In this email edition:
Update on Election Integrity and Reform
Reviewing committee business with Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia)
I continue to hear from many of you about your concerns with the integrity of our elections in Pennsylvania. My office has been working with elections officials, Republican and Democratic Senators, and other stakeholders on a new bipartisan election reform bill, since our last effort was vetoed by Governor Wolf in June.
The goal of this bill is to make commonsense updates to our election code, as identified in the House and Senate public hearings on this issue earlier this year. Read more about this bipartisan legislation which I have sponsored with the Democratic Chair of the Senate State Government Committee, Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), here. Watch a segment from ABC 27 on the bill here.
Next Tuesday, the Senate State Government Committee will hold a public hearing reviewing the Department of State’s 2020 election audits. The Department has used this statistical analysis as evidence to verify the results of the 2020 election. The hearing will feature Acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid and other officials from the department.
I will continue to support efforts to rebuild trust in our elections, step by step, including proposals to audit the 2020 AND 2021 elections in Pennsylvania.
Visit this link to watch the public hearing live on Tuesday.
Kielbasi Festival and Parade of Nations in Shenandoah this Saturday
This won’t be my first Parade of Nations – this picture is from 2016
This Saturday, August 21st, will be a very special day in Shenandoah: both the Kielbasi Festival AND the Parade of Nations will be taking place on the same day! The event will feature a wide variety of local food and arts and crafts vendors on Main Street, including Kowalonek’s, Capitol Food Market, Lucky’s Kielbasi Shop, and Mrs. T’s Pierogies. The colorful Parade of Nations will begin at 10:00 am, with the remaining events beginning at 11:00 am.
Learn more about the festivities here.
Next Steps in Cleaning Up the Schuylkill River
I chaired a roundtable last week on efforts to clean up the Schuylkill River
After last week’s roundtable discussion reviewing the progress of longstanding efforts to clean up the Schuylkill River, efforts are already underway to address a serious pollution issue affecting the sewer system in Coaldale. My Chief of Staff, Christine Verdier, and staff from Congressman Dan Meuser’s and State Rep. Jerry Knowles’ offices met with Coaldale Borough Council to discuss options for fixing the issue, which if not addressed will continue to cause environmental damage downstream in Tamaqua and beyond.
Read more about this issue and the potential options for addressing it here.
This week saw an important milestone in this decade’s redistricting process: the final data from the 2020 Census was released. Pennsylvania saw significant demographic changes throughout the last ten years, with urban and suburban regions in the southeast seeing significant gains while rural regions saw significant losses. In the past 10 years, the population of Berks County increased by 4.2% while the population of Schuylkill County decreased by 3.5%. Read more about these trends and view a map of every Pennsylvania county and their population changes here.
I was featured on ABC 27’s This Week in Pennsylvania to discuss how the results of the Census will affect how the Senate committee which I chair will redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional map. Check out the full interview here.
Farmland Preservation in Berks County
From Left to Right: Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, Senator Judy Schwank, Commissioner Christian Leinbach, the Martin family, Rep. Barry Jozwiak, me, Doug Wolfgang, Director of Farmland Preservation
I joined Secretary Russell Redding of the Department of Agriculture in Bethel Township this week to celebrate the preservation of over 600,000 acres of farmland throughout Pennsylvania, which leads the nation. Preserving our farmland will help our farmers for generations to come.
As one of the original sponsors of the Growing Greener program, which greatly assisted this effort to preserve farmland across our state, it’s incredible to see how impactful it has been for so many Pennsylvania farmers. Learn more here.
Federal Unemployment Benefit Programs End Sept. 4
Federal unemployment benefit programs, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), will end Sept. 4.
The state’s regular unemployment compensation program and those receiving benefits from it are unaffected.
Individuals currently enrolled in PEUC and PUA can take advantage of free jobseeker services offered through PA CareerLink. These services include access to a free job database, resume assistance, information about reskilling opportunities and more. To schedule an appointment, contact your local PA CareerLink office listed here.
Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera elected to Statewide Leadership of Commissioners Association
Congratulations to Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera, who was recently elected to serve as the second vice president for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) in 2022.
Read more here.
August Argall Report: Pottsville’s Ongoing Bipartisan Revitalization
Michael Fromm, the chairperson of the Alvernia Board of Trustees, and I stand in what will soon be a new Alvernia branch campus in downtown Pottsville. This is just one example of the revitalization efforts underway!
The August edition of my local TV program focuses on the ongoing bipartisan revitalization of the city of Pottsville. The show highlights three recent events which showcase the ongoing progress being made in the city: the awarding of a grant to support renovations of the historic Yuengling Mansion, the announcement of a new branch campus of Alvernia University that will serve as a business incubator, and the opening of the new parking garage on Mahantongo Street.
This edition of the Argall Report will air on:
My show is also available online at https://www.senatorargall.com/argallreport/.