In this update:
REAL ID event rescheduled for April 15
Representatives Kate Klunk, Mike Jones and I have rescheduled our REAL ID pre-verification event for Monday, April 15 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The event will be held at the New Freedom Community Center at 150 E. Main Street, New Freedom.
Under federal guidelines, a REAL ID, or other approved identification, such as a passport, will be required in order to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting next year.
Obtaining a REAL ID is optional.
Representatives from PennDOT will scan attendees’ personal documents needed to obtain a REAL ID. Those documents include:
Residents who attend the event will already have the necessary documents on file with PennDOT when they apply for a REAL ID.
More information can be found here.
Please know that this event is only a pre-verification event for REAL ID – you will not obtain a REAL ID at this event.
First law on books of 2019 is a Senate-led initiative to strip convicted felons of public pensions
I was pleased to see the governor sign Senator John DiSanto’s proposal into law on Thursday that will prohibit state employees, including lawmakers, from collecting a state pension if found guilty of, plead guilty to, or plead no contest to a job-related felony.
As someone who does not accept a public pension in my role as state Senator, I think it’s absolutely outrageous that someone who commits a job-related felony could continue to abuse taxpayers by collecting a pension after they are found guilty in a court of law.
You can read more about Act 1 of 2019 here. You can listen to my comments about this commonsense law here.
Competitive grants awarded to York County nonprofits
Earlier this week, I announced two important grants to the residents of the 28th Senatorial District.
Representative Kate Klunk and I announced a competitively awarded $450,000 state grant to aid Steam Into History’s rail line improvement between Seven Valleys Borough and Spring Garden Township in York County.
Steam Into History will also use the state grant to refurbish an existing rail line owned by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation.
The total project cost is $729,410.
I was also pleased to see the York County History Center receive $652,053. The History Center is moving into the former Met-Ed steam plant site on the corner of West Philadelphia Street and North Pershing Avenue in York. The grant will help with infrastructure on and around the site, including traffic and pedestrian improvements, utility relocations and streetscape improvements.
The total project cost is $950,015.
The grants were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority under the Multimodal Transportation Fund Program.
Learn more about the Steam Into History grant here and the York County History Center grant here.
Senate approves bill aimed at preventing child heatstroke death in vehicles
On Tuesday, I supported Senate Bill 49, sponsored by Senator Tom Killion, which will provide immunity to individuals who attempt to rescue children who have been left unattended in hot vehicles.
I’m thankful for the tireless efforts of Senator Killion to advance this much-needed reform to our laws to ensure we do not see any tragedies this spring and summer in parking lots across the commonwealth.
The bill’s number, 49, represents the number of children who passed away from vehicular heat stroke last year.
The legislation received the unanimous support of the Senate and is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
Read more about this legislation here.
Honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice
After consulting with the family, I was honored to write the legislation that would rename the portion of State Route 2087 over the East Branch Codorus Creek in York County as the “Sgt. Christopher M. Wrinkle and Tosca Memorial Bridge.”
A 2001 Dallastown grad, Sgt. Wrinkle served as a Special Operations Multi-Purpose K9 Handler for the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Company G and Marine Special Operations Team 8221 in Herat Province in Afghanistan. He was deployed to Afghanistan on July 1, 2011, and passed away while trying to rescue his service dog, Tosca, from a barracks fire later that month on July 31.
We can never adequately repay the debt that is owed to Chris and his wonderful family, but we can ensure the memory of his uncommon bravery is preserved for every generation to come.
On Wednesday, the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved my legislation, Senate Bill 441, and will now head to the full Senate for its consideration.
You can read more about my efforts to honor a local fallen Marine here. I also spoke with ABC 27 News’ Matt Heckel about my proposal. You can watch our interview here.
Senate State Government Committee hears pros/cons of updating voting machines by 2020 election
On Tuesday, the Senate State Government Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon/Dauphin/York), held a public hearing on Senate Bill 48, sponsored by Senator Gordner.
