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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Policy Committee to Discuss Property Tax Reform in Carbon County

Policy CommitteeAt my request, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a roundtable discussion in Lehighton this Thursday, October 24 to discuss Senate Bill 76 and other ways of reforming the current property tax system in Pennsylvania.

This roundtable discussion is a great opportunity for Carbon County officials and legislators to have a serious discussion on how we can best address our antiquated property tax system without compromising education funding.

The public is welcome to attend the discussion, which will take place on October 24 at 11 a.m. at Lehighton Borough Hall. The borough hall is located at 1 Constitution Avenue in Lehighton.

Participants in the roundtable discussion will include numerous members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, as well as Dr. Barbara Conway, Jim Thorpe Area School District superintendent; Jonathan Cleaver, Lehighton Area School District superintendent; Robert Crampsie, county controller Carbon County; David Baldinger, PA Coalition of Taxpayer Associations spokesperson; Louis Lariazzo, Carbon County Coalition of Taxpayers; Lorraine Eckhart, PA Coalition of Taxpayer Associations; Kimberly Skumanick, Pennsylvania Association of Realtors president-elect; Jim Zurn, Carbon County Association of Realtors president; Dr. Clement McGinley, Jim Thorpe Area School District Board of Education president; Gerard Grega, PA School Board Association; and Rocky Ahner, Lehighton Area School Board president.

We need to be innovative and we need to find ways to generate revenue without overburdening Pennsylvania taxpayers – and this discussion will be a great forum for our local school districts to discuss Senate Bill 76 and other important property tax reform legislation with lawmakers from across the Commonwealth.

If you are unable to attend the roundtable discussion, a live stream of Thursday’s discussion will be available at www.pasenate.com  

Luzerne County Senior Expo is a Tremendous Success

Luzerne Senior ExpoEarlier this month, more than 500 senior citizens from around Luzerne County came out to the 2013 Luzerne County Senior Expo at the Kingston Armory hosted by myself and Sen. Lisa Baker.

Educating our elderly residents is imperative to the success of our region as current estimates indicate that the 60-plus population in Pennsylvania will increase to over 3.6 million by the year 2030. It is our hope that this event – coupled with the great work done in our community every day by service providers and other agencies – familiarizes our aging citizens with the numerous programs and services available to help them live out their golden years comfortably.

Luzerne County Senior ExpoThe yearly event is a great opportunity for local senior citizens to interact with over 100 service providers and representatives from organizations dealing specifically with issues affecting senior citizens. The event has always been a tremendous success, but this year we exceeded even the highest of expectations.

Thank you to all of the senior citizens that came out and thank you again to all of the vendors that participated in this year's Luzerne County Senior Expo.

To view a gallery of pictures from the Luzerne County Senior Citizens Expo, click here.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

Blue Mountain Ribbon Cutting
Recently cut the ribbon on new expansion project at Blue Mountain Resort in Carbon County that will create 200 jobs. For more information on the project, click here.
Softball Game
Played shortstop in the first ever Capitol All-Stars Softball Game in Harrisburg with more than 50 legislators to raise money to end hunger in Pennsylvania.
Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences
It was an honor to participate in the historic opening of the new Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences. Click here to read more about our region's first STEM school.
CVS Caremark
I recently had an opportunity to meet with the great staff and tour the CVS Caremark Mail Service Facility in Wilkes-Barre.
Luzerne County Chaos 10 & Under
Joined Sen. Lisa Baker in welcoming members of the Pennsylvania state champion Luzerne County Chaos 10 & under all-star softball team to the Capitol.
Luzerne County Chaos 12 & Under
We also welcomed the 12 & under state champion Luzerne County Chaos all-star softball team to the Capitol. These talented girls finished in 4th place at the 12 & under Softball World Series in Florida earlier this year.

Wilkes' New Cohen Science Center Will Keep Aspiring Scientists in NEPA

Cohen Science Center DedicationI was proud to join numerous Wilkes University officials, elected officials and students to dedicate the $35 million Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center earlier this month.
 
This state-of-the-art science facility will keep our local aspiring scientists from leaving NEPA and attract the best and brightest students from around the country to Wilkes University. And while this new science center makes leaps and bounds for our region educationally – it also serves as a game-changer for our regional economy as the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development estimated the building’s annual economic impact at $5.8 million from new jobs and scientific research.
 
The building was funded through private donations and also federal and state grants that included $1 million from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and $2 million in Local Share gaming funds.
 
In Harrisburg, we recognized the incredible educational and economic benefits of this project for our region and worked diligently to secure funding to make this dream become a reality. However, this beautiful facility would not have been possible without the Cohen family and their unparalleled generosity and passion for the future of Wilkes University.
 
The new science center is named for Lawrence Cohen, a 1957 graduate of Wilkes University, and his wife Sally. The Cohens contributed $2.5 million to the “Achieving Our Destiny” campaign.
 
The Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center is home to the University’s award-winning biology and health sciences, chemistry and biochemistry and environmental engineering and earth science departments.

For more information on the Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center, click here.

Operation Gang Up to Hold Crime Forum in Harrisburg in NovemberOperation Gang Up

I am excited to announce that on Thursday, November 7, I will co-host an Operation Gang Up: Gang Awareness Information Session in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center at Harrisburg Area Community College. The forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free.

Operation Gang Up is an initiative that I developed with Congressman Lou Barletta to address ongoing gang activity in Pennsylvania. The initiative combines the expertise of key legislative, education, law enforcement and community leaders to increase awareness and examine ways to effectively fight the spread of gangs and their influence. Nearly 1,000 concerned citizens participated in our four public forums around northeastern Pennsylvania.

Operation Gang Up is a shining example of how the community can rise to the occasion and meet whatever challenges come our way. This formula has already produced great results here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and it is my hope that this program and discussion can start the conversation on ending violent crime in our capital city.

For more information on Harrisburg Area Community College, click here.

DEP Creates New Online Public Participation Center

DEPThe Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently announced a new public participation and education initiative designed to improve its outreach to the public and more actively engage citizens in the development of policies and regulations.

The new online Public Participation Center will help citizens better understand how the Department operates and highlight opportunities where they can provide input to help shape environmental decisions, processes and policies.

The website also includes a link to the updated Citizen's Guide to DEP Regulations which explains the regulatory process.

For more information about the Public Participation and Education Initiative, or to subscribe to the new DEP newsletter, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the Public Participation Center button.

October 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take-Back DayOn Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 2 pm, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control will again host the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Take-Back Day is a nationwide effort to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. At the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April, over 371 tons of prescription medications were collected from members of the public. Since the inception of the program, more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation

To find a location nearest to you participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, click here. You can also inquire about participating locations by calling 1-800-882-9539.

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.