In this email update:
Celebrating Yuengling’s 190th Anniversary on July 13th!
This Saturday, July 13th, is the celebration of Yuengling’s 190th Anniversary. I recently talked with Wendy Yuengling at the Brewery in Mill Creek about the efforts Yuengling is making to help revitalize Pottsville. You can hear my interview with Wendy here. I also spoke with Savas Logothetides, Executive Director of Pottsville Area Development Corporation, about how the Yuengling can help to revitalize Pottsville. You can listen to the interview with Savas here.
Property Tax Elimination Update: The Long Battle Continues
Despite the many obstacles, including strong opposition from a number of powerful interest groups, I’m not alone in my fight for school property tax elimination. Here’s an update on the issue from my friend and neighbor, Senator Mario Scavello (R-Monroe/Northampton).
We currently have 20 co-sponsors for SB 76 with the additions of new Senators Pittman (R-Armstrong, Butler, Indiana, and Westmoreland) and Mastriano (R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York). I will be meeting with supporters and opponents of SB 76 throughout the summer in another attempt to move the issue forward!
White House Officials Tour Tamaqua
(Meeting at LCCC Scheller Center)
On Monday, I joined officials from the White House to discuss Opportunity Zones in Tamaqua, including Scott Turner, Executive Director for the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, Michelle Christian and Elmo Rinaldi with the Small Business Administration, Joe DeFelice with U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Joyce Haas with the General Services Administration, and Curt Coccodrilli with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I was joined by Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-9), Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-124), and Commissioner George Halcovage.
Our common goal: To spark continued economic development and job creation by encouraging investment throughout this district. Thanks to Congressman Meuser for his help in organizing this first-of-its-kind event!
(Left to Right: Congressman Meuser, Scott Taylor, Michelle Christian, and Joe DeFelice)
Governor Wolf Vetoes Funding for New Voting Machines
This week, Governor Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 48 which would have allowed the state to borrow $90 million to help the counties afford new election machines that he has mandated. Gov. Wolf vetoed the bill primarily because of a provision regarding straight party voting on Election Day, even though it had bipartisan support. Here is a statement from Senate leadership regarding Governor Wolf striking down this bipartisan legislation. You can read more on this issue here.
Refilling the Rainy Day Fund to Help Stabilize the State Budget
Because of an improved economy, the recent state budget significantly improved the Rainy Day Fund. We deposited over $316 million into the fund, the largest deposit in the Rainy Day Fund in two decades. This is a huge improvement and will help to ensure the fiscal stability of the state going forward– finally!
Celebrating our Heritage at Miners’ Heritage Festival
The 12th Annual Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival is set for Sunday July 14, 2019 from 10 to 5, on the grounds of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford, Carbon County. This unique, fun and educational event celebrates northeastern Pennsylvania’s coal region history, ethnic heritage, food, music, art, crafts and customs. Admission to the festival grounds and parking are free.
Monthly Poll: Reparations for Slavery??
There has been much discussion in the news lately regarding legislation on reparations for the terrible injustice of slavery in America.
The key question is this: Should the state or federal governments accept the financial responsibility for these awful human rights violations?
Legislation has been offered on this subject in Pennsylvania in the past, and the U.S. Congress has held recent hearings to consider establishing a commission to further review the pros and cons of this issue.
Some people believe that compensation is due to the descendants of African slaves whose ancestors suffered horrendous atrocities in the centuries prior to the final end of slavery in 1865. Similar actions have been taken by other governments and the private sector after the Nazi holocaust.
Others believe that placing a cash value on hundreds of years of forced servitude is impossible to calculate and that social programs available to all low income groups are more effective. In addition, some ask if similar legislation should be extended to Native Americans, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, and other groups that have been discriminated against in the past 200 years.
The survey is here. Let me know your thoughts!
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