In this update:
State grant will introduce 7th and 8th grade students in York County to STEM, skilled trades
This week, I joined leaders of the York County School of Technology (YCST) at Dallastown Area School District and Red Lion Area School to deliver monoFab SRM-20 desktop milling machines.
These new machines will be placed at all school districts that participate with York County School of Technology and allow 7th and 8th grade students to experience precision machining technology.
The machines and curriculum, developed by Mr. Terry Jamison of YCST, were due to a state grant of $100,000 I secured after hearing about the challenges industries have finding machinists from industry employers and Dr. Thomas and Mr. Rogers of YCST.
According to the YCST, the long-term goal of the initiative is to increase secondary enrollment in the school’s Precision Machining Program and to expose all middle school students within YCST member school district middle schools to the career opportunities available within manufacturing.
I am very excited for students in our local school districts to have this great opportunity to learn about technology that can eventually lead to a family-sustaining career.
Survey on permanent Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time closes on Thursday – share your thoughts with me
So far, I have heard from hundreds of our neighbors on a survey I am conducting on Daylight Saving Time. The U.S. Senate recently approved the Sunshine Act that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, effective in 2023.
My legislative survey looks at state solutions to this issue. If you or a neighbor have an opinion on the matter, please let me know here. (Please feel free to forward this email to family, friends, or neighbors in the 28th District to get their input!)
The survey runs through the end of the month, and I will share the results with you in two weeks.
Revenue department extends call center hours for tax season
With the April 18 tax filing deadline approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is extending its customer service hours for taxpayers to get help by phone.
Personal income tax assistance will be available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 717-787-8201.
Personal income tax assistance is also available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center. It contains answers to hundreds of common income tax questions and allows taxpayers to securely submit a question to the department through a process that is similar to sending an email.
Department of Revenue district offices are also open to provide customer service.
Taxpayers are encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Upcoming public hearing to review economic impact of unilateral decision to enter into Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative in PA
The governor unilaterally entered into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI, despite bipartisan opposition to the move due to massive energy cost hikes and job losses across the state. These energy cost hikes would only be more difficult for working families across York County in addition to rampant inflation – a 40 year high – caused by runaway spending at the federal level.
The Independent Fiscal Office will testify before a joint public hearing about the economic impacts of RGGI of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee on Tuesday, March 29, at 10 a.m.
I recently sat down with the Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Senator Gene Yaw, to discuss the impact of RGGI and how this will only compound problems we are seeing from the gas pump to our home heat pump. You can listen to our conversation here.
Learn more about this upcoming public hearing here.
Winter utility disconnection moratorium ends March 31
Reminder to residential electricity customers: the winter utility disconnection moratorium will end March 31, meaning on April 1 shut-offs for nonpayment of bills will resume.
Between Dec. 1 and March 31, Pennsylvania has special rules for winter utility terminations for income-qualified households served by utilities regulated by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). During this seasonal termination moratorium, eligible households cannot have electric, natural gas or heat-related water service turned off for non-payment unless the utility receives permission from the PUC.
According to the PUC, the best action any at-risk consumer can take right now is to call their utility’s customer service hotline and ask for information about their customer assistance programs designed to make energy bills more affordable.
Adult education grants available
State funding is now available to support lifelong learning through competitive Adult Basic Education Direct Service grants.
The grants are awarded to local adult education programs to provide free adult education and literacy activities to help adults improve their reading, writing, speaking, comprehension and mathematics skills, earn a high school equivalency credential, and develop the knowledge and skills for employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Applications must be submitted by April 7. For more information, you can view the Adult Basic Education Direct Service Grant Competition Information Webinar and access Frequently Asked Questions.
Saturday is Mentored Youth Trout Day
Saturday, March 26, is Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day across Pennsylvania, an opportunity for young anglers and their adult mentors to fish for trout prior to opening day of the season.
Youth anglers must obtain a Mentored Youth Permit or a Voluntary Youth Fishing License and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler to participate. Adult anglers (age 16 or older) must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a current Trout/Salmon Permit.
Unlike previous years with regional and statewide days, there is now only one, statewide Mentored Youth Fishing Day and one, statewide Trout Opening Day (April 2).
Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29
On March 29, 1973, U.S. combat and combat support units began to withdraw from South Vietnam. It marked the beginning of the end of a conflict that cost the lives of more than 58,000 Americans.
Returning veterans did not receive the welcome they deserved, and many dealt with the effects of war alone.
It took a local Vietnam War Veteran to step up for his fellow brothers to make a much-needed change.
Sgt. Harold Redding, who I have shared with you was the genesis for new state law designating March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and Oct. 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day in the Commonwealth, is the great American behind efforts to recognize his fellow veterans.
The law that designates March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day was sponsored by Senator Pat Toomey at the request of Sgt. Redding, who is a resident of Spring Grove.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established for us to express our heartfelt admiration and to pay these veterans the respect they earned.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes for voting on Wednesday, March 30, at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and review our agenda at SenatorKristin.com/session.