Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Emergency Services Forum in White Haven
  • Governor Shapiro to Local Electric Power Plants: Drop Dead?
  • Honoring Alfie Picone for Breathing New Life into Tamaqua
  • Congrats to New Eagle Scout Sam Turrano!
  • Girl Scout Cookies Available Now
  • Welcoming Visitors from Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties to the State Capitol
  • Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking
  • Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives

Emergency Services Forum in White Haven

Rep. Mike Cabell organized a forum in White Haven yesterday with local officials and EMS volunteers which focused on the severe shortages of first responders and how our state government could help.

If you’d like to volunteer with your local ambulance or fire squad, please contact any of my local offices and we’ll put you in touch with your local EMS company.

Above all, thank you to every first responder in Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties who puts their personal safety on the line to protect our communities. We need to do everything we can to support them in their work.

Governor Shapiro to Local Electric Power Plants: Drop Dead?

If Governor Josh Shapiro’s new energy plan became law, it would kill abandoned mine land remediation efforts across Pennsylvania by closing coal refuse plants. I spoke to WFMZ this week about how his plan would close four of these facilities in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties, jeopardizing their efforts to clean up the sad legacy of coal mining.

Coal refuse plants in Pennsylvania have successfully reclaimed over 7,200 acres of abandoned mine land and restored more than 1,200 miles of polluted streams. Sites that were choked with coal waste for a century have been transformed into green hills and forests.

The governor’s new plan could undo years of bipartisan work to support our “cogens,” and many of the black and grey wastelands left behind by past mining operations will remain for hundreds of more years.

Honoring Alfie Picone for Breathing New Life into Tamaqua

This past weekend, I honored Alfie Picone, the longtime owner of La Dolce Casa (DiMaggios) in Tamaqua and his staff for everything they have done to help breathe new life into the area. He moved into a building that was ready to collapse many years ago and started his restaurant. And then he bought the vacant building next door – and then another vacant building down the street as well.

Now, it’s one of the busiest spots in town, thanks to Alfie and his 80+ employees, day after day. He also gives out free thanksgiving dinners and, with the help of a young local entrepreneur, creates a Christmas display featuring over 50,000 lights every year.

When speaking to FOX56 WOLF TV, Alfie said, “Everyone comes down to a little town like Tamaqua and recognizes this town, recognizes the community; how great it is, how beautiful it is.” I agree!

Congrats to New Eagle Scout Sam Turrano!

Rep. Doyle Heffley and I congratulated Sam Turrano of Lansford on achieving the rank of Eagle Scout! Sam is a member of Troop 755, Clamtown and is a junior on Marian Catholic High School’s football squad.

For his service project, Sam placed a bench at the Lansford Little League Field, in honor of his late grandfather who served as the president of the Lansford Little League Association for over 35 years.

Congrats to Sam, his mom, and all who guided him along this long path.

Girl Scout Cookies Available Now

I was invited to visit Girl Scout Troop 32848 at Marchianos Pizza in New Ringgold to support their cookie sale last weekend. I can never resist buying a box of Caramel deLites whenever I get the chance. As a longtime Scout volunteer, I know it’s for a good cause!

If you haven’t ordered cookies for yourself yet, visit their website.

Welcoming Visitors from Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties to the State Capitol

I welcomed Robbie McGrath and his father John to the State Capitol Tuesday to show them what a day in the life of a state senator is like. Watch me introduce them on the floor of the Senate here.

Robbie is an eighth grader from Minersville Area Junior/Senior High School, where he’s involved in basketball, soccer, baseball, and serves as the eighth-grade class president. He plans to attend college and pursue his interests in political science and sports broadcast journalism.

If you or anyone you know is interested in shadowing me for a day in either the State Capitol or at my district offices, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

All-star football players, cheerleaders, and coaches from across Pennsylvania visited the State Capitol on Monday for a press conference recognizing the Big 33 Football Classic, an all-star football game pitting the best players from Pennsylvania against the best from Maryland.

Rep. JoAnne Stehr and I welcomed Brenna Miller, a cheerleader from Williams Valley School District. Rep. Tim Twardzik and I welcomed Wally Hall, an assistant coach from North Schuylkill School District. Congrats to you both!

I was happy to greet the MMI Preparatory School Chorus on Tuesday. They traveled from Freeland to perform in the State Capitol as part of Music in Our Schools Month.

Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking

The Pennsylvania Senate approved two measures this week boosting community safety by targeting opioid overdoses and human trafficking. Both bills, which head to the House of Representatives for consideration, are part of the effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1054 strengthens the Overdose Information Network (ODIN) law, which requires all law enforcement in Pennsylvania to input reports of an overdose within 72 hours of the incident into the ODIN system. The ODIN database enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze and share information concerning fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and naloxone administrations. The bill would ensure overdose reporting by EMS providers is incorporated into the statewide mapping system. EMS providers are responsible for handling more than 80% of overdoses annually in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1111 would ensure that individuals who are convicted of certain human trafficking offenses – as well as attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit those offenses – are subject to the same Megan’s Law reporting and evaluation requirements as other sexual offenders.

Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives

In Pennsylvania, we are blessed that agriculture is one of our top industries.

National Agriculture Week, observed March 17-24, encourages every American to understand how food products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, and fiber industries.

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