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Sen. Yudichak Reports

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

Following Gov. Tom Wolf’s $32.7 billion fiscal 2016-17 budget proposal earlier this month State Sen. John Yudichak provided the following statement:

 
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Senator Yudichak was recently interviewed by Sue Henry on WILK News Radio on the PA budget and other state issues. Listen Here

“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.”

New Budget, Same Rhetoric

Times NewsWednesday, February 10, 2016

My, my, where has the time gone? It was about 11 months ago that then-incoming Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his first budget address.

That budget was to have been passed by June 30, 2015. Well, here we are more than eight months later, and we still don’t have a complete budget in place.

Wolf this week delivered his second budget address – this one for 2016-17. New budget, yes, but the same old rhetoric and name-calling.

The problem with the first Wolf budget was that the Democratic governor and the heavily controlled Republican General Assembly couldn’t come to an agreement. If you were perhaps expecting some conciliatory comments or gestures from Wolf, it didn’t happen. In fact, he told Republican legislators that if they will not fulfill their responsibilities to Pennsylvanians they should find a different line of work.

You can imagine how that went over in GOP-land.

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Yudichak Announces 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Schedule

 
Senator Yudichak talks to a table of senior citizens at the Temple Apartments in Edwardsville.
Senator Yudichak talks to a table of senior citizens
at the Temple Apartments in Edwardsville.

State Sen. John Yudichak recently 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.

View Outreach Schedule

South Valley Parkway Project Underway

South Valley ParkwayAn $84 million construction project aimed to ease traffic congestion and provide more economic opportunities near Nanticoke in Luzerne County is now underway. The South Valley Parkway project will create State Route 3046 and will run from Route 29 in Hanover Township to Prospect Street in Nanticoke.

The new highway will replace a two-lane rural highway that runs approximately 3.5 miles over rolling terrain from the City of Wilkes-Barre (South Main Street) to Newport Township (East Kirmar Road). The highway will also help to create many economic opportunities in the region by creating access to thousands of acres of land that could be used for business development.

“This new parkway is about access, it’s about economic development, and most importantly it’s about the safety of our motorist,” said Senator Yudichak.

Visit my facebook page to watch the WBRE 28 Eyewitness report on the South Valley Parkway Project.

Yudichak Announces Recreation Grants in Luzerne and Carbon Counties

State Senator John Yudichak announced that two Luzerne County conservation projects will receive over $700,000 in state grants and two Carbon County municipalities will receive $90,000 in state grants as well through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (CCPP).

“These state grant dollars will support worthy local initiatives that will enhance our region’s recreational offerings for families and individuals,” Yudichak said.

Luzerne County Projects

  • $480,000 to the North Branch Land Trust to expand the D&L Trail by 2.2 miles from Laurel Run Road in Laurel Run Township to the Seven Tubs Nature Area in Plains Township. The work will include a 0.3-mile connector trail, trail head, ADA access, landscaping and other site improvements.

  • $221,000 to Natural Lands Trust, Inc., to acquire 161 acres along White Haven Road in Bear Creek Township to create more open space and recreational opportunities.

Carbon County Projects

  • The Borough of Summit Hill will receive $40,000 to help with the rehabilitation of Ginder Field. The work will include installation of playground safety surfacing, ADA access landscaping, and other related site improvements.

  • The Borough of Weatherly will receive $30,000 in funding to complete a trail feasibility study for the five-mile Weatherly trail from Lehigh Gorge State Park in Lehigh Township to Hudsondale Street in Weatherly.

14th District SHINE Funding Update

Luzerne County

 
Senator Yudichak speaks at the Verizon funding announcement.
Senator Yudichak speaks at the Verizon funding announcement.

SHINE of Luzerne County is a three-year pilot program that is being funded by a public/private partnership. It is an innovative and data driven after-school program that improves academic performance, increases school attendance, reduces juvenile crime and breaks the cycle of poverty by empowering families through education.

The SHINE program focuses on project based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Private Funding - SHINE of Luzerne County has received $10,000 from Verizon as part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC). The presentation was made during a ceremony at Wilkes-Barre Area’s Heights Murray Elementary School by Frank Buzydlowski, Director of Government Affairs for Verizon in Pennsylvania, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), Mary Kolessar, former Director of SHINE of Luzerne County, and a dozen students who participate in the SHINE of Luzerne County after school program.

Federal Funding - Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th), state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), and Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy have announced a major federal grant for the SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) of Luzerne County after-school program. The grant totals nearly $400,000 for each of the next three years.

Carbon/Schuylkill

Federal funding - Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th), state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), and Lehigh Carbon Community College President Dr. Ann Bieber have announced a major federal grant for the Carbon and Schuylkill County SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) after-school program. The grant totals nearly $400,000 for each of the next three years.

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

   
Senator Yudichak talks with Panama Minister of Education Marcela Paredes de Vasquez and Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy and others at a Luzerne County SHINE tour at Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center. Senator Yudichak recently attended the Old School on Luzerne ribbon cutting ceremony in West Pittston. The building will now include 22 new affordable apartments for senior citizens.
Senator Yudichak talks with Panama Minister of Education Marcela Paredes de Vasquez and Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy and others at a Luzerne County SHINE tour at Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center. Senator Yudichak recently attended the
Old School on Luzerne ribbon cutting ceremony in West Pittston. The building will now include 22 new affordable apartments for senior citizens.
   
Senator Yudichak recently visited Wyoming Area Catholic to celebrate Catholic School’s Week. He was honored to be chosen as a celebrity reader for the event.  Senator Yudichak and Lt. Governor Mike Stack enjoyed the time they spent with students and staff from the Hazleton One Community Center.
Senator Yudichak recently visited Wyoming Area Catholic to celebrate Catholic School’s Week. He was honored to be chosen as a celebrity reader for the event.  Senator Yudichak and Lt. Governor Mike Stack enjoyed the time they spent with students and staff from the Hazleton One Community Center.
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New Budget, Same Rhetoric