Mar. 06, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong#  The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Hearings on Governor’s $36 Billion Budget Proposal Conclude


The House Appropriations Committee concluded its in-depth review of the governor’s budget proposal this week with a focus on education and human services, the two biggest state agencies in terms of funding.

As was the case in the prior two weeks of hearings, my colleagues and I on the committee drilled down on the estimated $1 billion in overspending in various areas of the current year’s budget, working to identify areas of mismanagement by the administration as well as items that could or should have been anticipated during the budget negotiation process.

With the hearings concluded, we can now move forward with developing a state budget that funds the core functions of government while also being respectful of the taxpayers who foot the bill. Learn more about the spending plan here.

During Monday’s hearing, I asked Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera about the billion-dollar proposal to remove asbestos and lead from some Pennsylvania schools. Is that really fair to taxpayers in districts that have already completed these remediation projects? You can watch the exchange in the video below.
 
 
Click here to view video.
 
 
State Loan Approved for Local Project

This week, Palmerton Site LLC was approved for a $2 million low-interest state loan to go toward construction of its new 17,000-square-foot building in Palmerton. The loan application to the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority was made through the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.

The $5 million building will make quality health care more accessible for Palmerton and surrounding communities, providing access to St. Luke’s University Health Network physicians, medical procedures, physical therapy and laboratory services. St. Luke’s expects to create 50 full-time jobs and retain 25 jobs at the new location.
 
 
Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expands

A dozen counties have been added to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This brings the total quarantine zone to 26 counties, more than a third of the state’s 67 counties. Carbon County was previously included in the quarantine zone.

The counties added this week are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county out of an abundance of caution. The new counties in the quarantine zone include Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry and York.

Businesses that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a Spotted Lanternfly permit; fines associated with noncompliance can be up to $300 for a criminal citation or up to $20,000 for a civil penalty.

Learn more here.
 
 
New Ice Rink Dedicated in Jim Thorpe

 

Our office was happy to take part in Monday’s dedication ceremony for the Sam Miller Field Ice Rink in Jim Thorpe. The Jim Thorpe Community Athletic Association hosted the event, which included players from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The rink opened earlier this year and provided free ice skating to the public when the weather cooperated. The project was funded through donations from local businesses and individuals.
 
 
Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is now accepting applications for its summer employment program. Available positions include toll collector, maintenance, clerical, engineering and information technology.

All eligible applicants must be at least 18 years of age and completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. Applicants will also be subject to a Pennsylvania criminal background check screening. Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays on the basis of a 40-hour week. The pay is $12 per hour for toll collectors, maintenance and clerk positions. It is $14.50 per hour for engineering and information technology positions.

The summer employment program runs between May 1 and Sept. 30. Those who participated in the program previously must re-submit an application for consideration.

All applications MUST be submitted online at www.paturnpike.com/employment, and applications should select “SUMMER WORK” in the first step of the registration process. 
 
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RepHeffley.com
Office Locations
204B Bridge St., Weissport, PA 18235 | (610) 377-6363
2681 State Route 903, Unit 3, Albrightsville, PA 18210 | (570) 722-8700
Room 420 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202122, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2122 | (717) 260-6139
Email: dheffley@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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