Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Punishing Looters and Thieves
  • Cleaning Up Rivers and Streams
  • SHINE Program Expands Opportunities for Hazleton Students
  • Veterans Day in White Haven
  • How Do We Fix Our Public Schools?
  • Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Litter Hawk Youth Award
  • Telephone Town Hall
  • Argall Report: Celebrating 20 Years of LCCC Morgan Center

Punishing Looters and Thieves

The widespread looting that occurred in Philadelphia just a few weeks ago was shocking to see. In the aftermath of this crime spree, the Senate approved my bill to fight back against organized retail theft by a strongly bipartisan vote of 46-4.

We must stop this dramatic increase in retail theft – the sooner, the better. Read more about my bill here.

Cleaning Up Rivers and Streams

While our rivers and streams in Schuylkill County are MUCH less polluted than in the past, there is still a lot of work to be done. Today, Rep. Tim Twardzik and I visited two abandoned mine sites which were recently awarded state grants to support local cleanup efforts.

We first visited “the Black Desert” in Blythe Township – over 50 acres of abandoned mine land between Middleport and Kaska that drains into the Schuylkill River.

We then stopped in Frailey Township to see the Clinton Discharge, where orange water flows into Coal Run and Middle Creek.

Thank you to the Schuylkill Conservation District for all your hard work on these sites!

SHINE Program Expands Opportunities for Hazleton Students

I visited Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School’s Family Night for their SHINE program in Hazleton to meet with the students and parents and learn more about this program.

SHINE gives students a chance to explore their interests through hands-on, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) based projects after school.

I was very impressed with what I saw – thank you for inviting me to stop by!

Veterans Day in White Haven

After participating in Veteran’s observances last week in Hazleton, Orwigsburg, and Penn Forest Township, I was pleased to participate in the dedication of a beautiful new memorial by the White Haven VFW on Veterans Day. I reminded all that no U.S. armed services veteran should ever, ever, feel unappreciated by our communities.

After the ceremony, I rode my mountain bike north of town further than ever before, along the D and L trail to Moosehead Lake. I attempted to meet with my beaver constituents, but apparently, they were very busy doing other beaver things.

How Do We Fix Our Public Schools?

Since the 1960s and 70s, taxpayers have invested massive funding to improve our public schools in Pennsylvania.

Many of our buildings are much improved over the schools our parents and grandparents attended in much earlier eras, our teachers and support staff are better paid and prepared, we have greatly improved special education, added an extraordinary number of new extra-curricular activities and online options, greatly expanded pre-school and access to more challenging courses and higher education—and yet during the 11 hearings of the Basic Education Funding Commission, we heard from dozens of advocates very unhappy with the state of our public schools.

At the Commission’s public hearing in Harrisburg this week, I asked the basic question: What is the solution?

I also previewed the next public hearing of the Senate Education Committee.

On November 28, the committee will be examining many of the mandates forced on our schools. The hearing has been requested by Senator Jarrett Coleman, one of my colleagues from the Lehigh Valley, and will be held at the Parkland School District Education Foundation at 1 p.m.

The goal is to identify unnecessary, time-consuming requirements that we can remove, giving our educators more time to focus on what’s truly important: preparing our children for the future.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Litter Hawk Youth Award

Congratulations Xzavier Zeiders from Pine Grove Area Elementary School for receiving a Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Litter Hawk Youth Award – one of the top awards in the state, with hundreds of applicants!

Sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the program provides a way for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 to express their concerns about litter through art, words, or video. There were over 900 total students who participated.

Telephone Town Hall

Almost 2,000 constituents joined me on my telephone town hall meeting this week. We had a great discussion about many of the most impactful issues facing our state government – our unfair and archaic school property tax system, how to prevent waste and abuse in public assistance programs, and the need to restore blighted and decaying buildings in our communities.

Argall Report: Celebrating 20 Years of LCCC Morgan Center

The November edition of my local TV program highlights the recent celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) Morgan Center.

It all began when hundreds of local residents gathered with me at a local fire hall to discuss the future of this region. One of the top items on our wish list was better access to higher education.

Thanks to a true partnership between the Morgan Foundation, LCCC, the Tamaqua Area School District, and state government, we were able to turn an abandoned junior high school into a college campus, right in the heart of Tamaqua. Watch the full report to learn how we did it and how many lives have been changed for the better since that historic day.


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