In this update:
Latest podcast episode features update on state budget with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne
My latest podcast episode features a quick conversation with the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Sen. Pat Browne.
Sen. Browne gave a brief overview of Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal and what it will mean for the hardworking taxpayers across Pennsylvania. The episode runs 7 minutes and can be found on your favorite podcast platform.
Digging into the state budget to get YOU answers on issues YOU share with me on government spending, transportation issues
Throughout the first of four weeks of public hearings on the governor’s proposed state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, I took a lot of concerns you have shared with me and relayed those concerns to cabinet officials and two of our state’s three row officers.
Below are links to videos of the questions I asked and the answers I received on matters important to our community:
Independent Fiscal Office
Discussion on population and workforce trends of Pennsylvania, compared to other states
Department of Revenue
Frustrations from a local resident who waited nine months to get a tax refund resolved
Concerns over responsiveness with most employees at the department working from home
Should the state spend one-time funds on recurring expenses, as the governor proposed in his budget?
Cost to taxpayers to incentivize state employees receiving COVID-19 vaccine
Strengthening cybersecurity with sensitive state financial data
Bringing transparency and oversight to massive federal taxpayer dollars flowing into state
Department of Corrections
Asking about a no-bid contract on data collection that is already housed in the department
Getting answers on the Mt. Rose Interchange
You can view photos from our public hearings here.
Thank you to Cub Scout Pack 69 for the offer to discuss my role as a state senator
I had a great conversation with Cub Scout Pack 69 about my duties as their state senator. We reviewed my role as a legislator, important issues I support and how I found my way into elected office.
Thank you to Cub Master Mike Swift and the entire pack for the opportunity!
Additional 100,000 older adults eligible for prescription assistance
Legislation approved by the General Assembly in December expanding income eligibility limits for the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program is now in effect.
The new law allows an additional 100,000 older adults to now become eligible to sign up for the program with enrollment beginning this month. The law expands the PACENET income limits by $6,000:
The PACENET and PACE programs are funded with revenue from the Pennsylvania Lottery and provide comprehensive reimbursement coverage for prescription medications to qualified older Pennsylvanians. The program serves older Pennsylvanians 65 years of age and older, many of whom require multiple medications for several chronic conditions.
You can read more about PACE/PACENET, the latest expansion and the application process here.
Applications being accepted for schools-to-work grants
State grants are available to foster partnerships between schools, employers, organizations, and associations that lead to career pathways for students. The application deadline is March 15.
Eligible applicants for the Schools-to-Work Program must be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry as a pre-apprenticeship program or connected with a registered apprenticeship program. Other eligible applicants include an entity that has an established connection with a registered apprenticeship program.
Project proposals must create learning opportunities for participating students and should focus on the coordination of people and resources to help individuals on a continuous path to family-sustaining employment and career growth. The proposal must also focus on building pre-apprenticeship programs to fill current and anticipated labor market needs in the given geographical area.
York County Economics Club Breakfast features update on local real estate market
This week, the York County Economic Alliance Economics Club breakfast featured a great presentation from local real estate leaders on the status of the housing and commercial real estate markets in York County and across the Commonwealth.
Thank you to the presenters, including: David L. Bode, managing partner, ROCK Commercial Real Estate; Jonathan Bowser, president & CEO, Steel Works Construction, and managing partner, Integrated Development Partners Holdings; Sam Stein, broker, REALTOR®, Inch & Co. Real Estate; and Shanna Terroso, CEO, REALTORS® Association of York & Adams Counties for the informative update!
Student art competition raises awareness about ticks and Lyme disease
As the number of Lyme disease cases in the state and across the nation continues to rise, students can use their artistic talents to raise awareness of the prevalence of ticks and the types of diseases they carry.
The Lyme Disease Art Contest is open to children in first through sixth grade. Entries must be received by March 11. Contest materials can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website.
Finalists will be notified by mail and will be invited to an award ceremony in May.
There are reports of up to 10,000 Lyme disease cases per year in Pennsylvania and more are likely unreported. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a short course of antibiotics. However, if the infection is left untreated, it can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.
Ticks that cause Lyme disease are found in every county and every green space, even in cities.
Upcoming PennDOT scheduled maintenance
PennDOT shared with me the upcoming maintenance project list for next week. You can view that below.
Local job openings
PA CareerLink shared with me its latest list of local job openings, which you can view below. You can also find job postings shared with the York County Economic Alliance here.
Below is a schedule of next week’s public hearings on YOUR state budget. You can always tune in live on my Facebook Page.