In this Update:
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Ghost Town Trail C & I Extension
I had the honor of joining Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary, Cindy Adams Dunn, at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Ghost Town Trail C & I Extension. When the entire C & I Extension is completed, this trail spur will form the first continuous loop rail-trail in the Eastern United States. Great work!
Citation Presentation at Arbutus Park Manor
It was a pleasure to visit the Arbutus Park Manor to help celebrate their 50th Anniversary. The Arbutus Park Retirement Community dates back to the 1960s, when the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church became the owner of a fifteen-acre tree farm. In 1972, ground was broken for a new continuing care retirement community, and the facility opened on June 10, 1973. Today, the Arbutus Park Retirement Community is comprised of more than forty-five acres of land with a central nursing facility and more than ninety independent residences. It offers personal care, skilled nursing care, short-term therapy and dementia and memory care in a loving, family atmosphere. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
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!
Citation Presentation to Veteran Community Initiatives
I was honored to present Tom Caulfield, Veteran Community Initiatives, VCI President and CEO, with a Pennsylvania Senate Citation as they celebrate their 30th Anniversary. VCI’s purpose is to enhance the lives and well-being of community residents-focusing on veterans and the veteran families. Congratulations and THANK YOU for what you do for our veteran community. Your work is greatly appreciated!
Ribbon Cutting at DelSignore Core and Pelvic Health
My staff attended the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for DelSignore Core and Pelvic Health. I would like to wish them the best of luck at their location on Goucher Street in Cambria County.
Citation Presentation to Dr. Jerry Samples
Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Samples on his retirement from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). Dr. Samples was hired at UPJ in 1996 as Chair of the Division of Engineering Technology and a professor of mechanical engineering. He began his teaching career at the United States Military Academy at West Point and also served 26 years as a member of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and attained the rank of Colonel. Please join me in thanking Dr. Samples for his years of loyalty and service, as well as wishing him continued success in the years to come.
My staff attended an event celebrating all partners who came together to provide paid work experiences for students and youth with disabilities through the program MY Work. Hiram G. Andrews Center and Commonwealth Technical Institute partnered with ACRP and Duman Lake County Park to provide paid work experiences to OVR student customers. Through these experiences, the students gained valuable workplace readiness skills that will assist them in obtaining competitive integrated employment in the future.
10 Year Celebration at Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates, Inc.
My staff attended the 10-year celebration of Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates, Inc. Congratulations on 10 years of serving the community. Best wishes for continued success.
2023 Legislative Tour of Prince Gallitzin State Park
My staff attended the 2023 Legislative Tour of Prince Gallitzin State Park and the Pavilion 5 at the Maib Marina with the Cambria County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Lake Habitat Section and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Senate Approves Critical Budget Implementation Bills
The Senate advanced two bills to implement key parts of the 2023-24 budget and drive out funding to schools, hospitals, EMS providers, higher education, libraries and more.
The fiscal code bills take an important step to further finalize portions of the state budget which require implementation language. The critical support authorized by the legislation cannot be finalized until the House of Representatives also returns to session.
House Bill 1300 reauthorizes assessments and payments to hospitals, boosts reimbursement rates for EMS providers, and reauthorizes judicial fees that courts rely on for funding. These budget items are important and time-sensitive.
In addition, the bill directs funding to many non-controversial and bipartisan budget items related to education, including:
The Senate also voted to advance Senate Bill 757, which addresses other priorities included in the original budget deal Senate Republicans negotiated with Gov. Josh Shapiro in June.
This includes the creation of the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) program to provide additional educational options for students in failing schools, as well as $150 million in new funding for the state’s popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to expand educational opportunities to families throughout the state.
Tax Collections Show Effectiveness of Reducing Taxes
Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares an update about the state’s financial health. The most recent report shows that total General Fund revenues were $185.3 million, or 6.9%, higher than last year at this time. Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) collections were $31.3 million, or 20.8%, higher than July 2022 collections.
The increased collections demonstrate the effectiveness of reducing Pennsylvania’s CNIT rate, which started with the 2022-23 state budget. This year’s budget continues the phase-down of our CNIT rate, which will take Pennsylvania from one of the highest tax rates in the country to one of the lowest.
The full update, including the monthly revenue report, is available here.
State Police Remove College Credit Requirement for Cadets
Pennsylvania State Police are removing the college credit requirement for residents who want to serve as state troopers.
The previous educational requirement of 60 college credits has been in place since the 1990s. Under the change, cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state. Cadets also undergo 28 weeks of comprehensive training.
The number of state police applicants has dropped significantly in recent years. Waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis for this next period of cadet applications is aimed at helping the PSP attract and retain talent. The change will be re-evaluated pending the results of multiple application cycles.
The 2023-24 state budget includes funding for four new state police cadet classes to train 384 new troopers. For information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, visit patrooper.com.
Avoid Holiday Traffic With 511PA
You can log onto www.511pa.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to live traffic cameras across Pennsylvania. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.
511PA is also available through a smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1 or by following regional Twitter (X) alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 4, for Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s website.
Happy Labor Day
I hope you have a great holiday weekend and relaxing Labor Day.
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