In this update:
Sgt. Redding’s initiative to honor veterans becomes state law
Three years ago, Representative Seth Grove and I met with Sgt. Harold Redding of Spring Grove to discuss potential legislation to forever honor and recognize veterans of the Persian Gulf War and veterans of the Global War on Terrorism.
Sgt. Redding is a 22-year veteran who served in the Vietnam War.
The law signed this week by Gov. Tom Wolf will designate March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and Oct. 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day in the Commonwealth.
Sgt. Redding continues to serve his fellow veterans long after his commendable military service by ensuring that the men and women who fought in these two conflicts are never forgotten.
The new law also requires the governor to issue a proclamation every year encouraging all public schools and educational institutions to observe these special days by conducting exercises recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by these veterans. The exercises will not be mandated for public schools.
The bill was amended in the House of Representatives to dedicate September 27 at First Responders Day in Pennsylvania.
You can learn more here.
Open house on Saturday at the District Office (Christmastime in Loganville)
Christmastime in Loganville is back!
Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be hosting an open house at our district office, located at 6872 Susquehanna Trail South in Springfield Township. Our office will be open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
We will have light refreshments and a train display sure to delight anyone of any age!
Our open house is part of Christmastime in Loganville. Several local businesses and nonprofits are also hosting events in our area. You can learn more here.
Court ruling mask mandate
Following up on my update from last week, a Commonwealth Court ruling has paved the way for Governor Wolf’s school mask mandate to potentially end Dec. 4.
If the Wolf Administration and the courts take no further action, the mandate will no longer be in place after that date. Commonwealth Court Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon’s ruling comes a week after her court threw out the statewide mask mandate. The mandate stayed in effect because the administration appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court. Governor Wolf has said the order will be lifted Jan. 17.
The court ruled Nov. 10 that the administration improperly used a law from 1955 to override parents and local school boards and impose a statewide masking mandate on students.
Dept. of Health shielding pandemic-related information from public view
The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee conducted a report to review COVID-19 death reporting by the Dept. of Health. However, when conducting its report, the department refused to release death certificates the committee requested as part of the review and instead shared a spreadsheet.
The report was authorized after the House of Representatives approved a resolution sponsored by Rep. Kate Klunk. The measure was approved with unanimous support.
As a member of the committee, I raised concerns about data (or lack thereof) provided by the Dept. of Health on COVID-19 death reporting, which you can watch below.
The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported from the committee meeting, which you can read about here.
Meeting with York Country Day School students and families
Thank you to the students, teachers and parents of York Country Day School who traveled to Harrisburg earlier today for a tour of the state Capitol.
It was an honor to meet with everyone during their tour and share with them my role as their state senator as part of their tour.
If you or anyone you know is interested in taking a tour of the Capitol, please sign up on my website.
Our community comes together on Veterans Day
This past weekend was a huge testament to the gratitude our community has for the men and women who served our nation.
Thank you to LTG Ralph Jodice II USAF (Retired) for his inspirational keynote address reminding us all that so many of our veterans continue to serve with great distinction after their military service.
Congratulations to veteran Joe Innerst, USMC and veteran Stacy Dietz, USAF on their well-deserved receipt of the George H. Eyler Meritorious Service Awards. Most of all thank you to our veterans for your service and sacrifice.
I also attended St. Paul – Zeigler’s Lutheran Church in Seven Valleys for its Veterans Day service to remember those of yesteryear, honor those of today and recognize those of tomorrow.
The founder and namesake of the church is Bernhart Zeigler, a Revolutionary War veteran. He, along with members of the congregation who served in the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Peacetime Forces, Desert Storm and those who are on active duty today, had their service commemorated with remarks from Pastor Lawrence Cunnings and Aimee Jo Morris of Glenn Hope Care Farm.
During the service, it was a pleasure to present World War II veteran and lifelong member of the church, Harry P. Gladfelter, a Senate of Pennsylvania citation to thank him for his service, his sacrifice, and his efforts to help create and build the community and county we inherited.
