Local Communities Must Opt-Out of Gambling Expansion by December 31
One of the final pieces of the budget package signed into law by Governor Wolf last week was a massive increase in legal gambling options for all Pennsylvanians – a measure I strongly opposed. The measure completely alters Pennsylvania’s gambling landscape by authorizing the creation of up to 10 mini-casinos, as well as legalized internet gambling run by casinos, video gaming terminals at truck stops, bets on daily fantasy sports games and airport tablet gambling.
Thankfully, the bill included an important provision that allows each municipality to voluntarily opt-out of having a mini-casino sited within their boundaries. A municipality must pass an ordinance by December 31 to officially prohibit a casino from being located in the community.
I recently sent a letter along with Senator Scott Martin to all municipalities in Lancaster County urging them to opt-out of hosting a mini-casino in order to preserve the character and values of our communities. We both encouraged local municipal leaders to contact us if they need any assistance in passing an opt-out ordinance.
More information about local opposition to the gambling bill is available here.
REMINDER: Town Hall Scheduled in Lititz on Tuesday
I have appreciated the opportunity to answer questions and listen to a variety of perspectives from local residents over the past several weeks at town hall events in Denver and Landisville, as well as my telephone town hall two weeks ago. These conversations are critical in helping to shape my legislative agenda and vote on some of the most important issues to our community.
On Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m., I will host another town hall at the Lititz Public Library, located at 651 Kissel Hill Road in Lititz. I invite all community residents to come out and share their thoughts, and I look forward to having another lively and informative discussion.
I appreciated the warm welcome from students and teachers at Avon Grove Charter School.
Lancaster County Placed Under Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species that threatens the grape, hops and logging industries. Lancaster County was recently added to the quarantine list in order to limit the spread of this dangerous pest. The quarantine affects a variety of plant, wood and stone products.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture encourages community residents to learn more about this pest and report any sightings. More information on the Spotted Lanternfly and the quarantine are available here.
Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Open Now
Heating bills are a serious concern for many low-income families throughout the state. Pennsylvanians who have a heating emergency or are struggling to pay utility bills can apply now for assistance through the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP provides grants to help low-income families pay heating bills. Crisis grants are also available for heating emergencies such as a broken furnace, utility termination or fuel shortage. Eligibility and grant amounts are based on income and the number of people living in a household.
Applications for LIHEAP can be completed online on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services (COMPASS) website at www.compass.state.pa.us. Additional information about the program is available online at http://www.dhs.pa.gov/
Statewide Video Competition Challenges Students to Combat Addiction
Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic is one of the most important public health concerns we face. A new statewide video competition challenges middle school and high school students to join in the fight against addiction by raising awareness of this troubling problem.
The “Talk to Your State Senator” video competition encourages students to submit a video that addresses the impact of this crisis, and how young people can prevent the use of drugs and alcohol before it starts. Full details on the competition are available at www.acommonwealthcrisis.com, and additional information is available here.
TV Show Highlights Refreshing Mountain Retreat in Stevens
The most recent edition of my Citizen Report TV program highlights a recent visit to Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center in Stevens, Lancaster County. You can watch the entire video here.
Senate Box 203036