In this Update:
Upcoming Events in Senate District 35
Is your license plate hard to read? Are the letters on your license plate peeling, blistered, or discolored? We can help you get it replaced for FREE!
Join me at one of my license plate replacement events to get your license plate checked and start the replacement process. Feel free to give my office a call if you have any questions or are unable to make one of the events and need your license plate replaced at 814-266-2277.
Attention Seniors!! Join me on Thursday, September 29th from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. for a Senior Expo at East Hills Recreation in Johnstown. Come meet and talk with a wide variety of government agencies and organizations who will be on hand to answer questions and assist with many types of services. I look forward to seeing you there.
Honoring Francis and Robert Zerbee
I had the honor of dedicating a bridge in Ashville Borough as the Francis and Robert Zerbee Memorial Bridge. Brothers, Private First Class Francis Zerbee and Private First Class Robert Zerbee, served in the United States Army in World War II. Private First Class Francis Zerbee was a member of the 30th Infantry Division and was injured in the Battle of Saint-Lo. Private First Class Francis Zerbee died of his injuries on November 26th, 1944 and was awarded a Purple Heart for his service to our nation. Private First Class Robert Zerbee was a member of the 1st Armored Division and took part in the Battle of Anzio Beachhead. Private First Class Robert Zerbee was killed in action on May 26th, 1944. Their parents, Clara and John Zerbee, lost both of their sons within six months.
Francis and Robert Zerbee epitomized what it meant to be the Greatest Generation, this designation will serve as a constant reminder of their sacrifice for our country and ensure we never forget the price of freedom. Thank you Private First Class Francis Zerbee and Private First Class Robert Zerbee for your service to our nation!
Honoring Sergeant Richard Ivory Cullen
I had the honor along with Senator Kim Ward, of dedicating a bridge on North Main Street in Greensburg as the Sergeant Richard Ivory Cullen Memorial Bridge. This dedication was made even more special by holding it on what would have been his 75th birthday. Thank you to the family for allowing me to be a part of this special day.
Ribbon Cutting for the Social & Emotional Outdoor Learning Classroom at Johnstown Elementary School
A member of my staff attended the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Social & Emotional Outdoor Learning Classroom at Johnstown Elementary School. The district transformed unused outdoor space into an inclusive outdoor area for all the students to learn and play. Congratulations to everyone who assisted in making this vision a reality.
Working with Schools to Provide a Safe Learning Experience
As the new school year gets underway, students and teachers in many districts across the state are returning to classes made safer by actions taken by the General Assembly.
We have worked together on bipartisan legislation that gives our schools the tools they need to identify potential threats early, provide mental health services and safeguard our classrooms.
Landmark legislation in 2018 specifically established a School Safety Committee at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. It also created the School Safety and Security Grant Program which allowed schools to hire school police officers, resource officers and counselors; implement safety plans and violence prevention initiatives; and purchase equipment and physical upgrades to boost student safety.
We allocated $60 million to that program initially and then another $60 million in 2019 and $95 million more in 2022.
Additionally, we passed legislation creating an anonymous school threat reporting system to help schools and law enforcement be prepared for any potential violent incidents. The Safe2Say program has generated more than 80,000 tips since its inception in 2019, not only for school safety concerns, but also for student safety issues like bullying and self-harm.
This is an ongoing process and I’m committed to providing schools with the tools they need to keep students and staff safe.
Agriculture and Youth Grant Program Applications Being Accepted
For every four farmers in Pennsylvania over the age of 65 in 2019, only one was under 35. The Agriculture and Youth Grant Program aims to address the looming workforce deficit the industry is expected to face in coming years.
The program provides direct grants of up to $7,500 and matching grants of up to $25,000 to support projects, programs and equipment purchases by youth-run organizations, and those with programs that benefit youth or promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship. Past funded projects include workforce development programs, seminars and field trips, agricultural safety training, capital projects and equipment purchases aimed at leading students to opportunities in agriculture and building the future workforce that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry needs to succeed.
Applications for these grants will be accepted through Sept. 30. You can find guidelines and application details here.
Please Help Me Collect Items for Area Food Banks
According to Feeding Pennsylvania, nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians – or one in nine – are struggling with hunger and 500,000 of them are children. The pandemic has caused an even greater need.
At the state Capitol, for 12 seasons now from the spring through the fall, the 1,000-square-foot Capitol Hunger Garden has been producing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce that is donated to Harrisburg’s Downtown Daily Bread, which takes those donations into their kitchen to provide healthy meals to many in the Harrisburg area. Last year, 849 pounds of produce was harvested from the garden and we’re hoping for a similar bounty by the time the growing season ends this year.
Closer to home, I’m asking for everyone who can to donate non-perishable items to their local food banks. My legislative district offices (see addresses below) are collecting donations from anyone who wishes to give, with those collections to be given to food banks in our communities.
RICHLAND TWP OFFICE
Free Webinars Help New Hunters Enjoy this Pennsylvania Tradition
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is hosting free webinars allowing new hunters to ask questions of biologists, game wardens and experienced hunters about the best, safest ways to participate in this Pennsylvania tradition.
Register here for upcoming webinars covering archery deer and pheasant hunting. The page includes past webinars on “Hunting Tips & Tactics,” “Getting Started” and other topics.
How My Office Can Help You
My staff and I are here to make state government more accessible and helpful to you. Listed below are several constituent services available to you:
Don’t hesitate to contact my offices listed below with any requests, questions or concerns.
Happy Labor Day
I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend with family and friends.