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Sen. Yudichak Reports

$800,000 in State Funding Announced for SHINE After School Program in 14th Senate District

SHINEThe Luzerne County Legislative Delegation recently announced that the new state budget invests $400,000 in state funding in the SHINE After School Program of Luzerne County at Wilkes University. The Carbon-Schuylkill SHINE program will also receive $400,000 in funding.

The Carbon-Schuylkill SHINE program has been in operation over the past ten years and is the model followed by the Luzerne County SHINE program.  The success of the Carbon-Schuylkill SHINE program provides a solid foundation for the Luzerne County SHINE program.

SHINE is an evidence based, data driven program dedicated to improving academic performance, empowering families and developing a 21st century workforce. The SHINE After School Program of Luzerne County at Wilkes University was spearheaded by State Senator John Yudichak and Congressman Lou Barletta who have worked together to secure $3 million in federal, state and private funding to support the Luzerne County SHINE program.

“I appreciate the support of my legislative colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, who see the value of the SHINE after school program in our local school districts and who understand that an investment in our children is an investment in a better Luzerne County,” said state Senator John Yudichak.

The county’s legislative delegation includes: Senators John Yudichak, John Gordner, Lisa Baker and John Blake; and Representatives Aaron Kaufer,Gerald Mullery, Eddie Day Pashinski, Tarah Toohil, Michael Carroll and Karen Boback.
Luzerne County SHINE currently operates educational centers in five school districts including: Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Nanticoke, Wyoming Valley West and Hanover.

Wilkes University serves as the educational host for SHINE of Luzerne County and provides administrative and educational support services for the program.

“I am so grateful to the legislature for seeing the value that the SHINE after school program brings to the children of our region. This investment in our children’s future will allow us to continue the work we have only just begun. This commitment to the program will allow us to provide academic enrichment for our children, allowing them to build a stronger academic foundation, and preparing them for the careers of the future,” said Carol Nicholas, director, SHINE of Luzerne County at Wilkes University.

Bridge Opening Completes Coal Creek Flash Flood Recovery

State Senator John Yudichak remarks at the
Coal Street Bridge Ribbon Cutting :: July 5, 2016
State Senator John Yudichak remarks at the Coal Street Bridge Ribbon Cutting :: July 5, 2016

State Senator John Yudichak was joined by federal, state and local officials last month to cut the ribbon to open the Coal Street Bridge in Plymouth Township. The bridge was destroyed in a serious flash flood in July, 2011 that caused more than $1 Million in damage to the Coal Creek watershed. A temporary bridge was installed a few months after the flood, until a new bridge was designed and built.

“The formal opening of the bridge marks the completion of a remarkable recovery on Coal Street and is a symbol of the tireless work, coordination and cooperation between citizens and officials at all levels of government,” said Senator Yudichak. “The disaster of 2011 could have broken the spirit of many communities, but here in Plymouth Township and Plymouth Borough it was a rallying cry.”

“I would like to thank the Plymouth Township supervisors for their leadership, dedication, and commitment to completion of this project,” said Representative Gerald Mullery (D-119th).

This is a great example of how state and local governments can work together on improving infrastructure.”

“Plymouth Township is grateful for everyone who contributed in any way to make this day possible and help in the construction of the bridge,” said Gail Conrad, Chairperson, Plymouth Township Board of Supervisors. “The tremendous cooperation from everyone – federal, state, and local officials, in addition to all the agencies – says it all. Special thanks to our neighbors in Plymouth Borough. It shows again good things happen when everyone pulls together – no one can do things alone.”

Representatives for Governor Tom Wolf, Congressman Lou Barletta, Senator Bob Casey and Pat Toomey were joined by Luzerne County officials, and Plymouth Borough officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

PA Budget Includes Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit to Help Create Jobs and Restore Mine Lands

The recently enacted Pennsylvania state budget includes the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit Program to assist companies who create jobs and help restore mine scarred land.

Senator John YudichakFor the first time in Pennsylvania history, the coal refuse electric generation industry will be eligible for a tax credit of $4 per ton of coal refuse. In the 2016-17 state budget, $7.5 million in tax credits will be available and that number will rise to $10 million in 2017-18. No company will be eligible for more than 22.2 percent of credits available in any year.

“The Coal Refuse and Reclamation Tax Credit will have a profound impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and environment,” said Senator John Yudichak. “Coal refuse generation plants, like Panther Creek Energy in Nesquehoning, can leverage these tax credits with private sector funds to create more jobs, reclaim more land and produce more affordable electricity.”

Presently, the coal refuse electric generation and reclamation industry employs 3,800 Pennsylvania residents and the generation plants combined create 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy. The industry has removed approximately 200 million tons of refuse coal from mine scarred land in Pennsylvania.

“Panther Creek Energy and the coal refuse remediation industry are greatly appreciative of the General Assembly’s passage and the Governor’s signing of the Coal Refuse Energy Tax Credit legislation,” said Sean Lane, a representative from Olympus Power LLC, owner of Panther Creek Energy. “This signifies a deepening of the Commonwealth’s commitment to support an industry that cleans up the coal refuse piles in the anthracite and bituminous regions of our state. The program is also evidence of the continuation of our partnership with Pennsylvania as we address the environmental, human health and safety hazards posed by the refuse piles littering the Commonwealth.”

