In this Update:
Senate Acts to Help Farmers Meet Rising Demand for Home Delivery
The state Senate approved my legislation, that will enable farmers who have a farm vehicle registration plate to deliver milk and other agricultural products to residents’ homes or businesses.
Farmers are an essential part of Pennsylvania’s economy and livelihood. With the growing demand for at-home delivery services, farmers deserve our support – not bureaucratic red tape. This bill will help farmers meet the rising demand for farm products delivered to homes and businesses, while giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy our state’s agricultural products with a more convenient method.
Senate Bill 95 streamlines the home delivery of milk and other agricultural products. Current law limits farmers from transporting products from their farm to a home residence. Although the current vehicle code allows for home deliveries via a commercial vehicle registration, it prevents the commercial vehicle from being registered as a farm vehicle. As a result, a farmer needs to purchase, register and maintain a separate commercial vehicle for at-home delivery, while also maintaining a farm vehicle to deliver agricultural commodities to places of business.
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, an organization representing farm families engaged in all types of agriculture, supports the legislation. “Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is excited to see the passage of SB 95. A 49-0 vote affirms the Senate’s commitment to farmers in our Commonwealth and sets a promising tone for the rest of the session. We’d like to thank Sen. Langerholc for sponsoring this legislation and creating a more common-sense approach for producers to tackle changing consumer needs. With one less burdensome requirement, farmers can focus on what matters most – feeding Pennsylvania.”
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Ribbon Cutting at The Caring Healthcare Network
Congratulations to Dr. Candice Widuch-Mert and The Caring Healthcare Network on the Grand Opening of their Richland Township Office in Cambria County. The Caring Healthcare Network is a rural health clinic that offers a variety of healthcare services.
PennDOT Job Openings Posted for College Students
Summer PennDOT jobs are available to full-time college students registered for the Fall 2023 semester.
Jobs include assisting in seasonal maintenance work, crash system input and analysis, and maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities. Many students also perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and at highway worksites. The pay is $15.49 per hour.
Students majoring in engineering or a related scientific or technical field might be interested in engineering internship opportunities at PennDOT’s Central Office (Harrisburg) or at one of its statewide engineering district offices. When you apply please email me at email@example.com with all your information.
Senate Approves Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Teacher First Amendment Rights
Following the swearing in of the governor and lieutenant governor on Tuesday, the Senate began the new legislative session in earnest Wednesday by passing several pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 84.
The measure would eliminate the prohibition on teachers from wearing any dress, mark, emblem or insignia reflecting their faith or denomination.
It would align Pennsylvania with every other state in the nation in preserving and protecting First Amendment rights for educators. The measure was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Measure to Boost Volunteer Fire Company Membership Approved
To address the serious shortage of volunteer firefighters across Pennsylvania, the Senate passed legislation to create a pilot program giving interested high school students training in firefighting.
Senate Bill 114 would award grants to one higher education school each in eastern, central and western Pennsylvania to establish fire training programs for students in high school, with the hope they will remain firefighters for years to come.
The number of Pennsylvania volunteer firefighters has plummeted from 300,000 in the 1970s to fewer than 37,000. Senate Bill 114 was sent to the House of Representatives.
Veterans: Now is a Good Time to Review and Update Benefits
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) says that the start of the year is a good time for veterans to meet with an accredited veteran service officer to ensure they are receiving or maximizing the benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice while in uniform.
Safeguarding military paperwork – especially the DD-214, which is used to verify military service – is an important first step for securing benefits. Filing these documents for free at the county courthouse is an easy way to secure them until needed, which can often be decades into the future. Anyone needing assistance locating their military documentation can call the DMVA at 800-547-2838 or e-mail RA-REQ@pa.gov.
Blood Donation is Easy and Safe
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs donated blood. Blood donors help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, those battling cancer and others.
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