Sen. Yudichak Discusses Environmental Issues with DEP Secretary

Harrisburg, February 25, 2016 – During today’s state Senate budget hearing, Sen. John Yudichak questioned Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley on issues ranging from extinguishing the Jeansville Mine fire in Carbon County to what the agency is doing to protect Pennsylvanians from lead in drinking water.

“I applaud DEP for keeping the public informed about the Jeansville fire, obtaining $9 million in federal reclamation funds and working closely with the region’s government officials at all levels on a plan to extinguish the fire,” Yudichak said. “I’m also pleased that the department continues to utilize state dollars and press the federal government to reauthorize mine reclamation monies.”

 

Referring to layoffs at Panther Creek in Nesquehoning, Yudichak questioned Quigley about the Wolf Administration’s efforts to help the state’s coal waste industry. The DEP secretary told Yudichak that the coal waste plants are an “incredibly important asset in Pennsylvania” and that they should receive retrofitting upgrades and be given relief from certain regulations.

“It is imperative that the state do what it can to help the coal waste industry rebound and thrive,” Yudichak said. “Coal Waste facilities are good for our economy and good for jobs — but also good for reclaiming abandoned mine lands.”

Yudichak, who sponsored the law (Act 55 of 2014) that mandated the reduction of lead content in pipes and plumbing fixtures, asked Quigley what DEP is doing to prevent a Flint, Michigan, type of health crisis from happening in Pennsylvania. Quigley said the department will remain vigilant, but reassured that none of Pennsylvania’s 159 water systems have exceeded federal lead levels.

Yudichak, who serves as Democratic chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, also asked Quigley what DEP is doing to support natural gas pipeline development that “protects local property rights, ensures environmental protections and promotes economic development throughout Pennsylvania.” Quigley said DEP is currently vetting 94 of the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force’s 184 recommendations.

“We need to strike a balance by respecting local property rights and protecting our environment; but these pipelines are an incredible resource that can transform our economy,” Yudichak said. “So we need to be responsible while we pursue a good commonsense development plan.”

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Yudichak Announces 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Schedule

Edwardsville, February 17, 2016 – State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) today hosted residents at the Temple Apartments in Edwardsville for an outreach event to help local seniors apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

“The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program delivers significant property tax relief for older Pennsylvanians,” Yudichak said. “Each year our office holds outreach events throughout the district to ensure every eligible senior has access to a $650.00 rebate check that is funded through state lottery and gaming revenues.”

Last year, Senator Yudichak’s outreach efforts helped Luzerne and Carbon County senior citizens apply for over $500,000 in property tax and rent rebates. In Luzerne County, there were 19,000 applicants in 2014 that received over $8.33 million in rebates through the program.

The Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and over; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities age 18 and over. Homeowners with a maximum yearly income of $35,000 and renters with a maximum yearly income of $15,000 are eligible for a rebate.

2016 Rebate Outreach Schedule:

Please note: the events at the apartment buildings are for residents only and not open to the public.

Anyone who needs assistance with filing their application for the program can visit Senator Yudichak’s district offices in Nanticoke or West Pittston any Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Nanticoke

164 South Market Street

Phone: 570-740-2434

West Pittston

801 Wyoming Avenue (Gerrity’s Shopping Center)

Suite 180

Phone: 570-883-4690

February 18th-Nanticoke Towers, Market Street Nanticoke 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

February 23rd-Park Towers, East Green Street, Nanticoke 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

February 24th-Eagle Ridge Apts, 9 Beverly Drive Edwardsville 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 1st-Exeter Apartments, 222 Schooley Avenue Exeter 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

March 9th-Oplinger Towers, Main Street, Nanticoke 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 10th-Garden Village Apartments, 221 Fremont Street, West Pittston 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 15th– Infantino Towers, 500 Kennedy Boulevard, Pittston 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 16th Charles T Adams Senior Center, 5 East Market Street, Wilkes-Barre

Please call (570)825-3484 for an appointment

March 17th– Swoyersville Apartments,184 Hemlock Street, Swoyersville – 9a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 22nd– Hazleton Senior Center,24 East Broad Street, Hazleton – 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Please call for an appointment (570)459-1441

March 23rd– Sullivan Place,100 Claymont Avenue, Hanover Township- 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 24th– Luzerne Towers,600 Bennett Street, Luzerne- 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 29th – Rose Tucker Senior Center,145 E. Green Street, Nanticoke, 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 30th– Lee Park Senior Center, 140 Lee Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, (residents only)- 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

March 31st– Plains Manor, 500 Main Street, Plains- 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Any updates or changes to the outreach schedule due to weather or any other unforeseen circumstances will be posted on www.senatoryudichak.com

The deadline to apply to the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is June 30.

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Sen. Yudichak Comments on Gov. Wolf’s Budget Proposal

Harrisburg, February 9, 2016 – State Sen. John Yudichak today provided the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s $32.7 billion fiscal 2016-17 budget proposal:

“It is unacceptable that we begin discussions on a new fiscal year without having a complete state budget in the current fiscal year,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

“Partisan politics in Harrisburg has created a state of paralysis while Pennsylvania faces a growing $1.8 billion structural deficit that threatens to erode all of our investments in education, job creation, health care and environmental protection.”

“The Cinderella clock has struck midnight on short-term fiscal gimmicks and the fantasy budgets of the past four years have come crashing back to the hard reality of five consecutive credit downgrades.”

“The Governor and the General Assembly should have a single focus a single mission over the next few months – restore fiscal stability to the state budget process by addressing Pennsylvania’s structural deficit with a responsible budget that recognizes state spending is far out pacing current revenues.”

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Statement from Senator John Yudichak on the Passing of Tom Tigue

Nanticoke, February 1, 2016- The following statement was issued this afternoon by Senator Yudichak after learning of the death of his long time friend and colleague Tom Tigue. Senator Yudichak served along side former Representative Tigue for nearly a decade in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“Tom Tigue was a walking profile in courage, and the living embodiment of service above self,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “My deepest sympathies go out to the Tigue family that has lost a loving mother and caring father all in a matter of a few short months.”

“Tom Tigue was a distinguished Marine, a widely respected state legislator, a trusted mentor and a cherished friend.”

Senator Yudichak worked with Tom Tigue on many community projects over the years. Most recently, they worked together, with Representative Mike Carroll, to secure funding for the expansion of the Pittston Memorial Library that included the construction of a new children’s wing and community room.

“Tom Tigue never missed an opportunity for a teachable moment. When his wonderful wife, Diane, passed away he was asked if a section of the church should be reserved for distinguished guests. Tom said, yes it should and the distinguished guests are my family.”

“Family, faith, country and community were not idle commitments for Tom Tigue. His life is a template for all of us who aspire to serve and all of us who dream of leaving the only legacy that truly matters – a loving family.”