In this Update:
Wreaths Across America Event Held in Somerset County
Over the weekend, I joined the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Somerset County for their annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Buckstown Cemetery and Shade Church.
This time of year can be incredibly difficult for our military families, so this annual tradition of laying wreaths on each soldier’s grave is an important reminder: Just because we are unable to see our nation’s heroes, it does not mean that we have forgotten the service, the selflessness, and the sacrifice each of them has bared for the sake of our country.
Millions in Grants Coming to Local Projects
This week, the Commonwealth Financing Authority announced the approval of funding for local projects and nearly $6M of that is coming to Bedford, Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties. The CFA programs funding these projects include H2O PA, Small Water and Sewer and PA Arts and Culture Recovery.
I am pleased to see so many projects benefit from this much-needed state funding. Overall, funding like this is a continued investment in our region. Congratulations to all the awardees.
💦 Woodbury Water Authority: $523,602
💦 North Fayette County Municipal Authority: $1,136,381 for a project in the City of Connellsville
💦 Confluence Borough Municipal Authority: $921,173
💧 Scottdale Borough: $46,045
Visit the news tab on my website for detailed releases.
Bill to Combat Package Thefts Signed into Law
The Senate passed legislation to combat porch pirating – the theft of packages delivered to people’s homes – and it was recently signed into law.
Senate Bill 527, now Act 41 of 2023, implements specific penalties for theft of mail, which includes a package, bag or letter. In Pennsylvania, theft of mail is currently charged based solely on the value of the item taken.
According to Forbes, Americans spent $1.7 trillion shopping online since 2020 and nearly eight in 10 Americans have had a package stolen in 2022. Pennsylvania now joins eight other states that have already made porch pirating a felony.
New Law Gives Young Adults Strong Financial Literacy Foundation
Legislation to provide students with basic money management skills was recently signed into law. Specifically, it requires completion of a half-credit personal finance course to graduate high school.
Recent estimates calculate there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and, on average, credit card owners have about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion dollars in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion dollars in debt overall.
The course will give high school students the understanding they need about topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Sharing the Holiday Spirit with PA Veterans
If you would like to support our veterans and military families this holiday season, making a monetary donation goes a long way toward helping the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provide members, veterans and their families with essential programs and services that would not be available otherwise.
Donations can be made by mail or online. They are tax-deductible, and gifts of any amount are appreciated. Learn more about making a donation.
Driving Safely During Inclement Weather
Pennsylvania has nearly 40,000 miles of roads – which translates to 96,000 snow-lane miles – that must be maintained during inclement weather so people can travel safely.
The approximately 2,200 PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks have in-truck technology that logs and shares data in real time so the public can monitor the routes of their interstate and expressway travels on www.511PA.com.
Of course, drivers should avoid the roads until they have been cleared, if possible. Anyone who must travel is urged to use extra caution by slowing down, increasing their following distance and avoiding distractions. Read more winter driving tips here.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours
This holiday season, I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy the real gifts of love, peace and happiness.
My district office hours may be limited due to the holidays. Please call ahead to be sure my offices are open.
Also, PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on Dec. 23 and 25 for Christmas, and on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.