In this update:
Southern York County Students Became Senators for a Day
Last week, I held my second annual Senator for a Day program at the State Capitol! More than 100 students from Southern York County participated and became “senators” for the day.
The “senators” broke into committees to debate and vote on mock legislation. At the end of the day, they all came together for a mock general session. The students came prepared and had wonderful discussions on all the topics.
At the end of the day, students were saying they had no idea how much behind the scenes went into their state government and a lot of them said they are now thinking about pursuing a career in the field.
Thank you to all the schools and teachers that chose to participate and to the students for making the day a success! The future of Pennsylvania is in great hands with these future leaders!
Commonwealth Court Rules Against RGGI, Higher Energy Costs
Pennsylvanians will be shielded from higher electricity bills because the Commonwealth Court ruled against imposing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax.
The ruling supported the Senate Republican perspective that RGGI is a tax on energy. It says: “Stated simply, to pass constitutional muster, the Commonwealth’s participation in RGGI may only be achieved through legislation duly enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.”
We want to focus on efforts to ensure there is sufficient power to meet the demands of customers while avoiding risks of blackouts, restrictions on energy usage and increased prices.
Senate Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic
The Senate recently passed legislation aimed at keeping up with the rapid introduction of new drugs to commonwealth communities. It would be a significant step toward ensuring dangerous substances don’t slip through the cracks into our communities without being controlled.
Senate Bill 959 would enable faster prosecution by allowing Pennsylvania to automatically follow the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration classification for drugs. Drug traffickers constantly update these chemical compounds, and Pennsylvania scheduling has struggled with inefficiency. Automated scheduling will save the lives of our loved ones and more effectively fight the effects the opioid epidemic has on our communities.
As the bill would only apply to new controlled substances, it would not impact Pennsylvania’s scheduling of cannabis or its availability for medical marijuana patients.
Celebrating York County Trail Towns Becoming Part of “Creative Communities”
Last Friday we were able to celebrate a four-year, $100,000 grant to make the York County Trail Towns part of the Creative Communities program through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
This competitively awarded grant was given to only 18 applicants across the state, with York County Trail Towns being one of those awardees. It was great to see the community show up today at Glen Rock’s Ruin’s Hall to celebrate the occasion this morning!
Ending Manufacturing Month Touring the Kinsley Engineering Center
As Manufacturing Month ended this week, it was great to see all of the work happening in York County to boost this critical sector of our workforce. York College of Pennsylvania’s innovative approach to educating and developing the next generation of talent to work in this industry will keep York County on the forefront of major manufacturing advancements.
I appreciated the opportunity to take a tour of the Kinsley Engineering Center and J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship to see, firsthand, the approach they take to set students up for success with major companies and brands throughout York County and across the Commonwealth. You can find more photos from the tour on my Facebook.
Basic Education Funding Commission Hears from School Property Tax Elimination Advocates, Others
Yesterday marked the ninth Basic Education Funding Commission hearing to take testimony to assist in developing and recommending a new funding formula for Pennsylvania school districts.
Held at Central Penn College, we heard testimony about how school tax structures affect Pennsylvania businesses and taxpayers. You can view our hearing here.
You can submit your comments online here.
Grants Available to Organizations Benefitting Veteran Employment
To help veterans as they transition from serving our country to resuming civilian life, funding is available for organizations that connect veterans with jobs.
The grant opportunity is designed to assist veterans who have received a discharge other than dishonorable, members of the reserves and guard, and spouses of veterans and service members in securing employment.
Applications for the Veterans Employment Grant Program must be submitted by Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. Learn more and apply online here. If you or someone you know would like to receive Veteran-specific email updates, please sign up here.
Funding to Improve Local Transportation and Pedestrian Safety
Grants are available to municipalities, businesses, and other organizations to improve local transportation and pedestrian safety. The funding aims to ensure a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents.
Funding for priority investments is available through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Apply online by Monday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m.
Preparing the Next Generation at Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Senate Communications & Technology Committee, chaired by Sen. Tracy Pennycuick, received an insightful tour today of Pennsylvania College of Technology to see how the school is catering its curriculum and program offerings to career opportunities across the state.
Thanks to Sen. Gene Yaw for hosting us! You can find photos from our tour here.
New Eagle Scout from Troop 28 in Red Lion
Congratulations to Noah Koller on earning the rank of Eagle Scout! Noah is a member of Troop 28 in Red Lion. He has served his troop as guide, historian, librarian, quartermaster, and assistant patrol leader.
For his Eagle Scout community service project, Noah mapped several local cemeteries for flag placement for fallen veterans. Noah worked closely with local VFWs to help forever remember the men and women who served in our Armed Forces.
It was an honor to present him with a congratulatory citation from the Senate of Pennsylvania.
Paid Government Internships Available for Undergraduates
Paid internship opportunities with state executive agencies are available for undergraduate college students interested in politics and government through the James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation.
Students who want to apply for the fellowship need to submit an essay between 1,500 and 2,500 words about their opinions for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) Program, which would offer students in struggling schools grants to explore other educational opportunities.
Essays and other materials must be submitted to the foundation by Jan. 26, 2024. Find more information and the application here.
Turn Those Clocks Back This Weekend
Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, so Pennsylvania residents should turn their clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.
Biannual time changes can be a great reminder to check or change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 10 years and located near bedrooms and on each level of the residence.
Earlier this year, I voted in favor of a resolution in committee sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin that would urge Congress to make daylight saving time permanent and eliminate the practice of twice-yearly time changes.
Based on a legislative survey I conducted last year, 51.5% of you supported permanent daylight saving time, 28.4% supported permanent standard time, 14.6% supported the status quo, and 5.5% of respondents were undecided.
Office Hours Next Week
Please be advised that our District and Capitol offices will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for Election Day, and Friday, Nov. 10, in observance of Veterans Day.
You can always access our office online at SenatorKristin.com as well as visit our mobile office hours (Penn Township and Springettsbury Township) to make the Senate of Pennsylvania more accessible to you and your family!