In this email edition:
Providing Parents with Access to School Curriculum
As the son of a school librarian, I voted in favor of a bill this week to require Kindergarten through twelfth grade schools to post curricula online in a standardized, user-friendly manner.
One of the biggest surprises we saw during the 2021 elections was Glenn Youngkin’s election as the Governor of Virginia. Throughout his campaign, Youngkin emphasized the importance of parental input regarding what their children are taught and the dangers of critical race theory which has created controversy at every level of government – from local school boards to state government.
This bill will ensure that parents have a voice in their children’s education here in Pennsylvania. Learn more about it here.
Redesigned Constitutional Amendment Process Moves Forward
Due to critical mistakes by the Department of State, the Senate State Government Committee passed my bill this week by a bipartisan vote of 8-3 to restore public confidence in the process of amending the state Constitution.
Earlier this year, an unprecedented error by former Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar derailed a constitutional amendment to protect victims of child sex abuse. Boockvar resigned in disgrace. Two months later, the Department of State published ballot questions that were widely criticized as biased.
After the reputation of the Department of State was tarnished by their mistakes, I introduced this bill to prevent future mishaps. Learn more about Senate Bill 940 here. Watch a hearing on the bill from earlier this year above.
Where to Find COVID-19 Booster Shots in Schuylkill and Berks County
With hospitals in our area dealing with a surge in severe COVID-19 cases, more and more people are asking my office for information regarding vaccines. Consult with your doctor to make sure you qualify.
The Pottsville Republican Herald published a comprehensive list of providers in Schuylkill County offering boosters here. In Berks County, the Berks Cares Vaccine Center in Muhlenberg Township offers a centralized location for booster shots. Learn more about it here. Most hospital systems and pharmacies in Berks and Schuylkill County offer booster shots.
Visit this link to use the CDC’s interactive map to find the vaccine provider closest to you.
Wreaths Across America Honors Veterans at the Capitol
In the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda this week to honor our veterans, Beth Sattizahn served as the volunteer chairperson for the program at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and spoke at the event.
Learn more about Wreaths Across America here.
Anti-Court Packing Measure Advanced by State Government Committee
The Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, continued its bipartisan work to improve how our government functions this week.
The committee passed Senate Resolution 67, which calls for a convention of states to amend the US Constitution for the sole purpose of keeping the number of US Supreme Court justices at nine.
Also passed was Senate Bill 992, which codifies the population data to be used for congressional redistricting. I expect the committee to consider a congressional map in the coming weeks, with ample time for public review.
After the hearing, the Committee’s Democratic minority chairman Senator Sharif Street and I issued a joint statement on congressional redistricting. Both of us renewed our commitment to drawing a fair, bipartisan map that can be approved by the Senate and the House, signed by the Governor, and upheld by the State Supreme Court. Watch the clip above.
A preliminary map for the state House and state Senate districts for the next decade was also issued on Thursday. We’ll have more details on that for you next week.
Another Successful Minersville ATV Ride
The Borough of Minersville recently partnered with Reading Famous Outdoors and the local Lions Club to sponsor an ATV ride. Registered ATVs were permitted to ride into town on designated streets to enjoy local restaurants and stores for the day. The ride also helped fulfill the Christmas wishes of children in Minersville. Read more about this here.
Other communities are considering events like this one and hope to copy the success seen by the city of Shamokin. Shamokin has seen new economic growth because of this popular activity and a growing tourism industry. Read about their success here.
Celebrating New McAdoo Eagle Scout Shawn A. Witner
Representative Jerry Knowles and I (pictured above) attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Shawn A. Witner of McAdoo on Sunday along with McAdoo Mayor Dean Watro (pictured below). Congrats to Shawn on your hard work and service to the community!
December Report: Fighting Blight
The December edition of my local TV program focuses on a recent committee hearing requested by Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill) which discussed blight remediation across Pennsylvania.
When we fight blight, it’s not a Republican or a Democratic issue. Across this region there is a real bipartisan push to breathe new life into our old towns.
Representative Twardzik did an excellent job bringing people together to discuss this issue.
This edition will air on:
You can also visit my website to watch this month’s edition.
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