In this update:
How to Save Hundreds of Local Energy Jobs in Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Carbon Counties: Hearing Legislative Concerns from Employers and Employees
Today, I was invited to a roundtable meeting with local manufacturers with Representatives Bobby Schnee, Jerry Knowles, Doyle Heffley, and Tim Twardzik. We discussed a variety of important issues including the economy, infrastructure, environmental cleanup, and election reform.
We discussed my legislation which has saved hundreds of jobs at several of our local coal refuse plants, which are responsible for reclaiming over 7,000 acres of abandoned mine land and restoring 1,200 miles of polluted streams.
Gov. Wolf Vetoes Legislation to Keep Violent Inmates in Jail
Governor Wolf has vetoed a bill named after Markie Mason, an 8-year-old boy who was stabbed to death by a convicted felon who was released on parole after his minimum sentence despite assaulting his fellow inmates twice. Markie’s Law would have postponed the consideration of an inmate’s parole by two years if the inmate is convicted of a violent offense while behind bars. The bill had passed the House and the Senate with considerable bipartisan support.
While the Governor termed the bill “misguided,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Aaron Bernstine, said that he was “upset, disappointed, and disgusted” with this latest veto from Governor Wolf.
Promoting Local Craft Breweries, Vineyards, and Distilleries
On Thursday, Representatives Twardzik and Kerwin and I visited Pilger Ruh Brewing in Pottsville to announce a new $26,403 grant to modernize and expand the marketing for Explore Schuylkill’s Craft Beverage Trail, which includes 5 breweries, 3 distilleries, and 12 wineries in Schuylkill County, including Yuengling’s America’s Oldest Brewery.
With this funding, Explore Schuylkill’s staff, led by Executive Director Gina Gargano, will be able to create a new interactive trail guide, an app, new trail branded items, and more. We supported this very competitive grant application because we’ve seen how vineyards, breweries, and distilleries can breathe new life into old communities, from Jim Thorpe to Erie.
Rep. Twardzik and I also visited the newest location on the trail near Schuylkill Haven, King Solomon’s Vineyard, for a tour with Steve Agosti, former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil, and Dr. Solomon Lou, the vineyards owner.
Sunday: Tamaqua Heritage Festival
Visit Tamaqua on Sunday, October 9th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 38th annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival, sponsored by the Tamaqua Historical Society.
From the 2023 construction of the new community center and police station at the site of the former Moose lodge, to the development of new upper-floor, market-rate apartments, to the fully restored 1874 Tamaqua Train Station and the Historical Society’s newly expanded museum, it’s hard to miss the signs of new life in downtown Tamaqua.
State Universities See Increase in First-Year Student Enrollment
Enrollment of first-year students in Pennsylvania’s state universities rose for the first time since 2009. Officials from the State System of Higher Education said that this news shows renewed momentum for these universities, many of which recently reorganized to ensure they were well-positioned financially for the future.
October Report: Breaking Down Barriers for Business Growth
Jobs, good jobs: that’s what communities and people care about.
The October issue of my local TV program features a recent House Majority Policy Committee meeting requested by Rep. Tim Twardzik focusing on the barriers to starting and growing a business in today’s economy. I want to thank Rep. Twardzik for calling this meeting in the Pottsville area.
We both recently introduced legislation to provide employers with relief from increased Unemployment Compensation rates to ensure that this ripple effect from the pandemic lockdown does not result in the loss of more family-sustaining jobs.
This edition will air on:
It is also available on my website.
Enjoying PA’s World Class Fall Foliage
Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than anywhere in the world, and experts are available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways.
Weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website. The report will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks throughout October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.
Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives
An important message for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that screening for signs can greatly improve survival rates.
In recent years, the General Assembly enacted laws to provide a new screening and reporting system for patients determined to have dense breasts, which can disguise cancer and delay its detection. It also expanded MRI coverage for patients and implemented a driver license check-off for breast cancer research funding.
Conservation and Natural Resources Grants Available
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recreation and conservation grants program is accepting applications from municipal entities and non-profit organizations for a special fall funding round through Oct. 27.
Because of its unique funding source, the supplemental fall funding round has some differences from typical DCNR grant rounds. The primary difference is that for municipalities with populations under 5,000 people, the match requirement is 20% of the grant amount with no cap on project size.
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