In this update:
Give Local York is today!
It’s finally here!
The annual day of giving that only lasts 24 hours but provides a year’s worth of charitable support to our non-profit community is today, Friday, May 6.
This is the biggest day of giving in York County. The online giving spree benefits more than 300 local nonprofits. Last year, our county came together to raise $3.7 million and showed that we are a truly generous community.
If you are interested in helping our community and its organizations that make York County a great place to live, work and raise a family, please check out the list of eligible organizations, which work tirelessly throughout the year and greatly benefit from your generosity today, here.
Senate Republicans continue statewide hearings on rising crime
Local police chiefs, prosecutors, addiction recovery experts and others met with the Senate Majority Policy Committee in Lancaster this week as part of Senate Republican public hearings on rising crime in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has the highest violent crime rate of any state in the Northeast, according to FBI data. Between 2019 and 2020, no other state reported a greater year-over-year increase in violence. Driven by spikes in aggravated assault and homicide, Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate climbed 27.1% from 2019 to 2020.
Chief David Steffen of the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department told the committee that the national media’s consistent coverage of emotional, high-profile and statistically rare cases of officer-involved shootings portrayed as the norm has created a foundation of mistrust in law enforcement.
Columbia Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer said recruiting new officers to the force has become increasingly difficult, particularly as anti-police rhetoric rises.
You can watch my Q&A about the challenges of recruiting our next generation of law enforcement officer below.
According to Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams, Lancaster County is a hotspot for human trafficking, an insidious crime that contributes to other types of community lawlessness.
A top priority for Senate Republicans is to ensure Pennsylvanians feel safe in the towns, cities and communities they call home. These hearings will help legislators better understand the trends in crime from law enforcement and key stakeholders, and better align the Commonwealth’s economic goals with community objectives throughout the state.
The next hearing on crime and public safety will be announced in the near future. Learn more here.
York Revs’ Salute to Military Service game on Saturday, May 21
The York Revolution will hold their Salute to Military Service game on Saturday, May 21, which means all service members and their families get free tickets.
If you are a service member and would like to attend, please fill out this website form.
For more information on the York Revs, please visit their website here.
Less than a year to go before federal enforcement of REAL ID begins
The one-year countdown has begun for the federal enforcement of REAL ID for commercial domestic air travel and other federal purposes.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation advises Pennsylvania residents who want REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards and have not yet gotten one to gather the needed documents now to ensure they have plenty of time to get their REAL ID before the federal enforcement date.
REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic flight or entering a federal building that requires federally acceptable ID for entry.
A federally acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used for these purposes on and after May 3, 2023.
There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs. More information, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found on the state REAL ID website.
Beware of increasing utility costs
If you have not compared your electric utility bill lately, you may want to take a look.
As many electric suppliers have publicly announced their plans to increase electricity rates as we head into the warm summer months, knowing your options and comparing prices that suit your family’s budget is even more important.
Visit PA Power Switch to compare your rates. Here is a recent WGAL story on the matter.
As your state senator, I am sponsoring legislation that would make the price to compare more transparent and the ability to switch suppliers easier.
You can read more about my proposal here.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Extended to May 20
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to May 20, allowing additional households to apply for help.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the state that provides assistance for home heating bills. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners.
You can apply for benefits online using COMPASS, or download a paper application, print it, fill it out and return it to your local county assistance office.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
While we focus on our physical wellbeing, the food we eat, exercise, and getting regular check-ups for vision and dental care, a growing body of evidence has demonstrated the need to take care of our mental health.
If you or someone you know needs assistance in this crucial area, the state has an online mental health resources page that can be a good starting point. Topics include finding help and treatment, preventing suicide and more.
Tag your favorite small business this Small Business Week
If you follow me on Facebook, or visit my Facebook Page, I am asking you to share your favorite York County small business – tag them in my latest post to highlight these locally-owned businesses during Small Business Week. Tag your favorite small business here.
Happy Mother’s Day
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8!
PS: Mom loves when you shop small and local!
Wishing all of the moms, grandmothers, great grandmothers and godmothers across the 28th Senatorial District a Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday!
Major legal win for Southern York County property owners
On Thursday, the Commonwealth Court upheld the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s decision to not approve the Transource project that would have impacted many properties in southern York County.
This is a major win for our community. Read the decision here.
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