In this update:
Happy New Year
As we conclude another eventful year filled with challenges and accomplishments, we look ahead to 2023 with renewed hope and excitement. I wish you and your loved ones the best in the new year.
My offices will be closed on Friday, December 30th and Monday, January 2nd. As always, if you have any state-related issues or concerns, please contact me here.
Breathing New Life into our Old Towns throughout Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties
I recently met with local leaders in Lansford and Jim Thorpe to learn more about their efforts to breathe new life into their old downtowns.
In Lansford we toured their old train station, which was recently bought by the borough. I heard about their dreams to preserve this important piece of history, as well as the nearby Edgemont Lodge, which they hope to transform into a new wedding venue and lodge.
In Jim Thorpe, I stopped by Wild Elder Wine and Cider Co. to review the incredible rebirth of downtown Jim Thorpe since the 1970s. I also was given a tour of the Y on Broadway Hotel & Spa, a new 19-bedroom hotel scheduled to open in 2023.
Jim Thorpe now serves as the model for other communities who hope to bring new jobs to their downtowns. My goal, as the new State Senator here, is to work with local volunteers and Rep. Doyle Heffley to continue to bring together people from Jim Thorpe, Eckley, Greater Hazleton, White Haven, Lehighton, Summit Hill, Lansford, Coaldale, Tamaqua, Palmerton, Nesquehoning, and the surrounding towns and townships to develop better cooperation throughout the region, so that all can benefit from the large number of visitors who travel considerable distances to enjoy our region.
New Guide to PA Unemployment Benefits Available
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has published an updated Unemployment Compensation Handbook, a guide to unemployment benefits.
Unemployment Compensation is a program designed to provide temporary income between jobs to workers who lost their job through no fault of their own: for example, due to a layoff, plant closure or lack of available work.
The handbook was designed to be easier to understand than previous versions and includes links to additional information on the Labor and Industry Department website.
You Can Help Ensure an Accurate PA Broadband Access Map
You can help ensure Pennsylvania receives an accurate level of federal funding for broadband deployment.
Check out your address on the Federal Communications Commission broadband access map to see if the local internet access information is correct. The map shows all U.S. locations where fixed broadband service is or can be installed. Pennsylvania’s federal funding for broadband deployment depends on map accuracy.
Pennsylvanians should submit challenges by Jan. 13, 2023. There are two ways to submit a challenge: by a single location, or in bulk. The location challenge can be completed by individual consumers utilizing the map itself. Bulk challengers will be required to use the Broadband Data Collection platform to submit information to the FCC.
Additional information about the Consumer Challenge Process can be found here, and additional information on the Bulk Challenge Process can be found here. A consumer may also challenge mobile data coverage through the FCC Speed Test App, a free application that can be downloaded from an Apple or Google Play Store.
December Argall Report: Generating Electricity While Restoring the Environment
The December edition of my TV program features a recent public hearing which discussed Pennsylvania’s coal refuse electricity power plants. These plants, both locally and across the state, have successfully reclaimed over 7,000 acres of abandoned mine land and restored more than 1,200 miles of polluted streams – all while employing thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.
Senator John Yudichak and I championed bipartisan legislation to support these power plants. During the hearing, testifiers explained that had their efforts not been successful, most of these electric power plants powered by old mountains of coal refuse would now be closed – costing the state thousands of jobs and putting an end to decades of mine land reclamation efforts.
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