Senator Cris Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Correction to My Mailed Newsletter
  • Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania
  • Tioga County Awarded $440,000 Grant to Help Build New Emergency Response and Public Safety Training Center
  • Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies
  • Tuesday is the General Election
  • Share the Warmth Campaign Benefits Jefferson County’s Community Action, Inc.
  • Help Close Pennsylvania’s Digital Divide
  • How Are Invasive Species Affecting You?
  • Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night
  • Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

Correction to My Mailed Newsletter

If you haven’t already learned this, one thing you will find out about me is that when I make an error I get it out front.  I recently mailed a newsletter to constituents providing updates on several important issues. In the information about my background, it states I live in Pine Creek, but lists the wrong county. I love my constituents from Clinton County but am a proud resident of Pine Creek Township, Jefferson County.

Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania

New jobs and more investment could be coming to Pennsylvania after the Senate voted to create and expand tax credit programs to support targeted investments in key industries.

The legislation would make new resources available for job growth under the newly established Pennsylvania Economic Development for a Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program. The program will be made up of four components to attract major new investments to Pennsylvania communities.

One of the new programs is the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Tax Credit program, which is designed to support projects requiring a capital investment of at least $500 million. Projects would also be required to make a good faith effort to use the local labor market and create at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.

The bill would also establish a new Pennsylvania Milk Processing Tax Credit program to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. The tax credit would be equal to 5 cents per gallon of milk purchased and processed from within Pennsylvania. The program would also require capital investment of at least $500 million, efforts to use local labor and the creation of at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.

The legislation would also create the Semiconductor Manufacturing, Biomedical Manufacturing and Research. The Tax Credit program tax credits would be split evenly between semiconductor manufacturing and biomedical projects.

In addition, House Bill 1059 would increase the cap on the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, while ensuring tax credits remain available for construction of a smaller project facility in the near future. The bill was sent to the governor for enactment.

Tioga County Awarded $440,000 Grant to Help Build New Emergency Response and Public Safety Training Center

A $440,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants this past week was awarded to Tioga County to renovate and redevelop an old Pennsylvania State Police barracks building in Richmond Township to become the Erick J. Coolidge Center for Public Safety Education, Training and Innovation.

The work will include basic construction and infrastructure repairs and upgrades to create dedicated classrooms for instruction, demonstration and testing, as well as high-tech integration of the first of four immersive virtual reality training labs, a 21st-century distance-learning broadcast and streaming lab, conversion of the old communications center into a “safe room,” and installation of fiber-optic transmission and high-speed broadband throughout the building.

The people involved with this project have been gaining national attention to their out-of-the-box thinking and innovative approaches to training in the Public Safety sphere.

Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies

In the latest effort to help Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services, the Senate passed a comprehensive measure that would provide essential funding and support for these critical first responders.

The assistance is especially vital for volunteer fire companies struggling to recruit members and cover rising costs. As amended by the Senate, the measure would:

  • Put in place a Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program.
  • Establish recruitment, training and retention initiatives – including higher and secondary education partnerships for EMS.
  • Provide financial assistance for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities
  • Increase the maximum amount of fire and EMS grants and allow merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.
  • Provide funding for online fire training.
  • Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online registry of firefighters’ courses. 
  • Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.

The measure was sent to the governor for enactment.

Tuesday is the General Election

The General Election will be held Tuesday, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who are voting for the first time in their election district will be required to show an ID. Acceptable IDs for first-time voters:

  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • Military, student or employee ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
  • Any ID issued by the Commonwealth or federal government

If you are unsure where to vote, you can find your polling place here. You can learn about the voting system your county uses here.

Share the Warmth Campaign Benefits Jefferson County’s Community Action, Inc.

Those donating are encouraged to double their gift by using First Commonwealth Bank’s Share the Warmth website and selecting Community Action, Inc. (Jefferson County, PA) as their designated Community Action Agency. 

Individuals wishing to donate by check and not use the First Commonwealth Bank website may mail checks/money orders to Community Action, Inc., 105 Grace Way, Punxsutawney, PA  15767 and note “Share the Warmth” on the check.  First Commonwealth Bank will match these gifts as well.

Help Close Pennsylvania’s Digital Divide

As part of my ongoing effort to take our local challenges to Harrisburg, I am asking any resident or business to share with our office difficulties with internet connectivity.

I supported a law last year that created the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which is the state’s single point-of contact for the Commonwealth to drive out taxpayer dollars to eligible projects to improve access to high-speed internet in unserved and underserved communities. This authority wants to collect the most accurate data to help fulfil its mission of closing the state’s digital divide.

If you or someone you know lack access to high-speed internet, please let me know by calling one of my offices listed below.  This information will be shared with the authority so resources can be deployed to address this problem.

How Are Invasive Species Affecting You?

The impact of invasive species on Pennsylvania citizens, local governments, businesses and others is the focus of a survey being conducted by the Governor’s Invasive Species Council.

The Invasive Species Impacts Survey will be used to chronicle the effects invasive plants, insects, animals and pathogens are having on land and waterways.

Invasive species include more than 140 invasive plant types, 25 plant diseases, 18 insects, 60 aquatic animals, five bird and mammal species, and more. The survey takes a few minutes to complete and is open through Nov. 13.

Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

With deer becoming more active during the fall breeding season, and the end of daylight saving time putting more vehicles on the road during dusk and dawn when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking motorists to stay alert.

According to insurance statistics, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-58 chance of a vehicular accident involving a big game animal – one of the highest rates nationwide. Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can make a difference.

You can find out more about avoiding collisions with deer and how to report a collision here.

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