In this update:
Celebrating New Pre-K Classrooms in Coaldale
This week, I was invited to speak at a ribbon cutting ceremony for two new Pre-K classrooms in Coaldale and read a Thanksgiving story to the children. Many years ago, I helped Coaldale Borough Council to begin the renovations of the former Coaldale High School. That work, along with a new competitive state grant awarded to the Panther Valley School District, makes these new classrooms possible. I’m glad to see this old building put to good use, once again.
More importantly, I know firsthand how valuable Pre-K can be for working families. With Beth and I working full time, a similar Pre-K program was invaluable for our two children, A.J. and Elise. Now fully grown and in careers of their own, I know how much Pre-K helped them prepare for their future!
Help for Pennsylvanians Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
There are an estimated 280,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s disease. This type of dementia is the seventh leading cause of death among all adults.
So many of our families have experienced the tragedy of Alzheimer’s first-hand, as my family did when mom suffered with this terrible disease during the last four years of her life. My brother Doug and I miss her and our dad, Arthur Argall, every day.
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is a reminder that while there is no cure for this disease, there is a wide range of support available for patients and families.
Carbon County Veterans Day Parade
Rep. Doyle Heffley invited me to join him for the Carbon County Veterans Day Parade in Palmerton, which was delayed a week due to severe weather. It was a pleasure to meet many of our area’s veterans! As always, thank you for your service. See more pictures from the parade here.
November Report: Past and Present Local Lawmakers Reflect on Legislative Service
The November edition of my local TV program features a recent roundtable discussion with former and current members of the state legislature from Schuylkill County.
The bipartisan event discussed how the General Assembly of Pennsylvania has changed in the past 60 years. Participants included former Republican House members Bob Allen, Mike Tobash, and George Uritis, former Democratic House members William Baldwin, James Goodman, Neal Goodman, and Tim Seip, and current House members Jerry Knowles, Joe Kerwin, and Tim Twardzik.
Regardless of party – these members all learned to work together for this region.
This edition will air on:
Utilities Set to Adjust Seasonal Energy Supply Prices Dec. 1
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reports that Pennsylvania electric and natural gas utilities will adjust their prices on Dec. 1 for customers who do not shop around for energy suppliers.
All regulated utility companies will adjust their “price to compare” (PTC) rates in the coming weeks, but Pennsylvania’s electricity marketplace gives consumers the option to select a different supplier to find the most competitive pricing.
The two major parts of monthly electric or natural gas bills are the delivery/distribution charge and the generation/supply charge. Consumers can shop for and contract with a competitive supplier or for consumers who do not shop, the utility provides energy supply at the PTC. The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill and will be adjusted at the end of this month.
The PUC urges consumers currently struggling to pay monthly bills to act now and seek assistance by contacting their utilities. State assistance is also available. You can see what price increases utilities are reporting, and how to reduce energy costs, here.
New Law Targets Dangerous Driving
A new state law requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to create a mandatory driver improvement program for drivers who accumulate six points or more on their licenses.
Under Act 120 of 2022 this program would be required as a way to reduce points from a driver’s record, and when a driver is convicted of exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 miles per hour. The course would also be required when applying for an Occupational Limited License and Probationary License and would be a condition for license reinstatement following suspension due to point accumulation or excessive speeding.
In 2020, PennDOT reported 1,129 motor vehicle-related fatalities despite a significant reduction in vehicle miles traveled in the pandemic. Because most of these crashes were caused by driver behavior, the training course required under the law would employ established and effective strategies to change the decision-making processes of traffic offenders and move them to make better driving choices.
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