Feb. 27, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong#  The latest news from the State Capitol
Carbon County Schools Receive Safety Grants

I am pleased to announce that safety grants totaling nearly $756,000 were awarded to school entities in Carbon County this week

The grant awards are as follows:
  •   Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 – $307,321 for school safety officers, training, programming, security planning and equipment.
  •   Jim Thorpe Area School District – $308,507 for security planning and equipment.
  •   Lehighton Area School District – $40,000 for school safety officer.
  •   Palmerton Area School District – $35,000 for security planning and equipment.
  •   Panther Valley School District – $35,000 for assessments, training, security planning and equipment.
  •   Weatherly Area School District – $30,000 for security planning and equipment.

These grants support school security improvements to ensure that students, faculty and staff have a safe learning environment. I am greatly disappointed with the governor’s proposal to drastically reduce funding for this important program in the next fiscal year and will be working to restore it.

The grants were awarded by the School Safety and Security Committee, which was created as part of a comprehensive school safety law passed by the General Assembly in 2018.
Budget Hearings Continue at the Capitol

My colleagues and I on the House Appropriations Committee continued our work to dissect the governor’s $36 billion budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year this week with an eye toward assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of existing programs, eliminating waste and standing up for the taxpayers who foot the bill for the state’s spending.

Several departments with major impacts on the budget and the lives of all Pennsylvanians appeared before the committee, including the departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources, Transportation, Agriculture, Health, and Community and Economic Development.

The final week of hearings is focused primarily on education and human services, the two biggest state agencies in terms of funding. The hearings begin at 10 a.m. Monday with the Department of Education, followed by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

Tuesday brings the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and state-related universities. The Department of Human Services hearing will be held all day on Wednesday, and hearings close on Thursday with the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association and the state budget secretary. Watch the hearings live here.

Click here to view video.
PA’s Cogeneration Industry Focus of Hearing

Last Friday, I joined other area legislators in McAdoo for a very interesting hearing that focused on the economic and environmental impact a proposed cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions would have on Pennsylvania’s cogeneration industry.

Former mining towns in our region are familiar with the harmful impact that waste coal has on the environment – particularly acid mine drainage which pollutes waterways.

For the past 30 years, Pennsylvania’s cogeneration plants have been responsible for safely removing millions of tons of waste coal annually. In addition to getting rid of this pollution source, these plants have utilized the waste coal to create electricity and generate power.
Learn More about Carbon County’s New Voting System

With the Commonwealth’s April 28 primary election about two months away, the Department of State has launched 67 new webpages – one for each county – where voters can learn specifics about their county’s voting system and how to use it.

Each webpage includes a description of a county’s voting system along with photos and videos that guide voters through a step-by-step process of how to use it. The webpages also include accessibility information for voters with disabilities and contact information for county election offices if voters have additional questions. Learn more about Carbon County’s new voting system here.

The county webpages are part of the Department of State’s Ready to Vote 2020 initiative, which aims to educate voters about new voting systems and other changes enacted by the Legislature under Act 77 of 2019. Those changes include:
  •   Vote by mail-in ballot.
  •   Extended periods of time to submit absentee ballots and applications.
  •   Extended periods of time to register to vote.

Free Admission at Several State Museums for Charter Day

Celebrate Charter Day on Sunday, March 8, with free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums, including Eckley Miners’ Village in Weatherly, along the Pennsylvania Trails of History.

In honor of the Commonwealth’s 339th birthday, visitors to the State Museum will have a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681.

Additionally, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 15th Amendment, the Pennsylvania State Archives will exhibit two rarely seen documents: Pennsylvania’s Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery (1780) and the state’s ratification of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1869), which ensured the right of American men to vote, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 13.

For more information about Charter Day activities, including a full list of participating museums and historic sites, click here.
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