In this Update:
Safe Exchange Zones Could Come to More PA Communities with Senate Vote
Legislation, sponsored by myself, to create a grant program to establish Safe Exchange Zones throughout Pennsylvania was approved by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 881 would provide a safe area for individuals to exchange goods bought and sold through an online marketplace, as well as serving as a safe place for child custody exchanges, among other practices.
The Safe Exchange Zones would be voluntary and require the agreement of the participating law enforcement agencies. The zones would be equipped with video surveillance and are either within 100 feet of a law enforcement office or located near a public area with an active public presence. Passage came a year to the day that Cambria County resident Denise Williams was murdered after she attempted to finalize the purchase of an item found through Facebook Marketplace.
Langerholc Votes to Stop PA From Entering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Far too often in Harrisburg the first answer is to levy a new fee, tax, or toll, but why? Is it because it is easy and does not require much creative thinking? RGGI will destroy our economy. Period. This country is upside down. Highest inflation in decades; no respect on the foreign stage; supply chain issues that are cataclysmic; and gas prices at levels never seen before.
We are sent here by our constituents. The constituents in the mines putting their lives on the line to pull the coal from our earth. The constituents who work at the power plant ensuring that we have the energy to power our schools, hospitals and houses. The constituents whose job is ancillary to that industry and trust me there are many.
The veto override coming one vote short is a disappointment and disservice to our Commonwealth. However, I will promise our constituents one thing – the fight is not over.
Upcoming Events in Senate District 35
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Groundbreaking Ceremony at Saint Francis University
I was pleased to attend the Saint Catherine Street Improvement Project Groundbreaking Ceremony at Saint Francis University. I am happy to support transportation projects and bring needed funds to improve the infrastructure in my Senate District.
Tour of Concurrent Technologies Corporation
I would like to thank Ed Sheehan, George Appley and the many employees at Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) for the conversation and tour. CTC is recognized as one of the top developers of comprehensive solutions that make the world safer and more productive and it happens right here in the 35th Senatorial District!
Text to 9-1-1
Did you know you can TEXT TO 9-1-1? TEXT TO 9-1-1 is now available across the entire 35th Senatorial District! Although CALLING 911 is the fastest way to reach emergency services, texting may be the best options in some situations such as: – Individuals who have hearing or speech impairments; have an emergency that renders someone unable to speak – When making noise may endanger the caller, home invasion/robbery, domestic violence or abduction. As with all text messages, 9-1-1 texts may take longer to be received, may be received out of order, or may not be received at all. Therefore, it may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services originating from a text. REMEMBER: CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN’T. Text to 9-1-1 is easy! Send a short but detailed text message of your location, your municipality, and the reason for the emergency message to 9-1-1, using this step-by-step guide below. For additional information on TEXT TO 9-1-1 visit here.
Senate Votes to Expand Sexual Assault Law to Cover Crimes Against Care-Dependent Pennsylvanians
The Senate voted to expand the law against institutional sexual assault to include assaults by caregivers on care-dependent individuals, closing a loophole that allows perpetrators to escape punishment.
Current law against sexual assault applies to institutions such as prisons, schools and law enforcement. It is premised on the fact that truly consensual sexual acts are not possible where someone is in a position of power over another.
Passage of Senate Bill 704 recognizes the same power disparity exists between caretakers and those in their care. Such individuals face additional challenges to reporting sexual abuse due to the circumstances that make them dependent upon others, including physical or cognitive disabilities, and mental and physical health struggles.
Expanding the law against institutional sexual assault eliminates the loophole that permits perpetrators to falsely claim the victim consented. Senate Bill 704 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Expanding the law against institutional sexual assault is just the latest action taken by the General Assembly to stand together against this vile crime.
Need help? Call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a local sexual assault service provider.
Grants Available to Help Drug and Alcohol Recovery Houses
Effective treatment for individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder is essential for healthy communities. State grants are available to help recovery houses with facility upgrades to comply with federal, state, and local laws and receive a state license.
Grants up to $50,000 for a 12-month period beginning July 1 will be awarded to eligible applicants for health and safety upgrades including demolition, debris removal, rehabilitation improvements, environmental remediation costs, and construction and inspections to comply with state regulations.
Applicants must meet several qualifications to be eligible. More information is available here.
Saturday is National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day
It’s commemorated on April 9 because that day in 1942 was the prelude to the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of up to 80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war. Up to 650 American and 10,000 Filipino soldiers died during the brutal, 65-mile march.
We must never forget the ordeal faced by prisoners of war during captivity and the emotional toll on those fortunate enough to survive.
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