Senator Cris Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Robbie Gould Youth Sports Complex
  • Pennsylvania and Arizona meet to discuss election integrity
  • Funding Available for Broadband Deployment Projects
  • State Restrictions on Senior Community Centers Relaxed
  • Langerholc proposes ‘another way’ to fund transportation as alternative to bridge tolls
  • New Law Updates CDL Licensing Requirements
  • Fundraising Option for First Responders, Veterans Groups and Nonprofits Approved by Senate– Legislation Moves to House
  • Senate Sends “Motorcycle Lemon Law” to House of Representatives

Robbie Gould Youth Sports Complex


(Photo courtesy of Clinton County Economic Partnership)

Pro Football player and Clinton County native Robbie Gould was back home recently as the Chestnut Grove Recreation Authority announced a state-of-the-art youth sports complex to be built in Castanea Township will bear his name.

The San Francisco 49ers kicker has been heavily involved in the planning and support of the complex, now known as the Robbie Gould Youth Sports Complex. Gould was a guest at a Clinton County Economic Partnership “Time Out” networking event in Lock haven on Thursday May 27th, where he met and talked with community and state leaders, including Senator Dush, State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz and Clinton County Commissioners Miles Kessinger, Jeff Snyder and Angela Harding.

Construction of the new complex is already underway. The new facility will include six baseball/softball fields, a football complex, playgrounds, family recreational areas, batting cages, and concessions.

You can learn more about the Robbie Gould Youth Sports Complex at https://chestnutgrove.eventlify.com.

Pennsylvania and Arizona meet to discuss election integrity
6/3/21 - Ballot Sample

Arizona and Pennsylvania Legislators with Cyber Ninjas CEO, Doug Logan

Arizona and Pennsylvania Legislators with Cyber Ninjas CEO, Doug Logan

“My team and I have been working to separate fact from speculation regarding the November 2020 election and to find best practices to fix the issues with the electoral process in Pennsylvania.

We’ve been keeping in touch with Arizona legislators who have been part of the ongoing election audit in that state.

I made the decision last week to come to Arizona to see firsthand what they are doing, discovered and the best practices they have this far developed. Senator Doug Mastriano and House Judiciary Chairman Rob Kauffman also made the trip.

We were shown a sample ballot which included a few identifiers on the ballot and when scanned by a computer, if these identifiers aren’t correct, the computer will make an audible sound. In addition, there are other security features which include a serialized QRF code and a unique infrared watermark, just like we see in today’s US currency. I will be working hard to make these a legal requirement for all PA Ballots.

There is so much more work yet to be done to keep the integrity of our election process intact but I believe our trip to Arizona was successful and ultimately it will benefit all Pennsylvania’s and citizens across the United States for years to come.”

The video linked to the first photo above will let you see the enhanced ballot security measures for yourself.

Funding Available for Broadband Deployment Projects

 

Projects that facilitate the deployment of high-speed broadband service infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of Pennsylvania could be eligible for funding through the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program.

The program is open to nongovernmental entities with the technical, managerial and financial expertise to design, build and operate a high-speed broadband service infrastructure. Funding supports projects that can offer access to services that will enhance economic development, education, health care and emergency services.

Applications will be accepted until Sept. 24. Grants will be awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

State Restrictions on Senior Community Centers Relaxed

State Department of Health COVID-19 restrictions for Pennsylvania Senior Community Centers have been lifted, except for mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals for indoor activities and certain outdoor activities.

The state guidance does not prevent centers, municipalities, local authorities or counties from implementing stricter mitigation efforts based on local circumstances.

The Seniors I’ve met with over the past several months have been longing to get back into the centers and other places where they can get “back to normal” and it does my heart good to know they are beginning to do just that.

Senior Community Centers provide meals and offer social activities, informative programs, creative arts, exercise, volunteer opportunities, community services and more. You can find a center near you here. 

Langerholc proposes ‘another way’ to fund transportation as alternative to bridge tolls

User fees for electric vehicles, tighter review of PennDOT spending, and more existing funds directed to highways, bridges, passenger rail and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are among sweeping changes in legislation proposed by state Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Richland Township.

As chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Langerholc unveiled the DRIVE SMART Act Wednesday, at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

The bill’s acronym comes from “Delivering Reforms and Investments for Vehicle Efficiency and Supporting Motor carriers, Airports, Rails & trails and Transit agencies.”

It is being introduced in the Transportation Committee as Senate Bill 555.

The proposals include:

  • Increasing fines for driving with expired registrations and other traffic laws with the most violations.
  • Adding a 3-cents-a-mile fee for electric cars, which would also allow owners to opt for a $400 annual fee.
  • Directing more federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to highways, bridges and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
  • Directing more state funding from the Public Transportation Trust Fund to passenger rail.
  • Having the state treasurer and auditor general look for cost savings at PennDOT.
  • Providing a $2 billion influx to the Interstate Transportation Improvement Program with a low-cost bond through the federal Grant Application Revenue Vehicles program.

I was able to participate today (Friday 6/4/21) with Congressman G.T. Thompson, Senator Scott Hutchinson, Representative Oberlander and members of the Clarion County Chamber of Commerce and other elected officials along with Acting Deputy Secretary Batula and other PennDOT officials in a discussion about the tolling of these bridges. Our local officials are unified in opposition to the tolling of the bridges as are our business leaders. PennDOT is equally adamant in their decision to push forward.

It is my intent to work with Senator Langerholc and other legislators to ensure PennDOT is responsibly using the money they are already receiving and look for the best way or ways to fund our infrastructure needs.

New Law Updates CDL Licensing Requirements

Legislation approved by the General Assembly in November has taken effect extending the validity period of a commercial learner’s permit from 180 days to one year, giving vehicle operators more time to prepare for their skills test.

Making the permits valid longer also means fewer operators will need to extend their permit, which will help decrease customer traffic in driver license centers.

Act 131 of 2020 also updates requirements and restrictions for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, including reporting requirements for convictions and violations. One change disqualifies an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if they are convicted of using a commercial motor vehicle to commit certain forms of human trafficking.

Fundraising Option for First Responders, Veterans Groups and Nonprofits Approved by Senate– Legislation Moves to House

Recognizing that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place a severe financial crisis on numerous volunteer and veterans organizations, the Senate recently approved legislation that will provide a crucial financial lifeline for those vital community organizations.

The measure would allow volunteer fire departments, veterans organizations and other nonprofits to conduct online small games of chance fundraisers and accept payment via mobile payment applications. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Licensees would be required to verify age and residency of those participating, and the ability to fundraise online would end May 1, 2022 or upon the termination of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, whichever is later.

Senate Sends “Motorcycle Lemon Law” to House of Representatives

The Senate recently approved legislation to establish a “motorcycle lemon law” similar to the consumer protections for car buyers provided by the Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law.

It requires manufacturers to repair significant defects occurring in the first year of ownership or 12,000 miles. Currently, motorcycle owners are left to pay out of pocket to repair potentially dangerous manufacturing defects or fix the problem themselves. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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