In this Update:
Breakfast with Veterans at Arbutus Park Retirement Community
I had the privilege of having breakfast with the veterans from Arbutus Park Retirement Community.
26th Annual Conemaugh Valley Veterans Parade
On Veterans Day, I attended the 26th Annual Conemaugh Valley Veterans Parade celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the United States Air Force.
Dedication Ceremony at the Richland Cemetery
I was honored to attend a dedication ceremony at the Richland Cemetery for the Soldier’s Circle. This section of the cemetery honors the sacrifices, courage and patriotism of all veterans who rest peacefully there with flags from each branch of the military displayed.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Path of the Flood Trail
I had the pleasure of attending the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the final section of the Path of the Flood Trail. This extension will allow for a safe experience, by trail, of the entire path of the 1889 Johnstown Flood, from the breast of the dam to the stone bridge that broke the flood waters. I was pleased to advocate for funding for this final segment, which will be completed in the spring of 2023. Congratulations Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority!
Saint Francis University School of Health Sciences & Education Experiential Learning Commons Anatomy Laboratory Blessing & Dedication
I attended the Saint Francis University School of Health Sciences & Education (SHSE) Experiential Learning Commons Anatomy Laboratory Blessing & Dedication. A $1.5 million Pennsylvania Department of Education Job Training and Education Program Grant was received and the funds are being used to provide SHSE with the latest in instructional technology and training equipment. The primary feature of this project furnished their new anatomy laboratory with advanced simulation equipment, including Anatomage tables and 3D holography technology, ensuring that SFU students are well prepared for their healthcare careers.
Groundbreaking Celebration at The Organic Snack Company
It was wonderful to have my staff join Bette Slayton and the Bedford County Development Association for a groundbreaking celebration for The Organic Snack Company expansion. Great things are happening in Bedford County!
Citation Presentation at Pinnacle Treatment Center at the Alliance Medical Services
My staff presented a 20th Anniversary Senate Citation to Pinnacle Treatment Center at the Alliance Medical Services in Richland Township, Cambria County. The programs offered at this facility focus on patient-centered care and an individualized approach, upholding a high standard of medically assisted treatment and compassionate attention to each patient’s needs. Congratulations!
Celebration at the Somerset Trust Richland Branch Office
My staff attended the celebration for the newly remodeled Somerset Trust Company, Richland Branch Office. The bank looks great!
Cambria Regional Summit
I attended the Cambria Regional Summit – which celebrated the good things happening in our region.
Tour of the Mission Services Center and the Moxham Food Pantry
I would like to thank Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies for the tour of the Mission Services Center and their Moxham Food Pantry. I would also like to thank the staff and students from the YouthBuild program for all the questions and conversation.
To learn more about the YouthBuild Program visit here.
Ribbon Cutting Celebration at Omni Bedford Springs Resort
It is an exciting day for the Omni Bedford Springs Resort! A ribbon cutting celebration was held by the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce for the magnificent Gingerbread House created by Pastry Chef Harshal Naikl who was featured on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship! Congratulations Harshal!
Utilities Set to Adjust Seasonal Energy Supply Prices Dec. 1
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reports that Pennsylvania electric and natural gas utilities will adjust their prices on Dec. 1 for customers who do not shop around for energy suppliers.
All regulated utility companies will adjust their “price to compare” (PTC) rates in the coming weeks, but Pennsylvania’s electricity marketplace gives consumers the option to select a different supplier to find the most competitive pricing.
The two major parts of monthly electric or natural gas bills are the delivery/distribution charge and the generation/supply charge. Consumers can shop for and contract with a competitive supplier or for consumers who do not shop, the utility provides energy supply at the PTC. The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill and will be adjusted at the end of this month.
The PUC urges consumers currently struggling to pay monthly bills to act now and seek assistance by contacting their utilities. State assistance is also available. You can see what price increases utilities are reporting, and how to reduce energy costs, here.
Support Available for Nursing Apprenticeships
Local workforce development boards have until Nov. 30 to apply for state assistance to develop nursing apprenticeship programs in low- or moderate-income communities.
