In this Update:
Pennsylvania Farm Show: Jan. 6-13th
As State Senator of a district where agriculture is one of the top industries, I was looking forward to stopping by the Pennsylvania Farm Show this week. To say the 48th district was well represented is an understatement. Hundreds of entries, volunteers, and businesses were from the 48th district.
On Tuesday, I attended the annual Farm Show Foundation’s Scholarship Breakfast. It was exciting to hear that two students from the 48th district are receiving scholarships to further their education. Madison Bomgardner of Annville is a freshman at Penn State University majoring in animal science. James Voight of Fredericksburg is a freshman at Penn State University majoring in aerospace engineering. Madison and James have been long time volunteers in the local agricultural scene and are exhibiting livestock in this year’s show.
Admission is free, and parking is $15 per car. If you plan to attend this weekend, make the most of your trip with the visitor’s guide.
2023 Review: Empowering Parents with Their Children’s Education
Just as Senate Republicans led efforts to help students, we also focused on increasing parents’ involvement in the education of their children. After all, the people who know their child best and love them most should not be barred from playing an active role in their lives in any environment.
We passed a bill to empower parents to protect their own child from accessing sexually explicit content at school, without impacting the books available to other students. Schools should not have the ability to show our children content adults are barred from viewing at their jobs if their parents don’t support it. Another bill would expand parents’ access to what students are learning.
A new law makes it easier for parents to enroll their children in school when they move because of the family’s involvement in the military. It would help students avoid delays that can require them to take summer classes or graduate later than expected.
2023 Review: Supporting Pennsylvania Veterans
Our military members and veterans made the selfless decision to serve our country and preserve the American way of life we hold so dear. The Senate passed several measures in 2023 to support military families and veterans.
Act 13 of 2023 ensures Pennsylvanians entering military service can retain professional licenses and certifications. Previously, veterans had a much more challenging transition from military life to civilian life because certain skills they obtained during the service were not recognized. Now, veterans don’t have to waste time duplicating the training they already received.
Senate Resolution 46 establishes the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care, which will study the unique health care and access issues facing female veterans and make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly for action.
Other measures we passed exempt disabled veterans’ benefit payments from income eligibility calculations for government programs, provide educational support for children of National Guard and Reserves members, establish the Veteran-Owned Business Loan Guarantee Program and more.
Check Out My New Website
I recently redesigned my website to improve its speed, make it more user-friendly – particularly on mobile devices – and give it a fresh look so it is easier for you to get the state-related information you need. My goal is always to make your experience dealing with your government as positive as possible, whether you prefer to interact online or in person.
My offices are available to serve you with all sorts of things, including status reports on legislation, applications for Pennsylvania birth and death certificates, state tax forms, PACE/PACENET applications, voter registration forms and more.
PA Youth: Become a Litter Hawk
Kids in grades kindergarten through sixth grade who want clean places to live and play are invited to become litter hawks to help people see how litter and trash hurt the environment through art, words or video.
Individuals, school classrooms, homeschoolers, scout groups, clubs and other organized groups are all welcome to participate. Prizes will be awarded to two entries per grade. Categories are poster (K-4), essay (5) and video (6). Apply online by Jan. 31, and winners will be announced in May.
Helping First Responders Access Federal Dollars
Federal assistance grants are available to support firefighter and emergency medical service organizations, but only a fraction of the first responders who apply do so successfully.
Giving organizations the information they need to access this critical funding for vehicles, gear and more will help local governments avoid raising taxes to cover the costs associated with keeping our communities safe.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers free webinars about how to apply for funding under the Assistance to Firefighters grant program and workshops covering the Assistance to Firefighters grant program, Fire Prevention and Safety grant program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants. Learn more.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for reflection on his peaceful contributions to the civil rights movement. Many people also spend time honoring Dr. King’s legacy by participating in community service to better their neighborhoods. No matter how we spend the day, let us remember his desire to unify our country as he shared in his historic speech in Washington, D.C. more than 60 years ago.
Friday, January 12, 11am-7pm: Lebanon Valley Mall Community Blood Drive
Tuesday, January 16, 10am-11am: Read with a Ranger
Saturday, January 6-12, PA Farm Show
Saturday, January 13, 1:30pm: Souls of Iron: Program and Book Signing
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