In this Update:
Marking POW/MIA Recognition Day in PA with Retired Pfc. U.S. Army Jessica Lynch
This past week at the state Capitol, I had the great honor to meet retired Pfc. U.S. Army Jessica Lynch, who addressed the state Senate to mark POW/MIA Recognition Day in Pennsylvania, which is every third Friday of September.
On March 23, 2003, while serving in Iraq, Lynch was captured after her unit was ambushed in the town of An Nasiriyah, leaving her severely injured. She was initially listed as missing in action but was being held captive by Iraqi forces. After some time in the custody of the Iraqi army regiment that had captured her, she was taken to a hospital in An Nasiriyah.
My colleague Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37), who joined Lynch and me in the above picture, was part of Marine Task Force Tarawa, which went door-to-door in An Nasiriyah to search for evidence of prisoner whereabouts. After nine days of tireless operations, actionable intelligence was collected and a special forces operation was launched to rescue Lynch. Two weeks later, the remaining soldiers who had been taken prisoner were rescued by marines in Baghdad.
Lynch became the first American POW to be successfully rescued since World War II. Nearly 82,000 Americans are still missing in action today.
Since Iraq, Lynch continued her education, became a mother and teacher, starred in a film and wrote a book. She has dealt with adversity and overcome it with courage and strength – she is an inspiration to me and many others.
Senate Votes to Streamline and Increase School Safety Measures
This week, the Senate passed House Bill 27 to more effectively keep Pennsylvania children safe at school by streamlining and increasing school safety measures.
House Bill 27 would consolidate school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and create a new Executive Committee under PCCD to review school safety issues and to identify current and emerging trends.
The bill would also ensure schools and counties can develop best practices for emergency response by developing a safe schools collaborative, release $100 million that was included in the 2023-24 state budget for K-12 mental health programs and provide greater flexibility for school districts experiencing shortages of substitute teachers. Read More
Tax Seminars Held Virtually and Across PA
Tax professionals can learn about changes to state tax laws and policies during one-day seminars offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue held across the state and virtually.
The tax seminars will educate tax professionals on Personal Income Tax, sales tax corporate taxes, compliance initiatives and using the department’s website to establish tax accounts for new businesses, file tax returns and pay state taxes.
Find a local or virtual seminar here.
Grants Available to Increase Economic Benefits Boaters Offer PA Communities
Communities can apply now for grants to enhance the economic and social benefits of providing convenient boating access along their waterways. Townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments, and nonprofit groups may apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible.
Applicants can seek grants for site acquisition, development, expansion, prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species and rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Eligible construction projects may include boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas and signs. Funds may also be used to make facilities ADA compliant.
While the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will accept applications from anywhere in the commonwealth, special consideration will be given to projects that provide public boating access in the Delaware River watershed. Learn more or apply online by Dec. 30.
Yom Kippur Begins Sunday
Yom Kippur – the holiest day on the Jewish calendar – begins at nightfall on Sunday, Sept. 24. The Day of Atonement, which ends the following day at nightfall, is spent fasting, praying and seeking forgiveness.
I wish everyone who observes this important holiday a meaningful Yom Kippur. May you be sealed in the Book of Life.
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