Remembering the Victims from the Tree of Life Synagogue
Remembering the Victims from the Tree of Life Synagogue

Last weekend’s tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill is nothing short of horrendous. The loss of life and the injuries suffered by victims and law enforcement are unacceptable and heartbreaking. The victims and their families remain in our prayers.

There is no room for anti-Semitism in the world and no person should be targeted or persecuted for their religious beliefs or their background. The Jewish community here and around the world is hurting because of this tragedy. Our community is also suffering. We are all deeply saddened and troubled that such a heinous act could and at a place where families gather to worship, celebrate their faith and connect with one another.

In preparation for the first Sabbath following this tragedy, Jewish leaders are encouraging Jews and non-Jews to attend services on Friday night or Saturday morning. During this time, people can express their gratitude for the blessings of life, family, freedom of choice and community. In showing my support for our community, I will attend services tonight at Temple Ohav Shalom in Allison Park at 7 p.m. It is important to show support in a place of worship, a space meant for peace and fellowship.

We need to bring people together. There is no room for hate. Each person has dignity and should be treated with love and respect.


The lights of the Pennsylvania State Capitol have been darkened this week, except for a lone blue light shining in remembrance of the 11 victims of the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
School Safety Grants for Our Local Schools

This week, the Pine Richland and North Allegheny school districts were each awarded state grants to help improve student safety through a new program.

The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created earlier this year to provide grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to include school safety.

Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of $25,000.

The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June. More than $60 million in new funding was dedicated in the current year’s budget to improve school safety.

Protecting our schools was a point of emphasis for me during the budget process, and I am grateful that our local schools will soon see the benefits of this new grant program.
Removing Barriers to Work, Creating Better Economic Opportunities

During the 2017-18 legislative session, the House passed a package of bill that were signed into law to help people find family sustaining jobs, and to encourage businesses to grow in Pennsylvania. These new laws include:

Act 95 will remove the federally mandated driver’s license suspensions for drug/controlled substance convictions, as well as state-imposed suspensions for five other crimes, while adding a suspension for terroristic threats made against any school property.

Act 107 will establish the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop under the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The new law will provide a single online access point to aid current and potential business owners in identifying and securing the necessary business documents for establishing and operating a business in the Commonwealth.

Act 111 aims to provide relief from Workers’ Compensation (WC) costs for Pennsylvania employers. It will also provide fair compensation for workers and increase the burial benefits for victims of workplace fatalities from $3,000 to $7,000. However, the major component will reduce WC costs for employers by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Act 120 will authorize rate recovery by a water public utility for costs incurred to replace customer-owned lead water service lines and damaged wastewater laterals.

Act 131 will amend the Tax Reform Code by further defining “taxable income” as it relates to the Corporate Net Income Tax and the apportionment of income for corporations transacting business in more than one state.

Act 132 will amend the Workers’ Compensation Act to provide for the solvency of the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund.
Turn Those Clocks Back This Weekend

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov 4, and Pennsylvania residents will be turning their clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

Experts recommend using this reminder to check or change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 10 years and located near bedrooms and on each level of the residence.

Marian Crossman Bridge Opens


Work to the Harmony Trail Hiking Bridge in the Township of Pine is now complete. The project was funded in part by a $63,000 Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) grant that I secured in 2017 for the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.

The funding was used for the construction of a bridge to connect a direct hiking trail from the Rachel Carson Trail via the Harmony Trail to North Park.

Last weekend, the bridge was opened and named in honor of Marian Crossman.
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