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:
SURVEY: Do You Support Legislation to Help Pennsylvanians Read?
Did you know that almost half of PA fourth graders are reading below grade level? Or that this challenge exists in both urban cities and rural communities across the Commonwealth? In fact, one in five American adults struggle with reading basic sentences, making tasks such as reading the mail, completing tax forms, or even voting nearly impossible.
Research shows that early literacy is critical to academic success and long-term achievement. A strong, evidence-based reading program beginning in kindergarten gives students the best chance at success.
With all that in mind, my question to you is this – would you support legislation to help improve early literacy in Pennsylvania by encouraging schools to use evidence-based reading curricula and requiring universal screening to quickly identify and support struggling readers?
Tell me your thoughts by filling out this brief survey here.
Loans Available for Businesses Creating and Retaining Jobs
Low-interest loans and lines of credit are available to eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities.
The money can be used for land and building acquisitions, machinery and equipment purchases, working capital and accounts receivable lines of credit, multi-tenant facility projects and industrial park projects.
Learn more and apply online here.
Protect Yourself with Free Weekly Credit Reports
The three national credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – permanently extended a program allowing you to check your credit report at each agency once a week for free.
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request free copies of your credit reports. Other sites may charge you or be fraudulent sites set up to steal your personal information.
By reviewing your credit report, you can easily discover if information has been mistakenly reported about you or if someone opened credit in your name. Reporting mistakes and identity theft can help you build a strong credit score that will benefit you when you need to borrow money, secure a rental home and even apply for a job.
Grants for Stream Habitat Improvement Projects
Grant funding opportunities are available to fund stream habitat improvement projects in York and Lancaster counties.
To be eligible, projects must be in York or Lancaster counties and be a habitat improvement or a sediment reduction project. Projects may include stream improvement, agricultural best management practices, and small dam removal projects. Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 15, 2024. This round of projects is expected to be announced in April 2024.
Learn more at Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website here.
Martin’s Country Market’s 40th Anniversary and Grand Reopening
Congratulations to Martin’s Country Market for its grand reopening following extensive renovations! The project included upgraded entrances and the entire façade of the building.
Lauded as Ephrata’s original hometown store, Martin’s Country Market has been an integral part of the Ephrata community for 40 years, and it will continue to offer its quality craft for many more years to come.
New Preserved Farmland in Lancaster County
The State Agriculture Land Preservation Board recently announced the protection of 1,336 acres of farmland spanning 18 farms and 14 counties from future development. By selling their land’s development rights, landowners ensure that their farm will remain in production and never be sold for residential, commercial, or industrial development. Pennsylvania has now protected 6,284 farms and 630,302 acres from development.
Locally, Kirby and Joanna Nissley’s 91-acre crop operation in Manheim has been preserved.
Welcoming Local Reverend to PA Senate
It was an honor to welcome Reverend Jesse North, who serves at Wrightsville Presbyterian Church and resides in Lancaster, to the Pennsylvania Senate to open session with prayer last month. You can listen to his remarks here.
Celebrating Milestone Birthdays in the 36th District
Happy belated 100th birthday to Elizabeth Dilworth! An Elizabethtown resident, she was the beloved wife of Harold Dilworth for 65 years prior to his passing. She is the proud mother of two children and has also been blessed with five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Another Elizabethtown resident, Howard Castor, also celebrated his 100th birthday. Mr. Castor served this country with honor and distinction as a tankerman in the United States Merchant Marine and as a member of the United States Navy during World War II stationed in Japan. He has been married to LaRene Castor since 1952. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Also celebrating her 100th birthday is Thelma Pearson of Landisville. Ms. Perason was employed as a trust tax officer at Hamilton Bank in Lancaster before she retired. She was married to John Pearson for 37 years before he passed and was later married to Edward Walter for 17 years before he passed. She is the proud mother of three children and has been blessed with six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Ms. Pearson served as a Girl Scout leader and a member of the Parent Teacher Association at her children’s school. She also participated in the Senior Olympics where she competed in basketball, softball, and volleyball.
A third Elizabethtown resident, Catharine Olweiler, is also celebrating the momentous occasion of her 100th birthday. Ms. Olweiler worked as a seamstress designing and creating wedding gowns and wedding party attire out of her Lancaster County home for 30 years. The beloved wife of Lawrence Olweiler for 60 years prior to his passing, Ms. Olweiler is the proud mother of five children and has also been blessed with eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Finally, Lancaster resident Ruth Binkley recently celebrated her 106th birthday on November 5! Ms. Binkley was employed with Hamilton Watch in Lancaster, and retired from John Herr’s Village Market in Millersville. An active member of the Stehman Church in Millersville, she served the church as a Sunday School teacher for many years while always opening her home to visitors.
Recognizing National Child Safety and Protection Month
National Child Safety and Protection Month is dedicated to recognizing the dangers children may face and taking steps to prevent those challenges.
We have passed bills to provide child identification kits to parents to help identify and return missing children and to allow parents to surrender their unharmed baby at participating urgent care centers.
Other bills would protect them on their way to school by increasing penalties for drivers who refuse to stop for school buses and extending and revamping the school bus stop arm automated enforcement program.
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