In this Update:
This week in Harrisburg, we remember those we lost on Flight 93, 22 years ago. Together, we remember that the story that ended so unfortunately in Somerset County is not just one of heartbreak. It is also a story of bravery, unity, and empowerment.
Representatives from the 911 Memorial Trail ventured to the Capitol this week as we honored the lives lost in the tragedy of Flight 93. With them were Kevin and Kristi Black, of Fort Collins, CO who are riding the entire trail in partnership with Warrior Expeditions.
This week, Senator Rosemary Brown held a press conference advocating for AEDs to be located within every school in Pennsylvania. Her bill, Senate Bill 375, would require a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) emergency plan and an AED located within each school building, at all school sporting events and activities, and have adequate personnel trained for the device.
Parents who lost their children to SCA, doctors and survivors all spoke in support of this life-saving legislation. Additionally, Ken Edmonds of the NFL and Smart Heart Sports Coalition read remarks from Pennsylvania native and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle this January.
Around the District
Congratulations to Mark German who celebrated 50 years as an entrepreneur in Fayette County, PA last week! Mark began his career in the retail industry in 1973, when he established “Eastern Off Road.” His ventures have since moved from his parent’s basement to include eighteen stores across Pennsylvania and West Virginia and multiple other businesses. Best wishes to Mark as he celebrates this milestone.
It was a pleasure to join the Bedford County Development Association and the Bedford Fulton Joint Recreation Authority in celebration of the TOPP (The Old PA Pike) Trail last week. DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and DCED’s Executive Director of Tourism Michael Chapeloney joined us for the visit to the Sideling Hill Tunnel.
Great time at the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce’s legislative lunch last Friday with PA State Rep. Jesse Topper. I enjoyed hearing from leaders in the Bedford business community, the Bedford County PA Farm Bureau, Keller Engineers, Inc., and everyone in attendance.
Route 40 Classic Diner celebrated a ribbon cutting with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce! Congratulations to the new owners Bill and Brooke who have great plans for the diner in Grindstone.
I visited Laurel Hill Trout Farm on Friday for the Fayette County Farm Bureau’s legislative farm tour.
While three of their eight sites are in Fayette, Bedford, and Somerset counties, they provide customers across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia with trout broodstock and bulk-order trout fillets. They also have public and private fee fishing at two of their farms. Learn more about their family business here.
Thank you to the Pritts family for sharing their story with us and thank you to the farm bureau for bringing the farmers and government leaders together for the evening.
Fayette County Senior Expo on October 6
Representatives Ryan Warner and Charity Grimm Krupa and I will be hosting a senior expo at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus on Friday, October 6. With door prizes and healthcare screenings, join us from 10 a.m. to noon for this free event! Exhibitors from government agencies and non-profit organizations will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
Senate Votes to Streamline and Increase School Safety Measures
This week, the Senate passed House Bill 27 to more effectively keep Pennsylvania children safe at school by streamlining and increasing school safety measures.
House Bill 27 would consolidate school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and create a new Executive Committee under PCCD to review school safety issues and to identify current and emerging trends.
The bill would also ensure schools and counties can develop best practices for emergency response by developing a safe schools collaborative, release $100 million that was included in the 2023-24 state budget for K-12 mental health programs and provide greater flexibility for school districts experiencing shortages of substitute teachers. Read More
PA Voters Get Greater Say with Senate Bill
The Senate passed a bill that would give Pennsylvania voters a significant say in presidential elections by moving up the primary election date.
In many presidential elections, the outcome is largely decided before Pennsylvania voters have a chance to cast a ballot. Moving up the spring election date gives voters in the fifth-largest state a better chance of weighing in on the presidential primary.
Currently, the primary takes place on the fourth Tuesday of April. Senate Bill 224 would move the primary to the third Tuesday in March, making the next presidential primary election date March 19, 2024. The change would also prevent a conflict with Passover, during which observant Jewish Pennsylvanians are prohibited from writing, driving or using electricity.
Tax Seminars Held Virtually and Across PA
Tax professionals can learn about changes to state tax laws and policies during one-day seminars offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue held across the state and virtually.
The tax seminars will educate tax professionals on Personal Income Tax, sales tax corporate taxes, compliance initiatives and using the department’s website to establish tax accounts for new businesses, file tax returns and pay state taxes.
Find a local or virtual seminar here.
Grants Available to Increase Economic Benefits Boaters Offer PA Communities
Communities can apply now for grants to enhance the economic and social benefits of providing convenient boating access along their waterways. Townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments, and nonprofit groups may apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible.
Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, development, expansion, prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species and rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Eligible construction projects may include boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas and signs. Funds may also be used to make facilities ADA compliant.
While the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will accept applications from anywhere in the commonwealth, special consideration will be given to projects that provide public boating access in the Delaware River watershed. Learn more or apply online by Dec. 30.
Yom Kippur Begins Sunday
Yom Kippur – the holiest day on the Jewish calendar – begins at nightfall on Sunday, Sept. 24. The Day of Atonement, which ends the following day at nightfall, is spent fasting, praying and seeking forgiveness.
I wish everyone who observes this important holiday a meaningful Yom Kippur. May you be sealed in the Book of Life.