In this Update:
Join Me Thursday for Our District Office Open House in Shamokin Dam
You’re invited to join me and my staff Thursday, Jan. 11, from 1-3 p.m., for an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at our new Shamokin Dam district office.
The Shamokin Dam district office is in Suite 1 at 48 Orchard Drive, located on the side of the UNB loan office in front of the Orchard Hills Plaza along Route 11 and Route 15.
I’m inviting local residents to attend our open house, see our office and learn about the help we can provide with state government programs and services. Our Shamokin Dam office is strategically located within driving distance for many residents of the 27th Senatorial District.
Open house attendees will be able to speak with us about state government programs, services and issues. They also will learn how we can expedite issues or problems attendees may be experiencing with state government agencies.
We can help residents apply for various state programs, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; obtain information about state laws and pending legislation; expedite issues with state agencies; receive copies of birth and death certificates; submit PennDOT paperwork; learn about and apply for military benefits; gather information about financial assistance for higher education; and access state government benefits and assistance.
I hope to see you there!
Join Me for Coffee and Conversation Jan. 18 in Herndon
You’re invited to join me at a Coffee and Conversation event I’m hosting on Thursday, Jan. 18, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Home Towne Café, Herndon, where you can share your thoughts and ideas about state government.
Light refreshments will be available for participants. Home Towne Café is located at 4144 state Route 147.
I held similar events in other parts of our district – like the one in the photograph above from our Coffee and Conversation gathering in Berwick – and enjoyed the discussions with local residents.
I will be joined at the Herndon event by special guest State Rep. Joanne Stehr.
To participate, please RSVP by Jan. 16 by calling 570-743-1918 or emailing TCampbell@PaSen.Gov.
Honoring Decades of Service to Point Township Residents
It was an honor to present certificates of recognition this week to two gentlemen from Point Township. James Neitz and Joseph Stender have each served the township for more than 20 years and Mr. Neitz has dedicated more than 50 years of service. Thank you both for your work and service to the area.
Monroe Marketplace State Liquor Store to Temporarily Close Beginning Next Friday
The Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store located in Monroe Marketplace in Selinsgrove will temporarily close beginning next Friday due to prescheduled maintenance work. The store will remain closed a little more than a week.
The store, located at 244 Marketplace Blvd., will close Friday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. and is scheduled to reopen Monday, Jan. 22, at 9 a.m.
The store is being closed so a waste line can be replaced.
You can use the store locator tool on the Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store website to find a nearby alternative.
Giving Students the Tools to Succeed
The passage of the 2023-24 state budget reflects important Senate Republican priorities, including helping students by dedicating an additional $567 million to Basic Education and an additional $150 million for education tax credits to provide scholarships to students so they can learn in an education environment that best suits their needs.
We also ensured greater collaboration in keeping children safe in the classroom by consolidating school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The commission already manages the highly successful School Safety and Security Grant Program created by the Senate in 2018.
As mental health needs continue to rise, we allocated $100 million for K-12 mental health programs for schools so children have the basic foundation to succeed educationally.
Department of Agriculture Avian Flu Discussion
This week, State Rep. Joanne Stehr and I spoke with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary for Animal Health, Lisa Graybeal, and others about proactive steps being taken against the avian flu.
Helping Pennsylvanians at the Pump
After automatically rising last year due to inflation, the 2024 Pennsylvania gas tax will return to 2022 levels.
Last year, the average wholesale price of gasoline exceeded $2.99 per gallon, which triggered an automatic increase in the gas tax. Knowing how Pennsylvanians were already struggling with skyrocketing inflation, the Senate passed and sent to House of Representatives legislation last January to end these inflation-based, automatic gas tax hikes. This legislation is pending action in the House.
Reducing the Tax Burden
As part of the state budget, the legislature voted to reduce the tax burden. One initiative would address a barrier to employment for working families by giving parents additional support to continue to seek and maintain employment.
The legislation also exempts Dependent Care Assistance and Flexible Savings Accounts, which are used to cover health care expenses, from the state Personal Income Tax. They were already exempt from federal taxes.
Finally, it helps counties and municipalities avoid raising taxes on their residents. It increases the payment made for state-owned property dedicated to outdoor recreation to $2.40 per acre to be paid from the State Gaming Fund. Previously, open spaces for the public’s enjoyment were more of a financial burden because they aren’t owned by businesses or individuals.
Officiating Opportunities Available Throughout PA
If you would like to help your community more this year, there are lots of opportunities to make a huge difference in the lives of student-athletes.
There’s a shortage of referees, umpires and other high school officials in almost every sport. High school officials protect the integrity of the games our kids love to play by demonstrating qualities like honesty, objectivity, consistency and courage.
Hours are flexible, and it’s a great way to stay in good physical condition. Find out how to become an official.
Recognizing Law Enforcement in Our Communities
Tuesday, Jan. 9, is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Protecting our communities is a dangerous and demanding job, but men and women across the state answered the call to public service. They leave their families not knowing if they’ll need to give their lives to keep us safe.
I appreciate their selflessness and commitment to others and was proud to vote for legislation to help them.
Act 60 of 2023 expands the list of law enforcement entities covered under the Heart and Lung Act, which provides for salary and medical expenses to be paid when an officer or firefighter is injured on the job. Other new laws passed by the Senate allow municipal police to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants and funds an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer.
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