Subscribe to enewsletter. Twitter/Facebook Twitter Facebook
Sen. Yudichak Reports

2015-2016 Legislative Record

Governor Tom Wolf signs Senator Yudichak’s legislation Senate Bill 699, which transferred Moon Lake Park from Luzerne County ownership to DCNR.
Governor Tom Wolf signs Senator Yudichak’s legislation
Senate Bill 699, which transferred Moon Lake Park from
Luzerne County ownership to DCNR.

The 2015-2016 legislative session concluded on November 31, 2016.  Over 300 bills were enacted during this session, including a few notable accomplishments listed below.  However, if you have any questions or would like any further information about other legislation that was considered or enacted during the 2015-2016 session, please feel welcome to contact my Harrisburg office.

  • I sponsored legislation and worked closely with local officials and legislative colleagues to ensure that well over 1,500 acres of recreational land in Luzerne County, including Moon Lake Park and the Seven Tubs Nature Area, would be preserved for residents by transferring it to the state forest program under the care and management of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. (Act 14 of 2015)
  • To provide for the health and safety of many families that include individuals suffering from opioid addiction, we enacted a five-bill package that limits their availability and improves oversight for their use.  As the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, I was glad to advance through my committee one of these bills, which will facilitate safe destruction of prescription drug and pharmaceutical waste. (Acts 122-126 of 2016)
  • Demonstrating the legislature’s bipartisan commitment to our veterans, we passed more than 20 bills providing recognition or assistance to veterans and their families, including my legislation to provide an exemption from the realty transfer tax to property transfers between nonprofit veterans’ organizations.  (Act 84 of 2016)
  • After several years of hard work, we restored eligibility for Unemployment Compensation to 44,000 seasonal and construction workers who were disqualified under Act 60 of 2012.  (Act 144 of 2016)
  • In response to serious dangers that many corrections officers encounter, we required the Department of Corrections to issue pepper spray to officers and employees and provide proper training on its use.  (Act 174 of 2016)
  • We established a new, permanent formula for fair public school funding that was developed and unanimously approved by the Basic Education Funding Commission.  (Act 35 of 2016)
  • We worked closely with advocates to revamp the priorities of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation so that they will now begin provide vital employment counseling services to disabled individuals while they are in high school, instead of after they enter the workforce.  (Act 26 of 2016) 
  • We developed a tax-exempt savings account program that can be used for the care and expenses of individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities.  (Act 17 of 2016)

I am looking forward to the new year and the start the 2017-2018 term.  I am ready to resume work on unresolved legislative matters, as well as to take on any new issues that may come before the General Assembly next year. 

Yudichak Announces Multimodal Transportation Funds for 14th District

State Senator John Yudichak recently announced that six projects in Luzerne County will receive close to $2 million in state funding through the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund Program. In addition to the state’s investment in Luzerne County, one project in Carbon County will also receive funding. Carbon County will receive $272,304 for improvements to the access road that will lead to the Carbon County Emergency Operations and Training Center.

“As a supporter of the legislation that created the Multimodal Transportation Fund, I am pleased to announce funding has been secured for projects that will enhance local infrastructure and create new jobs,” said Senator John Yudichak. “Local communities often have limited resources to invest in major transportation projects, so securing these state dollars is essential to improving the quality of life and setting the stage for economic growth in Luzerne County and Carbon County.”

For more information on the projects that have been funded in Luzerne and Carbon Counties, please click the links below.

Historic Altamont HotelYudichak Announces $2.5 Million in State Grant Funding for Hazleton Altamont Redevelopment Project

State Senator John Yudichak recently announced that Hazleton Partners will receive $2.5 million in state grant funding for the Historic Altamont Redevelopment project.

“I am pleased to help secure this funding which will continue the revitalization of downtown Hazleton. The redevelopment of the Altamont by the Hazleton Partners will bring new opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Senator Yudichak.

Area State Representative Tarah Toohil worked closely with Yudichak to secure the funds for the project, which will include 8,755 square feet of new, ground floor retail space; 17,510 square feet (floors 2 & 3) of new class A office space; and 41,200 square feet of new, market rate residential space on floors 4-8.

The grant is administered through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) administered by Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office of Budget; and can be used for acquisition and construction of economic development projects in a number of categories including cultural, civic, recreation and historical.

Yudichak and Heffley Announce $1 Million in State Grant Funding for the Borough of Weatherly

State Sen. John Yudichak and State Rep. Doyle Heffley recently announced that the Borough of Weatherly will receive $1 million in state grant funding.

Hiking and Bike TrailThe funding will be used to revitalize the downtown commercial section of the Borough. The borough has obtained easements to create a bike/hiking trail to the Lehigh Gorge State Park and the trail head will be in the downtown section of the borough. The relocation of the Borough offices and Magistrate Building will open parking and commercial sales to the downtown business district.

“Congratulations to the leaders of Weatherly Borough who have fought hard to advance economic and community development opportunities for the residents of Weatherly. With this funding, residents and visitors will see a transformed downtown that they will be able to enjoy for years to come,” said Senator Yudichak.

“This is a significant project that will improve public safety in Weatherly Borough, and I would like to congratulate borough officials for all their hard work. The Weatherly Borough Downtown Revitalization Project is a wonderful investment in the community and I am pleased to see state funding for this project,” said Representative Heffley.

