In this update:
Pottsville CollegeTowne Open to Students
Yesterday, Representative Twardzik, Congressman Meuser, Commissioner Hetherington and I were honored to speak at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Pottsville CollegeTowne, the new branch campus of Alvernia University. This new state-of-the-art college campus is just the latest in a long list of positive developments for Pottsville, including the new businesses that have opened their doors and the sixty new upper floor apartments in development at the Schuylkill Trust Company building.
During my comments, I referenced a quote from John Wesley, a church leader from the 1700s that is pinned to my desk at home:
I have discussed the simple fact with my new colleagues in the House of Representatives that in public service, we have AMPLE opportunity to “DO ALL THE GOOD YOU CAN.” Yesterday is a perfect example of that.
You can read my full remarks from yesterday’s ceremony here.
Inauguration Features Hazleton Area Marching Cougars, Local Businesses
On Tuesday, Josh Shapiro was sworn in as the 48th governor of Pennsylvania. Before the inauguration ceremony began, the Hazleton Area Marching Cougars, who won a state title for best marching band this year, performed outside the Capitol as guests arrived. It’s been a long time since I played a saxophone in the cold and rain, so I very much appreciate their effort!
I spoke with Jaccii Farris of 69 News about my thoughts on the new administration of Gov. Shapiro. The voters of Pennsylvania again chose a divided state government – we need to listen to them and work together to find solutions that Republicans, Democrats and Independents can agree to.
During the interview, I referenced a famous painting of King Charles II signing the charter of Pennsylvania that hangs in the governor’s office. The painting serves as an important reminder that we have a governor, not a king. Some governors in the past have not understood that.
Training New Firefighters and Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Teachers
The Senate sent two bipartisan bills to the House this week that were approved during my first meeting as the new Chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Senate Bill 84 would eliminate the prohibition on teachers from wearing any dress, mark, emblem, or insignia reflecting their faith or denomination. It would align Pennsylvania with every other state in the nation in preserving and protecting First Amendment rights for educators.
Senate Bill 114 would award grants to one higher education school each in eastern, central and western Pennsylvania to establish fire training programs for students in high school, with the hope they will remain firefighters for years to come. The number of Pennsylvania volunteer firefighters has plummeted from 300,000 in the 1970s to fewer than 37,000. Senate Bill 114 was sent to the House of Representatives.
Congrats to New Eagle Scouts!
Congrats to Noah Grabowski of North Manheim Township and Cody Kramer of Cressona – Schuylkill County’s newest Eagle Scouts. I was pleased to join them for their Troop 622 Court of Honor on Saturday in Friedensburg.
Noah completed the restoration of a 70-year-old pavilion for Manbeck Zion Church in Rock, PA for his service project. Cody constructed memorial benches for the Orwigsburg Rod and Gun Club for his service project.
Similarly, Elijah Barnett will receive his Eagle this weekend with Troop 651 in Auburn. Elijah built wildlife enclosures for injured or abandoned wildlife at the Red Creek Wildlife Center for his service project.
As a volunteer Scout leader, an Eagle and an “Eagle Dad,” my congratulations to Cody, Elijah, and Noah AND to their parents and the troop leaders who have successfully guided them along the way for so many years!
January Argall Report: Fighting Blight and Improving Housing Opportunities
The January edition of my local TV program features two recent events with Rep. Tim Twardzik about how to fight the creep of blighted, decaying buildings in our neighborhoods.
All our local State Representatives and I are committed to breathing new life into our local communities to bring families, businesses, and new opportunities to the area that we are proud to call home.
This edition features a press conference in Shenandoah where we announced a $500,000 grant to demolish blighted buildings to build new housing for seniors and a bipartisan roundtable discussion with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. Similar funds have been awarded in 18 other local communities to tear down 79 blighted buildings, with an additional 60 properties now slated for future demolition due to the funding which we obtained.
PennDOT Job Openings Posted for College Students
Summer PennDOT jobs are available to full-time college students registered for the Fall 2023 semester.
Jobs include assisting in seasonal maintenance work, crash system input and analysis, and maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities. Many students also perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and at highway worksites. The pay is $15.49 per hour.
Students majoring in engineering or a related scientific or technical field might be interested in engineering internship opportunities at PennDOT’s Central Office (Harrisburg) or at one of its statewide engineering district offices.