In this Update:
Honoring Private First Class Robert Lee Quick
I hosted a ceremony to rename the Powell Street Bridge in Morris Township, Clearfield County as the PFC Robert Lee Quick Memorial Bridge. A Philipsburg native, PFC Quick attended West Branch High School and enlisted in the United States Marines Corps in July 1967. PFC Quick arrived in Vietnam on Christmas Day 1967 and served as a rifleman with the 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
On Feb. 7, 1968, PFC Quick’s company was engaged in enemy fire near Gio Linh, in the Quang Tri Province. During this exchange, a hand grenade was thrown into the hole from which PFC Quick and his company were engaging. PFC Quick heroically grabbed the grenade and attempted to throw the grenade out of the hole. The grenade detonated prior to leaving PFC Quick’s left hand, killing him instantly. PFC Quick was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. PFC Quick was only 18 years old when he was killed in the line of duty.
This designation will serve as a reminder of PFC Robert Lee Quick’s ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
I have partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to offer a Mature Driver Safety Program to area seniors at no cost on September 12, 2023, at the Northern Cambria Recreation Center, 186 Schoolhouse Road, Ebensburg, PA 15931. To register for this session click here.
For more information or to register via phone for the session, please contact my office at 814-266-2277.
Please join me on Thursday, September 28, 2023, my annual Senior Expo. The Expo will be held at East Hills Recreation, 101 Community College Way, Johnstown from 10 am – 12 pm. Admission is free!
Tour of Schlow Centre Region Library
I had a fantastic tour this week of Schlow Centre Region Library. The staff and volunteers do a remarkable job offering a variety of services for our community.
Richland Township Mature Driver Safety Program
Thank you to all those who attended the Mature Driver Safety Program in Richland. I look forward to seeing more individuals at upcoming events.
The Jared Box Project
My staff participated in making a Jared Box for the The Jared Box Project, which supplies boxes filled with toys and activities to children in hospitals. If you or your community group (Scouts, 4-H, Kiwanis, etc.) are interested in participating, you can visit this website to learn how to get involved here.
Richland Community Days
It was great to attend and participate in the Richland Community Days Parade!
New Website Reports Cost and Quality of Hospital Care
Pennsylvanians have a new tool to research the cost and quality of health care in their area.
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent state government agency, redesigned its website to better showcase its quality-related reports. It offers data to help people compare hospitals by procedure, condition, specialty and cost.
View the free public reports and browse the data here.
PA 529 Fees Waived Again
In addition to the usual state and federal tax advantages, people who use PA 529 plans to save to attend a technical school, community college or four-year college – or enter an apprenticeship – will also enjoy reduced fees for the second year in a row.
Asset-based fees will again be waived for PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) owners. Fee waivers will be funded by PA 529 GSP surplus earnings.
State fees will decrease by 0.5 basis points effective Sept. 1 for PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) account owners. This reduction and one announced last month will result in a savings of more than $800,000 for account holders throughout this fiscal year.
New CDL Skills Test Intended to Attract More School Bus Drivers
Beginning Monday, Aug. 28, a modernized commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test will be implemented at all Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) driver license centers that offer CDL skills tests and at all third party CDL driving skill testers.
Applicants who will take the test after Aug. 28 are encouraged to review updated materials here.
As some schools are already back in session and others are scheduled to start soon, there is a pressing need to ensure the availability of school bus drivers. According to PennDOT, these measures will streamline the school bus endorsement process and hopefully attract new drivers – alleviating Pennsylvania’s school bus driver shortage.
Free Hunter-Trapper Education Course Available
All first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, must successfully complete hunter-trapper education training before they can buy a Pennsylvania hunting or trapping license.
A free in-person hunter-trapper education course is available to anyone 11 years and older. It covers responsible hunting behavior, firearms basics and safety, basic shooting, wildlife conservation and management, outdoor safety and survival, hunting techniques, trapping and fur taking basics, and hunting safety.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission also has three online hunter-trapper education courses: online hunter education for $34.95, NRA free online hunter education course and interactive online hunter education for $50. Learn more and register for a course here.
Recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day
Sadly, the opioid epidemic still impacts communities all across our state. It affects people regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status and gender – threatening our families and the safe communities we all want to enjoy.
As International Overdose Awareness Day approaches on Aug. 31, Senate Republicans remain committed to fighting the epidemic. The Senate unanimously passed legislation allowing EMS providers to leave life-saving naloxone, or Narcan, with the on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids but was revived.
Senate Republicans also passed a bill banning official “injection sites,” which do not help to overcome addiction and instead encourage the continued use of illegal and often deadly drugs. Injection sites normalize drug use and send a powerful, dangerous and incorrect message from government that illegal drugs can be used safely.
Senate to Reconvene to Work on Finalizing State Budget
Next week, the Senate will return to session to work toward finalizing the 2023-24 state budget. Because the budget bill itself has been passed, the focus will be on legislation necessary to implement the budget. I hope the House of Representatives will also reconvene before its scheduled return on Sept. 26.
Decisions we make now will have a big financial impact for years to come, so we are committed to taking the responsible long-term approach. Doing so will provide certainty for Pennsylvanians in uncertain times.
Watch session live here on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m.
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