Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Uniting Against Cuffs Run Pumped Storage Facility
  • Senate Votes to Support Texas in Addressing Southern Border Crisis
  • We LOVE York County Farmers
  • Welcoming Pastor Bastress to the Senate of PA
  • Heartwood Spa – New Location at Heritage Hills
  • Touring PennAir: Member of The Conrad Company
  • PA Parks Offer Free Events for People of All Ages
  • Protect Your Money by Investing Wisely
  • Student Art Contest Raises Lyme Disease Awareness
  • Happy Presidents Day!
  • On Deck
  • Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects

Uniting Against Cuffs Run Pumped Storage Facility

This week, elected officials from all levels of YOUR government in York and Lancaster counties joined together to oppose the proposed Cuffs Run Pumped Storage facility proposal.

The developers behind Cuffs Run, York Energy Storage, LLC, submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed pumped storage facility. I would also point out that the developers are from Berks County; not York County. The developers received a preliminary permit application approval, which is now in a 60-day public comment period.

As I noted, this project will do nothing to benefit York County or its residents. It will require the flooding of 580 acres, including many preserved farms and historic, tourist, and environmental sites along the Susquehanna River. It is because of the so-call “green” initiative of the state of Maryland that Pennsylvania (and more specifically, York County) has a target on its back. Maryland recently settled a lawsuit that will require the decommissioning of a coal-fired plant in the next year, which will mean a lack of grid reliability for the people of Baltimore. With grid reliability challenges due to negligence of Maryland, York Countians are asked to suffer with this massive hydroelectric pumped storage facility in their own back yard that will destroy lives and livelihoods.

The event was well-attended by local officials, including Congressman Lloyd Smucker, Sen. Chris Gebhard, Reps. Wendy Fink, Joe D’Orsie, Seth Grove, Mike Jones, Kate Klunk, Dawn Keefer, Bryan Cutler, Tom Jones, Brett Miller, Keith Greiner, Mike Sturla, and Mindy Fee, Commissioners Julie Wheeler, Doug Hoke, and Josh Parsons (of Lancaster County).

Following the event, we submitted a formal letter to FERC opposing the project.

You can weigh in on the project online by visiting FERC’s website here. Use P-15332 docket number to reference the Cuffs Run proposal. You can also send your comments via U.S. Postal Service to the following individual:


Debbie-Anne A. Reese, Acting Secretary

USPS Mailing Address:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20426

More information on commenting can be found here.

The public comment period ends March 31.

You can read more about the effort here, watch the entire event here, and view photos here.

Senate Votes to Support Texas in Addressing Southern Border Crisis

Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on the southern border situation, specifically regarding Senate Resolution 234. I asked for community input as the vote was imminent.

I was able to take YOUR feedback and put it into action on the Senate floor when I spoke up during the debate.

Below is a breakdown of the feedback I received:
Support for Resolution: 86% (398 responses)
Opposition to Resolution: 12% (56 responses)
Undecided: 2% (7 responses)

Senate Resolution 234 voices support for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s actions to secure the border amid federal inaction by the Biden Administration. It also encourages Gov. Josh Shapiro to join dozens of other governors from across the country who have announced their support of Abbott. The Biden Administration continues to fight Abbott’s lawful exercise of his Constitutional authority to defend his state and its citizens. 

According to the U.S. Center for Immigration Services, the country’s illegal immigrant population grew to 12.8 million by October 2023. It rose 2.6 million since January 2021, when President Joe Biden took office and used executive orders to move financial resources away from the border, suspend deportations and end the successful “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The resolution was approved with bipartisan support.

We LOVE York County Farmers!

I am thrilled to share the highlights from our second annual Farmers’ Breakfast, which served as a testament to the strong bonds within our local agricultural community. The event was more than just a gathering; it was an opportunity to engage with our community and address concerns.

Driven by the encouragement from community members, the Farmers’ Breakfast has become an essential forum for collaboration.

A notable segment of the event was the introduction of York College’s new environmental horticulture program by Dr. Charles MacVean, Dean of the Kinsley School of Engineering, Sciences, and Technology. The program aims to fill local voids and was met with enthusiasm from our community. I extend my gratitude to Dr. MacVean and his team for their collaborative approach!

Our keynote speaker, Secretary Russell Redding, then brought a wealth of knowledge from his nine years of service to the Commonwealth and decades as a farmer in neighboring Adams County. His non-partisan approach to agricultural issues and understanding of the challenges faced by farmers always provides valuable insights.

Following the presentations, a Q&A session provided an opportunity for attendees to engage with our distinguished guests, fostering an atmosphere of open dialogue.

