In this Update:
Senate Hearings on Proposed State Budget Continue
Work on reviewing Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $45.7 billion state budget continued this week with public hearings held by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The proposed plan was announced last month, and the state constitution requires a budget to be enacted by June 30.
The governor’s plan would increase spending by $4.5 billion. Based on projections, this will create a $1.3 billion deficit in the following fiscal year and produce a $13 billion deficit by 2026-27.
Wednesday’s hearing with the Department of Health explored the state of Pennsylvania’s public health systems. Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter testified that many hospitals in urban and rural areas are in danger of closing under the financial strain imposed by two years of pandemic response.
This week’s hearings also covered:
You can find more information on these budget hearings, hearing video, livestreams and more at PASenateGOP.com.
Support and Appreciation Go Both Ways
It was a wonderful gesture by the Hopewell Township Municipality and Police Department to show their appreciation for my continued support of the law enforcement community and greater region.
I have worked to secure funds for the Hopewell Township Police Department, which have been used for purchasing body worn cameras, car cameras, Lexipol policy and procedure training, and tracking and evidence room upgrades. Additionally, I have sponsored the Hopewell Township Flag Memorial that honors veterans who served our country past and present. It has also been my pleasure to host shredding events, which continue to be very useful for local residents, at the municipal building.
I will always support this wonderful community. Thank you for the recent get-together!
Time to Wake Up to the Consequences of Energy Reliance
By relying on other countries for resources that we have in abundance here at home, we allow the United States to become beholden to other countries, countries with leaders who are not motivated to help us or even act with decency.
With President Biden’s war on American energy that has discouraged American oil production, we will never be able to achieve the true energy independence necessary to safeguard the interests of our citizens.
We should be exporting coal, natural gas, and new and innovative technologies that increase energy efficiency. It would import jobs, capital and tax revenue, as well as enhance domestic security.
Read more here about how it is time to demand American energy independence.
New Report on PA COVID-19 Hospitalization and Mortality
From March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, there were 120,329 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania hospitals. Pennsylvania residents were hospitalized at a rate of 91.5 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents. More than half of these admissions occurred from November 2020 through February 2021. There were peaks in admissions in April 2020 (8,391), December 2020 (24,506) and April 2021 (10,641).
While in the hospital, 10.2% of the patients required mechanical ventilation and 12.3% of patients died, while 14.9% were readmitted within 30 days. The average length of stay was 8.1 days. Older residents consistently had higher hospitalization and in-hospital mortality rates. You can read the findings at www.phc4.org.
Honoring the Female Faces of the Front Lines for Women’s History Month: Tell Us Your Story
March is Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is Providing Healing, Promoting Hope, a tribute to the work of caregivers and female front-line workers throughout the pandemic.
In the spirit of this achievement, the Pennsylvania Senate wants to hear the stories of “Female Faces of the Front Lines.” If you are a female medical provider, caregiver, EMS or emergency worker or you know someone who is, we want to hear from you.
Just follow the directions at the link and we’ll share your inspiring story on social media.
Resources to Help with Problem Gambling
March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and resources are available to help with a gambling addiction.
The Council operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at www.pacouncil.com.
Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 13, at 2 a.m., so it’s time again to turn clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.
This is also a good time to check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which should also be replaced every 10 years.
Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 6.
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