In this Update:
Response to Governor Wolf’s Final Budget Proposal
This is the sixth budget address that I’ve heard from Governor Tom Wolf. If enacted, today’s proposal by the Governor would put Pennsylvania on a path toward a financial deficit as early as next year. While ordinary Pennsylvanians are forced to pay more due to skyrocketing inflation and many Pennsylvania business owners are struggling to recover from the pandemic coupled with the difficulties of finding staff to open for business, now is not the time to send Pennsylvania off a fiscal cliff.
According to Senate Appropriations Committee budget projections, the governor’s plan will produce a $1.3 billion deficit for the 2023-24 fiscal year and create an even bigger bill for Pennsylvania taxpayers to pay long after the governor leaves office: a $13 billion deficit by 2026-27.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I look forward to participating in the upcoming hearings starting on February 22nd to ensure whatever is passed in June will be in the best interest of all the residents of the 35th Senatorial District and the Commonwealth.
Legislation Boosting Aid to First Responders Set for Enactment
Building on a promise to provide Pennsylvania’s frontline heroes with relief, the Senate approved legislation to provide $25 million in federal funding to support EMS providers.
Since January, the General Assembly has advanced measures totaling $250 million for frontline workers, health care providers, emergency services and EMTs. The passage of Senate Bill 739 builds on the General Assembly’s recent efforts to distribute $225 million in federal relief funds for hospital and behavioral health providers to retain and recruit staff.
The measure also would ensure that all fire companies – whether volunteer, paid or combination department – are eligible for the low-interest loans through the Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Loan Program. Voters approved expanding the program in a 2021 ballot question.
Visit with Pitt Football Coach Pat Narduzzi
Great to see University of Pittsburgh Coach Narduzzi in Harrisburg this week. I put a plug in to bring football camp back to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown – they seemed receptive.
Unemployment Fraud Update
Did you receive an INCORRECT 1099-G? Per the IRS, please move forward with filing your taxes. Report ONLY your true income and not fraudulent income reported in your name. You do not need to complete the additional form normally requested by the IRS for reporting identity theft. For any additional information regarding your 1099-G visit here.
Grain Marketing and Risk Management Workshop
Attention Farmers: The Cambria County Farm Bureau is holding a grain marketing and risk management workshop on Wednesday, February 16th at 6:45 p.m. at the Keystone Restaurant in Ebensburg.
Please see the flyer for further details.
2022 Pennsylvania Statistics Poster Competition
Attention Teachers! Saint Francis University is hosting the 2022 PA Statistics Poster contest for students K-12. Deadline to enter the contest is March 11th. For more information on the contest, please visit here. Winners of the contest will have their posters submitted to the National Statistics Poster Competition.
2022 Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation Photo Contest
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation has announced its 2022 Photo Contest themed Clean Water and Forested Ecosystems.
All photos must be taken in a Pennsylvania state park or forest. For more information and details on the contest, please visit here.
2022 Lyme Art Contest
The Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are encouraging students to take part in promoting awareness and the prevalence of ticks and the types of diseases they carry.
The 2022 Lyme Art Contest is open to children in first through sixth grade. Entries must be received by 5 p.m., March 11, 2022. Contest materials can be found here.
Pet Adoption Event
The Cambria County Library & Humane Society of Cambria County are teaming up this Saturday, February 12 for a Pet Adoption Event at the library!
Join Ms. Leah in the Children’s Department for a pet toy craft program from 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Also, you can meet adoptable animals from the Human Society from 1:00 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. in the library Community Room.
Great Backyard Bird Count
It’s time to start getting ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count! Starting February 18 through the 21, you can help track changes in the bird population. Visit here for more details and instructions on how to participate.
Updated Agritourism Guide Available to Farmers
Agritourism activities – like corn mazes, hayrides, on-site dining/retail operations and educational programs – are a growing part of Pennsylvania’s agriculture economy. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania has an updated 128-page handbook to help farmers navigate agritourism issues. Last year, the General Assembly approved a new law to better protect farmers who offer these kinds of agritourism activities.
Grants Available to Reduce Underage and Dangerous Drinking
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is accepting applications for grants to fund programs that discourage and reduce underage and dangerous drinking and promote a message of responsible alcohol consumption by those of legal drinking age.
Eligible grant applicants include school districts and institutions of higher education (including technical, trade and post-secondary establishments), community organizations, municipal police departments, municipal officials/representatives and nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
The deadline to apply for grants is March 18. Applications and guidelines for submission are available on the PLCB website.
Monday is National Donor Day
Monday isn’t just Valentine’s Day, it’s also National Donor Day. Many health groups use this day to sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups. Organ donation saves lives and saves money, cutting health care costs by as much as two-thirds and saving Medicare millions of dollars every year.