In this email edition:
How can Senators demand better accountability from the PA Bureaucracy?
How can Senators demand better accountability from the PA Bureaucracy regarding the spending of your tax dollars? One key answer to that question can be found in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s yearly review of the Governor’s budget proposal.
This week’s hearings featured State-Related Universities, the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department, the Liquor Control Board, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Auditor General, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the Department of Agriculture. Here are a few highlights:
I asked Acting Adjutant General Mark Schindler for an update on the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion. Last session, we passed Senate Bill 750 which transferred the three-story, 2,400 square foot property over to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
I asked the leaders of Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University how they’re preparing for major demographic changes. We can expect a 15% decline in the traditional college-age population within the next five years.
I asked Chairman Tim Holden of the Liquor Control Board how many restaurants and bars were cited for violations and forced to close their doors due to the governor’s restrictions. We need to help these employers recover after the governor’s long-term shutdown of the economy.
I asked Attorney General Josh Shapiro about election integrity and how we can find bipartisan compromises to restore faith in our election systems. As the new chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, it’s my job to begin the review of any bills to amend our election laws before they continue their path through the Senate and the House of Representatives and on to the Governor’s desk.
I asked Auditor General Timothy DeFoor about his plans for the department, and whether he plans to operate differently from his predecessors.
Ashley Furniture brings New Jobs to Region
Ashley Furniture, the largest manufacturer of furniture in the world, recently opened a new 100,000 sq. ft. plant at the Highridge Business Park near Pottsville. This plant created more than 50 new manufacturing jobs for local residents. I had the chance to tour this new facility with state Reps. Joe Kerwin, Jerry Knowles, and Tim Twardzik.
It is always welcome news when a successful company such as Ashley Furniture brings new employment opportunities to our area, especially as Pennsylvania continues to recover from the impacts of Governor Wolf’s long-term shutdown of our economy.
Resources for Seniors Looking for Vaccines
In an effort to assist seniors struggling to find appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, local Area Agencies on Aging are partnering with vaccine providers to schedule appointments for older adults eligible under Phase 1A. If you need assistance scheduling an appointment, call 610-478-6500 for the Berks County office or 570-622-3103 for the Schuylkill County office. Learn more here.
Election reform, Gerrymandering, and my new role as the Chair of the Senate State Government Committee
I recently sat down with Senator Bob Mensch (R-Berks/Bucks/Montgomery) to discuss my new role as the Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee and the plans for the committee for the next two years. We discussed some of the most important issues the committee will tackle, including election reform and congressional redistricting.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Scam Warning
Even as millions of our residents rebuild their lives and livelihoods, scammers are ramping up their efforts to line their pockets with your hard-earned money.
These scammers are asking Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants to verify their identity either through a text message or by redirecting them to an online form which asks you to fill out your personal information.
You should only fill out your information through ID.me.
ID.me is a federally certified identify provider that has partnered with the Department of Labor and Industry to ensure the protection of your personal information.
If you see a message like the one below, please report or visit www.us.pa.gov and select the “REPORT FRAUD” icon.
See more information regarding applying for PUA and ID.me at the link provided here: https://hosted-pages.id.me/pennsylvania-pua-identity-proofing
April Argall Report: Lieutenant Governor Reform
The April edition of my local TV program focuses on my bipartisan legislation which changes the process of how Pennsylvania selects its Lieutenant Governor.
A leadership team can’t be separated into two warring factions that ignore each other. My church doesn’t function that way. My son’s old Scout Troop didn’t operate like that. My daughter’s soccer team couldn’t have won any games with that kind of leadership.
The purpose of this bill is to mirror the process of how the President and Vice-President of the United States are selected. Both candidates need a unified vision for Pennsylvania—when Governor Wolf and his former Lt. Governor admitted that they didn’t even talk to each other for weeks and weeks, this old problem came to the forefront!
This edition of the Argall Report will air on:
Senator Argall’s show is also available online at https://www.senatorargall.com/argallreport/.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.