The grant is administered through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) administered by Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office of Budget; and can be used for acquisition and construction of economic development projects in a number of categories including cultural, civic, recreation and historical. 

Plains Township and Mohegan Sun Pocono Reach Agreement Amidst Delays in Local Share Fix

State Senator John Yudichak and State Representative Mike Carroll recently announced an agreement between Mohegan Sun Pocono and Plains Township officials to continue the local share distribution payments to the host community despite a recent state Supreme Court decision that struck down the local share assessment that casinos pay to their host communities.

“With no legislative action on the Local Share Assessment issue, the taxpayers of Plains Township faced dire budget consequences if those LSA dollars were not distributed.  I am grateful that officials at Mohegan Sun Pocono listened to our local concerns and, in an act of good corporate citizenship, agreed to honor their original host agreement with Plains Township until this matter is resolved by the General Assembly,” Senator Yudichak said. “I will continue to work with my legislative colleagues and local elected officials in the fight to preserve every LSA dollar for the communities of Luzerne County,” Yudichak added.

“Considering the significant financial impact the host community assessment has on Plains Township, I’m very pleased Mohegan Sun Pocono has agreed to continue providing these critical funds. I remain optimistic a preservation plan for the balance of Luzerne County’s LSA funds can be negotiated in the coming days,” Carroll noted.

Plains Township officials lauded the agreement at today’s announcement. “We’re pleased that Mohegan Sun Pocono is honoring their host agreement to continue the payments. The agreement is a testament of what can be accomplished when everyone works together in the best interest of the community,” Rob Sax, Chairman of the Plains Township Board of Commissioners said.
“Senator Yudichak and Representative Carroll have been engaged since the beginning and facilitated discussions that produced this agreement which will allow us to continue to provide vital public services to our community.”

Senator Yudichak and Rep. Mullery Participate in Newport Township Press Conference

State Sen. John Yudichak and State Rep. Gerald Mullery  joined Newport Township officials and the Earth Conservancy recently to announce new efforts aimed at stopping the illegal dumping and vandalism on Earth Conservancy lands and other key swaths of land in the Lower South Valley.

Senator Yudichak stands with Earth Conservancy and Newport Township officials as well as local elected officials highlighting the new ATV that was purchased to stop the illegal dumping problem in the region.
Senator Yudichak stands with Earth Conservancy and Newport Township officials as well as local elected officials highlighting the new ATV that was purchased to stop the illegal dumping problem in the region.

Through funding from the Earth Conservancy and a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Keystone Communities Grant Program, Newport Township has purchased an ATV that will be used to actively patrol the problem areas and prosecute anyone caught dumping or damaging property. Additionally, the Newport Township Police Department has acquired a new police SUV with the help of a USDA grant. The vehicle will be an additional tool for the increased enforcement effort.

“I applaud Newport Township and the Earth Conservancy for their efforts to combat this problem,” said Yudichak. “With the addition of these vehicles and a community that is vigilant to this issue, I am confident that we will be better equipped to patrol these remote areas.”

“The ability to access remote areas of our township will provide a boost to law enforcement efforts as they work to keep the community safe,” said Newport Township Council President Paul Czapracki. “We also want to make sure that our neighboring communities in the Lower South Valley are well protected and these vehicles will assist with that.”

“Our officers need the proper tools to protect and serve our communities. Today, we’ve made their job a little easier and our neighborhoods safer,” said Mullery. “With much of its lands consisting of uninhabited and undeveloped areas, patrolling Newport Township can be a challenge. The acquisitions of the ATV and SUV will greatly assist our police department in preventing illegal dumping and providing all other emergency operations.”

“We’re glad we were able to team with Newport Township to take action on this issue,” said Mike Dziak, President and CEO of Earth Conservancy. “We know firsthand the damage that illegal dumping, trespassing, and vandalism do to these hard-to-reach sites.  An off-road vehicle was key to the Newport Township Police being able to access these areas.”

Around the 14th District

Senator Yudichak talks about the importance of afterschool programs in Pennsylvania in the November edition of the Pennsylvania Report. Senator Yudichak talks about the programs and improvements that have been implemented in Luzerne County since the massive flood recovery effort in 2011 in the November edition of the Pennsylvania Report.
sadf
Joseph Mentyka and Senator John Yudichak Senator Yudichak presents McCarthy Tire officials with a senate citation for being awarded Large Business of the Year by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber.
Senator Yudichak honors World War II veteran and Plymouth resident Joseph Mentyka with a senate citation for his military service in the United State Army.  Senator Yudichak presents McCarthy Tire officials with a senate citation for being awarded Large Business of the Year by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber.
sadf
Senator Yudichak recently toured the Osterhout Library after helping it acquire over $400,000 in state funding to overhaul the facility’s HVAC system.
Senator Yudichak recently toured the Osterhout Library after helping it acquire over $400,000 in state funding to overhaul the facility’s HVAC system.
Pennsylvania Report November 2016 :: After School Programs Pennsylvania Report November 2016 :: Flood Recovery

Facebook_Twitter Facebook Twitter Stay Connected

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

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.