New Year Brings Fresh Opportunities for General Assembly
In 2017, the General Assembly took a number of
significant steps to improve the way government operates and reduce
long-term costs to taxpayers, including passage of long-sought reforms to public
employee pension systems. In 2018, lawmakers will have new opportunities to make
state government work better for state residents.
This year, lawmakers will again face the challenge of passing a fiscally responsible budget
that does not ask Pennsylvania families or employers to pay higher taxes. State
government needs to be more efficient in how tax dollars are allocated, and that
starts with eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. I strongly believe we can do a
better job of managing the state’s resources. Exploring new ways to reduce the
cost of government and making it more accountable to taxpayers will be a
priority for me again this year.
Fixing Pennsylvania’s budget woes will also require lawmakers to play a positive role
in supporting a robust economy. Government does not create jobs – businesses do.
I will continue to support free-market principles that encourage business growth
and development to create new opportunities for job-seekers.
Senator Corman provides remarks at the bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill
1, which reforms Pennsylvania’s public pension system.
Organizations in 34th Senatorial District Benefit from State Funding
A number of schools, organizations and employers in the 34th Senatorial
District have been awarded state grants in recent months to invest in their
operations, create jobs and improve the economy. The grants will enable these
organizations to serve more area residents through additional programs and
services and enhanced facilities. Investing in our communities is important to
creating jobs and improving the local economy. It’s a win-win for our area.
Following are organizations that have received funding.
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology -- $4 million
toward the construction of a new 45,800 square-foot, three-story Health Sciences
Building on CPI's campus. This new facility will enable CPI to offer degree
programs for Healthcare Management, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Physical
Therapy Assistants, Surgical Technicians, and Occupational Therapy Assistants.
Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center -- $1.125 million for the Huntingdon County CTC Training Center Expansion. Funds will be used
toward a construction project consisting of two pre-engineered steel buildings.
Centre Hall, Penns Cave -- $665,528 for the
construction of a new road-located in Gregg Township, Centre County. Penns Cave
and Wildlife Park attracts thousands of visitors each year to the township.
Borough of Lewistown, Mifflin County -- $340,000 for roadway
improvements along Kishacoquillas Street in the borough. The project will create
a safe route for residents to access the downtown business district while
addressing many pedestrian safety issues along the corridor by improving the
walkability throughout the community.
Halfmoon Township, Port Matilda -- $201,628 for
improvements at Autumn Meadow Park located in Halfmoon Township, Centre County.
Brown Township, Mifflin County -- $100,000 for the
rehabilitation of an existing berm between Honey Creek and Willow Lane located
in the township to provide better flood protection for the homes on Willow Lane,
Cross Street, Fultz Road and portions of East Logan Street.
Sen. Corman visits the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) after announcing a $4 million state grant to help offset costs of building its health science building.
PennDOT Releases Latest Winter Service Guide
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is releasing the latest
Winter Service Guide to help you prepare for cold weather driving conditions.
Key elements of the Guide are broken into categories to assist you with your
- Emergency Travel Kit (p.2)
- Winter Driving Tips (p.3)
- Winter Tools and Terms (p.4)
- PennDOT Winter Storm Team (p.5-7)
Turn to pages 8 to 29 for the PennDOT District Tools offering details on the number of
snow lane miles, average snowfall, number of municipal agreements, amounts of
salt and brine required, as well as the budgeted and actual expenditures to
properly maintain snow and ice-covered roadways in our
PennDOT Maintenance District.
Along with the contact information listed for each of the Commonwealth’s 12
Highway Maintenance Districts are the number of permanent and temporary
operators and mechanics required in each district.
The Penns Valley Boys Cross Country team recently visited the State
Additional Funding Dedicated to Purdue Mountain Road Repair Project
The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) will dedicate an additional $573,000 to help repair
damages to Purdue Mountain Road in Benner Township, Centre County. FEMA
previously awarded approximately $1.2 million to repair multiple locations along
the road that were damaged during a rain storm in October 2016. The additional
$573,000 will help repave other locations that were damaged during the storm,
but were not identified during the initial inspection.
In addition, the new funding
will help improve the flow of runoff away from the affected areas through the
installation of additional drainage features. The damage to Purdue Mountain Road
caused a major disruption for the entire community, and it would have been
extremely difficult for the township to repair this damage without additional
financial support. I am thankful that FEMA agreed to not only help repair the
affected areas, but also dedicated resources to ensure those areas are better
protected against future damage.
Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Opportunities
The 2017-18 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is
accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. The Department of
Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will award up to $800,000 in VTF grants to
non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of
veteran affairs across the state. Grant applications must be received no later
than 3 p.m. Friday, January 19, 2018.
Up to a total of $150,000 in grant funding is available for new, innovative
or expanded programs or services provided by county directors of veterans
affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs.
The areas of emphasis for applicants in this category are veterans’ outreach and
veterans’ court programs.
Up to $650,000 in VTF funding is available to veteran service organizations
and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania
veterans. Funding priorities for applicants in this category are transitional
housing or community living initiatives and unique veteran health services that
address issues like homelessness, post-traumatic stress and behavioral health needs.
Eligible applicants from either category may also submit applications for
programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
The VTF is funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for
or renewing driver’s licenses; photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations;
purchase Honoring Our Veterans license plates; or make private donations.
Tax-deductible donations can be made online at
or mailed to: PA Veterans’ Trust Fund, Bldg. 0-47 Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.
LIHEAP applications are now being accepted
Low-income families struggling with heating bills may apply for the
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program according to the
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
Eligible Pennsylvanians may choose one of three methods to apply for a 2017-18
cash grant sent directly to the utility company or a
crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.
Applications may be submitted online through n
COMPASS or at your
local county assistance office through April 6, 2018.
REAP Tax Credit
Pennsylvania farmers who want to implement best management practices (BMPs)
or purchase on-farm conservation equipment should apply for 2017-18 Resource
Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program tax credits.
REAP is a Pennsylvania tax credit program for agricultural producers who
install BMPs or make equipment purchases that reduce nutrient and sediment
runoff, which improves Pennsylvania’s streams and watersheds. The program is
administered by Pennsylvania’s State Conservation Commission, which provides
support and oversight to the state's 66 county conservation districts.
Farmers may receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation
for 50 to 75 percent of the project’s cost. The most commonly approved projects
are for no-till planting and precision ag equipment, waste storage facilities,
Conservation Plans, Nutrient Management Plans, and protecting barnyards and
other areas with animals. Cover crops and riparian stream buffers are also
popular REAP-eligible practices. REAP can be used in conjunction with other
funding sources, such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or
the Chesapeake Bay Program to help install BMPs.
The 2017-18 REAP application packet, as well as other information about REAP, is
available on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s
website or by contacting Joel Semke at 717-705-4032 or