In this Update:
Senate & House Ag Committees to Hold Hearing to Review PA’s Expanded Fireworks Law
Following a request I made earlier this year, the Senate and House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees recently announced that they will hold a joint hearing to review the 2017 expansion of the sale of fireworks and potential ways to address the issues created by it.
I initially requested the hearing in August following a deadly 4th of July holiday where an eight-year-old boy in York was killed and his family injured when their house caught fire from fireworks that were improperly disposed. And in Wilkes-Barre, a family of eight was left homeless after an aerial firework landed on their porch as they were getting ready for bed, setting their home ablaze.
In addition to these and other preventable tragedies experienced by residents across the Commonwealth due to the careless misuse or malfunction of these fireworks, my office has fielded dozens of calls and emails with complaints about the nuisance these fireworks have caused since the passage of the expansion.
Every year around major holidays, I hear from my constituents who are rightfully frustrated by the unenforceability of the expanded fireworks law in our state. And I agree with them – we must fix this law to keep our communities and our first responders safe.
Learn more here.
Governor Wolf Vetoes Constitutional Carry Legislation
Last month, I was pleased to vote in favor of legislation that would have reinforced Pennsylvanians’ Constitutional right to bear arms while continuing to safely protect our communities. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf vetoed that bill on Thursday.
Senate Bill 565 would have allowed for law abiding citizens to carry guns in a concealed manner without a permit. There would have been an optional permit for firearm owners that would cover them for reciprocity purposes in other states which Pennsylvania already has an agreement in place.
While I am frustrated with the Governor’s veto of this proposal, I will continue working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to protect the right to bear arms in Pennsylvania.
Columbia’s Economic Development Grant Award Will Help to Transform Lancaster County
Senator Aument meets with borough leaders at site of future innovation and technology campus.
Columbia continues to make big strides to carve out a path for long-term prosperity for its residents and the surrounding community. This grant award for the former McGinness airport property has the potential to transform this part of Lancaster County into a drone and tech innovation and research hub, creating significant economic benefits for the families that live and work in our local and regional communities. I am thrilled to see the early progress and look forward to seeing this site evolve as a catalyst for sustained growth over the months and years ahead.
Aument to Host Telephone Town Hall on Dec. 14
I will answer questions and listen to feedback from community residents during a live telephone town hall on Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Community residents can register to participate in the tele-town hall by clicking here. This link can also be used for audio streaming, which will be available immediately prior to the event. Additionally, a link to the event page is available on my website at www.senatoraument.com.
Your feedback is important to me, and as such, I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Thank You to Everyone Who Attended My Veterans’ Breakfast
This year is the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Click here to learn more.
Your Voice Matters – Take Senator Aument’s Survey HERE
Background: In recent years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the use of executive orders and regulations by both parties and at both the state and federal levels of government. Administrations have been widely criticized for this tactic as it is argued they’ve effectively circumvented the people’s elected representatives in the legislature and acted outside their authority to enact policies that have the force of law.
Choose the degree to which you agree with the following statement:
The increased use of executive orders to pass policies that have the force of law is an abuse of power and should be limited.
Submit your response here.
2021-2022 Legislative Session Nears the Midway Point
The first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session is coming to a close with enactment of several key measures and more work to do in the second year.
This fall, the Senate passed bills to ease nursing home staff shortages, enable more schools to combat pandemic learning loss, help farmers transport goods and make home deliveries, and make political campaigns more transparent.
That’s just a sample. I’ll highlight these and other bills in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can check a complete rundown here.
Shopping Local Helps Neighbors, Strengthens Communities
Small businesses create 65% of jobs in Pennsylvania, and these local employers could use our help this holiday shopping season.
Shopping local doesn’t just help the local economy, it builds relationships within the community. Buying from business owners you trust makes shopping experiences more enjoyable because you know where the products are coming from and the people behind those products.
When you shop locally, many of the goods and services are locally sourced or crafted. This means that many of the items are one of a kind and carry a unique story. It’s not always possible, but when you can, I hope you will support your local employers this season and year-round.
Preparing Sites for Jobs: State Assistance is Available
Municipalities, municipal authorities, redevelopment authorities, industrial development agencies and private developers can apply now for funding to prepare sites for jobs-producing development.
The Business in Our Sites program has no maximum or minimum loan amount. However, the amount of the grant may not exceed $4 million or 40% of the total combined grant and loan award, whichever is less. Private developers are only eligible for loans.
Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2022. The program is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
Dealing with the Challenges of Driving in Snow
No one wants to get behind the wheel when it’s snowing, but sometimes we have no choice. PennDOT offers tips for driving in wintry conditions:
Remembering Pearl Harbor
Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The surprise strike would cost the lives of more than 2,400 military personnel and civilians.
We mark this date knowing that while the attack decimated America’s Pacific fleet, our resilience and industrial might would allow the U.S. to build a military force powerful enough to defeat the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany.
“This war will give us much trouble in the future,” said Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. “The fact that we have had a small success at Pearl Harbor is nothing.” On Tuesday, we will remember the lives lost 80 years ago, and note the fate that awaits any adversary who questions American resolve.
Hanukkah ends at sundown Monday evening, wrapping up an observance that this year began Nov. 28.
To everyone celebrating Hanukkah, chag urim sameach, “Happy Festival of Lights.”