In this Update:
Clearfield Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
I had the honor of hosting a Veterans Appreciation Breakfast at the VFW Post 1785 in Clearfield. Thank you to all the veterans who attended, it was so nice getting to speak with so many of you. A special thank you to Senator Devlin Robinson, who took the time to come out and speak at our breakfast.
Thank you to VFW Post 1785, the Clearfield Area School District High School Chorus, Penn Highlands Healthcare, and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 66 for helping us honor our veterans.
Senate Passes Langerholc Legislation to Save Turnpike Riders Money
The Senate passed my Senate Bill 934 with overwhelming bipartisan support to reduce construction costs and delays at the PA Turnpike Commission. My legislation will require the PA Turnpike Commission to follow PennDOT’s standards when developing stormwater reduction strategies, which will streamline project delivery and benefit motorists who travel on the PA Turnpike.
Upcoming Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
I will be hosting a second Veteran Appreciation Breakfast on November 1, 2023, at the Young Peoples Community Center, 300 Prave Street, Ebensburg. Please use this link or call my office at 814-266-2277 to register. Registration is required and the deadline to register is October 22, 2023.
Pitt-Johnstown Future Works
I took part in the announcement that the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown plans to create a center for advanced learning, entrepreneurship and jobs training in downtown Johnstown, at the Jupiter Building. Pitt-Johnstown “Future Works” will enhance the School of Engineering and will solidify Johnstown’s re-emergence as an innovation center and strengthen the academic excellence of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Citation Presentation to Brent Lykens
I was delighted to have a member of my staff present Brent Lykens a Senate Citation for being recognized as a 2023 Star of Excellence Award recipient by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Congratulations Brent on this well-deserved award!
2023 Greater Clearfield Chamber of Commerce Awards
It was an honor to have a member of my staff attend last night’s 2023 Annual The Greater Clearfield Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Congratulations to the 2023 award winners:
Shining Star Award: The Central Restaurant; Small Business of the Year: Shugarts Lawn and Garden; Major Employer of the Year: Diamondback Covers; Lifetime Achievement Award: James Moyer; Distinguished Citizen of the Year: Michele Fannin; Director’s Choice: Kim Bloom
Congratulations on all of your hard work and dedication!
Senate Backs Israel, Condemns Hamas
Following the murderous attacks of innocent people by the terrorist group Hamas, the Senate approved a resolution condemning Hamas’ Oct. 7 carnage.
Senate Resolution 185 shows Pennsylvania’s support of the Jewish people as they defend against this terrorist threat. It says that we stand “firmly with the people of Israel and their right to defend themselves.” It labels the attacks by Hamas as “shocking, barbaric and evil,” further adding they “amount to war crimes of the worst kind.”
The resolution further stipulates, “Israel has every right to defend itself with all due force” and noted Pennsylvania’s “special relationship” with Israel since the country declared independence in 1948.
Senate Advances Critical Support for EMS, Hospitals and Nursing Homes
This week, the Senate approved legislation advancing critical public health components of the budget process.
Passage of House Bill 1351 addresses the crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensures Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.
Senate Votes to Increase Access to Addiction Treatment Programs
To combat prevalent opioid addiction, the Senate unanimously passed legislation increasing access to licensed addiction treatment programs for Pennsylvanians.
Senate Bill 941 would provide regulatory flexibilities that can be used during an opioid epidemic to create real solutions to workforce shortages and directly help those in need of treatment get access quicker.
Additionally, Senate Bill 941 would establish annual reporting requirements to the General Assembly regarding unnecessary barriers to workforce recruitment and access to treatment.
Bill Enhancing School Bus Safety Receives Senate Support
The Senate passed a bill to improve school bus safety by increasing penalties for those refusing to follow the law.
Senate Bill 897 would give judges the discretion to increase fines above the current $250 for refusing to stop for a school bus when red lights are flashing or a stop arm is extended. It would also require repeat offenders to complete a PennDOT Driving Improvement School. Additionally, it would establish a new penalty for individuals who fail to proceed with caution past a school bus with flashing amber lights.
According to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, approximately 1,000 drivers annually are convicted of passing a stopped school bus with signals flashing. Many more citations are issued without resulting in a conviction.
Grants Available to Ready PA for New Businesses
To attract and retain more businesses in the commonwealth, PA SITES (Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites) will make $10 million in grant funding available to help locations become “shovel ready.”
Eligible projects must be in Pennsylvania and support the development of competitive sites. These include undeveloped sites and sites that were previously utilized or underutilized – such as former industrial, commercial, military, school, or hospital sites or buildings.
Municipalities, economic development organizations, redevelopment authorities, municipal authorities and industrial development agencies may apply for the funding here through Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Last Chance to Register to Vote in the Nov. 7 Election
If you wish to vote on Election Day on Nov. 7, you must be registered to vote by Monday, Oct. 23.
There are four ways to register to vote: online, by mail, in person at your county voter registration office and at PennDOT and some other government agencies.
Find the details about each of these methods here.
Recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
In October, we focus on staying safe online by taking steps to protect personal data. Simple steps you can take include using strong passwords, using multifactor authentication, recognizing and reporting phishing, and updating software.
My colleagues and I are also working to put measures in place that will better shield you from online threats. Senate Bill 565 would protect students’ personal data from unauthorized or inappropriate disclosure.
Other legislative measures would safeguard the state’s online assets. Senate Bill 563 would establish that commonwealth agencies have strong capabilities in place to discourage, combat and recover from ransomware attacks. Senate Bill 284 would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The OIT would create a strategic plan for future IT projects across state government, as well as manage and maintain all future IT procurement within state agencies.