I am pleased to present my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 21st Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
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I also want to extend my best wishes for a bountiful and healthy new year.
Recognizing Local Farm Show Scholarship Winners
I was pleased to present Senatorial Certificate of Commendations to three local students who were selected to receive 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarships.
John Anderson of Emlenton, Venango County, is a student at Penn State – Behrend Campus.
Annah Burke of Pleasantville, Forest County is a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford Campus.
Dori Kralj of Emlenton, Venango County, is a student at Iowa State University.
Senate Begins 2019-20 Legislative Session
The Senate opened the 2019-20 Legislative Session with a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 1. Now that the festivities are done, it is time for the Legislature to get ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work for the people of Pennsylvania.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati recently reappointed me to serve as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Economic development and job growth are my legislative priorities as Finance Chairman. The state tax code and the mix of revenues which fund state government are the main purviews of the Finance Committee. As such, comparisons of the types, provisions, and mixes of taxes with other locations are key components of job competitiveness and business investment.
I am very much interested in financial issues and I will work to continue to improve the jobs climate in Pennsylvania. We need to look for ways to make Pennsylvania more competitive in the national and international marketplace. We must find ways to promote business opportunities that lead to job creation.
I was also appointed by Senator Scarnati to serve as Vice Chairman of the Senate Communications & Technology Committee and as a member of the Environmental Resources & Energy, Health & Human Services, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness committees for the 2019-20 Legislative Session.
Clarion River Named 2019 River of the Year
I am extremely pleased to report that after a recently completed online competition the Clarion River was voted the state’s 2019 River of the Year. A total of 14,790 votes were cast with the Clarion River receiving 5,850; Delaware River, 4,748; Lackawanna River, 2,852; and the Conodoguinet Creek, 1,340.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers will work with the Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs (WINs) Coalition to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Clarion River as the 2019 PA River of the Year.
As acting fiscal agent for the WINs Coalition, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, will receive a $10,000 grant to help fund a slate of year-long River of the Year activities.
The WINS Coalition is a network of 35 organizations, including members from non-profits and local watershed groups, as well as county, state, and federal agencies, all of whom will plan and coordinate the celebration events to be held throughout the year. The WINS Coalition was formed in 2007 with the goals of protecting, restoring, and improving habitat in watersheds throughout the Allegheny National Forest.
Game Commission to Recruit New Game Wardens
The Pennsylvania Game Commission will soon be recruiting a new class of State Game Warden Cadets.
The State Civil Service Commission will post a job announcement around January 28 under the title of “wildlife conservation officer” for prospective cadets at www.employment.pa.gov. The application period will remain open until February 23, or until 1,000 applications are received.
The class will report for training in March 2020 and graduate in 2021. The Game Commission is seeking up to 35 qualified candidates who have genuine interest in becoming State Game Wardens.
For more information about the position and how to apply visit www.pgc.pa.gov and click on Information & Resources, then Careers and Volunteers.
PENNDOT Snow Plows Can Be Tracked Online
After several years ramping up, online tracking of all PENNDOT snow plows is possible this winter on 511PA.com to plan your travel on interstates and expressways. PENNDOT winter operations use more than 2,248 trucks, plows, and salt spreaders across nearly 95,000 snow-lane miles. To use, click the “Plow Trucks” box above the state map at https://www.511pa.com/.
State Police Release New Year’s Holiday Weekend Results
The Pennsylvania State Police arrested 406 people for driving under the influence during the four-day New Year’s holiday enforcement period from Dec. 29, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2019. The total is an increase from the 284 DUI arrests made over the three-day holiday weekend last year.
Troopers investigated 642 crashes over the long weekend, compared to 1,169 crashes last year. Of the collisions investigated, 64 involved alcohol, 155 people were injured, and four people were killed in four fatal crashes. One of the fatal collisions involved alcohol.
In addition to DUI enforcement, troopers issued 6,370 speeding citations, 476 seat belt citations, and 115 child safety seat citations.
Crash and enforcement data by troop is available here. These statistics cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.
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