Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.
In this Update:
Don’t Miss My Upcoming Coffee & Conversation Event
I will be hosting a casual discussion about local issues THIS Monday (April 17) from 9-11 a.m. at the Manheim Township Building, 1840 Municipal Drive, Lancaster. Light refreshments, including coffee, will be available. Feel free to drop in any time between 9-11 a.m. Please register here.
Senate Concludes State Budget Hearings
The Senate Appropriations Committee this week finished three weeks of public hearings about the proposed 2023-24 state budget.
Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a $45.8 billion budget that would increase spending by $1.3 billion and all but deplete the state’s Rainy Day Fund in five years.
Among the key points from this week’s hearings:
Workforce issues, the state’s tax structure and the need to help businesses grow and stay in Pennsylvania drove the conversation during the Department of Community and Economic Development hearing.
The Department of Corrections/Pennsylvania Parole Board hearing covered the state’s recidivism rate and declining inmate population. The costs associated with the 750 vacancies in the Department of Corrections – which results in increased use of overtime – and efforts to protect inmates from human trafficking were also discussed.
Questions about how the Department of Human Services is handling reduced federal emergency funding were raised during the hearing. The conversation also covered the Shapiro Administration’s request for state taxpayers to backfill millions of dollars cut by the Biden Administration.
The Senate will use findings from the hearings to craft an alternative spending plan to the governor’s, with the aim of enacting a final 2023-24 state budget.
You can find video and recaps of every budget hearing at PASenateGOP.com.
Happy 100th Birthday to Three Local Veterans
It’s a very special honor to be able to recognize three local veterans for the happy occasion of their 100th birthday. I wish each of them all the best, and thank them for their service to our great country.
Reverend Ross Morrison Sr. of Ephrata is a WWII U.S. Army veteran and a retired educator from the School District of Lancaster. He also served as a Sunday school teacher and an elder. An ordained pastor, he has served as an interim pastor in many rural churches through Village Missions, and he participated in two mission trips to Africa with his wife.
Elizabethtown resident Lewis Griffiths is a veteran of WWII and served this country with honor and distinction as a member of the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Frazee Paint Company in San Diego, California.
Elizabethtown resident and military veteran Charles Ash served this country with honor in both the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy. He retired from the New Cumberland Army Depot as a civilian employee. Mr. Ash was active in the Middletown community when he resided there and is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons.
Local Students Participate in STEM Summit
It was very interesting to witness the STEM Summit, a day-long program held at high schools across South Central Pennsylvania tailored to ninth- and tenth-grade students. The sessions focused on science, technology, engineering, the trades, and math with the goal of inspiring students to pursue STEM for the remainder of their high school courses.
Elementary School Students Visit Our State Capitol
Students from East Petersburg Elementary in Hempfield School District recently visited our beautiful state Capitol building in Harrisburg to take a tour and learn about state government.
I enjoyed visiting at our State Capitol with these fourth-graders from Mountville Elementary School.
If you’re interested in booking a tour of this historic building, schedule now here.
Touring Williamson College of the Trades
My thanks to Joe Portz, an East Hempfield Township resident and Williamson College alumnus, who arranged my tour of Williamson College of the Trades in Media, PA. Learn more about Williamson here.
Discussing My Bill to Reduce the CNI Tax Rate on Local Podcast
I joined Elizabethtown podcast host Denise Grove on her show “Beyond the Chamber” to discuss my newest proposal to accelerate the Corporate Net Income tax reduction. Denise’s show takes listeners beyond the chamber to the heart of the business owner or organization. Listen here or wherever you stream your podcasts.
Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions on April 22
Conveniently remove opioids and other unused medicines from your home on Saturday, April 22, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
More than 13 tons of prescription drugs were disposed of across Pennsylvania in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day held last October.
Find a location to safely dispose of unused drugs here.
Farmers, Help PA Claim Federal Funding
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is collecting responses for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, which impacts funding priorities for numerous programs. Any farmers who have not returned their questionnaires are encouraged to respond by mail or online here.
In addition to directing the use of tax dollars, the census data also informs decisions about policy, farm and conservation programs, infrastructure and rural development, research, education and more.
State Grant Deadline is May 1 for PA College Students
The deadline for students and families to submit their applications for the 2023-24 Pennsylvania State Grant program is May 1. This deadline applies to all renewal applicants and first-time applicants who plan to enroll in a degree program or other college or university (excluding community colleges).
To apply for a Pennsylvania State Grant, applicants must first complete the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants can access the FAFSA online at www.PHEAA.org/FAFSA or www.fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and reduces application and processing errors.
Students and families with questions about the FAFSA or the State Grant Program can call 800-692-7392 for personal assistance.
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