September 5, 2019
In This Edition:
Hearings Explore Rural Broadband Challenges
Access to high-speed internet is a critical part of providing a wide variety of services to communities. Broadband coverage is not just about streaming movies and surfing websites; it plays a critical role in health care, emergency services, education, agriculture, and many other industries.
The Senate Communications and Technology Committee is holding a series of hearings throughout the state this summer in order to take a closer look at the problem and determine what steps should be taken to expand access to high-speed internet to more rural Pennsylvanians.
In addition to exploring how the lack of internet coverage affects industries and government services, the committee is also focusing on finding ways the problem can be resolved without creating expensive new mandates for taxpayers.
More details about the hearings, including video and testimony, are available here.
I was proud to participate in the Mon Valley Opioid Coalition National Night Out to thank our wonderful and dedicated police and first responders for their tireless efforts to protect and serve.
Roundtable Discussions Focus on Preventing Veteran Suicides
We owe all of our veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service. Unfortunately, our men and women in the military are forced to bear incredible burdens. As a result, the suicide rate for veterans is approximately twice as high as the general population.
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee spent the summer holding roundtable discussions on this issue to determine what can be done to reduce the suicide rate among veterans. The discussions focused on federal, state, and local approaches to combat veteran suicide and how to best coordinate efforts moving forward.
I am hopeful that these discussions will result in meaningful action to help some of our country’s bravest citizens. Video and testimony from the hearings is available here.
This week, I attended a conference hosted by the Coalition of Public Safety, a bipartisan coalition of American advocacy groups dedicated to criminal justice reform. I appreciated the great dialogue on a number of issues, including sentencing and prison reform, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to make these goals a reality.
Cable Show Highlights Monongahela 250th Celebration
The most recent edition of my “Focus on the 46th” TV program offers a glimpse at a major milestone for my hometown of Monongahela – its 250th anniversary celebration! The show highlighted the many festivities and attractions that helped ring in the occasion.
The TV show is available below:
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications Still Available
Eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities can still apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2018 through the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
Information and applications for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190. Property Tax Rent Rebate claim forms and more information are also available at all of my district office locations. I encourage local residents to call my office if they have any questions about the program or the application process.
More information on the program is available here.
Special Events Planned for Local Senior Citizens
Seniors in Washington and Greene counties are invited to attend a pair of upcoming events designed to offer information on services available for older Pennsylvanians.
The Washington County Senior Expo will be held on Thursday, September 26 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Washington Crowne Center, and the Greene County Senior Fair is scheduled for Friday, October 4 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
Additional details on both events are available below.