In this update:
All gave some, some gave all – remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day
This past weekend, many York Countians gathered at events across our community to honor, remember and respect the brave individuals who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the freedoms our great nation affords us.
I met with veterans at various events, including the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 1032 at the York Fairgrounds, the Red Lion Memorial Day Service hosted by the Red Lion Legion 543 and the Red Lion VFW Post 1446 and concluded the day with the Wrightsville Memorial Day parade hosted by American Legion Post 469.
As I noted throughout the day, we are here to honor the memory of those who not only answered the call to arms, but who were willing to risk everything, even unto death, to defend America and its interests.
We are the grateful beneficiaries of their service and sacrifice.
Pushing for greater reforms to PA’s lobbying laws
On Thursday, I announced my plans to reform the state’s outdated rules pertaining to lobbyists by requiring a longer “cooling off” period for former state legislators, officials and employees who become lobbyists, as well as banning any lobbyist from holding an appointed position in state government.
By extending this lobbying moratorium to two years, we can match our laws with the length of a legislative session so no legislator can resign his or her seat and be back at the table with a client in tow to have an unfair and insider’s advantage within the same legislative session.
I believe a registered lobbyist serving in a state appointed position creates a conflict of interest. I believe the individual needs to pick a lane – either be a lobbyist or a public servant. The current practice erodes public trust.
You can watch my comments as to why I believe these reforms are greatly needed and long overdue in the video below.
You can read more about my effort here.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board agrees – state should not require vaccine passports
Last week, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee advanced legislation I co-authored that would ban the state or any local governmental entity from requiring so-called vaccine passports, or proof of vaccination, to carry on our day-to-day lives.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Editorial Board concurred with this legislation and stated, “A vaccine passport mandated by any governmental entity is far too close to a de facto vaccine mandate and that constitutes a deep government intrusion into a personal health decision.”
You can read their full editorial on this legislation here.
Funding available for broadband deployment projects
Projects that facilitate the deployment of high-speed broadband service infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of Pennsylvania could be eligible for funding through the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program.
The program is open to nongovernmental entities with the technical, managerial and financial expertise to design, build and operate a high-speed broadband service infrastructure. Funding supports projects that can offer access to services that will enhance economic development, education, health care and emergency services.
Applications will be accepted until Sept. 24. Grants will be awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
State restrictions on senior community centers relaxed
Department of Health COVID-19 restrictions for Pennsylvania senior community centers have been lifted, except for mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals for indoor activities and certain outdoor activities.
The state guidance does not prevent centers, municipalities, local authorities or counties from implementing stricter mitigation efforts based on local circumstances.
Senior community centers provide meals and offer social activities, informative programs, creative arts, exercise, volunteer opportunities, community services and more. You can find a center near you here.
New law updates CDL licensing requirements
Legislation approved by the General Assembly in November has taken effect extending the validity period of a commercial learner’s permit from 180 days to one year, giving vehicle operators more time to prepare for their skills test.
Making the permits valid longer also means fewer operators will need to extend their permit, which will help decrease customer traffic in driver license centers.
Act 131 of 2020 also updates requirements and restrictions for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, including reporting requirements for convictions and violations. One change disqualifies an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if he or she is convicted of using a commercial motor vehicle to commit certain forms of human trafficking.
Fundraising option for first responders, veterans groups and nonprofits approved by Senate
Recognizing that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place a severe financial crisis on numerous volunteer and veterans organizations, the Senate recently approved legislation that will provide a crucial financial lifeline for those vital community organizations.
The measure would allow volunteer fire departments, veterans organizations and other nonprofits to conduct online small games of chance fundraisers and accept payment via mobile payment applications. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Licensees would be required to verify age and residency of those participating, and the ability to fundraise online would end May 1, 2022 or upon the termination of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, whichever is later.
Senate sends “Motorcycle Lemon Law” to House of Representatives
The Senate recently approved legislation to establish a “motorcycle lemon law” similar to the consumer protections for car buyers provided by the Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law.
It requires manufacturers to repair significant defects occurring in the first year of ownership or 12,000 miles. Currently, motorcycle owners are left to pay out of pocket to repair potentially dangerous manufacturing defects or fix the problem themselves. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Local jobs from PA CareerLink
PA CareerLink shared with me their 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.
Upcoming PennDOT projects
PennDOT shared with me their list of upcoming scheduled maintenance projects, which you can view below.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes for voting on Monday, June 7, at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and review our agenda at SenatorKristin.com/session.
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