Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Shapiro Energy Plan Will Kill Local Abandoned Mine Clean Ups
  • Hazleton Leadership Dinner Celebrates Scouting
  • May Argall Report: Defending Local Childcare Centers
  • 66th Annual Tamaqua Night of Achievement
  • EAM-Mosca Expands in Hazle Township
  • Touring Hazleton’s Brenner Recycling
  • Celebrating Local Employers
  • Honoring Law Enforcement Officers
  • Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives
  • St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Survey
  • Replace Damaged License Plates for FREE in Palmerton

Shapiro Energy Plan Will Kill Local Abandoned Mine Clean Ups

A new energy plan spearheaded by Governor Josh Shapiro would kill abandoned mine land remediation efforts across Pennsylvania if it became law.

Anyone who has lived in Schuylkill, Carbon, or Luzerne Counties is VERY familiar with the giant coal piles and black and grey wastelands left behind by past mining operations. I grew up 500 yards from one of the many abandoned mines that were once so common across our region.

Now, thanks to the efforts of so many people, countless black hills and pits have been transformed into green fields and forests. One key player in this process has been local coal refuse electric power plants—locally, we often call them “cogens”— which remove huge piles of waste coal to create electricity while also filling in abandoned strip mines.

Now, Governor Shapiro’s energy plan threatens to close all these local plants, allowing the sad impacts of past mining operations to remain for hundreds of more years.

We were able to work across the aisle with Governor Wolf, despite our differences, to help these plants survive. This week, local legislators and I asked the governor to work with people in this region to draft a new energy plan that would protect these plants and allow them to continue their important environmental work.

Hazleton Leadership Dinner Celebrates Scouting

Rep. Dane Watro and I were invited to attend Wednesday’s Hazleton Leadership Dinner, an annual event celebrating the impact scouting has on youth in Hazleton and beyond. Congratulations to this year’s honorees:

Distinguished Citizen: Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat
Wayne Oberst Good Scout Award: Turney “Sten” Oswald

Mr. Oswald currently serves as Commissioner of the Carbon/Luzerne District of the Minsi Trails Council. He first became involved in scouting in 1948 and never stopped. He has been a dedicated volunteer for many years and a mentor to countless scouts. In addition to his other work, he serves as an instructor and range safety officer for shooting sports activities.

Mayor Cusat, who was recently reelected to serve a third term, needs no introduction!

I presented both award winners with official Senate citations celebrating their contributions to the greater Hazleton community.

 May Argall Report: Defending Local Childcare Centers

The May edition of my monthly tv program highlights a bipartisan public hearing about the serious issues facing rural childcare providers in Pennsylvania.

In the three counties I represent, childcare providers worry every day about keeping their doors open. Families are struggling to find childcare. Waiting lists are the norm, not the exception. And many providers are hanging on by a thread to stay open and maintain the number of children they can serve.

This doesn’t just hurt our kids; it hurts their parents and their employers. We must work together – the providers, the business community, the House, the Senate, Republicans and Democrats – to solve this problem.

66th Annual Tamaqua Night of Achievement

I was invited to present two special awards at the 66th annual Night of Achievement Ceremony at Tamaqua Area High School, where outgoing seniors who have excelled in the classroom and in the community are awarded scholarships.

First, I presented the William K. Klingaman, Sr. Award to Stephen Behun. Rep. Klingaman served in the General Assembly from 1972-84, was a US Navy veteran of World War II, served on the Tamaqua Area School Board, and was a good friend and mentor to many of us. He was also my first boss, as pictured here.

Fun fact: Stephen’s grandfather, George Pinkey, was Bill’s first opponent in the 1972 election. Both George and Bill would have been VERY pleased to see Stephen earn this award on his way to his future studies at Harvard!

I was also very pleased to honor four of our most recent local Eagle Scouts – Alex Steigerwalt, Jack Tharp, Jathan Krall, and Stephen Behun – as they received the Catherine and Junior Zehner Award. Both were very active in Scouting here in Tamaqua, from the early 1960s. Junior was one of my first Scout leaders, and he was still active, welcoming my son AJ into the troop four decades later. That’s REAL community service!

EAM-Mosca Expands in Hazle Township

The EAM-Mosca Corporation cut the ribbon on their newly renovated facility in Hazle Township this week. They have been making strapping systems used in commercial packaging in Luzerne County for over 40 years, and recently invested millions in expanding their operations. This state-of-the-art facility will create 50 new, family-sustaining jobs.

Rep. Watro and I were joined by Secretary Rick Siger of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and many other community leaders at the event.

Touring Hazleton’s Brenner Recycling

I was invited to tour Brenner Recycling. Located in Hazleton, they recycle a wide variety of materials, including metals, cardboard, and electronics. I especially enjoyed the demonstration of how they bale aluminum. Thank you for inviting me!

Celebrating Local Employers

The NEPA Manufacturers and Employers Association hosted a celebration of local employers who found success in their industry and in the community last year. Congratulations to all! See the full list of awardees here.

Honoring Law Enforcement Officers

From May 12-18, we celebrate National Police Week by honoring fallen officers and recognizing the significant role law enforcement officers play in keeping our communities safe.

In support of that initiative, we have recently passed multiple laws to aid the men and women who work so hard to protect us. Act 34 of 2023 funded an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer. Act 10 of 2023 gave municipal police the authority to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants to ensure we accept and train qualified individuals.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is higher than 90%. Of course, a missed mammogram could mean the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.

If you are high risk, don’t let the cost of screening deter you. Through Act 1 of 2023, Senate Republicans eliminated costs for breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, and BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.

Women aged 40 and above who regularly get mammograms are in the best position to fight breast cancer. Remember, early detection saves lives.

St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Survey

St. Luke’s is looking to hear from you about your health care needs. Take their anonymous survey using the QR code above.

Replace Damaged License Plates for FREE in Palmerton

Is your license plate worn out? You can get it replaced for free at an event I’m hosting with Rep. Doyle Heffley on May 28th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palmerton Public Works Building. A local police officer will be on hand to inspect your plate to determine if it’s illegible.

For more information or to RSVP, call 1-877-327-4255. I will be hosting more of these events in Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne counites soon – stay tuned!

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