In this update:
‘Guardian of Small Business’
I am humbled to be named a ‘Guardian of Small Business’ by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for my legislative efforts to support small businesses through policies and initiatives.
The past year has been excruciatingly difficult for our locally-owned businesses and their employees. As we return to normal, the message is the same: our small businesses have been and will always be the backbone of our state’s economy.
During the pandemic, I sponsored several bills to reopen various small businesses that were targeted by the governor’s COVID-19 mitigation closures, including real estate transactions, barbers and stylists, restaurants and bars, gyms and fitness centers, locally-owned garden centers, pet groomers, as well as provide for pandemic liability protections for these businesses to avoid frivolous lawsuits.
I am pictured below receiving the award from NFIB Senior State Director Greg Moreland.
You can learn more here.
Parents have until July 15 to choose additional year of education for their child following pandemic disruptions
Parents have until July 15 to take advantage of a new state law empowering them to decide whether their children should advance to the next grade level or be held back a year due to learning disruptions created during COVID-19.
Parents who wish to pursue the additional optional year of education for their children must complete and return a standardized form to their school district by the July 15 deadline. This allows school districts enough time to plan for changes in class sizes for the upcoming school year.
The additional optional year of education was provided by the newly enacted Act 66 of 2021. The option would only apply to the 2021-22 school year to help manage learning loss caused by the pandemic.
2021-22 state budget in detail
Last week, I reported that the Senate approved a 2021-22 state budget that holds the line on taxes, supports Pennsylvania’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a financial safety net for the future.
This year’s budget was unlike almost any other given the amount of pandemic recovery federal funding involved. The goal was to drive state and federal funds to where they are most needed, while putting money in reserve to assure next year’s budget is responsible.
You can take a closer look at the spending plan here. As I said last week, I was disappointed one of the budget-related bills (Fiscal Code amendment) that drives out funding to various entities did not include any funding to give our beleaguered homeowners a break with their school property taxes. I ended up voting against the Fiscal Code amendment for that reason.
Bills of note passed by the Senate in 2021
Legislation giving citizens a voice in disaster response and protecting the vulnerable during the pandemic received the most attention this year, but the Senate tackled many more issues in the first six months of the two-year legislative session.
From strengthening schools, to reducing regulatory burdens, improving health care and more, here’s a roundup of notable bills passed by the Senate in 2021.
I am pleased to report to you that I have seven bills on this list. The next closest colleague of mine has five bills mentioned. You can view my complete legislative agenda, which is driven by your input, ideas, conversations and emails, here. As I am out and about in the community – walking in parades, sitting in meetings, touring businesses – I continue to add to this list of objectives as YOUR state senator.
Avoiding tick bites and Lyme disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest statistics (2019), Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of confirmed Lyme disease cases.
The best way to avoid it is to avoid tick bites. Some tips:
You can read more about how to avoid tick bites, as well as how to spot Lyme disease symptoms and other related topics, here.
Local jobs from PA CareerLink
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.
Upcoming PennDOT projects
PennDOT provided its list of upcoming scheduled maintenance projects, which you can view below.
Cheer on a Tokyo-bound York Countian on Saturday (tomorrow)
Johnny Stefanowicz, a 2009 Kennard-Dale graduate, will represent the United States in the Summer Olympics starting later this month.
Johnny earned his spot in April during the Olympic trials held in Texas. He will represent Team USA for Greco-Roman wrestling in the 87kg (192-pound) class. He is the first Marine to earn a spot as a wrestler for Team USA since the mid-1990s!
The Marine and Olympian will receive a proper sendoff by the community.
Starting on Saturday, July 10 at 10 a.m., our community will send off Olympian and U.S. Marine Johnny Stefanowicz in style along a parade route.
The route starts at Marsteller Road (New Park), heads west to Stewartstown via Route 24 and Route 851 West/West Pennsylvania Avenue to I-83 in Shrewsbury.
You can see an image of the parade route below.
Best of luck to Johnny and all of Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics!
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