In this Update:
Senate Backs Israel, Condemns Hamas
Following the murderous attacks of innocent people by the terrorist group Hamas, the Senate approved a resolution condemning Hamas’ Oct. 7 carnage.
Senate Resolution 185 shows Pennsylvania’s support of the Jewish people as they defend against this terrorist threat. It says that we stand “firmly with the people of Israel and their right to defend themselves.” It labels the attacks by Hamas as “shocking, barbaric and evil,” further adding they “amount to war crimes of the worst kind.”
The resolution further stipulates, “Israel has every right to defend itself with all due force” and noted Pennsylvania’s “special relationship” with Israel since the country declared independence in 1948.
Happenings in the 46th
Avella School District is the last district in the Commonwealth to not have public water in their schools and last week they broke ground on a $20 million water main extension project that will bring reliable drinking water and fire service to the school district.It is wonderful when a public/private partnership can come together like this to make our communities safer, stronger, and healthier.
Thank you to Pennsylvania American Water, Cross Creek Township, Washington County Board of Commissioners, State Representative Josh Kail, Avella School District, and the Avella Marching Band for making this such a special day. Thank you for allowing me and my office to play a role in this project.
With the continued investment of Kinetic by Windstream and the Greene County Commissioners securing state and federal funds, broadband services are rolling out all across Greene County.
This week’s ribbon cutting marks the rollout and installation of broadband access to more than 700 homes and businesses in the Graysville, New Freeport and Spraggs areas. The total investment to date is more then $6 million and the dedication and unwavering support of local, county, state and federal leadership has made this all possible.
Thank you to Susan, Jeanne and the entire Kinetic team for all of your hard work – whether constituent concerns or permitting issues, it is a pleasure to work with you both in the district or in Harrisburg. Thank you to the Greene County Commissioners Mike Belding, Betsy McClure and Blair Zimmerman and to the folks at Springhill Township for hosting this week’s special celebration.
This week the Greene County Chamber of Commerce hosted the PA Chamber of Business and Industry Alex Halper in Waynesburg. The legislative panel included county, state and federal representatives and discussions on funding opportunities as well as greater certainty on permitting when supporting economic development in Greene County and all of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Thank you to Mel and her team at the Greene County Chamber for hosting and to Alex for making his annual trip to the 46th District.
The Annual Greene County Association of Township Officials Convention was also held this week. Our township officials share a vital role in the betterment of their communities and the great work being done to support a strong infrastructure plan, as well as a shared desire for growth and development.
Thank You to the good folks from PA State Association of Township Supervisors who presented and supported the event. The trade show, workshops and legislative updates provide great tools for the township officials to take back to their respective communities. Thank You to Dawn Horr from Center Township for all of her hard work and dedication to making this event a great success.
Recognizing a Young Leader in our Community
Earlier this week an incredible young lady visited the Capitol as my and State Rep. Jason Ortitay’s esteemed guest. Hope Carmona, a graduate of Canon-McMillan School District, leads by example in the community and is a role model both academically and athletically. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Hope was integral in not only starting the first recognized womens wrestling team in Southwestern PA but also winning the state title this year. She has also earned letters in cross country and track.
If all of this wasn’t impressive enough, she also made history as the first female in Southwestern PA to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
It was truly an honor to have you, your father Carlos, your mother Beth, and your brother Dakota join us. You made quite an impression on the Senate. Thank you to Coach Brian Krenzelak for connecting me with Hope. Please watch my Senate floor remarks on Hope by clicking the thumbnail.
Senate Advances Critical Support for EMS, Hospitals and Nursing Homes
This week, the Senate approved legislation advancing critical public health components of the budget process.
Passage of House Bill 1351 addresses the crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensures Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.
Bill Enhancing School Bus Safety Receives Senate Support
The Senate passed a bill to improve school bus safety by increasing penalties for those refusing to follow the law.
Senate Bill 897 would give judges the discretion to increase fines above the current $250 for refusing to stop for a school bus when red lights are flashing or a stop arm is extended. It would also require repeat offenders to complete a PennDOT Driving Improvement School. Additionally, it would establish a new penalty for individuals who fail to proceed with caution past a school bus with flashing amber lights.
According to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, approximately 1,000 drivers annually are convicted of passing a stopped school bus with signals flashing. Many more citations are issued without resulting in a conviction.
Grants Available to Ready PA for New Businesses
To attract and retain more businesses in the commonwealth, PA SITES (Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites) will make $10 million in grant funding available to help locations become “shovel ready.”
Eligible projects must be in Pennsylvania and support the development of competitive sites. These include undeveloped sites and sites that were previously utilized or underutilized – such as former industrial, commercial, military, school, or hospital sites or buildings.
Municipalities, economic development organizations, redevelopment authorities, municipal authorities and industrial development agencies may apply for the funding here through Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Last Chance to Register to Vote in the Nov. 7 Election
If you wish to vote on Election Day on Nov. 7, you must be registered to vote by Monday, Oct. 23.
There are four ways to register to vote: online, by mail, in person at your county voter registration office and at PennDOT and some other government agencies.
Find the details about each of these methods here.
Recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
In October, we focus on staying safe online by taking steps to protect personal data. Simple steps you can take include using strong passwords, using multifactor authentication, recognizing and reporting phishing, and updating software.
My colleagues and I are also working to put measures in place that will better shield you from online threats. Senate Bill 565 would protect students’ personal data from unauthorized or inappropriate disclosure.
Other legislative measures would safeguard the state’s online assets. Senate Bill 563 would establish that commonwealth agencies have strong capabilities in place to discourage, combat and recover from ransomware attacks. Senate Bill 284 would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The OIT would create a strategic plan for future IT projects across state government, as well as manage and maintain all future IT procurement within state agencies.
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