In this email edition:
Thank You, Representatives Goodman and Tobash!
Please join me in a sincere bipartisan thank you to Representatives Neal Goodman (D-123) and Mike Tobash (R-125) for their many years of dedicated service to the people of our area as they both prepare to leave the legislature after choosing to not pursue reelection.
Their offices will soon be closing. As always, my local offices are able to assist you with any state related issues. The offices of our new Representatives, Tim Twardzik and Joe Kerwin, will open to the public in a few weeks.
You can find the phone numbers and locations for my offices here.
Top PA House Democrat Loses Reelection
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny & Westmoreland) lost his bid for reelection. Representative Dermody has conceded his election to his Republican challenger, Carrie DelRusso.
According to local media accounts, DelRusso was supported by blue-collar union workers after Representative Dermody sided with the Governor on multiple issues that have hurt the job climate in his district.
One union representative put it bluntly: “Jobs have to come first. We support politicians who can put politics aside in the interest of creating good jobs.”
You can read more here.
Senate Approves Bills to Protect Second Amendment Rights of Pennsylvanians
Two bills approved by the Senate this week would ensure the Second Amendment rights of Pennsylvanians are protected during emergency declarations.
The Senate approved a bill that would ensure these rights are not infringed during a state of emergency. The bill would also ensure firearm sales are not prohibited during an emergency declaration as well.
The Senate also approved a bill this week that would establish the Hunting, Firearm, and Ammunition Life-Sustaining Business Act to ensure shooting ranges, sportsman clubs, hunting facilities and firearm and ammunition manufacturers, retailers and distributors are considered life-sustaining businesses that will not be shuttered by state government during an emergency declaration.
Senate Approves Liability Protections for Schools, Health Care Providers, More
Many health care providers, schools, businesses and other entities have raised concerns about lawsuits being filed against them related to COVID-19, even if they closely followed all health directives from state and federal health agencies. The Senate approved a bill this week that would protect these entities from lawsuits if they acted in good faith to protect public health.
The liability protection does not apply in cases in which these entities were responsible for any intentional wrongful acts or reckless acts. The legislation does not provide complete immunity for any person or group; it simply ensures they will not be held responsible for any harm that occurred when health directives were followed.
School Safety Grants Awarded to Local Schools
In 2018, after terrible tragedies in schools across our nation, I led the fight in PA to ensure our schools had the resources they need to keep our children safe. As a result of those efforts, this week the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced school safety grants for eight local schools. These grants are for preventing and reducing violent incidents, purchasing safety and security-related equipment, and providing training and compensation for school resource and police officers.
You can view the list here.
The Berks Career and Technology Center and Schuylkill Technology Centers also received grants from the Department of Education this week for the purchase of new equipment aligned with training for high-demand occupations in the region. The Berks Career and Technology Center received $50,000, and Schuylkill Technology Centers received $47,536. You can read more about these competitive grants here.
Interactive Health & Wellness Guide for Older Adults
The Pennsylvania Council on Aging (PCoA) released an interactive guide with information and resources to help older adults cultivate a healthy mind, body, and spirit amongst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide, titled “SOLO: Strengthening Older Lives Online,” was produced by PCoA’s Risk Reduction Committee, which is made up of older adults and was formed in response to the council’s State of Older Adults Report in May. The interactive health and wellness guide is available here.
Past Senators: John Hendricks (1817-1892)
John Hendricks was born in Montgomery County in 1817. Around 1840, he moved to Tamaqua, where he was a merchant. Hendricks helped purchase the Sharp Mountain Coal Mine and was also a founder of the Hope of Christ Independent Presbyterian Church. He became the first member of the Schuylkill County Bar Association in Tamaqua. He served in the State Senate as a member of the Whig Party from 1853 to 1855.
In 1859, Hendricks moved from Tamaqua to Norristown. When the Civil War started, he joined a cavalry unit and fought in the Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days Campaign, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg, he suffered a concussion and was medically discharged. Just a month after his discharge, he reenlisted in the US Marine Corps and served the remainder of the war.
Hendricks spent much of the rest of his life travelling, before ultimately passing away in Tamaqua in 1892.
You can read more here.
Argall Report: Local Veterans and Service Organizations Struggle with Shutdown
The newest edition of the Argall Report focuses on a recent workshop discussion conducted by the Senate Majority Policy Committee on the challenges facing Pennsylvania’s veteran and service organizations as a result of COVID-19 and the Governor’s shutdown. The workshop discussion took place at the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, & York).
You can watch the report here.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.