In this Update:
Make Sure YOUR Voice Is Heard – Get Out to Vote on May 18 and Be Informed About Ballot Questions
On Tuesday, May 18th, voters will have the final say on three potential amendments to the state Constitution.
The bipartisan ballot questions would prevent the governor from keeping an emergency declaration in place for an indefinite period of time, ensure lawmakers have the power to limit future emergency declarations, and prohibit discrimination based on race or ethnicity.
I want to encourage my constituents and all Pennsylvanians to research these questions, be informed about what voting yes or no on each question means, and above all, please get out to vote on May 18th.
Learn more about what a YES vote means at https://issue.pasenategop.com/ballot-question/.
May 11 Deadline for Primary Election Mail-in Ballot Applications
You must be registered to vote to request either ballot. You can check your registration status to review your registration information.
Aument Statement on Wolf Administration Announcement to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions on May 31
The Wolf Administration announced earlier this week that all COVID-19 restrictions except the mask order will be lifted on 5/31. The restrictions that were put in place by the Wolf Administration at the outset of the pandemic have been a major source of frustration for many Pennsylvanians and businesses, including myself.
That frustration is why I’ve consistently fought back against the Governor’s unilateral orders (https://www.senatoraument.com/abbreviated-covid-response-timeline/) and consistently urged the Administration to work with Republicans in the General Assembly so that we could all produce better results for the people of Pennsylvania (https://www.senatoraument.com/2020/05/04/op-ed-disagreements-collaboration-result-in-better-public-policy/).
I firmly believe that only after the Administration finally began to work with the General Assembly, did Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response improve. The collaborative work of the Joint COVID-19 Task Force is why the state is finally rolling back the restrictions so that we can all get back to normal life.
To ensure that that no governor can ever again have this much unchecked power over the people of Pennsylvania, please research the questions that will appear on the ballot at the May 18th primary election, be informed about what voting “yes” or “no” on each question means, and above all, please get out to vote on May 18. Learn more about what a YES vote means here: https://issue.pasenategop.com/ballot-question/.
New Holland Early Learning Center Wins $10,000 for School Garden Project
Congratulations to the New Holland Early Learning Center for their award of $10,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program! The Center intends to use the funds for the purchase of “Grow It, Like It, Try It” curriculum to implement with a school garden, as well as the procurement of local products for the Center’s feeding program.
The Pennsylvania Farm to School Grant Program provides schools with funding to improve access to healthy, local foods and increase agriculture education opportunities. The program aims to bridge the gap between children and the food system by connecting them to the fresh, healthy food available from Pennsylvania agricultural producers in their community and the surrounding areas.
You can learn more about the Farm to School Grant Program here.
PennDOT Announces Weekend Closure of Route 322 at the Route 222 Interchange in Ephrata & West Earl Townships
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced earlier this week that a weekend closure is planned for Route 322 at the Route 222 Interchange in Ephrata and West Earl townships in Lancaster County.
Weather permitting, Route 322 will be closed between the on ramps to northbound and southbound Route 222 from 9 PM Friday, May 14, to 6 AM Monday, May 17. Should weather impact the planned closure, it will be rescheduled for the same hours the following weekend, May 21-May 24.
The on ramps from Route 322 to northbound and southbound Route 222 will remain open.
More details on the closure, including information on relevant detours, can be found here.
New Deadline to Obtain REAL ID is May 3, 2023
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has pushed back the deadline to obtain a REAL ID from October 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to pandemic-related delays.
Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.
REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. You can find applications and more here.
Senate Gives Final Approval of Living Donor Protection Act
Legislation to establish protections for living organ donors recently received final approval by the Senate and was enacted into law.
Living donors include those who donate kidneys, livers and other organs to save the lives of family members and others facing life-threatening illnesses.
Act 11 of 2021, the Living Donor Protection Act, prohibits insurers from declining or limiting coverage based solely on a person’s status as a living donor. It also requires the state Department of Health to provide public information on the benefits and impacts of live organ and tissue donation and protections granted to living donors.
Monday Deadline: Funding Available to Strengthen PA Poultry and Livestock Farming
State funding is available for research projects that will strengthen Pennsylvania poultry, swine, lamb, sheep and goat farming.
Proposals must be received by 11 a.m. on Monday, May 10. Details and applications can be accessed here.
The Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence, created by the General Assembly in 2019, supports projects to enhance biosecurity, diagnostic testing, veterinary telemedicine and other strategies to prevent, detect and manage animal diseases and protect the food supply.
Give Your Opinion of Automated Vehicles in PA
Pennsylvanians can take a survey seeking their understanding and opinions of Highly Automated Vehicles and their comfort sharing the road with them.
The survey comes from the Highly Automated Vehicles Advisory Committee. The panel was established by the General Assembly in 2018 to advise and consult PennDOT on developing technical guidance, evaluating best practices, and reviewing laws, regulations and policies related to these vehicles.
The survey doesn’t ask your name and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
Thank You Nurses & Teachers – Celebrating National Nurses Week and Teacher Appreciation Week
Even before the pandemic hit, nurses played a vital role in the delivery of health care. Over the last year, their contributions reached heroic proportions.
Nurses exposed themselves to a deadly virus on a daily basis, putting their health at risk to save the lives of others and keep our healthcare facilities running.
National Nurses Week goes through May 12, which was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. Please join me in recognizing the lifesaving, comforting roles nurses in Lancaster County and across our Commonwealth play in our healthcare system.
May 3 through May 7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and I want to extend my sincerest thanks to all of the dedicated teachers in Lancaster County school districts who have worked tirelessly over the last year through challenging circumstances to ensure that our children’s education continued with minimal disruptions despite the restrictions of the pandemic.
Please join me in thanking our teachers for providing a high-quality education to the children of Lancaster County!
Take Senator Aument What You Think – Take the Survey HERE
The latest census data revealed that Pennsylvania’s population is declining relative to other states, and as a result, our state has lost a seat in Congress and an electoral college vote. To counter this stagnant population growth, would you support a performance-based measure* intended to attract new industries and businesses to invest in Pennsylvania to provide economic opportunity to residents and encourage them to stay in our state?
*a performance-based measure is a method of budgeting that only allocates funding to a particular program if the success of the program can be appropriately demonstrated through statistical analysis – the benefits must equal or outweigh the costs of implementing the program, or funding will not be allocated.
Click HERE to take the survey!