In this update:
Welcoming German and American State Legislators to our Region and the Capitol
Photo by David McKeown, Staff Photographer for the Republican Herald
I welcomed some very special guests to Pennsylvania last week– a delegation of 14 German and American state legislators, from six different political parties, from Berlin to Oklahoma and New Mexico. We’ve been participating in a program to learn new strategies from each other to breathe new life into older communities.
On Wednesday, we spent the day in the Capitol, meeting with Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton, and House Majority Leader Matt Bradford. We also held a roundtable discussion with Don Cunningham of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and met with the Department of Community and Economic Development.
On Thursday, we travelled to Philadelphia to tour Independence Hall and meet with Comcast about expanding broadband access.
On Friday, we travelled to Schuylkill and Carbon Counties. We toured the 1874 Tamaqua Railroad Station, a polluted creek, Panther Creek Power Plant, and active open pit mine of Lehigh Anthracite, the No.9 Coal Mine & Museum, which now hosts thousands of visitors each year and visited Jim Thorpe to discuss their ongoing revitalization efforts.
Preventing PA Taxpayer Dollars from Supporting Russian War Criminals
I represent some of the most concentrated communities of Ukrainian Americans in the United States. They’ve been telling me since the Russians first began their unprovoked and devastating invasion that they do not want our state government supporting these war criminals.
According to the 2020 census, Cass Township has the highest percentage of people with Ukrainian ancestry in the United States. Carbon County is also home to the Ukrainian Homestead of ODWU, Inc., an organization dedicated to the celebration of Ukrainian heritage and culture.
State Champion Tri-Valley Softball Team Visits the Capitol
Rep. JoAnne Stehr and I welcomed the state champion Tri-Valley Bulldogs softball team to the Capitol. They’ve won two state championships in the past three years. Congrats on another fantastic season!
Watch my remarks welcoming them to the Senate here.
Reducing Educational Challenges for Children of Service Members
I voted for a bill to reduce the educational challenges faced by children of National Guard and Reserve members. Every person who serves in our military should not have to worry about whether their service will impact the schooling of their children.
Military families face frequent reassignments, posing educational challenges for children transitioning between schools in different states. Senate Bill 209 will give children of National Guard and Reserve members the same help provided to those of active-duty military families.
9/11 Memorial Trail: Biking from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia
This week, I met with the cyclists from the 9/11 Memorial Trail, who are biking from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia right now to honor the heroes who answered the call when our nation was attacked on September 11th.
They’re travelling almost 700 miles in 15 days – I love biking on the D+L and other local trails in Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties, but this is one ride I wouldn’t be able to survive.
On Thursday, they rode from Reading to Pottsville. Today, they’re riding from Pottsville to Lehighton. If you see them, wish them good luck!
EAM-Mosca Expansion to Bring Fifty New Jobs to Hazle Township
EAM-Mosca Corporation held a groundbreaking on Wednesday to celebrate their expansion plans for their facility in Hazle Township. At least 50 new, family-sustaining jobs will be created thanks to their investment. They’ve been operating in Luzerne County for over 40 years.
After the ceremony, I was given a tour of the of the manufacturing floor, where they make automatic strapping systems used in commercial packaging.
Bills to Expand College, Job Training Opportunities Passes Senate
Each year, billions in available student financial aid goes unclaimed. This week, the Senate approved a bill to help more state residents make informed decisions about pursuing college and job training programs.
Senate Bill 750 would require high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines eligibility for federal, state and school financial aid programs. Families who choose not to complete the application could opt out on a form provided to parents or guardians.
This important measure will help to train more young Pennsylvanians for family-sustaining careers that will anchor them in the commonwealth. When they put their roots down here, our state will benefit economically and attract more employers drawn by the skilled workforce.
Happy Independence Day
Next week marks 247 years since the 13 American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia to break free from British rule. As we pause to celebrate the birth of our nation, let us take a moment to remember the men and women who sacrificed so much to create this country.
If you are traveling, check out www.511pa.com, which is free and available 24 hours a day. The site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to traffic cameras.
PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Tuesday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.
Have a safe and happy July Fourth!
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