Senator David Argall E-Newsletter

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In this email update:  

  • Continuing the fight for commonsense Welfare work requirements
  • Senate Budget Hearings Begin February 19
  • 2019 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules Now Online
  • Governor Wolf announces PAsmart job training grants

Continuing the fight for commonsense Welfare work requirements

One of the biggest financial challenges that lawmakers face is reining in the exploding costs of public assistance programs. It is important to strike the proper balance between protecting taxpayers and preserving these programs for people who truly need help.

This week, I joined Senator Scott Martin in announcing a renewed effort to create commonsense work requirements for able-bodied underline able bodied Medicaid recipients. Our legislation will require some medical assistance recipients to meet minimum qualifications to either work, seek employment, attend job training programs, or volunteer in their community in order to receive benefits.

It is important to note that these requirements would only apply to recipients who are able to work. Most recipients would not be affected. We are not trying to drag somebody out of a treatment facility or force great-grandma to work in a coal mine.

Individuals who meet any of the following criteria would be excluded from the work requirements:

  • Under the age of 18,
  • Over the age of 65,
  • Disabled, pregnant, or incarcerated, receiving mental health or addiction treatment,
  • The primary caregiver for someone who is permanently disabled, or receiving hospice care, or is under the age of 6.

Work requirements already exist for other public assistance programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  Our bill would take a similar approach to Medicaid.

More information about the bill is available here.

Senate Budget Hearings Begin February 19 

Next week on Tuesday, February 19, the Senate Appropriations Committee will begin three weeks of budget hearings. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting times to be involved in public service in Harrisburg.

In these hearings, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have a chance to go through the governor’s budget plan line by line, program by program with the secretary of each department.

The hearings offer an opportunity for lawmakers to get a better sense of how the budget plan would affect the programs and services that Pennsylvanians rely on most.  

You can follow all of the hearings online here.

2019 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules Now Online

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission 2019 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules are now available online.

Anglers can search the trout stocking schedules by counties and dates of interest. The commission plans to stock approximately 3.2 million trout throughout the commonwealth and the statewide network of cooperative nurseries are expected to stock an additional 1 million trout. 

Included in this year’s stocking lists are the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a program where 21 streams across the state are stocked with large 14” – 20” trout. Opening day of regular trout season is April 14.

The most up-to-date stocking information is available online at www.fishandboat.com.

Governor Wolf announces PAsmart job training grants 

This week Governor Wolf announced more than $5.3 million in the first PAsmart Apprenticeship and the Next Generation Industry Partnerships grants for south central and southeast Pennsylvania.  The PAsmart apprenticeship program was established last year to increase STEM and computer science education, as well as prepare workers with the skills that businesses need. 

The following are PAsmart apprenticeships and Next Generation Industry Partnership grants awarded in the 29th district:

  • Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) – A $77,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to Key Cultivate, a regional talent pipeline for advanced manufacturing companies, primarily in Lehigh and Berks counties. LCCC and Reading Area Community College will deliver certified production technician registered pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Berks Connections/Pretrial Services – A $77,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to continue the Rebuilding Reentrants and Reading Program.  The program offers an opportunity for individuals with a criminal history to develop skills in the construction trades.  The hope is that this leads to gainful employment and assists with the renovation of one of the City of Reading’s blighted neighborhoods.
  • ABC Keystone Chapter – A $67,182 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to Berks Connections/Pretrial Services, an organization focused on improving participation of employment for returning citizens through career development in the construction trades.  This program helps to serve individuals with learning and emotional disabilities.
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