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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Gov. Wolf Begins Budget Conversation in Bold, Unconventional Fashion

Gov. WolfGovernor Wolf, true to his word, began the budget conversation in bold, unconventional fashion by refusing to rely on political gimmicks and proposing an honest fix to the massive budget challenges facing Pennsylvania.

During his inauguration in January, Governor Wolf called for jobs that pay, schools that teach and a government that works; the budget proposal put forth earlier this month offers a blueprint to fulfill that vision.

Pennsylvania is facing a $2.3 billion budget shortfall; ranks 50th in the nation in new job creation; and is still reeling from the cut of nearly $1 billion in education funding that has lead to declines in student achievement. With the highest unemployment rate in the state and ever rising property taxes, northeastern Pennsylvania has been hit the hardest by the failed fiscal policies of the past four years.

Governor Wolf proposed a comprehensive modernization of the tax code that would end loopholes for special interest groups; make Pennsylvania businesses more competitive; and will finally deliver on the promise of significant property tax relief for every senior citizen and every homeowner in the Commonwealth.

While there will compromise and negotiations over each budget proposal, Governor Wolf deserves a great deal of credit for awakening Harrisburg from its four year slumber in the land of political gimmicks and fiscal enchantments.

Click here to watch video of Sen. Yudichak's reaction to Gov. Wolf's budget address

Mobile Street Crimes Unit Focal Point of Attorney General Budget Hearing

Mobile Street Crimes UnitThe success of the Mobile Street Crimes Unit across the Commonwealth was a main point of discussion throughout the Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing with Attorney General Kathleen Kane last week in Harrisburg.

Since its first deployment in Hazleton, the specialized force has proven to be an incredible asset to local law enforcement and has made a significant impact on public safety in communities across the Commonwealth. Many budget hearings often serve as a forum to draw partisan battle lines in advance of budget negotiations, but the Attorney General budget hearing only served to magnify the clear bipartisan support for the Mobile Street Crime Unit.

In his 2015-16 state budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf included a $3.2 million, or 3.5%, increase for the Office of Attorney General. The budget proposal includes a $64,000 increase for the Mobile Street Crimes Unit; bringing total funding for the operation up to $2.544 million in this budget.

While I am pleased to see a proposed increase for the Mobile Street Crimes Unit – which I championed through the legislature in 2013 – last week’s discussion shows that there is an appetite to significantly expand the reach of this innovative crime-fighting unit. The effectiveness of the Mobile Street Crimes Unit is unmatched anywhere in the country; but it would truly be a game-changer if we were able to fully fund two separate units.

From Erie to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to Hazleton, we have communities struggling to win the war on crime and drugs. The Mobile Street Crimes Unit is the best tool available – but we only have enough funding to reach one region at a time. Over the next three months of budget negotiations, I will work to ensure we maximize state support to all of our public safety efforts to ensure that our families and our children no longer live in fear of crime and violence in their own backyards.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

Pocono Downs 50th Anniversary
Recently presented a Senate citation to the leaders at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in recognition of their 50th Anniversary season! (Read more)
Volpe and WYOU
Discussed the state budget, reforming the Penn State Board of Trustees and many other issues on Volpe and You on WYOU-TV.
Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

Enjoyed meeting the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick at the Jim Thorpe St. Patrick's Day parade!

Speaking at Leadership Wilkes-Barre junior leadership program

I had an opportunity to address the future leaders of NEPA as part of the Leadership Wilkes-Barre junior leadership program at Kings College.

Expo
PA Report: Carbon County Tourism
Discussed the importance of the tourism industry in Carbon County and the Poconos to the NEPA economy on the latest episode of the PA Report.
PAHRA Keynote Address
It was an honor to speak at PA Assoc of Housing & Redevelopment Agencies Capitol Conference about creating sustainable success in our community
CCTI Afterschool Champion
Joined Rep. Doyle Heffley to congratulate Travis Keefer, a 9th grade student at CCTI, for being named an Afterschool Champion by PSAYDN.
Touring the Wright Center
Recently toured the Wright Center in Jermyn to learn more about their medical residency training program for primary care physicians in NEPA.

