Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Major Investment to Improve Internet Access Coming to Southern York County
  • Get Your License Plate Replaced Next Week
  • Increasing Penalties for Reporting False Threats at Schools
  • Exploring Economic Growth Strategies in PA
  • ICYMI: Learn York College’s New President’s Vision
  • Senate Approves Bill to Protect Critical Infrastructure
  • North Hills Elementary School Visits Capitol
  • New Crime-Fighting Tool for the Public
  • Youth Leadership Camp to be Held June 9-15
  • Five Steps to Safer Digging
  • Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects

Major Investment to Improve Internet Access Coming to Southern York County

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA), which I serve on, announced that southern York County will receive a significant investment of $9.673 million to bolster access to high-speed internet. The funds will be matched by the applicant, Comcast Cable Communications, bringing the total investment to southern York County to more than $18.2 million.

In an era where connectivity is key to education, health care, and economic opportunity, ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to reliable broadband is more crucial than ever. That’s why I have championed initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide across southern York County, even before the pandemic.

This latest investment, made possible through the federally funded Broadband Infrastructure Program coupled with private investment, represents a substantial step forward in our ongoing mission to provide access to essential services for all Pennsylvanians.

Through rigorous oversight and accountability measures put in place by the PBDA that I supported, we are committed to ensuring that these funds are utilized efficiently and effectively. Grantees will be held to strict reporting standards, with clear guidelines to ensure transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. If funds are misused, claw back provisions are in place to not waste your hard-earned money.

You can learn more about this funding here.

Get Your License Plate Replaced Next Week  

On Thursday, April 25, from 5-7 p.m., my team and I will be at the Northern York County Regional Police Department Officer David Tome Substation to help replace your illegible license plate.  

Law enforcement officials will be onsite to determine if your plate is deemed illegible for a free license plate replacement. To be categorized as illegible, one or more numbers or letters cannot be recognized from 50 feet, or the plate shows signs of blistering, peeling, discoloration, or loss of reflectivity.

My team and I will be available to assist you with the necessary forms and then hand-deliver those to PennDOT to expedite the processing time. Your brand-new license plate will be conveniently mailed directly to you.

Additional Information:

  • If you have a personalized license plate, you’ll get a replacement with the same letters and numbers for free.
  • If your vehicle has a special plate, like Wildlife Resource or alumni plate, you’ll get the same type of plate for free. Please note, if your plate type is not available, you’ll receive a standard plate at no cost.
  • If you have a standard plate but want to keep the same number, you’ll need to apply and pay for a personalized plate. This is the only time you’ll need to pay a fee.

Mark your calendars and join us on April 25 at the NYCRPD Officer David Tome Substation for this opportunity. I look forward to seeing you there!

Let me know you plan on attending by RSVPing to the Facebook Event here.

Increasing Penalties for Reporting False Threats at Schools

Against the backdrop of a surge in false threat reports, the Senate has taken decisive action by approving legislation aimed at enhancing criminal penalties for individuals who make such malicious hoaxes. Senate Bill 975 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill would make knowingly reporting a false threat at schools and higher education institutions a felony of the third degree, resulting in a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $15,000. It would also allow courts to sentence anyone convicted to pay the costs of an evacuation or response that resulted from the threat.

These costs may include supplies, equipment or materials to respond to the threat; food that went unused because of the evacuation or diversion from standard operations of a school; and salary and wages – including overtime pay – for those who respond to the threat and any teacher, administrator or other educational facility employee who was paid despite the diversion.

Exploring Economic Growth Strategies in PA  

This week, I had the pleasure of joining leaders from various sectors across the state at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s discussion on ways to bolster our economy and tap into its vast potential. Thank you to the Chamber for providing me with the platform to address attendees and share insights on commonsense permitting reform and bipartisan public policy.

In my remarks, I emphasized the critical need for sensible permitting processes, highlighting how streamlining regulations can catalyze growth and innovation. Moreover, I stressed the importance of bipartisan collaboration, emphasizing that now, more than ever, we have a unique opportunity to enact meaningful policies that benefit all Pennsylvanians.

