In this update:
Restore PA throws more tax dollars at an undefined problem – that’s what’s wrong with Harrisburg
Earlier this week, I penned an op-ed that laid out the flaws in Governor Wolf’s Restore PA plan, but rather than discuss what’s wrong with it, I provided an alternative to address the problem of our state’s digital divide. You can read a few excerpts below:
This past summer, the top officials for state agencies were dispatched to all corners of our commonwealth, including here in York County, to sell the Governor’s plan to bond $4.5 billion to pay for a lengthy wish list of projects.
Long-term borrowing would provide a short-term cash infusion for infrastructure improvements including but not limited to blight remediation and improved flood controls, parks and trails, and expanded access to high-speed internet.
On the surface, some may say this sounds reasonable and responsible. As the Chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, I have spent my summer conducting a series of public hearings on the issue of expanding access to high-speed broadband internet for more Pennsylvanians. This is an important issue to many residents throughout York County, where internet may be slow to non-existent.
However, as the lead proponent for this issue in the Senate, I believe it is important that we have clearly defined the size, scope and magnitude of the problem, identified the steps necessary to address the problem, and have a reasonable cost estimate to resolve it. None of that has been verified by the administration.
Think about it this way: you go to the bank to take out a loan to buy a car. You do not know if you are going to buy a used Ford Focus or a brand new Chevy Corvette. Both good cars, but very different price tags. You would not do that with your own borrowing, but this is exactly what Restore PA pledges to do.
And Restore PA is not an isolated issue. We have found ourselves in this mess before because a problem was not thoroughly vetted or defined.
You can read my full op-ed here.
Upcoming ceremony to dedicate bridge in honor of fallen local Marine
Join me, along with the family, friends and service members to honor the life, legacy and sacrifice of Sergeant Christopher M. Wrinkle and his service dog, Tosca, at a special ceremony to dedicate a bridge in his honor.
The event will be held on October 3 at 11 a.m. at the Izaak Walton League, 7133 Iron Stone Hill Rd, Dallastown, PA 17313 at the pavilion near the East Branch Codorus Creek.
Maj. General Anthony Carrelli, the state’s Adjutant General, will provide the keynote address as we dedicate this bridge in this Marine’s honor.
You can learn more about the effort to name this bridge in Sgt. Wrinkle’s honor here.
Widen I-83? Public meeting will cover issue
On Tuesday, October 1 at 6 p.m., PennDOT will host a public hearing with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration to discuss preliminary plans to widen Interstate 83 and make other improvements throughout our region.
The event is open to the public and will be held at the Central York Middle School. You can learn more about this upcoming meeting and overall project here.
Senate Communications and Technology Committee to hold final hearing on broadband issue on Monday
As part of my ongoing efforts to explore ways Pennsylvania can close the digital divide, I am conducting the fourth and final public hearing on the efforts and challenges in accomplishing this shared goal of connecting more Pennsylvanians to high-speed internet.
These hearings have been extremely beneficial to me and other stakeholders as we look not only explore how the lack of broadband access affects so many industries, but also how widespread the issue is (much more than we initially anticipated).
Our final hearing will be held on Monday, September 30 at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol.
You can learn more about this upcoming hearing, as well as watch it live here.
Completing meetings with school superintendents in the 28th District
Earlier this morning, I sat down with York City School District Superintendent Dr. Andrea Berry as part of my ongoing meetings these last few months to meet with every superintendent in the 28th Senatorial District.
This is my 11th and final meeting with our school district superintendents, not including the team at York County Technical School. Dr. Berry and I had a great discussion about the recently approved state budget, which provided a nearly six percent increase in state funding. We also had a good discussion about school safety efforts, which the grant application period recently opened for schools and other groups to apply.
You can learn more about the state’s school safety efforts here.
Reminder: Mental health seminar at Red Lion next week
Next week, Red Lion Area School District is hosting an event titled “Transforming Stigma Into Strength,” which seeks to raise awareness about mental health challenges.
The event will be held on September 25 at 6:45 p.m. at the high school. If you are interested in the event, more details can be found in the image below.
Former PA Governors Schweiker and Rendell talk top issues at York College
Earlier this week, I attended York County Economic Alliance’s Democracy Challenge event at York College. The event featured former Pennsylvania Governors Mark Schweiker, a Republican, and Ed Rendell, a Democrat.
The event focused on how these two individuals would address some of our toughest challenges, including immigration reform, human service programs, among other issues at the state and federal levels.
Celebrating 30 years of York County Alliance for Learning
Congratulations to the York County Alliance for Learning on 30 incredible years of engaging York County students in career development by connecting educators and employers.
I was grateful for the opportunity to present a citation from the Senate of Pennsylvania at the YCAL meeting and recognition reception last evening to celebrate this significant milestone and help recognize the wonderful community that continues to fulfill the mission of this great organization!
Child safety seat checks this evening and tomorrow
Later this afternoon and tomorrow, there will be free safety checks for child safety seats as part of Child Passenger Safety Week across the country.
With nearly half of all child seats improperly installed, it is important to have professionals double-check your child’s seat to make sure it is safe.
You can stop by two free safety checkpoints today and tomorrow to make sure your child’s seat is properly installed:
– Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. at Lehman Volvo Cars of York, 950 North Hills Road
Upcoming PennDOT projects
You can see PennDOT’s maintenance projects planned for next week here.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes for voting on Monday, September 23 at 1 p.m.
You can find out more about next week’s Senate session by visiting www.SenatorKristin.com/session.
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