Senator Ryan Aument E-Newsletter

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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.

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In this Update:

  • Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania
  • Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies
  • PA Supreme Court: Undated Mail-In Ballots Will NOT Be Counted
  • We Can Teach Children Without Unnecessarily Sexual Content
  • Tuesday is the General Election
  • PennDOT is Hiring: Learn More at Open Houses
  • Congratulations to Local Residents on Their 100th Birthdays
  • Improved Access for Children’s Services in East Hempfield
  • How Are Invasive Species Affecting You?
  • Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night
  • Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

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.

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.

PA Supreme Court: Undated Mail-In Ballots Will NOT Be Counted

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that election officials cannot count undated or incorrectly dated mail-in or absentee ballots.  

I have heard from many of our neighbors who were rightfully concerned about the Acting (unconfirmed) Secretary of State directing counties to count undated ballots, which is in violation of the law.  

This has been an ongoing debate despite the election law signed by Gov. Wolf being very clear: “The elector shall then fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on such envelope.”  

I applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that ensures the rule of law is followed with regard to this section of our state election law.  

You can read more about this ruling here

I was proud to join members of the Senate Republican Caucus in filing a brief in this lawsuit against the Wolf Administration last week, similar to prior briefs we have filed in other litigation on this same question. This is the latest in a long list of actions we have taken to promote election integrity.

A complete timeline of Senate actions to ensure fair elections is available here.

We Can Teach Children Without Unnecessarily Sexual Content

We are robbing our children of the childhood they deserve by forcing overly – and unnecessarily – sexual content on them, particularly when it’s done in school. And yet, some people emphatically insist the only way for children to learn to accept others who are different from them is to not only allow but actually encourage such charged content.

That’s simply not the case. Allowing parents the opportunity to make decisions about what content is age-appropriate and beneficial to their children’s healthy development does not mean they don’t support teaching their children to interact with others with the basic decency we all deserve.

In all reality, using the purported excuse that inundating children with sexual content is the only way to avoid spreading hate is a ridiculous justification of an egregious concept.

In a recent op-ed, I argued that schools should teach students of all backgrounds to be loving and accepting of every individual. Of course, this can be achieved without the use of sexually explicit materials and performances.

Read the full op-ed here.

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.

PennDOT is Hiring: Learn More at Open Houses

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is hosting open houses on the first four Tuesdays in November – Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 – at 4 p.m. at the Lancaster County Maintenance Office, 2105 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster.

The open houses are intended for anyone who is interested in permanent or temporary maintenance positions with the department, including CDL operators (starting pay of $21 per hour). Other positions include transportation equipment trainees (starting pay of $19.38 per hour), diesel and construction equipment mechanics (starting pay of $25.91 per hour), and diesel and construction equipment mechanic trainees (starting pay of $22.33 per hour).

On-the-spot applications, interviews, and driving skills testing will take place. Applicants need to bring their current CDL license. Laptops and staff will be available to help interested participants navigate the application system.

No appointments are necessary; walk-ins are welcome. For more information, please call 717-299-7621.

Congratulations to Local Residents on Their 100th Birthdays

I stopped by Woodcrest Villa in East Hempfield to wish D. Rohrer Eshleman, M.D., a very happy 100th birthday! Dr. Eshleman served as a missionary to Ethiopia for 18 years and then worked at Saint Joseph Hospital in Lancaster until his retirement in 1990.

Best wishes to Betty Mackie, who also recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She taught first through eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse and was employed with the Iowa State Extension as a home economist. She was also active in the community, volunteering with the Girl Scouts of the USA and in her church.

If you would like to obtain a scout, retirement, anniversary, or birthday citation from my office, please use the proper form here.

Improved Access for Children’s Services in East Hempfield

Schreiber Center in East Hempfield Township kicked off its $10 million expansion and renovation project that will ultimately offer patients more therapists and shorter wait times in early 2024.

It will add space for therapy services for children with physical, learning, or behavioral disabilities, including a physical therapy gym, multitherapy suite, and an outdoor therapy garden.

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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