Nov. 11, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Thanking Our Veterans

Throughout the nation today, communities will mark Veterans Day with a variety of parades, ceremonies and dedications.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, first marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and sought to honor the veterans of the World War – the only world war to have occurred at that time. Armistice Day was declared a national holiday in 1938 to acknowledge world peace, and then renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to celebrate the contributions of veterans of all wars.

For more about the history of Veterans Day, click here.
 
 
Briefing on Election Security

I joined my York County colleagues at PEMA for a briefing on election security with state agencies and Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

I had the opportunity to share some of the election issues York Countians faced with the county’s new voting machines with the Department of State and Acting Secretary Kathy Brookvar. I know many people had issues voting on Tuesday. My office has fielded several calls on the issue.

If you encountered problems, I urge you to file a complaint with Pennsylvania Department of State by clicking here.
 
 
New Law Supports #GoodJobs4PA

Following through on our commitment to improve career and technical education (CTE) through our #GoodJobs4PA legislative package, a new state law will make the most significant reforms to our CTE laws in more than three decades.

Act 76 of 2019 will help ensure our students are better prepared for success in the workforce while at the same time attracting employers and economic development to the Commonwealth.

To ensure students are well informed about their choices, the law expands an online database of articulation agreements so students know what courses may transfer between higher education institutions and requires schools to give equal opportunity to both college and career presenters at career fairs. The measure also requires the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, with assistance from the Department of Education, to conduct a survey to determine the number and types of workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions.

To support CTE programs financially, Act 76 sets into law guidelines for CTE equipment grants and establishes the Schools-to-Work Program within the Department of Labor and Industry to provide grants to pre-apprenticeship programs for the purpose of establishing or enhancing workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations to create employment and training pathways.
 
 
Extra, Extra! Column Published

I recently wrote a column on the need for the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass a Taxpayer Protection Bill. You can read an excerpt of it below or click here to read it in full.

“I’ve written and spoken about Pennsylvania’s budget many times. We know the issues; there is never enough money regardless of how much revenue is generated and Pennsylvania’s spending perpetually outpaces the economy of our state. What does that mean? It means the state is spending at a level that exceeds our taxpayers’ ability to pay. While spending advocates try to justify to lawmakers why a 5%, 6% or 7% increase is needed for a specific program, they never acknowledge the fact that the average Pennsylvanian’s spending capacity only increased by approximately 2.3% during that same time. The question remains, how do we force elected officials to control spending and be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars?

“There’s a great first step that Pennsylvania could take, and it’s called the ‘Taxpayer Protection Act.’ This legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to limit the growth of future spending in relation to the combined rate of inflation and population growth over a three-year period. The Taxpayer Protection Act would allow the General Assembly to exceed this limit in a given year with a two-thirds supermajority vote of both houses, for certain extraordinary circumstances. The legislation, House Bill 110, which I co-sponsored, was sponsored by Rep. Ryan Warner, last session and passed out of the House. Unfortunately, House Bill 110 died in the Senate Appropriations Committee, failing to receive any action. Sen. Camera Bartolotta sponsored a similar bill, Senate Bill 173, last session as well, but the Senate never allowed the bill to come to the floor for a vote.”

 
 
Meeting with Local Realtors

I met up with some local realtors when they were in the Capitol recently to discuss issues that impact their industry. Thanks for stopping by!
 
 
Ag and Youth Grant Program to Boost Industry’s Future

A grant program aimed at securing the future of the state’s agriculture industry is now accepting applications.

The Ag and Youth Grant Program, created by the General Assembly under Act 40 of 2019, provides direct and matching grants to help fund eligible projects, programs and equipment purchases conducted or made by organizations composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Eligible projects include education or workforce development seminars or field trips; agricultural safety training programs; and capital projects or equipment purchases.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 29. Click here for additional information.
 
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