In this Update:
New Smethport District Office Open House Set for May 19
I am cordially inviting residents of the 25th Senate District to join me on Friday, May 19, for an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at our new Smethport district office, located at 601 West Main Street, Suite 1, Smethport, PA 16749.
This special event will be held from 2–7 p.m., with the ribbon cutting to begin promptly at 2 p.m. Light refreshments from local businesses will be served.
The people of the 25th District should know that we are here to do everything we possibly can to meet and exceed their expectations both at home and in Harrisburg. My team and I are greatly looking forward to meeting you! Be sure to tell your friends and neighbors.
Available services include helping constituents deal with problems involving state laws, state government or state agencies; assisting residents with PennDOT paperwork, driver’s license and vehicle registration applications and renewals; handicap placards and dead tags (plates); information and applications for senior citizen benefit programs, including Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE/PACENET prescription drug programs; state tax forms; and many others.
The Smethport office can be reached by calling (814)-734-2785. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Environmental Impact Study Targets Acquired for Proposed Low-Altitude Military Flight Training Over PA Wilds
On Tuesday, I sent a letter to Brig. Gen. Jori A. Robinson, 175th Wing Commander, Maryland Air National Guard (ANG) officially calling for a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the proposed Duke Military Operations Area (MOA) low-altitude training over the Pennsylvania Wilds conservation and recreation area.
As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the PA Air National Guard, I am the first to support our military. However, this is a situation where I do not believe the 175th Wing has done its due diligence in examining the impact of the proposal and possible alternatives for flying the low-level training that is proposed.
If this training program is ultimately approved, I believe it should be Pennsylvania citizens, especially the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, who control access to the proposed Duke low-MOA.
Moving forward, I will also be communicating with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania National Guard, federal and local representatives, and other concerned groups regarding this issue.
You can read more about this situation here.
Destination Potter County: Morgan Advanced Materials, Potter County Commissioners
On May 4, I had the opportunity to spend my day traveling through Potter County.
Our first stop was Morgan Advanced Materials (AMT) in Coudersport for a tour that featured an informative PowerPoint presentation about the company’s unique history and present-day facility locations.
Originally established as Pure Carbon in 1959, Morgan AMT has additional facilities operating in Saint Mary’s, PA, Dunn, NC and Atlacomulco, Mexico. With more than 500 employees, Morgan AMT offers very competitive wages, such as a starting salary of $22.17 per hour at the Saint Mary’s plant after a probationary period is completed.
Our tour of the Coudersport facility continued with several impressive demonstrations from electrical discharge machining, pressureless sintering and the use of two different carbons to make products lighter.
We also observed the process of producing armor products, including the ceramic bullet proof plates that armor our military members against enemy fire. There are a lot of my fellow American military members/veterans who owe their lives to the team at Morgan!
Other impressive demonstrations included a 1,380-ton press, an armored truck and trailer for product delivery, and the engineering of robots to move parts from molding turntables to the CNC lathe.
It was truly our pleasure to see such innovation and technology right here in God’s Country. These life-saving products are not just amazing in how they are made, but the purposes for which they are being made.
We are extremally proud to have Morgan AMT operating in the 25th District as a significant contributor to our local economy.
After touring Morgan AMT, we stopped by the Potter County Commissioners office to discuss various infrastructure issues, including funding for the Austin Bridge project; well site injection water quality concerns; potential investors to reopen Denton Hill State Park; and the proposed Duke Military Operations Area (MOA) low-altitude flight training over the Pennsylvania Wilds conservation and recreation area.
While we were there, I also had the honor of presenting a citation commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Potter County American Legion.
Welcome to Your State Capitol
No matter how hectic things can get in the state Senate, I always take time to meet with District 25 residents and other Pennsylvania citizens when they visit our beautiful state Capitol.
This week, I welcomed to Harrisburg Penn State University head football coach James Franklin and members of the always uplifting Capitol Prayer Team.
Senate Acts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Taxpayers and Job Creators
The Senate approved a legislative package to reduce the burden of unchecked government regulations on taxpayers and job creators. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 188 requires regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million to go before the General Assembly for approval before taking effect. The Independent Fiscal Office, rather than the regulating agency, would be tasked with calculating the economic impact.
Senate Bill 190 requires an automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million. The regulating agency must report to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on the effectiveness of the regulation, whether current state laws require the regulation’s repeal or amendment, and more.
Senate Bill 350 requires state agencies to create an accessible website for permit applicants to check their application status. In addition, all the permits issued must be publicly accessible and if rejected, it must state the legal authority the agency relies on to reject the permit application. It also requires that a permit, license or certification is deemed approved by the state if the agency reviewing the application misses its statutory deadline.
Senate Approves Measure to Improve Personal Financial Literacy
To teach high school students the financial basics, the Senate approved legislation that will enable them to make better decisions that lead to a lifetime of success and financial independence. Senate Bill 647 moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Recent estimates show there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and credit card owners average about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion in debt overall.
The bill would give high school students the information they need on topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Measure Boosting Support for PA Veterans Approved by Senate
The Senate passed bills to help veterans start or expand a business, access programs and services available to them, and make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a free lifetime fishing license. All three bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 248 would create the Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program, which would be funded with $5 million of existing dollars from another program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as one in which 51% or more of the organization is owned or controlled by one or more veterans. Veteran-owned businesses in America employ nearly four million workers and generate more than $175 billion in annual payroll.
Senate Bill 447 would establish in law the PA VETConnect program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and helps the commonwealth’s more than 700,000 veterans access programs and services tailored to their needs. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates – including staff at county veterans affairs offices – to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 411 would make it possible for disabled veterans with a 100% disability determination to obtain a free, lifetime fishing license. Free lifetime fishing licenses currently are available only to disabled veterans with a 100% permanent disability determination, and they must apply for a new free fishing license every year.
Legislation Expanding Access to Breast Cancer Screenings Signed Into Law
Recently signed into law, Act 1 of 2023 is a first-of-its-kind breast cancer screening measure that will save Pennsylvanians’ lives.
It eliminates all costs associated with genetic testing and counseling as well as breast MRI and ultrasounds for Pennsylvanians with high-risk conditions like dense breast tissue, a personal history of breast cancer, a family history, a genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Approximately one of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but this law will ensure that high-risk individuals have affordable access to early detection.
Recognizing Police Officers’ Memorial Day
In recognition of Police Officers’ Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, as designated by Senate Resolution 111, the Fraternal Order of Police joined Senate Republicans to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year. The five officers were:
Like so many other members of law enforcement, these officers served and protected their fellow citizens – despite knowing the sacrifices they and their families would have to make. Thank you to each brave man and woman who defend the safety of our communities.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
To all the women who put their family first, thank you for being such a source of strength and support in our communities. Happy Mother’s Day!
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