Yudichak: LSA Grants Fund Job Creation, Economic Development, Public Safety Projects

State Senator John Yudichak recently announced that thirty-nine Luzerne County projects in the 14th Senatorial District will receive more than $7 million in state funding through the Luzerne County Local Share Account (LSA) and six Carbon County projects will receive $528,000 in state funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account.

“Critical investments in our regional economy and the core infrastructure of our local communities leverage private investments and create jobs.” said Senator Yudichak. “With this funding, we are upgrading infrastructure, enhancing public safety, and revitalizing our downtowns.  Ultimately, this funding fosters partnerships and ensures continued progress and development.”

Senator Yudichak worked to secure the funding for local communities with area state representatives Mike Carroll, Aaron Kaufer, Gerald Mullery, Eddie Day Pashinski, Tarah Toohil, and Doyle Heffley.

Click the links below for project descriptions for both Luzerne and Carbon Counties.

Yudichak Lauds Business Investment Bill in Budget Package

capitolCalling it a good way to boost the state’s economic growth, State Senator John Yudichak praised an item in the new budget that makes state grant and loan dollars available for shovel-ready business expansion projects.

The measure, which was amended in the state’s fiscal code, funds the state’s “Business in Our Sites” (BIOS) program, which invests state dollars in shovel-ready sites to spur economic development. Yudichak said lawmakers were able to re-capitalize the program by transferring $75 million from the state’s “First Industries” and “Building PA” programs.

“The Business in Our Sites program will allow us to make significant new investments in efforts to grow businesses and create jobs,” said Senator Yudichak. “As I work with business leaders from throughout our region on innovative ways to diversify and build our economy, it is helpful when we have additional state resources available to strengthen our efforts.”

“CAN DO has successfully used the BIOS program for the development of several projects including the Humboldt Industrial Park North and Humboldt Station,” said W. Kevin O’Donnell, President of the industrial and economic development corporation serving Greater Hazleton.  “As a direct result, millions of dollars of private investment was made and thousands of jobs created in Greater Hazleton.”

Administered by the state’s Commonwealth Financing Agency, Business in our Sites grant awards are limited to 40 percent of the financing awarded, up to $4 million. The program provides grant and loan investments to current and emerging businesses interested in locating, expanding and developing business sites in Pennsylvania. Up to a third of the program’s money can be used to provide grants.

Senator Seeks Common Ground on Environment - Letter to the Editor


Standard SpeakerPragmatism is needed more than ever on energy and environmental issues. As such, it is disappointing to see several radical environmental groups unfairly blaming state Sen. John Yudichak for the abrupt departure of former DEP secretary John Quigley. Mr. Quigley’s email speaks for itself, and the governor was well within his rights to accept the resignation.

Sen. Yudichak has, as the minority chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, repeatedly sought collaboration among stakeholders involved in difficult issues — including drilling, energy and climate — a welcome step given Pennsylvania’s burdensome regulatory environment.

On the Clean Power Plan — which threatens to raise prices, cost jobs and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s own admission will do little to impact global emissions — Sen. Yudichak has urged we proceed thoughtfully.

But instead of supporting this sort of level-headed approach, some environmental groups appear to have heeded former secretary Quigley’s call to punish Democrats for “apostasy.” That’s unfortunate, because Sen. Yudichak’s thoughtful, practical approach to these types of issues is better for Pennsylvanians than ideological fervor.

Gene Barr,
President and CEO,
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Sen. Yudichak's Community Corner

Senator Yudichak comments on Jim Thorpe’s brand new Sgt. A.J. Baddick Memorial Bridge, which is an important infrastructure transportation project for all of Carbon County.. Senator Yudichak has been working closely with the Earth Conservancy and DEP to help clean up the Askome Borehole in Luzerne County.
The continued reclamation of the Bliss Bank Mine Site can provide Luzerne County with land for economic development and job growth..  Senator Yudichak, DEP, and the Earth Conservancy have been working together to reclaim mine scarred land to improve the environmental and economical landscape in Luzerne County.
  Senator Yudichak recently addressed Luzerne County residents about the safety, economical, and infrastructure improvements the South Valley Parkway Project will bring to the NEPA region. Senator Yudichak along with his legislative colleagues and Plymouth Township officials recently participated in the ribbon cutting of the rebuilt Coal Street Bridge.

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Standard Speaker Senator John Yudichak Sgt A.J. Baddick Memorial Bridge Pennsylvania Report June 2016 :: Earth Conservancy – Askam Borehole Pennsylvania Report June 2016 :: Earth Conservancy – Bliss Bank Reclamation Project Pennsylvania Report June 2016 :: Earth Conservancy – Hanover 9 South Valley Parkway Expansion Press Conference Senator John Yudichak Particpates in the Coal Street Bridge Ribbon Cutting