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:
State Budget Implementation Requires Action by the House of Representatives
A week after the Senate convened for session and passed legislation to take additional steps toward finalizing the new state budget, the House of Representatives has yet to come back to session and vote on budget implementation legislation which can help all communities throughout our commonwealth. Right now the House is not scheduled to come back to Harrisburg for session until Sept. 26.
The general appropriations bill was signed into law last month. However, code language passed by the Senate still needs to be advanced by the House in order to drive out critical funding. While the House is currently split at 101 to 101 with an even number of Republicans and Democrats, we cannot let politics stand in the way of doing the right thing for Pennsylvanians. We welcome our colleagues in the House of Representatives to join us in coming back to session immediately to complete the 2023-24 budget.
Pick From Two Coffee & Conversation Events in October
To connect with residents of the 36th Senatorial District, I will be hosting two Coffee & Conversation events this fall.
The Coffee & Conversation event series is an informal opportunity to discuss issues that are important to Lancaster County communities and what’s happening in Harrisburg. There will be light refreshments for guests to enjoy.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, from 9-11 a.m., I will host the first event at Garden Spot Fire Rescue, 339 E. Main St., New Holland.
On Thursday, Oct. 26, from 9-11 a.m., I will host the second event at Mastersonville Fire Company, 2121 Meadow View Road, Mastersonville.
Please click here to RSVP for whichever event is more convenient for you.
Smart Energy Policy Protects Us From Higher Costs, Interrupted Service
No one wants to pay more for the same service – or, worse yet, more for a reduced service. However, that’s what will likely happen with our electricity if we don’t advance policies that will enable us to generate the energy we need no matter the weather or time of day.
To avoid price increases and the risk of blackouts, we must work together to swiftly implement responsible policies that promote a strong, reliable baseload power supply.
I look forward to working with our counterparts in Ohio to ensure none of our residents suffer pricey electric bills or rolling blackouts. Read more here.
State Grants Available for Children’s Advocacy Centers
Help is available to children’s advocacy centers (CACs) for their crucial mission coordinating the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency says the funds can be used to help CACs expand, improve or continue the services provided to victims of child sexual abuse and child abuse. Applications and information are listed here under “2023 NCA Member Child Advocacy Centers.”
The Senate Aging and Youth Committee held a hearing last month to gather information about the needs of CACs and the critical roles they play across Pennsylvania.
Looking for a Job? Mark Your Calendar for Sept. 18
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is hosting a hiring event for job seekers on Monday, Sept. 18, from 2-7 p.m. at the Lancaster East Driver License Center located inside the East Towne Center Shopping Mall, 2090 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster.
PennDOT is seeking qualified applicants to fill customer service representative and related supervisory positions in Lancaster County. Starting pay is $18.99 an hour. Applicants can learn about and apply for these positions at the event. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-the-spot applications and interviews will be offered to qualified applicants. Staff will be available to help interested participants navigate the electronic application system. Highly qualified applicants may receive conditional job offers on site. Applicants should bring information necessary to complete an application, be prepared to interview, and bring two forms of identification.
Staff will be available to discuss current and future openings within the commonwealth.
Recognizing 60 Years of Fun at Dutch Wonderland
Congratulations to Dutch Wonderland on its 60th anniversary! My staff was honored to attend the celebration and present the incredible staff of Dutch Wonderland with an official Senate of Pennsylvania citation marking this momentous occasion.
Dutch Wonderland offers more than 30 attractions, live shows, and entertainment areas, including a water play area. The park received the 2019, 2021, and 2022 “Amusement Today” Golden Ticket Award for Best Family Park and consistently ranks as one of the top amusement parks in the state.
New VisionCorps Center in Lancaster to Better Serve Vision-Impaired
VisionCorps has officially opened its new Technology & Accessibility Center (TAC) on Queen Street in Lancaster. The TAC will be used to help individuals who are blind or have impaired vision find solutions that make it easier for them to live independently, according to VisionCorps President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Steiner. The center even includes several technology displays and areas set up as a kitchen, living room, and office so clients can experiment with devices in realistic settings.
Learn more here.
Scam Threatens Suspension of Health License
Scammers pretending to be from the Pennsylvania Department of State’s health-related licensing boards are calling active and inactive licensees, claiming their licenses are suspended due to allegations of criminal activity. To trick people, the scammers spoof the state board’s phone number and name on caller ID.
Someone who actually represents the state board will not contact you by phone to request a credit card payment, wire transfer or money order. They will never request any payment be made using gift card or that it be wired to a foreign country.
If you receive one of these calls, please hang up and report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Shared Ride Services Available to the Public
People who do not drive can get where they need to go using shared ride services. Riders can travel to work, medical providers, grocery stores, shopping centers and more when fixed route services cannot meet their needs.
While shared ride services are open to the public, riders must register in advance to use them. Each shared ride provider has its own fare structure. Various programs allow seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals to access shared ride service at a reduced out-of-pocket cost or even for free.
Find more information and the shared ride service provider near you here.
Tax-Free Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities
Tax-free savings accounts to help people with disabilities save money for disability-related expenses are available through the Pennsylvania Treasury. PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are structured similar to tuition savings accounts.
Family members and friends can contribute up to $17,000 per year; PA ABLE account owners who earn income may contribute additional funds beyond the annual contribution limit. Once the maximum account limit of $511,758 is reached, accounts continue to earn interest.
Withdrawals from the account will be exempt from both state and federal income taxes as long as the funds are used for qualified disability expenses. These include education, housing, transportation, employment support, health prevention and assistive technology. Learn more here.
Remembering the Sept. 11, 2001 Attacks
Monday marks the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on our country, including one that resulted in a plane crash in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is with a heavy heart that we remember the devastating attacks and wish peace for the families who lost a loved one.
We also recognize the incredible heroes, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as they cared for the innocent victims. Emergency responders and military personnel deserve our deep gratitude.