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In this email update:
Highlighting blight and revitalization issues in Erie
This past Tuesday, the Senate Majority Policy Committee, which I chair, held another event in Western Pennsylvania to highlight blight and revitalization issues.
The roundtable discussion was with Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in Erie.
During this roundtable, we focused our attention on tackling the needs of the community which included initiatives for economic development and the need for revitalization of blighted areas in order to attract more businesses and create jobs.
You can watch the discussion here.
Read more about the event here.
“An Evening with Three State Senators” at Penn State Behrend
Senators Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pittsburgh) and Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and I were invited by Penn State Behrend to host “An Evening with Three State Senators” this past Wednesday evening.
During this event, we discussed several state issues including education funding, the heroin and opioid epidemic that is plaguing our communities, redistricting and gerrymandering.
The event provided us with the opportunity to meet with the Penn State Behrend community and discuss what issues are most salient to them and how the legislature can help to address these concerns.
Legislative Day at Kutztown University
Throughout the day, we met with students and faculty to discuss several state-related issues such as the state budget and the challenges that our higher education institutions are facing such as enrollment declines and increased tuition.
A special thank you to the faculty and students at Kutztown for having us at their campus!
Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania groundbreaking ceremony
I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania (PWPA) last week in South Heidelberg Township.
Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania is going to become the first growing and processing facility for medical marijuana in the state.
As you know, Senate Bill 3, which was signed into law last year, legalizes medical marijuana and permits physicians to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients who would benefit from such a treatment.
During this ceremony, we learned more about the PWPA’s mission and goals in providing medical relief to patients and improving their quality of life.
You can read more about the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania here.
Senior expo in Pine Grove
Last week, my staff and I participated in Representative Mike Tobash’s 4th Annual Senior Expo at the Pine Grove Hose Hook and Ladder.
During this expo, senior citizens had the opportunity to learn more about the programs and services available to them, as well as ask us questions about state government.
Can you guess the #1 question that I got asked? Answer: school property tax elimination.
I assured everyone that school property tax elimination remains my #1 goal, and I do believe that the constitutional amendment that will be placed on the ballot this November will bring us one step closer to our shared goal of 100 percent elimination of school property taxes for homeowners. When this referendum passes, it will help us obtain the House and Senate votes that we finally need to amend and pass SB 76. Stay tuned for more information soon!
Congratulations to Representative Tobash on another great event!
Minersville Spirit Day
Each year since 1995, the Minersville community has celebrated its unique history by hosting a Minersville Spirit Day event.
Minersville Spirit Day provides residents with the opportunity to celebrate with music, vendors and activities for friends and families to enjoy.
This year, I joined Representative Neal Goodman and Schuylkill County Commissioners Gary Hess and George Halcovage for this celebration, where I presented citations to the Minersville Area High School girls’ basketball and softball teams for claiming the state championship titles this year. Congratulations to these two teams!
You can read more about the event here.
Construction project on Altamont Boulevard begins
The construction project on Altamont Boulevard recently began which entails a waterline replacement and road reconstruction along the boulevard as well as parts of Mall Road in West Mahanoy, Ryan and New Castle Townships in Schuylkill County.
By replacing the waterline and repairing the roadway, motorists can continue to travel to and from their destinations safely and securely.
Funding for this project was made possible through two grants: DCED’s Small Water and Sewer Projects Program and DCED’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.
A special thank you to the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority, West Mahanoy Township and NorthPoint Development for their hard work and effort in making this project come to fruition!
Coal Cracker Kids beautification project
This past weekend, I visited the Coal Cracker Kids at the site of their beautification project in Mahanoy City.
Since its establishment, Coal Cracker Kids has been committed to providing youth in our state’s Anthracite Coal Region with the opportunity to participate in many different projects in their communities in order to help them develop professional skills in the real world.
The Coal Cracker Kids were working on their most recent project, which was painting the exterior of their new headquarters building which was formerly the Mahanoy City Lumber and Supply Company.
The event was made possible with the help of a grant that was provided by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, BEHR and The Home Depot through Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania Program.
Read more about the event here.
Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony
On Tuesday, September 26, a Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony will be held for Schuylkill County Vietnam Veterans.
Led by Col. Bob DeSousa, who serves as U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s State Director, the ceremony will recognize the dedication and sacrifice of our brave men and women who fought to defend our freedom and liberties.
During the event, each veteran will receive a special commemorative pin on behalf of Senator Toomey.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Courtroom #1 of the Schuylkill County Courthouse located at 401 N. 2nd Street in Pottsville.
All Schuylkill County Vietnam Veterans are encouraged to attend this ceremony.
For more information about the ceremony, please contact my Mahanoy City office at 570-773-0891.
Click here to see the flyer.
Reminder: recognize your friends and neighbors
Autumn’s PA Preferred arrival
As cooler temperatures begin to yield fields full of autumn crops, Pennsylvania’s Farmer’s Markets and Roadside Stands are overflowing with PA Preferred Produce according to the PA Department of Agriculture.
Check the Seasonal Calendar for peak freshness, whether it’s cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower or peaches, pears, and plums, or any of the other crops that contribute to the $6.1 billion in annual cash receipts from production agriculture, making it the leading economic driver in Pennsylvania.
Consult the interactive locator map or the most recent printable hard copy of the Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide. It is recommended you check the market’s website, where provided, or call ahead to confirm days and hours of operation and availability of specific products. Also, be sure to look for the PA Preferred logo at your grocery store and restaurants. Select from a number of recipes for a new twist on your favorite PA Preferred produce.
The Senate is scheduled to convene on Monday, September 18 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and view the voting calendar on my website.