In this Update:
Library of the Senate of Pennsylvania Announces Unveiling of We Remember: Service to the State and Nation 2021, an Annual Exhibition
The Pennsylvania Senate Library is showing its annual exhibition dedicated to sharing the stories of Senate members who served our nation both in their official capacity and valiantly during wartime, according to Senator Dush.
Visitors are welcome to view “We Remember: Service to the State and Nation 2021” at no charge during exhibition hours in the Senate Library, Room 157 of the Main Capitol Building, weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Access may be limited on Senate session days.)
For more information about the Senate Library’s upcoming, current or past exhibitions, please contact The Library of the Senate of Pennsylvania at 717-787-6120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Aging New Reopening Guidance for Senior Community Centers
The Department of Aging has issued new reopening guidance for Senior Community Centers. Senior Community Center COVID-19 Revised Reopening Guidance – Lifting of COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies will be effective June 1, 2021. The guidance has been shared with AAA Directors and is posted on the department’s website: https://www.aging.pa.gov/service-provider-quicklinks/covid-19-provider-guidance/Pages/SCC-Lifting-Mitigation-Strategies.aspx
Dush Announces Blight Remediation Grant for Cameron County
The Cameron County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has been awarded a grant of $43,573 to address a blighted property in the borough of Emporium. “Downtowns are the hearts of our communities, so it is important to keep them beautiful,” Dush said. “I am pleased to see this grant given to the county IDA to help revitalize Emporium’s main street while keeping it safe.”
The project will include the acquisition and demolition of a former mixed-use structure on the main street of the borough’s commercial district.
The grant was awarded to the IDA by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through its Blight Remediation Program.
Honoring Those Who Gave All this Memorial Day
I hope you will join me in taking time this weekend to remember our fellow citizens who gave their lives for our nation. Even with everything that has occurred throughout the last year, we can say we live in the greatest nation on earth. Our independence was hard-won, and defended by those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us never forget what they did for us.
Senate Approves Regulatory Reform Measures to Spur Job Creation
With Pennsylvania’s employment rate lagging behind those of other states emerging from the pandemic, the Senate approved several bills this week to rein in job-stifling regulations.
The bills increase legislative oversight of a process too often influenced by unelected bureaucrats, adding special scrutiny for the costliest proposed regulations.
The bills were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“Any time government exercises its force against the citizens it is an inherently political decision. For over 60 years the legislature has been delegating those political responsibilities to those who don’t get the feedback from The People that our elected officials do.” said Senator Dush. “In my six years in the House and my tenure in the Senate the thing that is most common among the complaints I receive from individual constituents, school districts, townships and boroughs has to do with regulations coming from unaccountable bureaucrats to which the legislature has unwisely delegated these abilities without proper oversight.”
Measures Aimed at Improving Broadband Access Approved
The Senate approved two measures aimed at bringing high-speed broadband service to more areas of Pennsylvania.
One bill would remove regulatory barriers to broadband deployment for landline telecommunications providers. The legislation would require the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to waive certain regulations, review regulations every three years and eliminate those that are no longer necessary or in the public interest.
A second measure would fund access to broadband by using revenue from renting excess wireless capacity on towers, land, and assets owned by the Commonwealth. The bills were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Joint Hearing on Utility Scale Solar Development Set Held on May 25, 2021
The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Chaired by Senator Elder Vogel (R-47) and the Senate Local Government Committee, Chaired by Senator Cris Dush (R-25) held a joint committee hearing on Tuesday, May 25. The purpose was to gather information from testifiers on utility scale solar development in the Commonwealth and related local government ordinances.
Reminder: Changes Coming to Unemployment Compensation System Next Week
The state’s Unemployment Compensation system will complete a major upgrade next week that will require changes in the way that claimants will file for benefits. It is critical for claimants to understand the timeline and new process to file for benefits to avoid any interruption in payments.
The Unemployment Compensation system will be offline from May 30 through June 7 to allow data to be moved from the old system to the new one. No new claims will be processed during this time, and some services will not be accessible during this time. Claimants who are eligible to file a bi-weekly claim from June 3-7 can file May 30 through June 2.
Beginning on June 8, claimants must file for benefits and initial claims at benefits.uc.pa.gov following the same schedule as before. There will no longer be paper forms available; claimants will be required to create a Keystone ID to log into the new UC system. Claimants will still be able to file by phone starting June 10.
More information is available on the Department of Labor and Industry’s FAQ page.
Work Search Requirement for Unemployment Benefits to Resume
The Department of Labor and Industry announced that work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment benefits will restart the week of July 11, with individuals to begin certifying on July 18 that they have looked for work during the previous week.
As pandemic business closures rocked the job market last year, the department suspended the requirement that claimants actively search for work and register with the PA CareerLink database. In January, without legislative approval or input, the department then extended the suspension indefinitely.
With the pandemic easing and employers desperate for workers, the Senate Labor and Industry Committee approved legislation to reinstate the job search and CareerLink requirements earlier. The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
First 2021 “Fish for Free Day” is May 30
Pennsylvania’s Fish for Free Days are scheduled for May 30 and July 4 this year. They allow residents and non-residents to fish on PA waterways with no fishing license, trout/salmon permit or Lake Erie permit required. All other fishing regulations still apply.
It’s a great opportunity for families to try their hand at a new outdoor activity. Learn about where to borrow fishing tackle, where the best fishing waters are, and more, here.
Tips for Safe Boating
This is National Safe Boating Week, time for some friendly reminders on how to have fun on the water this summer: wear a lifejacket, check the weather forecast, let someone know you’re heading out, and don’t drink and boat.
You can find everything you need to know about boating in PA, including boat titling/registering, boating basics, regulations, safety courses and more here.
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