Senator Culver E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Republicans Work to Strengthen Pennsylvania
  • Local Projects Being Funded with Gaming Revenues
  • Local Company Celebrates 50 Years of Service to Our Community
  • Business Opens New Local Corporate Office
  • Hearing Explores Workforce Challenges in Rural Pennsylvania
  • Open Road Tolling Coming to PA
  • Monthly Appropriations Update Hints at Moderation of State Revenues
  • Win $5,290 to Celebrate 529 Day
  • National Safe Boating Week: May 20-26

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.

Local Projects Being Funded with Gaming Revenues

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) this week announced it has authorized state grant funding for projects in communities in Luzerne County.

These local share account grants support projects in our communities to benefit local residents. This funding will help improve our region, communities and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life for the people in our districts.

The grants awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) today are as follows:

  • Butler Township – $51,978 for police equipment including a drone, phone data collector and mobile speed trailer;
  • Nescopeck Borough – $26,467 for borough building improvements; 
  • Nuangola Borough – $83,400 for the replacement of collapsed storm water culverts on North End Road;
  • Rice Township – $190,269 for costs related to creating a new township recreation facility, municipal building and police station;
  • Salem Township – $95,560 for two new police vehicles;
  • Shickshinny Borough – $100,852 for the demolition of two blighted properties;
  • Slocum Township – $110,000 for the continued construction of a new fire station;
  • Sugarloaf Township – $250,042 for improvements at LaRock Recreational Field; and
  • Wright Township – $100,000 for the repaving of South Church Road.

Funding for the projects is being provided through the CFA – LSA Luzerne County Program, which uses gaming revenue from Mohegan Pennsylvania to support projects in the public interest across Luzerne County.  The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency to administer some of the Commonwealth’s community and economic development programs. 

Local Company Celebrates 50 Years of Service to Our Community

I presented a Senate citation this week to Dave and Gene Zartman of Zartman Construction, which is headquartered in Northumberland. Since 1973, the organization has been regarded as one of the finest full-service companies in the industry, serving central and eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

Gene Zartman founded the company and the current day-to-day management is handled by Gene’s son, David, resulting in a 50-year construction history that has been passed from father to son. With an average of 130 full-time employees, Zartman Construction has grown tremendously since its founding.

Congratulations to the Zartman family and all of their hard-working employees!

Business Opens New Local Corporate Office

I participated this week in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at LB Water, which opened it’s new corporate office at 550 S. High St., Selinsgrove.

The building housing the new corporate office is known as the Founders Building. We welcome this company’s new office to our community and wish its owners and workers the best of luck!

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.

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.

Win $5,290 to Celebrate 529 Day

May 29 is 529 Day, and the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is celebrating with the opportunity to win financial awards for new PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) account owners.

The PA 529 GSP allows you to save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs. PA 529 plans have state and federal tax advantages and can be used for a wide variety of qualifying technical, collegiate and apprenticeship educational expenses.

One new PA 529 GSP account owner will be awarded a $5,290 GSP contribution – enough to cover a year of tuition at a Pennsylvania Community College. There will also be 10 additional regional winners across the state who will each receive a GSP contribution of $2,529.

To be eligible for awards, open a new PA 529 GSP account with at least $10 before May 31. Beneficiaries must be Pennsylvania residents and may not already be the beneficiary of an active PA 529 GSP or PA 529 Investment Plan account. Additional conditions apply; read the official rules here.

National Safe Boating Week: May 20-26

National Safe Boating Week reminds all boaters to brush up on boating safety skills and prepare for the boating season.

In recognition of Safe Boating Week, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering free events to introduce people to boating, paddling and kayaking. Learn more here.


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