House Passes Two Education Bills
Career and Technical Education Bill Passes House Unanimously

This week, legislation designed to provide career and technical education students with greater flexibility in fulfilling their graduation requirements passed the House unanimously.

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) and I authored House Bill 202, which would allow students who participate in a vocational education program, either in a vocational-technical school or in a school district, in addition to exhibiting core subject area mastery, to show career readiness through other industry-related factors such as industry-based competency certifications including the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) or the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

Postsecondary success looks different for students pursuing various career pathways, and skilled trades are both essential to a growing economy, and also offer lucrative jobs and careers.

These options would only be available during school years in which demonstrated proficiency on a Keystone Exam is a requisite condition for high school graduation. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Expanding Educational Choice

My bill to expand the state’s tax credit programs to provide educational opportunity scholarships as a vital step in improving the lives of thousands of young people overwhelmingly passed the House this week.

House Bill 250 would increase the amount of tax credits available under both the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. Funds available for EITC would increase by $50 million to a record $175 million, and funds available for the OSTC would increase by $25 million to $75 million.

The EITC program provides businesses with tax credits in exchange for their voluntary contributions to organizations that fund various educational opportunities including tax credits in exchange for their contributions to organizations that provide scholarships to students who live within the attendance boundary of a low-achieving public school.

More than 40,000 students benefit from EITC and OSTC each year through educational scholarship organizations.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.
McCandless Honored as a Banner Community


For the fifth year in a row, the Town of McCandless has been named a Banner Community by the Allegheny League of Municipalities.

The designation acknowledges McCandless’ participation in elected and appointed official training, its efforts to inform and engage residents through frequent and open communication, public and community events, mentoring, and collaboration with other communities.

The Banner Community program began in 2013. McCandless is one of 15 municipalities that have been a part of the program since it started.

This is a great honor for a great community. It’s an honor to serve the people of McCandless.
Coyotes Causing a Concern in Our Area

Many of my constituents have informed me that they have spotted coyotes in our area. What should you do when confronted by this wild animal?

Staff from the Pennsylvania Game Commission will conduct two coyote educational classes. The first will be at the Marshall Township Municipal Building on Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. Another informational class will be held on Wednesday, May 17, (time to be announced) at the North Park Rose Barn.

You will learn about the biology and life habits of coyotes, as well as what to do if you encounter one.

The address of the Marshall Township Municipal Building is 525 Pleasant Hill Rd in Wexford. The North Park Rose Barn is located on Pearce Mill Road across from the Boathouse in Allison Park.
Lost Your Dog? License Your Dog

With March designated as License Your Dog Month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reminds pet owners they must license their dogs ages 3 months and older. Failure can result in a maximum fine of $300 per violation, plus court costs.

An annual license is $8.50, and a lifetime license is $51.50. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.50, and lifetime fee is $31.50. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities. Dog licenses are available from your local county treasurer and other licensing agents.

If your dog gets lost, a current license is the fastest way to get it back.

The small license fee helps the millions of dogs in the state by funding the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

For more information, click here to watch a short video or visit this website.