Monday: Join my Berks County Telephone Town Hall to Share Your Thoughts with Me on Redistricting, Other State-Related Issues
I will host a one-hour telephone town hall for residents of Berks County on Tuesday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m. on important state issues. The beginning portion will focus on the ongoing process of congressional and legislative redistricting, before moving on to other important issues.
Berks County residents can sign up to receive a call or live-stream the event live at https://www.senatorargall.com/access-live/.
Below are the results from six polls conducted during my telephone town hall with residents of Schuylkill County earlier this week. Over three thousand people tuned in to the event! Read more about it here.
How important is it to keep all of Schuylkill County in the same congressional district?
Do you support Senate Bill 424, a constitutional amendment to eliminate school property taxes?
Do you support Governor Wolf’s mandate that all K-12 students in Pennsylvania must wear masks during school hours?
Do you support Senator Regan’s new legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in Pennsylvania to fund law enforcement?
Do you support Senate Bill 737, a constitutional amendment that would require identification to vote?
Do you believe able-bodied people should work or go to school to keep Medicaid benefits?
Election Fraud Cases in Georgia and Michigan Show Importance of Fixing Laws in Pennsylvania
Just this past week, cases in Georgia and Michigan highlighted the importance of the work of the Senate in identifying defects in our system of elections. In Georgia, just as early voting began for the 2021 General Election, two employees were caught shredding voter registration applications in Fulton County. While they were immediately fired, this kind of behavior is unacceptable and damaging to public trust. Learn more about this case here.
In Michigan, the Department of the Attorney General recently announced the results of three investigations into efforts to fraudulently vote. In one of these cases, a woman who was the legal guardian for legally incapacitated persons submitted 26 fraudulent absentee ballot applications without the knowledge of the persons under her care. Learn more about these cases here.
If you would like to receive updates from the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee on their investigation, visit this link.
Celebrating Penn State Schuylkill’s New Nursing Suite
I was invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony this past week to celebrate the opening of Penn State Schuylkill’s new nursing suite. This 4,000 square foot addition includes a classroom, nursing skills lab, and a hi-fidelity mannequin simulation lab for Penn State’s new four-year nursing program.
If the last 18 months have shown us anything, we need nurses now more than ever! Learn more about the event and the new suite here.
“Independent” Redistricting Flops in Virginia, New York
Efforts to establish independent bodies to spearhead this decade’s redistricting process have struggled to make significant progress so far this year. In the 2020 General Election in Virginia, voters approved a constitutional amendment to create a bipartisan, 16-member commission to draw the maps. Earlier this month however, members of the commission walked out of a meeting and stated they do not anticipate reaching a compromise on legislative maps for the state. Learn more here.
An almost identical situation happened in New York, where a 10-member commission failed to approve any maps on party lines, which would allow the legislature to have the final say.
I’m hopeful that Pennsylvania can avoid this sort of spectacle in our map-drawing process. I’ve chaired multiple hearings of the Senate State Government Committee to gather input on what guidelines should be used to draw the maps. I will continue working to begin to roll back the hyper-partisan gerrymandering sins of the past, as I mention in my remarks above from a hearing earlier this year.
Flood Mitigation Efforts in Tremont Township, Pine Grove Area, Funded by New State Grant
A $240,000 grant was awarded to the Schuylkill Conservation District to support a streambank restoration project for the Swatara Creek floodplain in Tremont Township. This project is part of the ongoing effort to reduce the impact of the floods that have plagued the people of this region. I’m thankful this state funding was awarded to this well-deserving project.
When I hosted a public hearing in Schuylkill Haven in August discussing continuing efforts to clean up local waterways, one of the main issues discussed was how to reduce the damaging impacts of floods in the area. This will support the solutions discussed at the event.
Learn more about this new funding here. Check out the most recent edition of the Argall Report to learn more about local efforts to clean up local rivers and creeks. You can see a short preview above.
Growing Greener III: Continued Investment in our Local Resources
A recent editorial in the Republican Herald outlined some of the key reasons why I support a new bill to preserve farmland, restore abandoned mine land, help reduce flooding and water pollution, and clean up waterways.
I was a sponsor of the original Growing Greener program and will continue to support these investments. I’ve seen first-hand the impact this funding can have on efforts to strengthen our local economy and improve the quality of life for the people of Berks and Schuylkill Counties.
Check out the full editorial here. Learn more about Senate Bill 525 here.
New ATV Ride in Minersville Supports Community Revitalization
Earlier this month, Minersville held a new event to support their revitalization efforts – an ATV ride! Over 500 riders registered for the event, and many of them visited local restaurants and businesses in Minersville. Earlier this week, a check of over $10,000 was presented to borough officials to fund projects to improve the community. Learn more about this successful event here.
Wednesday: 2021 MFG Summit and Career Fair at RACC
Don’t miss next week’s 2021 MFG Summit and Career Fair hosted by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will feature presentations from manufacturing experts. The career fair will begin shortly after, taking place from noon until 3 p.m. More details about the event can be found on the flier above, or at this link.
Important 2021 Municipal Election Dates
While the deadline to register to vote for this year’s municipal elections has passed, don’t miss these important dates! Every election is important, a point that Rep. Joe Kerwin drove home in a recent column he wrote. Read his comments here.
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