Distributed by the Department of Labor and Industry, Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership grant funding will award local workforce development boards up to $260,000 to collaborate with community partners, organizations, sponsors and regional industry partnerships to register, maintain and manage nursing apprenticeship programs, as well as recruit and retain qualified health care professionals.
The initiative aims to prepare individuals for a range of nursing positions, including home health aides, certified nursing assistants, and licensed practical nurses.
Pre-Application Period Begins for Traffic Signal Improvement Grants
Green Light-Go is a competitive state grant program designed to improve the efficiency and operation of traffic signals in Pennsylvania communities, reducing congestion and increasing safety at intersections.
Prior to applying for this assistance, municipalities, counties and planning organizations must pre-apply by Dec. 23. Full applications must be submitted electronically through the DCED Single Application for Assistance between Jan. 3, 2023 and Jan. 31, 2023.
It is anticipated awards from this application round will be announced in summer 2023 and the projects must be completed by spring 2026.
National Guard Academy for At-Risk Youth Taking Applications
Applications are being accepted for youth to take part in the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy class beginning in January 2023. If selected, students will attend the 22-week residential phase at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Lebanon County.
The academy provides a positive learning environment designed to guide at-risk teenagers in furthering their education and setting a path to a brighter future. Cadets will experience a structured and disciplined residential program built upon a military-based training model.
There is no tuition cost to attend. Meals, housing, uniforms and school supplies are provided at no charge. There is no military obligation requirement after completing the program. Find out more and apply here.
Help for Pennsylvanians Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
There are an estimated 280,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s disease. This type of dementia is the seventh leading cause of death among all adults.
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is a reminder that while there is no cure for this disease, there is a wide range of support available for patients and families.
You can find caregiver resources and information on risk reduction and other topics at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Alzheimer Association’s Greater PA Chapter.
Bill Increasing State Contract Transparency Becomes Law
Pennsylvania taxpayers pay billions of dollars each year to Medicaid pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and a new law will finally allow for a full-scale audit of these contracts.
Nearly 90% of Pennsylvania Medicaid patients are served by managed-care companies that contract with the state. In turn, those companies contract with PBMs for their pharmacy programs to decide which drugs will be covered and how much to reimburse the pharmacies that fill the prescriptions.
Because the contracts between managed-care companies and PBMs are not signed directly with the state and are instead subcontracts, there is no provision requiring they be made available for anyone to review – including the Department of the Auditor General. This makes it impossible to know how the money is being spent.
According to the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania taxpayers paid nearly $3 billion to PBMs for Medicaid enrollees in 2017. In recent years, audits in other states have found PBMs were grossly overcharging their states’ Medicaid programs. The new law we enacted is a great step toward ensuring tax dollars are spent as effectively as possible.
LIHEAP Home Energy Assistance Applications Being Accepted
Applications are being accepted for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the 2022-23 winter heating season.
LIHEAP helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company or fuel provider. Grants range from $300 to $1,000 based on household size, income and fuel type.
There are two ways to apply for LIHEAP:
Exploring the Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Penn State Harrisburg are conducting a survey to explore the prevalence and risk factors of domestic violence, also know as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), in Pennsylvania.
The goal of the survey is to collect information from as many survivors as possible to gain a deeper understanding of IPV in Pennsylvania and the services and resources available, as well as to look more closely at domestic violence in rural Pennsylvania.
By sharing your experiences, you may be able to help others in preventing this crime. Participants have the option to enter for a chance to win one of four $50 Amazon e-gift cards after submitting the 10-minute, anonymous survey.
Preserving Local Airports and the Jobs They Provide
Airports are economic hubs for communities. Pennsylvania is home to 122 public use airports, and 14 commercial service airports. These accounted for nearly 323,000 jobs before the COVID pandemic.
Local airports were hit hard by the pandemic, prompting the General Assembly to create a new revenue stream to preserve airports and the jobs they provide.
The Airport Land Development Zone program allows airports to create new revenue opportunities by incentivizing development on vacant land and buildings. This will result in significant new investment, expansion of operations and the creation of new jobs.
The Department of Community & Economic Development published guidelines and applications for airports on Nov. 8, and will begin accepting applications in 30 days.
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