In this update:
School property tax elimination workshop set for Tuesday, August 13 at 1 p.m. at PSU York
On Tuesday, I will host the Senate Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks), for a public workshop to review options to eliminate school property taxes.
The public workshop begins at 1 p.m. and will feature local and statewide stakeholders who are interested in school property tax elimination solutions. We will hold the event at the Pullo Center at Penn State York.
The event is open to the public and no advance RSVPs are required.
More information about the upcoming event can be found here.
This is the most difficult issue I’ve ever worked on, and those who have served longer than me in the legislature have tried very hard to eliminate school property taxes. This workshop will allow the public to see the various options on the table at this point in the legislature as well as allow for an open conversation with stakeholders about how we find a solution that benefits homeowners and continues to adequately fund our public schools.
I hope you can join me for this event. If you are unable to attend, I will have an update on the event in my email next week!
Lack of high-speed internet adversely impacts job creation and hampers local government, committee learns
On Wednesday, the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, which I chair, held its first public hearing. The committee is embarking on a three-part hearing across Pennsylvania to explore the various issues surrounding our state’s digital divide.
Our first hearing was held in Blue Spruce Lodge, a few miles away from the seat of Indiana County government. Ironically enough, the venue did not have high-speed internet access, which did not allow us to stream the event live on Facebook or on my website.
The hearing featured several panelists who weighed in on what high-speed internet means for their various organizations or government.
A lot of the discussion focused on what the cost (public and private) would be to build out an infrastructure to get high-speed internet to most, if not all homes and business in the Commonwealth.
Before taxpayer dollars are invested into this issue, we need to know who the stakeholders are, what’s been done in the past with public monies and what we need to do moving forward. We have seen other public projects turn into boondoggles and money pits. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.
That is why we are conducting these hearings across the state – to find out what the problem is and how we can close our state’s digital divide. I look forward to the committee’s next hearing in September on this topic. After our three hearings across the state, we will hold a final hearing in Harrisburg when the Senate reconvenes next month.
You can learn more about our public hearings on improving access to high-speed internet in Pennsylvania here.
Meeting with Superintendents of Eastern York, Central York and Southern York County School Districts
This past week, I had the privilege to sit down with three of our area’s Superintendents to talk about education issues, as well as the recently passed state budget.
On Monday, I had a great conversation with Dr. Joseph Mancuso, Superintendent at Eastern York School District. Dr. Mancuso recently took the position after serving as the Principal at Boiling Springs High School in Cumberland County. We had a great discussion on various ways we can work together to improve the lives of students at Eastern York.
On Wednesday, I met with Central York’s Dr. Michael Snell. We reviewed the application process for the Flexible Instructional Days proposal that was recently signed into law. You can read more about that effort here.
Earlier today, I met with Dr. Sandra Lemmon, who serves as the Superintendent of Southern York County School District. Dr. Lemmon and I spoke about school safety efforts as well as other funding included in this year’s state budget.
I will continue meeting with local school district superintendents in the 28th Senatorial District. Next week, I look forward to sitting down with Southwestern and West York School District superintendents.
Congratulating Gold Star Award Girl Scout from York County – Ashton Waltemyer
Congratulations to York County’s latest Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, Ashton Waltemyer. Ashton met with me earlier today at the district office to discuss her Gold Award and the project she completed to earn this incredible designation.
Pictured left to right: Parents Timothy and Julie, Ashton, me, John Popovich of Rep. Seth Grove’s office.
Ashton is a member of Troop 20319 of Spring Grove. She installed windows and floor tiles and also painted walls at the Hanover Fire Museum. She was also instrumental in recruiting and educating the community about serving as a volunteer firefighter.
The Gold Award is the highest rank a Girl Scout can earn and it symbolizes outstanding accomplishments in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development.
We are extremely blessed to have Ashton living in our local community and it was my honor to present her with a congratulatory citation from the Senate of Pennsylvania. I know I can say that on behalf of more than a quarter million York Countians: Congratulations, Ashton!
Upcoming PennDOT projects
You can see PennDOT’s maintenance projects planned for next week here.