Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.
In this Update:
Giving Parents Control Over the Sexual Content Their Kids Receive
Parents deserve to have the final say in what, if any, explicit content their own children have access to in public schools. Empowering parents and limiting sexually explicit content in schools will be one of my top priorities in 2023, starting with introducing an important bill.
My legislation will give parents the ability to be fully aware of the mature, sexual content their children may be provided in school and the ability to prevent their own children from accessing such content.
Understandably, parents aren’t happy with the inappropriate content that has been found in schools across Pennsylvania and they contacted me for support after administrators dismissed or trivialized their concerns.
Providing parental notification and control of the materials given to their children will go a long way to increasing communication and trust between parents and their schools.
Report Tracks College Savings Accounts in Rural and Urban Counties
A new report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Treasury Department evaluated trends in post-secondary education savings accounts, also known as PA 529 accounts.
PA Treasury offers two PA 529 plans: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), which allows families to save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs, and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which offers a variety of investment options.
The report examined differences between rural and urban Pennsylvania beneficiaries in the amount of savings, consistency of contributions and types of accounts opened. Key findings:
The Treasury Department is increasing rural outreach to promote college savings. You can watch a discussion of the findings here.
Best Wishes for a Happy 80th Anniversary!
It’s not very often that I get the opportunity to personally congratulate a couple on the very happy occasion of their 80th wedding anniversary.
Please join me in wishing Robert and Edith Mae Schaum a happy anniversary!
How to File PA Income Tax Returns Online
Tax-filing season has opened, and the state Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers of the free online option to file their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns: mypath.pa.gov.
Taxpayers do not need to create a username or password to perform many functions in myPATH. That includes filing the Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax Return (PA-40), making a payment, responding to department requests for information and checking the status of a refund.
The deadline to submit 2022 personal income tax returns is April 18. Personal income tax assistance is also available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center and by calling 717-787-8201 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Taxpayers may also visit a Department of Revenue district office for state personal income tax filing assistance.
Thank You to Public Servant of 38 Years
After 38 years of dedicated service, Sue Barry recently retired from her role as Lititz borough manager. Under her guidance, the borough became involved with regional planning efforts that resulted in many cooperative partnerships. She was involved with the creation of Venture Lititz and several other initiatives.
Throughout her career, Sue has held herself to the highest standards of service and rightly earned the respect and admiration of her many friends and colleagues. Now, I hope she fully enjoys the retirement she so richly deserves.
Recognizing Nine New Eagle Scouts
Front row, from left: Mark DeChristopher, Paul Newhart, Jack Bruggeman, and C. Ray Haddon III
Congratulations to the newest Eagle Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 48 in New Holland. Their Court of Honor, held in December 2022, marks 123 Eagle Scouts in the Troop’s 105-year history.
Job well done to each of these young men for investing their time in bettering their communities and themselves in the process.
Federal Fire, EMS Grant Program Closes Feb. 10
Fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations have until Feb. 10 to apply for federal grants for equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources.
Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program helps firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
Fire and EMS organizations can find an application checklist, a rundown of recent program changes, Frequently Asked Questions, videos and more here.
Celebrating Triple-Digit Birthdays in Lancaster County
I recently met with three lovely ladies at Masonic Village to help them celebrate their triple-digit birthdays and try to learn the secret to their impressive health. They assured me the keys to longevity are hard work, chocolate, and red wine.
Janice Geiling celebrated her 100th birthday. A graduate of Lebanon Valley College, she was a teacher and a homemaker. She also volunteered with the Girl Scouts for many years and was active in her church. Janice was the beloved wife of Austin Geiling for 64 years prior to his passing and is the proud mother of three children who has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Eleanor Myers also turned 100 years old in January. In addition to serving as a homemaker, she also worked for the family farm, Reese’s Candy Factory, Hestico dress factory and AMP, Inc. She volunteered with the First Church of God in Elizabethtown and shared 45 years of marriage with Richard Myers prior to his passing. She is the proud mother of two children and has been blessed with four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Emma Green celebrated her 105th birthday. She is the proud mother of two children and has been blessed with seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Educational Gratuity Program Helps Children of Fallen Military Members
We owe a debt of gratitude to Pennsylvanians who served in the military, especially those disabled or killed during conflict. Part of paying that debt is helping to care for the impacted families.
The Educational Gratuity Program provides education financial assistance for children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities who served during war or armed conflict, or children of veterans who died during war or armed conflict.
Children of eligible veterans must be between the ages of 16 and 23, living in Pennsylvania five years prior to application and attend a school within the commonwealth. You can read more about eligibility and applying here.
Entries Accepted for Statewide “Art of the State” Exhibition
Artists and craftspeople are invited to submit applications to show their work in the 56th annual “Art of the State” exhibition.
“Art of the State” is a juried exhibition open to Pennsylvania residents at least 18 years of age. Artists will compete in five categories: painting, work on paper, sculpture, craft, and photography and digital media. Entries must be submitted online. Additional information and the link to enter are available at statemuseumpa.org/artofthestate. The application deadline is May 5.
More than $4,000 in cash awards will be presented. “Art of the State” is scheduled to open to the public at The State Museum on Sept. 10.
Watch PA Wildlife Anytime from Home
You can watch black bears, eagles and snow geese this winter through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s round-the-clock livestreams.
A new 24-7 livestream from a black bear den in Pike County brings to four the number of livestreams the Game Commission plans to run into the spring of 2023. Also showing are the Farm Country Eagle Livestream, which provides a bird’s-eye view into a long-established nest in a giant sycamore overlooking scenic farmland, the popular Hanover, Pa. Eagle Livestream and the agency’s Snow Goose Livestream capturing the migratory action at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Pennsylvania’s black bears usually are born in January and begin walking in about eight weeks. They leave the den when three months old. Bald eagles typically lay eggs in mid-February and the eggs hatch in mid- to late March. Snow goose migration typically peaks at Middle Creek from mid-February to March.