Thank you to all of our men and women who served our great nation – we are forever grateful for your service and your sacrifice.
Ongoing Trail Towns initiative update in Glen Rock
This week, stakeholders supporting the York County Trail Towns initiative met in Glen Rock to discuss ongoing efforts to boost small businesses through enhancements along the York Heritage Rail Trail.
We discussed how to better use the space around Ruins Hall, as well as ongoing improvements throughout Glen Rock, to further connect the Rail Trail with the small businesses in the community.
If you are interested in the latest developments with York County Trail Towns, including upcoming events, please check out their Facebook Page here.
Senate acts to increase campaign finance transparency
All candidates for office and political action committees in Pennsylvania would be required to file campaign finance reports online under legislation recently unanimously approved by the Senate.
Senate Bill 140 would require all candidates for office and political action committees in Pennsylvania to electronically file their campaign finance reports using the Department of State’s online filing system.
Currently, candidates and committees have the option of filing their campaign finance reports through paper submission, which aren’t visible online until uploaded by staff. Citizens wishing to view the reports in a timely manner have to travel to Harrisburg or pay for copies to be sent by mail.
The bill also increases penalties for late filings. Senate Bill 140 now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
Update on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission held its latest public hearing this week in Harrisburg.
The commission took input from an expert panel about citizen mapping efforts. You can watch the hearing and view testimony here. It has held nine public hearings, receiving input from a total of 29 experts and 51 citizen witnesses, in addition to 490 written submissions by citizens.
As dictated by the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission redraws the lines of Senate and House of Representative districts every 10 years to reflect changes in the U.S. Census.
Senate committee receives input on Congressional Redistricting
The effort of redrawing the boundaries of Pennsylvania Congressional districts continued with the third public hearing on the issues by the Senate State Government Committee.
The panel discussed maps created by citizens and took testimony regarding the process behind it. You can access hearing video and testimony here.
As with state legislative districts, congressional boundaries are redrawn following each census to reflect population changes. Because Pennsylvania’s population has been outpaced by growing states, it will drop from 18 to 17 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 2022 election.
Unlike state Senate and House reapportionment, congressional redistricting is done through the legislative process, beginning at the committee level.
November is American Diabetes Month
More than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians, or 11.1% of adults, have diagnosed diabetes. An additional 303,000 have diabetes but don’t know it.
More than 34% of the adult Pennsylvania population have prediabetes with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Complications from diabetes include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death. American Diabetes Month is an opportunity to learn about the risks, how to manage diabetes, and more.
Apprenticeship Week: Information for employers and job seekers
National Apprenticeship Week is a reminder that apprenticeships play a critical role in producing a skilled workforce by connecting aspiring workers with employers in need, and that resources are available to make that connection happen.
According to state Labor and Industry Department estimates, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after they complete their apprenticeship, and the majority take jobs with a starting salary of $60,000 a year or more. Apprenticeships also allow Pennsylvanians to graduate with little to no student debt.
There are 1,585 apprenticeships registered with the state, along with 74 pre-apprenticeships. You can learn about the different kinds of apprenticeships, how to secure one and more here.
Local job openings
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 will post its list of upcoming scheduled maintenance projects here. You can also view next week’s projects below.
Office hours next week
Please be advised that our office hours for next week are as follows:
Monday, November 22: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
On this day in 1863
On Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the most powerful three-minute speech in American history when he gave the Gettysburg Address. The speech was part of a dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg.
The Senate of Pennsylvania is home to a mural painted by Violet Oakley titled “Lincoln at Gettysburg.” Lincoln’s “little speech,” as he called it, would go down as one of the most pivotal speeches in our nation’s history.
The mural in the Senate Chamber is a constant reminder of how critical President Lincoln’s speech was, despite only being 272 words long. You can read more about the Gettysburg Address here.
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