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:
Do You Support Bringing Primary Election Runoffs to PA?
In recent years, Pennsylvania primary elections have attracted many candidates, often splitting the vote narrowly and allowing one candidate to win with support from only a fraction of voters. Ensuring that candidates who win their primary election are supported by a majority of primary voters will help build consensus in those elections.
A primary election runoff system requires candidates to earn at least 50% of the vote in a primary election. If no candidate receives 50%, then a second (or “runoff”) election is held between the top two candidates. The candidate with the most votes in the runoff election would be declared the winner of the primary and move on to compete in the general election.
Currently, ten states require a runoff in primary elections if candidates do not win with a certain required threshold for victory: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Vermont.
Would you support implementing a primary election runoff system in Pennsylvania?
Tell me what you think by filling out my brief survey question here.
Grant Awarded to Help Fire Departments, Public Safety
I was extremely pleased to join our Lancaster County Commissioners and nine Lancaster County Fire Companies to announce the recent awarding of a $755,550 SAFER grant.
The need for these funds is great, because unfortunately, fire companies often spend more time chasing dollars than fighting fires due to increasing costs and declining membership. The time spent on fundraising is frequently a barrier to new recruits and burdensome for those who have been members for years.
This grant will assist our fire departments with recruitment and retention. I am grateful for all that our first responders do to preserve life, property, and the quality of life in Lancaster County!
Honoring Local Eagle Scout’s Achievement
I recently visited Mountville to present a Senate Citation to Boy Scout Troop 349’s newest Eagle Scout, Pearson Haines. For his Eagle Scout community service project, Pearson constructed a little library at the Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Mountville. He also served his troop as senior patrol leader. Congratulations and best wishes to Pearson and his family!
Senate Republicans Work to Strengthen Pennsylvania
As the 2023-24 legislative session is in full swing, my colleagues and I are working to protect Pennsylvania jobs, empower Pennsylvania families and defend Pennsylvania freedoms. These initiatives are reflected in our agenda, and many relevant bills have already passed.
Protecting jobs requires a multifaceted approach that includes energy independence, workforce development and infrastructure advancement.
Families, not government, are the heart of our commonwealth. To empower families, we must provide healthy and safe communities, address mental and behavioral health needs and guarantee access to high-quality schools.
Defending freedom means keeping government out of citizens’ lives and pockets as much as possible and allowing them to be confident in the election process. To do that, we want to reduce the tax burden, cut government red tape and improve election integrity.
Thank You for a Successful Concealed Carry Seminar
Thanks to all those who came out to join me, Rep. Mindy Fee, Lancaster County District Attorney Mark Fetterman, and Lancaster County Sheriff Chris Leppler for a concealed carry seminar to learn more about your rights as a gunowner. It was great to see such a strong turnout!
Celebrating a New Business in Elizabethtown
I was in Elizabethtown to attend the official opening of The Spot Hometown Deli. It’s exciting to see another terrific new small business open on Market Street. Congratulations to the Cunninghams and their team at The Spot!
Hearing Explores Workforce Challenges in Rural Pennsylvania
The Senate Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing in Williamsport to explore workforce challenges in rural Pennsylvania.
The hearing focused on population decline and labor and housing shortages, and their economic impact on communities and businesses. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania submitted data that showed the stagnation of Pennsylvania’s rural population, primarily due to more deaths than births, and a steady rural labor force decline, which predates the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional testifiers included Acting Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Nancy Walker, area business leaders and others. You can view the hearing and written testimony here.
Farmers Market Vouchers Available to Eligible Seniors
Through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, eligible participants will receive a one-time voucher of $50 (increased from the previous $24) to be used at approved farmers markets to purchase Pennsylvania grown fruits and vegetables. Vouchers are good until Nov. 30.
To be eligible, seniors must be 60 by Dec. 31, live in Lancaster County, and have a household income less than $26,973 for one person or $36,482 for two people. Seniors living in personal care or nursing homes are not eligible.
Vouchers will be available beginning in June for pick up only until they are gone. Click here for specific dates for distribution by each senior center.
Open Road Tolling Coming to PA
Open road tolling is coming to eastern Pennsylvania in 2025 and western Pennsylvania in 2026. It will save the PA Turnpike more than $75 million a year.
Open road tolling is a cashless, free-flowing mode of collecting tolls without traditional toll plazas or tollbooths. Tolls are charged electronically as customers drive at highway speeds without slowing down or stopping beneath overhead structures between interchanges. It allows new access points to be added more easily and at a lower cost, enhancing mobility and reducing traffic.
Find maps and learn more here.
Monthly Appropriations Update Hints at Moderation of State Revenues
Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares an update about the state’s financial health. The most recent report shows that tax revenues in April were $15.3 million below estimate, indicating a potential moderation of state revenues. Personal Income Tax collections were also below estimate: $322 million, which is 10% lower than projected.
For the 2022-23 Fiscal Year, revenue collections remain $1.2 billion higher than estimates, driven largely by corporation taxes that are nearly 19% above projections.
The full update, including the monthly revenue report, is available here.
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