In this Update:
Join Me for Coffee and Conversation
Please join me for my first Coffee and Conversation! Join me on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 9- 10:30 a.m. at Georgie’s Deli and Bagels in Berwick to share with me your thoughts and opinions. This event is free but you MUST RSVP in advance. Please contact Kristy in my Bloomsburg Office by calling or texting 570-784-3464 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you there!
If you are not local to Berwick, please be aware that I am planning to host more Coffee and Conservation events throughout our district.
Senate Advances Key Education, School Safety Budget Priorities
The Senate approved budget implementation language that will drive out critical funding to schools and present a more streamlined approach to school safety.
House Bill 301 allocates funding for several critical priorities that were included in the 2023-24 state budget, including:
The bill would also ensure greater collaboration in keeping children safe in the classroom by consolidating school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which currently manages the highly successful School Safety and Security Grant Program created by Senate Republicans in 2018.
Learn more about other ways the bill helps students and schools here.
Funding for State-Related Universities Approved by Senate
The Senate has voted overwhelmingly to support funding and additional transparency for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities. Because the House then also passed both bills, they are set for enactment.
Under House Bill 1461, general support for Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University would remain at the previous year’s levels. Lincoln University and Penn College of Technology would receive increases of more than $3.2 million.
In addition, the Senate approved House Bill 1556, which would require greater transparency from state-related universities. The bill would ensure the institutions provide additional information in its annual Right-to-Know Law filing, including information related to contracts, financial statements, faculty, compensation, enrollment, courses and meeting minutes.
According to existing law, funding in the bill is directed to provide tuition discounts for in-state students, and universities are required to meet strict financial reporting requirements as a condition of receiving the money. The leaders of the state-related universities support the funding bill.
Legion Post 201 Ceremony Commemorates Veterans
It was a pleasure to join Legion Post 201 this week for its annual Veterans Day ceremony. James May from Congressman Dan Meuser’s office addressed those in attendance. It was an honor to attend such a meaningful event.
Tax Revenues and PIT Collections Above Monthly Estimate
Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares an update about the state’s financial health. The most recent report shows that General Fund tax revenues were $118.6 million, or 3.9%, above the monthly estimate. However, total General Fund revenue collections for the first four months of the fiscal year are still below estimate by $47.5 million.
Personal Income Tax collections exceeded October’s estimate by $35.6 million, or 2.8%, but remain below estimate for the fiscal year by $77 million, or 1.5%.
The full update, including the monthly revenue report, is available here.
Milton School District Program Honors Veterans
I attended Milton School District’s Veterans Day program this week. The high school band, led by Mr. Hewitt, provided patriotic melodies during the evening. I was honored to attend the program and appreciated the opportunity to speak with this special group!
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.
Bloomsburg Parade Celebrates Veterans
Saturday was a lovely day for a parade! It was a pleasure to join Congressman Dan Meuser, State Rep. Robert Leadbeter, and other local officials in the Bloomsburg Veterans Day Parade. It was great to see community members show their appreciation for the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military to defend our freedoms and protect our homeland.
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.
Legion Post 273 Breaks Ground for New Veteran’s Memorial
Congratulations to The Veterans Memorial Committee and Legion Post 273 on the groundbreaking of its new veteran’s memorial! It was an honor to be asked to speak about the importance of this monument. For more information on the project, please visit https://ccveteransmemorial.org/.
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.
New Service Offered Through Northumberland County Register and Recorder’s Office
Attention Northumberland County residents! Northumberland County Register and Recorder Christina Mertz is offering a new service to homeowners and businesses throughout the county. Record Alert System is a new service that will notify the homeowner or business any time a document has been recorded in the office against their name. If you are interested in signing up for this service, please visit this link: www.landex.com/recordalert/northumberland.
For anyone who hasn’t already signed up to receive my e-newsletters, you can get on the mailing list here.