|Veterans Assistance Available March 22
There is still time to register for veterans outreach hours at my district office in McCandless on Friday, March 22, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Through this outreach, we have been able to provide some direct links between our veterans and the services and programs available just for them.
Please call my office at 412-369-2230 to schedule an appointment. If you can’t make it on March 22, we have scheduled additional hours that may fit into your busy schedule better. The dates include:
• April 26, 2019
• May 17, 2019
• June 21, 2019
• July 19, 2019
• Aug. 16, 2019
• Sept. 20, 2019
• Oct. 18, 2019
• Nov. 15, 2019
• Dec. 20, 2019
My district office is located at 125 Hillvue Lane, first floor, in McCandless.
Grants Available to Local Fire Departments
Funding is now available to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities increase protections from wildfires.
In 2018, almost $650,000 was awarded to 132 volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common. The grant program, offered through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and paid through federal grants from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, has awarded more than $12.5 million since it began in 1982.
These grants ensure that the men and women doing the work have what they need to do their job safely while protecting their communities.
Local firefighting forces in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents qualify for the aid, which is used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires.
In reviewing applications, priority will be placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Also, grants now can be used to purchase new/used 4X4 vehicles.
Grant applications must be electronically submitted through DCNR’s grant website by 4 p.m., Thursday, May 2. To expedite application and decision-making processes, DCNR is accepting only online applications here.
Matching Good-Paying Jobs with the Right Training
It has been a priority for me and members of the House to focus on good jobs and careers for all Pennsylvanians, working to improve our workforce development and career and technical education opportunities, and advancing policies to help transition people from minimum wage jobs to family-sustaining careers.
This week, a package of bills that will help us achieve these goals earned committee approval and will now advance to the full House for a vote.
This package includes bills that would boost awareness of workforce needs and increase the flexibility for secondary CTE programs. Bills would also create a comprehensive online CTE resource center and coordinate state-level career exploration and workforce development opportunities.
Learn more about #GoodJobs4PA here.
In the Community
Recently, I participated at the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber reception. I told the audience that our region has seen positive growth in family-sustaining jobs. We are going to continue to promote policies that support working families and private sector job growth.
This week at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, I helped to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion.
The American Legion has been a staunch advocate for veterans and their families since 1919. It was founded on the four pillars of care for veterans, a strong national defense, Americanism, and children and youth.
Today, the American Legion has more than 2 million members and more than 13,000 posts worldwide. I am thankful for the American Legion and everything it is doing to protect the interest of our military personnel on whom we rely to protect us.
Employment Issues in Health Care
This week, the House Health Committee heard testimony about difficulty in attracting doctors and other health care employees to Pennsylvanians.
Experts from across the state who testified said burdensome government regulations have contributed to “burnout” and pushed younger doctors and nurses to move out of Pennsylvania. They also discussed issues with finding qualified candidates to fill important roles, including nurses and technicians.
As the session continues, the House will look at ways we can remove these barriers and help improve training for these important positions.
House Approves Bill to Reconnect People with Their Stolen Property,
Fight Drug Trade
To provide more time to recover stolen property, the House approved legislation that would allow for greater tracking by law enforcement of stolen jewelry and other items containing precious metals, as well as fight the opioid epidemic as the sales often fund the purchase of illegal drugs.
House Bill 350 would require dealers in precious metals to maintain the purchased items for 10 business days, as well as a photocopy of the seller’s proof of identity.
If a dealer purchases stolen property, these requirements would facilitate identification of the rightful owner and promote prosecution of the offender even if the items have been sold, melted down or are otherwise no longer available.
The bill would also require dealers to maintain a copy of their annual license application at each place of business for inspection by the public.
House Bill 350 now advances to the Senate for consideration.
Bill to Strengthen Penalties for Driving Without
Proper Endorsement Passes House
The House unanimously approved legislation which would improve public safety by strengthening penalties for operating a motorcycle without the proper endorsement or license.
House Bill 384 would increase the fine for driving a vehicle without the proper endorsement for that type of vehicle to $200 plus fees and surcharges, making it equal to driving without an operator’s license.
In Pennsylvania, the fine for driving without a license is $200 plus fees and surcharges. Meanwhile, the standard fine for operation of a vehicle without the proper endorsement is only $25 plus fees and surcharges.
The bill now awaits consideration by the Senate.
Report Potholes to PennDOT
With the thaw out of spring comes the growth of potholes on Pennsylvania’s roads. Extreme fluctuations in temperatures, coupled with an active snow season, can contribute to more potholes on our roads.
To help combat potholes and prevent them from becoming a danger to vehicles and drivers on the road, you can report potholes to PennDOT.
You can report potholes by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD or by clicking here to file a report online.