Save the Date: Carbon County Community Safety Day is Saturday, May 2

Carbon County Community Safety DayI am proud to announce that we are once again hosting the Carbon County Community Safety Day at beautiful Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe on Saturday May 2!

Community Safety Day will take place in the swimming area of Lentz Trail from 10:00 am until 2:00 p.m. This critically important event will give families an opportunity to meet and interact with fire, police, and other first responders in our area and also to learn about keeping our neighborhoods safe places to live, learn, and work.

At this year’s Community Safety Day, we will also be honoring the highest ranking enlisted member of United States Army, Sergeant Major Daniel A. Dailey of Palmerton. Sgt. Maj. Dailey was sworn in as the 15th sergeant major of the Army in January. He has held every enlisted leadership position during his career, ranging from Bradley Fighting Vehicle commander to command sergeant major. Sgt. Maj. Dailey enlisted in the Army in 1989 and has served four tours in Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, as well as one tour in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

I hope everyone can come out and honor Sgt. Maj. Dailey and learn about all of our great community safety efforts in Carbon County on May 2!

Click here for pictures from last year's Carbon County Community Safety Day!

Desert Storm/Desert Sheild Vets: Apply Now for Service Bonus from DMVA

Sothwest Asia Service MedalIn 2006 as a member of the state House of Representatives, I co-sponsored legislation creating the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Compensation Bond Fund. This fund was created to give back to our Pennsylvania veterans that served our country in the early 1990s conflict in Iraq -- and now, those brave men and women can apply for this benefit.

Applications are now being accepted for this great program that awards special one-time payments for Pennsylvania veterans who were on active duty during Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm between Aug. 2, 1990, and Aug. 31, 1991. The program pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum.

Since the program began in 2008, nearly 11,000 Persian Gulf veterans have applied for the bonus program through the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.


To qualify for this unique program, veterans must have:

  • Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the PA National Guard,
  • Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug. 2, 1990, until Aug. 31, 1991, and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal,
  • Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service,
  • Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not currently on active duty.
  • Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

For detailed instructions on how to apply, visit www.persiangulfbonus.state.pa.us

The deadline to apply is August 31. Click here for more information.

Spring is Finally Here! Pick Up Your 2015 Trout Stocking Guide Now!

Trout StockingAfter another long winter, the wait is over for local anglers – the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently released the 2015 Trout Stocking Schedules for all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

A searchable trout stocking database for all streams and lakes across the Commonwealth is available online. Anglers can search by county or by stock dates. The lists are also available at any of my district offices.

The search results will provide each body of water within a county that is scheduled for stocking, the section Fishing License Button of water, the date, the species of trout, the meeting place and time, the hatchery stocking the section, the regulations that apply and even the latitude/longitude number.

The official opening of the 2015 trout season locally is April 18, but anglers looking to get out fishing even sooner can take a short drive to any of 18 southeastern counties where trout season will open April 4.

And remember anyone 16 years of age and older is required to have a Pennsylvania fishing license. There are many options when purchasing a license, from single-year to multi-year fishing licenses, including a resident three-year license for $64.70 or a resident five-year license for $106.70. Resident three-year and five-year trout permits cost $25.70 and $41.70.

Anglers can also purchase a $5 fishing license button through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop (www.GoneFishingPa.com) or by visiting any of the PFBC's regional locations. License buttons can also be ordered using the mail-in form posted on PFBC's website.

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Offices to Serve You

DISTRICT OFFICE
164 South Market Street
Nanticoke, PA 18634
Phone: (570) 740-2434
Fax: (570) 740-2438
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

DISTRICT OFFICE
1201 North Street | Suite 3
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
Phone: (570) 325-3274
Fax: (570) 325-3780
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

DISTRICT OFFICE
801 Wyoming Avenue, Suite 180
West Pittston, PA 18643
Phone: (570) 883-4690
Fax: (570) 883-4694
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

HARRISBURG OFFICE
Senate Box 203014
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3014
Phone: (717) 787-7105
Fax: (717) 783-4141
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.