In this email edition:
Welcoming the Lithuanian Ambassador to Harrisburg
Audra Plepytė, the Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States, visited Harrisburg this week and addressed both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the importance of international ties between Pennsylvania and Lithuania. I introduced the Ambassador on the floor of the Senate, which you can watch above. My Lithuanian obviously needs more practice!
More than 6,000 of the people I represent have deep Lithuanian roots. The 29th Senate district has the highest population of people with Lithuanian ancestry in Pennsylvania. Read more here.
Berks County Telephone Town Hall Poll Results
I held a telephone town hall event for residents of Berks County on Tuesday. Participants had the chance to ask me questions about the ongoing, once-in-a-decade process of redrawing legislative districts and other state-related issues. Over 2,300 people listened in to the call. See the results of six polls that were conducted during this call below. If you missed it, you can listen to the full call above.
Senator Cris Dush Pushes Back on False Election Investigation Narratives
This week brought new developments in the ongoing court battle over the Senate investigation into the conduct of the 2020 and 2021 elections.
Many of you have contacted my office raising concerns that your personal information will be jeopardized if it is provided to the Senate for this investigation. This claim was key to the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Senate Democrats. Yet as a new court filing by Senator Cris Dush (R-Jefferson) notes, the same information requested for the Senate’s investigation was provided to the League of Women Voters in 2012 as part of a lawsuit to overturn a previously passed voter ID law.
In response to this, Senator Dush stated, “If they gave that information to a private third-party group then, how can they possibly argue against transferring that data to another co-equal branch of government now?” Read more about this news here.
Alvernia President’s Dinner Spotlights Plan for Pottsville CollegeTowne
From left to right: Reading Mayor Eddie Morán, me, Alvernia President John R. Loyack, Dr. Rodney S. Ridley of the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship, Barry Schlouch of Schlouch Incorporated, and Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera
Last week, I was invited to attend Alvernia University’s annual President’s Dinner, which honored distinguished alumni for their service to the community. At the event, President John R. Loyack discussed Alvernia’s plans for the future of their CollegeTowne initiative, which includes the new Pottsville CollegeTowne branch campus that will serve as a business incubator for budding entrepreneurs in Schuylkill County’s largest city. Learn more about the event here.
Senate Passes Bills to Protect Energy Jobs, Curb Deceptive Robocalls, and Increase Penalties for Fleeing a Police Officer
The Senate was in session this week and passed some very impactful bills with bipartisan support.
By a bipartisan vote of 32-18, the Senate passed a resolution to reject Governor Wolf’s unilateral attempt to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which would increase energy prices and kill thousands of family-sustaining jobs in Pennsylvania. Learn more about this resolution here.
By a bipartisan vote of 36-14, the Senate approved a bill that would add penalties for fleeing an officer to evade arrest. This bill was introduced by my neighbor in the Senate, Senator John Yudichak (I-Luzerne), who is the first Independent to serve in the Senate in decades. His bill was introduced in honor of fallen Scranton police officer John Wilding, who tragically lost his life in pursuit of suspects in 2015. Learn more about this bill here.
By a bipartisan vote of 49-0, the Senate passed a bill to crack down on deceptive and nuisance telephone calls. This bill, sponsored by Senator Michele Brooks (R-Mercer), would prohibit telemarketers from disguising their calls to make them appear to come from a local number, which increases the chance of the call being answered. The bill would also prevent telemarketing calls before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Learn more about the bill here.
Middleport Celebrates 200th Anniversary
I was invited to attend a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Middleport Borough last weekend. Read more about their celebration here.
The photo below features a real flashback: my grandmother, Helene Howells Argall, who was very proud to serve as the first woman ever on Middleport Borough Council in the 1950’s and my grandfather, Art Argall, who spent most of his life teaching at the Middleport School. Also pictured are my aunt, Helene Goodhead, my dad, Jack Argall, and me celebrating my fourth birthday.
Town Hall Meetings in Berks County
In addition to my two recent telephone town halls, I also held two in person town hall events in Berks County in the past week. I was joined by Rep. Jim Cox in Spring Township, which is pictured above, and Rep. Jerry Knowles in Tilden Township, which is pictured below.