In this Update:
Job Fair Announcement
The past year has been difficult for Pennsylvanians and our small business owners. Businesses are struggling with getting fully staffed and operating at full capacity.
I am happy to join my colleagues in bringing together job seekers and prospective employers, for a Job Fair on Monday, August 16, 2021, from 4-7 p.m. at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center-North Hall.
Job seekers do not need to register. Businesses that would like to reserve a booth, can register at https://senatorgebhard48.com/jobfair or call Jamie at 717-838-3823.
Election Review Plan
It was only 6 months ago that I began the journey seeking the 48th Senatorial District seat. One of the biggest concerns repeatedly stated from the residents of the district was the overall lack of faith in our electoral system. The issues in recent elections have only further sowed seeds of doubt throughout our communities and the electoral process.
Procedures of government are rarely perfect and should be constantly evaluated to ensure efficiency and accuracy. As the Pennsylvania Senate Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, of which I am a member, begins reviewing the results of the previous elections, I am excited for the opportunities this will provide to deliver clarity, transparency and help restore faith in our elections.
This is part of a process to continue to improve our electoral system here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Springettsbury Township Green Light-Go Grant
Springettsbury Township, York County, will receive two state grants to improve traffic safety under Pennsylvania’s “Green Light-Go” program, according Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48).
The first grant, in the amount of $313,656, will be used for signal retiming, updating pedestrian accommodations to meet ADA standards, controller equipment upgrades and equipment upgrades at the Eastern Boulevard and Northern Way intersection.
The second grant, in the amount of $293,416, will be used for the same purposes at the Eastern Boulevard and Kingston Road intersection.
Springettsbury Township was among 50 municipalities statewide sharing more than $15.6 million in the current round of Green Light-Go funding. The program provides funding to install light-emitting diode (LED) technology, perform regional operations such as retiming, develop special event plans and monitor traffic signals, as well as upgrade traffic signals to the latest technologies.
New Funding to Support Housing Development Programs in Lebanon County
GCC, Inc. dba Paulhus & Associates, through Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, was approved for a 15-year, $296,500 loan at a 1.5 percent reset rate to assist in the purchase of a 4,460-square-foot property in Annville Township.
The property will provide a more suitable building to meet their business needs and growth initiatives. The total project cost is $593,000, and the company has committed to retain eight and create three full-time jobs at the project site within three years.
Parents have until July 15 to Choose Additional Year of Education for their Child Following Pandemic Disruptions
Parents have until July 15 to take advantage of a new state law empowering them to decide whether their children should advance to the next grade level or be held back a year due to learning disruptions created during COVID-19.
Parents who wish to pursue the additional optional year of education for their children must complete and return a standardized form to their school district by the July 15 deadline. This allows school districts enough time to plan for changes in class sizes for the upcoming school year.
The additional optional year of education was provided by the newly enacted Act 66 of 2021. The option would only apply to the 2021-22 school year to help manage learning loss caused by the pandemic.
2021-22 State Budget in Detail
Last week, I reported that the Senate approved a 2021-22 state budget that holds the line on taxes, supports Pennsylvania’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a financial safety net for the future.
This year’s budget was unlike almost any other given the amount of pandemic recovery federal funding involved. The goal was to drive state and federal funds to where they are most needed, while holding back money to balance next year’s budget responsibly. You can take a closer look at the spending plan here.
Bills of Note Passed by the Senate in 2021
Legislation giving citizens a voice in disaster response and protecting the vulnerable during the pandemic received the most attention this year, but the Senate tackled many more issues in the first six months of the two-year legislative session.
From strengthening schools, to reducing regulatory burdens, improving health care and more, here’s a roundup of notable bills passed by the Senate in 2021.
Bipartisan Task Force Recommends Steps to Improve Juvenile Justice System
The bipartisan Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Task Force recently released a comprehensive final report with policy recommendations that protect public safety, increase accountability, achieve savings for reinvestment, and improve outcomes for youth, families and communities.
The 30-member task force assessed the state juvenile justice system and reviewed data from court and state agencies and examined how practices can better align with what research says works to improve outcomes for youth and families. The task force received input from more than 500 stakeholders.
If adopted, the policy recommendations are expected to safely reduce the population of young people in out-of-home facilities by 39% by 2026, freeing up nearly $81 million for reinvestment.
Avoiding Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest statistics (2019), Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of confirmed Lyme disease cases.
The best way to avoid it is to avoid tick bites. Some tips:
You can read more about how to avoid tick bites, as well as how to spot Lyme disease symptoms and other related topics, here.