Borough will ensure continuous water, improve fire flows and increase system pressures.
To read more,
Brenda Bonafair, UniqueSource, and Bob Garrett, North Central Sight Services, visit with my Chief of Staff, Rita Zielonis, during their “Day on the Hill” to discuss employees with disabilities.
On the Calendar
Project Bald Eagle, a coalition of organizations, community leaders, professionals and citizens working together to stem the tide of the heroin epidemic, will host a presentation and town hall meeting on opioids on Thursday, October 27th, beginning at 7 PM in the Loyalsock High School auditorium, 1801 Loyalsock Drive.
The evening will consist of a panel discussion with panelists Steve Murphy Shope, executive director of Project Bald Eagle; myself; Barry Denk, of the
Center for Rural Pennsylvania; Dr. Todd Fausnaught, of CleanSlate; and Kathleen Hugo, of Crossroads Counseling.
PennDOT announced it will begin accepting applications today for funding transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund. PennDOT will evaluate the applications and make selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency, and operational sustainability.
PennDOT has $40 million in grants available for fiscal year 2017-18. Applications are due by December 16, 2016. PennDOT expects to announce grant recipients next year for the funding that becomes available in July 2017.
For more information about the program, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the "Projects & Programs" button.
On October 5th, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), EPA, and partner agencies announced the availability of community planning assistance through Rural Advantage, a suite of programs that help rural communities develop strategies to grow their economies and revitalize downtown neighborhoods. These programs include Local Foods, Local Places, which helps communities leverage local food enterprise to diversify their economy and renew their downtowns; Cool & Connected, created to help communities use broadband service to create walkable, connected, economically successful neighborhoods; and Healthy Places for Healthy People, a new program that helps communities use centrally located health-care facilities to promote community development and active living.
Applications for Rural Advantage support are due November 6.
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Senate Box 203023
362 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3023
330 Pine Street
Williamsport, PA 17701
1 Elizabeth Street
Towanda, PA 18848