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Sen. Yudichak Reports

CapitolYudichak Pleased with the Release of Funding for Schools

Following Governor Wolf’s announcement regarding the 2015-2016 supplemental budget bill, Sen. John Yudichak released the following statement:

“I am pleased that much-needed funding will finally be delivered to schools and other important state services. However, I remain deeply frustrated with the budget process.”

“Now, it is time to move forward, in a bipartisan manner, to enact a responsible and timely budget for this upcoming fiscal year.”

Democratic Senators Call for Statewide Task Force, More Testing to Determine Extent of PA’s Lead Problem

With 18 Pennsylvania cities testing higher than Flint, Mich., for elevated blood lead levels, and a growing chorus of evidence indicating a worsening statewide lead problem, Sen. Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Vince Hughes, several of his Senate Democratic colleagues, and state health officials offered a focused course of action to better protect children and their families.

“Whether it’s lead in the water or in the peeling paint that still clings to aging homes and school buildings, we believe we have a problem that will only grow worse if we do nothing to help now,” Sen. Hughes said. “Our five-bill package today will help us get a better understanding of lead and how it is threatening generations of Pennsylvanians.

“The effect of lead is not reversible, and it’s pretty serious,” Hughes said. “Experts are talking about lead’s potential relationship to learning disabilities, autism, and behavioral health problems. We must do more to stop this trend.”

“In 2014, I sponsored legislation that was enacted to reduce the levels of lead in drinking water. It is a critical public health and environmental issue. We need to be doing everything we can to reduce the public’s exposure to lead,” Sen. Yudichak said. “That is why I am introducing SB 1173. This task force would look at all the pathways that the public can be exposed to lead and make recommendations as to how we can reduce the risk of lead exposure.”

Senator Yudichak discusses lead taskforce in PA Senator Yudichak speaks at press conference on lead levels in PA
Senator Yudichak talks about the importance of a statewide taskforce in order to find the best ways to remediate the lead issues throughout the commonwealth.

Sens. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia), Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) and Hughes are each sponsoring one bill in the five-bill package:

  • Senate Bill 1173 (Yudichak) would create a task force to study the scope of the lead issue, including an accounting of the age of the state’s housing stock, pipelines, school buildings and day care centers. It would also study best practices and make recommendations.

  • Senate Bill 1174 (Haywood) would require every school building to be tested (water, paint, soil) for lead before a school year begins. Test results would be sent to parents of every enrolled child and posted on school district websites. If a school tests at lead levels higher than the Centers for Disease Control’s acceptable amount, it would be required to submit a remediation plan to the state Department of Education.

  • Senate Bill 1175 (Kitchen) seeks to require lead testing (water, paint, soil) in day care centers licensed by the PA Department of Human Services. DHS would be prohibited from issuing a license to a day care operator if lead levels are higher than CDC recommended readings.

  • Senate Bill 1176 (Fontana) would require any agreement of sale for real property in the commonwealth to include an option to have the water tested for lead.

  • Senate Bill 1177 (Hughes) would create a “SuperFund for Lead Abatement” that could be used by schools, day care centers, and other organizations to defray lead remediation costs.

Senator Yudichak In Action

Senator Yudichak speaks at PA Chamber's Environmental and Energy Forum Senator Yudichak speaks at Chamber's Environmental and Energy Forum Senator Yudichak was recently asked to be the keynote speaker at the PA Chamber of Business and Industry’s annual Environmental and Energy Forum.
   
Senator Yudichak at recent DEP budget hearings Senator Yudichak at recent DEP budget hearings Senator Yudichak discusses the DEP response to the Jeansville Mine Fire in Banks Township located in Carbon County at the recent PA DEP budget hearings.
   
Senator Yudichak speaks at Greater Hazelton Chamber event Senator Yudichak speaks at Greater Hazelton Chamber event Senator Yudichak’s remarks from the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Breakfast event at The Cinema and Drafthouse.
   
Senator Yudichak speaks about Shine on the PA Report Senator Yudichak speaks about Shine on the PA Report On the PA Report, Senator Yudichak talks about the SHINE after school program coming to Hazelton.

Around the 14th District

Senator Yudichak reads during Read Across America Day Senator Yudichak presents a citation  to the late Tom Tigue's family
Senator Yudichak reads to a class of students from Dan Flood Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre on National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day). Senator Yudichak presented the late Tom Tigue’s family a citation honoring him for being awarded the Joe Saparito Sr. Lifetime Service Award by the Pittston Sunday Dispatch.
   
Senator Yudichak presents a citation to Carbon County Magisterial Judge Edward Lewis Senator Yudichak stands with Jim Thorpe Police Chief
At the 19th annual Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Senator Yudichak presented former Carbon County Magisterial Judge Edward Lewis a citation, honoring him on his retirement and his years of service. Senator Yudichak is pictured with Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joe Schatz, Jim Thorpe Mayor Mike Sofranko, and State Rep. Doyle Heffley (122nd District) with the borough’s new police vehicle. The vehicle was purchased with a LSA grant.
   
Senator Yudichak with students from Kings University's Athletic Training Program Senator Yudichak with Luzerne County officials
Senator Yudichak recently spent time with students from Kings University’s Athletic Training Program at the capitol as they were there celebrating National Athletic Training Month. Senator Yudichak along with federal and Luzerne County officials helped to bring over $5 million in funding to the West Pittston Disaster Recovery Project.

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