I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2nd Annual Farmer’s Breakfast. To the Eureka Volunteer Fire Company for hosting us, the Ladies Auxiliary for the delightful meal, and our esteemed speakers for sharing their expertise—thank you.

I would be remiss not to extend a special recognition to our farmers—the backbone of our community. Your dedication ensures food on our tables, milk in our glasses, and enriching agritourism opportunities for all. We appreciate and love our farmers.

You can find photos form the event here and the event video here.  

Welcoming Pastor Bastress to the Senate of PA

Thank you to Pastor Ryan Bastress of Wake Ministries for serving as Guest Chaplain for the Senate last week! Pastor Bastress, a devoted resident of Hanover, shares his life’s journey alongside his wife, Kirsten, and their family. His unwavering commitment to preaching the gospel since the age of 15 has been a source of inspiration and guidance for many. We are grateful for his uplifting presence and the meaningful message he shared during his time with us.

You can find Pastor Bastress’ opening prayer here.

Heartwood Spa – New Location at Heritage Hills  

It was a pleasure to join the celebration of Heartwood Spa at Heritage Hills’ grand reopening at its new location! The revitalized ambiance sets the stage for a tranquil escape, allowing patrons to indulge in a world of relaxation and wellness. The expanded services cater to a diverse range of preferences, ensuring that each visitor finds the perfect spa treatment to unwind and rejuvenate.

The grand reopening marks a new chapter for Heartwood Spa, emphasizing a commitment to providing unparalleled spa experiences. Best wishes and congratulations to the Heartwood Spa team on this exciting milestone.

Touring PennAir: Member of The Conrad Company

A heartfelt thank you to Cheryl Rhein of The Conrad Company for the insightful tour of PennAir in Springettsbury Township! The can-do attitude and vibrant culture of this company, employing more than 160 associates across York County, left a lasting impression.

During the visit, I engaged with associates, gaining a deep understanding of the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into manufacturing components with global impact. PennAir’s commitment to excellence was evident in every conversation and process witnessed.

The tour highlighted PennAir’s pivotal role in supplying components for diverse applications worldwide. My appreciation goes out to Cheryl Rhein, The Conrad Company, and the entire PennAir team for showcasing their dedication to innovation and precision.

PA Parks Offer Free Events for People of All Ages 

As people start to feel a bit of cabin fever this time of year, it can be a great time to take advantage of recreational opportunities offered at Pennsylvania state parks.

There are free or low-cost seminars to interest people of all ages. Some examples include a winter photography walk, an introduction to cross country skiing, make and take tree cookie crafts, a cast iron cooking lesson and even a full moon hike.

Locally, Codorus State Park is holding maple sugaring programs! It is a great opportunity to discover the history and science of making maple syrup while you help tap a tree and see how syrup is made.

Find a full calendar of events, including some that are virtual, and sign up here.

Protect Your Money by Investing Wisely

Trying to research financial services, products or companies can be confusing, but investing without first investigating can be a costly mistake.

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) offers free information about how to research people, companies, and investments. If you’re not sure where to start, call the department at 1-800-600-0007.

Learn more about the free and confidential help DoBS provides.

Student Art Contest Raises Lyme Disease Awareness

Pennsylvania has one of the highest counts of Lyme disease cases in the nation. Symptoms often initially include fever, headache and extreme tiredness. If the disease is untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.

First- through sixth-graders can help spread the word about preventing this tick-borne illness by entering the Pennsylvania Department of Health Lyme Art Contest. They are encouraged to submit a poster or video showing how to avoid exposure to ticks, check for ticks and/or remove ticks safely by March 15 at 5 p.m.

Find more information, including how to apply, here.

Happy Presidents Day!

On Monday, Feb. 19, we recognize Presidents Day and reflect on the effort it takes to guide our country in the right direction. Originally, the holiday was to honor our first president – George Washington – but it has since been expanded.

Due to the holiday, our offices will be closed with normal business hours resuming on Tuesday, Feb. 20. As always, if you need assistance on any state-related matter, my online office is always open.

On Deck 

State spending would increase by more than $3.2 billion, or about 7.1%, under Gov. Josh Shapiro’s new budget plan. This level of increase nearly doubles the rate of inflation and will make it virtually impossible to balance future budgets without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases within the five-year planning period.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will kick off three weeks of public hearings regarding Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal. As a member of the committee, I will be seeking answers to know how this budget balances the priorities for the people of southern York County.

You can find my full reaction of the governor’s proposed spending spree here.

You can get updates over on X by following me here. Our first hearing starts on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 9:30 a.m. with the Independent Fiscal Office.

Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects 

Most weeks, PennDOT shares with me their maintenance schedule for the week ahead. When it becomes available, you can view the full list here to see if it will impact you and your family.


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