Senate Bill 48 would delay the decertification of voting machines across the state, as ordered by the Wolf Administration.
The hearing weighed the pros and cons of the governor’s plan to require all existing voting machines to be decertified and have new voting machines in place by the 2020 General Election. We heard from those in the administration who cited this is an urgent need, while county officials worried about the costs they would incur as well as concerns that the state would not provide the several years of funding the governor suggested.
You can watch the hearing here.
York County agricultural community visits Capitol to push legislative priorities
York County’s proud and rich farming heritage had a strong presence at the state Capitol on Wednesday. I was pleased to meet with several familiar faces throughout the day as the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau hosted its annual legislative conference.
York County farmers were in Harrisburg to advocate for various provisions in the state budget, as well as provide input on Sunday hunting, modernizing our state’s vehicle laws to address farming equipment, a tax credit program for new farmers and much more.
My Constituent Outreach Specialist, Galen Weibley, joined me for the annual luncheon.
Red Lion Area Ambulance Assoc. obtains low interest loan for new ambulance
On Thursday, I announced the state’s Volunteer Loan Assistance Program provided a $100,000 low interest (2 percent) loan for the Red Lion Area Ambulance Association to purchase a 2019 Ford F-550 Line Superliner Type 1 ambulance.
The loan will provide our local first responders with the kind of reliable, state-of-the-art equipment they need to save lives. Read more about this loan here.
Legislative Budget and Finance Committee hears about impact of tavern gaming, update on PA Fish and Boat Commission sustainability
On Wednesday, the bicameral and bipartisan PA Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by Pennsylvania State Senator Bob Mensch, held a public meeting to release a performance audit of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The committee also reviewed a report outlining the impact of possible tavern gaming on the Pennsylvania Lottery.
You can watch our meeting in its entirety here.
York County Medical Society outlines issues
On Thursday morning, the York County Medical Society hosted their legislative breakfast to discuss various issues impacting the medical community. We had a great discussion about how to improve efficiencies in the licensing process from the Department of State, as well as scope of practice, continuing education, student debt and increasing access to healthcare in remote areas (via telemedicine legislation sponsored by Sen. Elder Vogel Jr.). I’m pictured below with Reps. Dawn Keefer, Kate Klunk and Dr. Suzette Song and Dr. Quincy Harberger.
Thank you to the doctors who joined our conversation on important issues impacting our health care system in York County.
Guest Senate Page from York Catholic
Thomas Pokrivka, an eighth grader from York Catholic, served as a guest page in the Senate on Monday. Thomas is active in Boy Scouts and plays lacrosse and basketball.
In addition to ensuring items were delivered to Senate offices on time, as well as handling correspondence and other duties, Thomas got to try out my seat in the Senate Chamber. We have a bright future in York County with future leaders like Thomas.
I introduced Thomas to my Senate colleagues during session on Monday. You can watch his introduction below.
Thanks for spending the day at the Capitol! If you know of someone who would like to shadow me for the day or visit the Capitol, please feel free to contact me!
Thank you, Vietnam War Veterans!
Today marks the anniversary of the declared end of the Vietnam War – when troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam.
Two years ago, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, which designates today, March 29, as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The legislation started here in York County due to the leadership, hard work and advocacy of Harold Redding.
Harold was instrumental in drafting a proposal and working with our U.S. Senator, Pat Toomey, along with Senator Donnelly of Indiana, to pass the legislation that declares March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day in the United States.
I’m extremely grateful for the 2.7 million men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
When these veterans came back from the conflict, they were not thanked or given the proper honor they should have received for service to their country.
Today, we pause to say thank you to our Vietnam War veterans who served this country with dignity when the nation needed you the most. You may have volunteered, you may have been drafted, but regardless, you answered your country’s call and you did your duty.
We are forever grateful and for that we say: Thank you and welcome home!
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