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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Transportation, Property Tax Reform at Forefront of Upcoming Session

Senate ChamberWith the Senate returning to session next week, we again have an opportunity to take steps to address the issues most important to Pennsylvanians – jobs, transportation and public safety.

Pennsylvania – and particularly our region – is in dire need of jobs and by addressing long-ignored transportation funding issues we will immediately put thousands of Pennsylvanians back to work. Our roads and bridges are currently among the worst in the nation and if we continue on the path of inaction, we will severely jeopardize the safety of the millions of people that travel our roadways every day.
Another legislative priority of mine this upcoming session is property tax reform – which I addressed in last month’s e-newsletter. The plan contained in Senate Bill 76 is a good starting point and will begin the discussion on how we can reform our archaic property tax system that continues to strain family budgets.

And with the governor’s recent announcement of his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative, I am looking forward to further debate on health-care access and affordability.  For over a year, Senate Democrats have touted a plan to expand the current Medicaid program and allow 600,000 Pennsylvanians to have access to health insurance on January 1, save taxpayers $400 million annually and create more than 35,000 jobs.

The Senate returns to session on Monday, September 23. All Senate sessions are streamed live online at www.pasenate.com

Save the Date: Luzerne County Senior Expo is October 10 in Kingston

Carbon County Senior ExpoMark your calendar -- the 2013 Luzerne County Senior Expo is scheduled for Thursday, October 10 at the Kingston Armory!

The yearly event, hosted by myself and Sen. Lisa Baker, is a great opportunity for local senior citizens to get information on the services and programs available to help.

Many times seniors are unaware of the many great programs and services available to them locally and our yearly Senior Citizens Expo certainly helps point many local senior citizens in the right direction.

Carbon County Senior ExpoThe event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will also feature free health screenings, dozens of exhibitors, free refreshments and great door prizes!

I recently hosted a similar Carbon County Senior Citizens Expo in Jim Thorpe with state Sen. David Argall and state Rep. Doyle Heffley. Our Carbon County was a huge success and hundreds of seniors turned out to meet with more than forty vendors representing local, county and state agencies that could help our senior citizens.

To view a gallery of pictures from my Carbon County Senior Citizens Expo, click here.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

Luzerne County Fair
Really enjoyed the Luzerne County Fair and had an opportunity to meet 2013 Fair Queen Brooke Evans with Sen. Lisa Baker.
LCCC September 11 Ceremony

Was honored to participate in the Luzerne County Community College September 11 ceremony at the Walk of Honor. Click the picture for video of my remarks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hazleton Water Authority
I recently had an opportunity to tour the Hazleton Water Authority. It is always great to see state investments improving our community and our environment!
McGowan Center Groundbreaking
Recently participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Monsignor McGowan Center for Healthy Living. I worked with Sen. Baker to secure $1 million in state funding for the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Transportation Commission Seeks Public Input on Twelve Year Plan

BridgesThe State Transportation Commission (STC) recently unveiled a new website designed to attract more public input into the update of the state's Twelve Year Plan.

Pennsylvania law requires PennDOT to prepare, update and submit Pennsylvania’s Twelve Year Plan, which outlines future transportation projects, every two years to the State Transportation Commission. It is then sent to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Secretary of Transportation

The STC's new website, www.talkPAtransportation.com, will allow residents to fill out a survey to outline the transportation priorities in their region as the STC begins the process to update the Twelve Year Plan for 2015.

The public comment period runs through October 7 and there will be a live webcast public meeting on Thursday, September 26 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the website. Make sure to log onto the website and share your visions and goals for the future of transportation in Pennsylvania.

Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program Now Open

Fire CompanyThe online application process for the 2013-14 Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program is now open.

The grant program, run through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, allows all fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads to apply for grant funding to improve facilities, equipment and training.

The grants, which generally range from $2,500 to $15,000, can be used to construct or renovate facilities; purchase or repair equipment; reduce debt associated with facilities or equipment purchases; and for the training and certification of members.

This grant program is a great opportunity for all of our local fire companies, ambulance services and rescue squads to update and improve their operations and I encourage all eligible companies to apply.

The deadline to apply for the 2013-14 Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program is October 24 at 4:00 p.m. For more information or to apply for a grant, click here.

DEP Small Business Grant Deadline Extended to October 8

DEPAttention local small businesses – don’t wait any longer to apply for the Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Business Advantage Grants program. The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Businesses can apply for 50-percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution-prevention equipment or procedures.

Applicants must be a for-profit corporation, Limited Liability Corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity with 100 or fewer full-time employees. Eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery systems, waste recycling systems and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks.

For more information and to view the application package, instructions and application form, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click “Small Business Advantage Grant” button.

Be Informed: Crime Prevention and Gang Awareness Books Now Online

Operation Gang UpAs a parent to young children – keeping crime and violence out of our communities, and ensuring that our children grow up and go to school in a safe environment are critically important issues. And as I have learned through our numerous Operation Gang Up events, being informed on crime prevention and gangs is crucial to public safety.

I encourage all of you to please take time to review and become familiar with both the Crime Prevention Handbook (click here to download) and the Quick Guide to Gangs (click here to download) that are both now available online.

The Crime Prevention Handbook contains hundreds of suggestions on crime prevention gathered from police departments and crime watch programs that can help you from becoming a victim. The Quick Guide to Gangs gives a basic overview of symbols and identifiers of some of the major street gangs across the country.

Through local initiatives like our well-attended Operation Gang Up series and critically important training events in communities around the state, we have made great strides in community safety – particularly as it pertains to organized gangs – but our work is far from done. Raising the level of community awareness is vital to public safety and both of these booklets are a great resource for all residents.

Facebook Stay Connected

For updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook and Twitter.

 
June 22, 2011 - Senate Democrats to Discuss Marcellus Shale Fee Amendment June 26, 2011 - Senate and House Democrats joined today to urge Republican leaders to “do the right thing” and pass a responsible severance fee on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.