ICYMI: Learn York College’s New President’s Vision  

It was a pleasure to attend the inauguration of Dr. Thomas Burns as York College of Pennsylvania’s fifth president last weekend!

Fresh off his inauguration, I sat down with President Burns for my latest podcast episode to discuss his transformative vision for the college, his emphasis on local workforce development and career preparation needs, and making sure students are equipped with the skillset employers seek.

You can catch our conversation on Apple and Spotify. You can find more photos from the inauguration on my Instagram.

Senate Approves Bill to Protect Critical Infrastructure

The Senate approved legislation to increase fines and penalties against those who intentionally vandalize or attack critical infrastructure, like the power grid. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under Senate Bill 819, those who willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility will face a minimum of third-degree felony charges that come with a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of no less than $10,000, along with the potential to face civil suits for damages to personal or real estate interests.

A destabilized power grid brings national security risks and disrupts our day-to-day activities – particularly among vulnerable populations. With the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warning of increasing foreign and domestic threats to the power grid, protecting our critical infrastructure is more important than ever.

North Hills Elementary School Visits Capitol

North Hills Elementary students took on their state Capitol on Wednesday! It was a pleasure to guide them through the Senate floor and give them some insight into their state government. Special thanks to Rep. Joe D’Orsie for joining, and a special shoutout to Central York Panthers for their wonderful company this week!

Check out more photos from the tour on my Facebook.

New Crime-Fighting Tool for the Public

PSP Tips offers the public a new way to share information related to active investigations, cold cases, the apprehension of wanted persons or locating missing persons. It includes information about nearly 100 cold case homicides, missing persons and other unsolved crimes. New cases will be added frequently.

Featured cases include the 1973 homicide of an eight-year-old girl in Greene County, the unsolved killing in 1977 of a high school junior in Blair County, the 1981 disappearance of a Lackawanna County teenager and the search for the children of Susan Reinert, a Montgomery County teacher found murdered near Harrisburg in 1979. All cases in which the Pennsylvania State Police requests public assistance can be viewed on Facebook and Twitter.

Your tip could provide investigators with a long-awaited breakthrough that will finally bring closure and justice for the victims’ families. All information submitted to PSP Tips can be provided anonymously, if desired. Submit information using the toll-free phone number, 1-800-4PA-TIPS (1-800-472-8477) or online.

Youth Leadership Camp to be Held June 9-15

Teenagers who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or the military are encouraged to apply to participate in a leadership camp to be held June 9-15 at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania American Legion staff the camp. Cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers, and a marksmanship course. They will also visit the State Police Academy and Fort Indiantown Gap National Training Center.

The camp offers three $1,000 scholarships at the end of the week. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 17 prior to entering the camp and may not reach age 18 during the camp. Applicants should be physically fit, in good health and have a strong academic record. There is no cost to participants as their local American Legion post sponsors their attendance. Learn more and fill out an application here by May 15.

Five Steps to Safer Digging

April is Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month, which is the perfect time to review the five steps for safely preparing for any outdoor project that requires excavation so you don’t hit an underground utility line.

Mark your proposed work site with white paint, flags or chalk. Then, as required by state law, contact PA One Call at least three to 10 business days prior to excavation. Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system and out-of-state residents or businesses can call 1-800-242-1776. Wait to begin work until the lawful start date. Track the progress of your request through the email that details what each utility company did to mark the location of their underground lines. Dig carefully.

Following the five steps to safer digging minimizes risk to the contractors or homeowners who are doing the digging; to utility workers and emergency responders who are mobilized to deal with the damage; and to bystanders who live, work or travel near the locations of the incidents. Learn more here.

Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects   

Most weeks, PennDOT shares with me its 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.

Please use extreme caution when traveling through our work zones. This week, we lost three lives due to an accident in a work zone along Interstate 83 in northern York County. The tragic news comes as this week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, where additional awareness is raised on safe driving throughout active work zones.

If you are in a work zone, please remember the hardworking men and women who are doing their best to improve our local infrastructure. Just like you, they want to return home to their families at the end of their shift. Please keep the families in your prayers during this difficult time.

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