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Sen. Yudichak Reports

Senator Yudichak Issues Statement on the 2019-20 State Budget

capitolState Senator John Yudichak issued the following statement after passage of the 2019-20 state budget:

“I commend Governor Tom Wolf and the bi-partisan coalition of legislators who fought for significant investments in education and workforce development programs that highlight the $34 billion state spending plan passed by the General Assembly.

“The budget builds upon strong economic growth numbers and contains no new taxes for residents of the Commonwealth while making the most significant deposit into the state’s Rainy Day Fund in more than a decade to guard against future tax increases.

“There are some big wins for northeastern Pennsylvania in terms of workforce development programs and economic development that will help us continue the unprecedented job growth we have experienced in the last two years which has attracted five national companies and 4,000 new jobs to the South Valley corridor in Luzerne County.”

Senator Argall and Senator Yudichak Announce Expansion of Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit

Senator David G. Argall and Senator John Yudichak recently announced that the Pennsylvania state budget includes a major expansion of the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit, which will protect over 3,000 energy jobs and continue the successful environmental reclamation work in counties impacted by centuries of coal mining.

The coal refuse industry is Pennsylvania’s private sector partner in producing energy with the environmental benefit of reclaiming over 7,000 acres of abandoned mine land and restoring more than 1,200 miles of polluted streams.

The legacy of coal mining in Pennsylvania persists with over 8,000 acres of abandoned mine lands that contain 220 million tons of coal refuse. The removal of coal refuse piles improves water quality, public health and safety and enables land to be utilized for conservation or economic purposes. It would cost the taxpayers $267 million annually to address the more than 770 coal refuse piles in Pennsylvania without the assistance of the coal refuse industry.

“Pennsylvania must invest with their private sector partners, like the coal refuse industry, to create good energy jobs that help us reclaim lands impacted by the legacy of coal mining which continues to threaten the quality of our land and water,” said Senator John Yudichak.

“The Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit is a proven economic incentive that has helped set the stage for unprecedented economic growth which has attracted five national companies and created 4,000 new jobs on former abandoned mine land in the South Valley communities of Luzerne County.”

Under the legislation, the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit program will extend the current expiration date of the program from 2026 to 2036 and increases the program’s annual cap from $10 million to $20 million.

Senators Yudichak and Killion Restore Pennsylvania Legislation Gaining Momentum in the Senate

Senator Yudichak and Gov. Wolf tour Lansford

State Senator John Yudichak and State Senator Tom Killion recently introduced the bipartisan Restore Pennsylvania legislation as Senate Bill 725.

Restore Pennsylvania is a major new infrastructure initiative funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. Restore Pennsylvania would inject $4.5 billion over the next four years in infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth.

Senator Yudichak visits Glen OnokoThe bill has gained serious momentum in the Senate with 23 Senators currently signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Representatives Jake Wheatley and Thomas Murt have introduced the legislation in the House as House Bill 1585.

“I am proud to stand with Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Killion, Representative Wheatley and Representative Murt in support of Restore PA, a bipartisan proposal that imposes a responsible severance tax on natural gas that can fund much needed public infrastructure projects in every Pennsylvania county,” said Senator John Yudichak. “Passing Restore PA will create a 21st century infrastructure system that enhances our roads, our flood and storm water management systems as well as expanding access to essential broadband internet services that improve public safety, health care access, and economic development opportunities for underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania.”

Senator Yudichak visits Glen Onoko“We have a real opportunity to make impactful infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania. Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan presented that can actually address the needs in every community,” said Gov. Wolf. “We have an opportunity to provide all of our students internet access, an opportunity to help our municipalities truly address the crippling effects of blight, an opportunity to help families devasted by flooding when the federal government turns its back on them, and so much more. We need to seize this opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.”

Senator Yudichak has been busy this summer promoting the Restore PA legislation with Governor Wolf. In Carbon County, Yudichak has recently visited Lansford, a borough dealing with an array of blight issues and just a few weeks later visited the base of the Glen Onoko Falls Trail, which is located in Jim Thorpe. The Glen Onoko Falls Trail is a popular hiking destination for both locals and tourists in the region that was recently closed due to deteriorating conditions.

In Luzerne County, Senator Yudichak recently joined DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn to highlight how Restore Pennsylvania could help the D&L National Heritage Corridor close a trail gap between Laurel Run Borough and the City of Wilkes-Barre on the D&L Trail.

The Restore Pennsylvania legislation is a sound way to raise the funding needed to help alleviate blight in Lansford, make the necessary improvements to the Glen Onoko Falls Trail, so that it can be reopened and close the D&L Trail gaps in Luzerne County. All of these important projects within the 14th District are examples of the type of infrastructure improvements that will be made throughout the state if Restore PA is enacted.

Senator Yudichak Announces State Funding for SHINE After-School Programs

State Senator John Yudichak announced recently that the state budget includes $400,000 each in an annual appropriation for both the Carbon/Schuylkill and Luzerne County SHINE after-school programs.

SHINE“I want to personally thank my Republican and Democrat colleagues in Carbon, Schuylkill, and Luzerne Counties for fighting alongside me for the children of northeastern Pennsylvania who benefit so greatly from the quality, STEM based after-school programming provided by the SHINE program,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

“With our educational partners, Wilkes University and Lehigh Carbon Community College, we have built a nationally recognized STEM based educational ecosystem that is improving student achievement in the classroom and building a stronger foundation for a 21st century workforce.”

“Senator Yudichak has been a true after-school hero for the nationally recognized Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE program. This funding has been instrumental in our expansion into eight Carbon and Schuylkill school districts, helps provide cutting edge STEM programming as well as deliver career modules that are relevant to our world today to over a thousand students,” said Rachel Miller Strucko, Director, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE Afterschool program.

“The SHINE after-school program at Wilkes University is excited to be receiving $400,000 in state funding. We are grateful to Senator Yudichak for this ongoing support of the SHINE program and his hard work to ensure the program is funded. This funding allows us to continue our important work in the ‘third learning space,’ ensuring children are safe, academically challenged and working toward the STEM based careers of the future during this valuable after-school time period,” said Carol Nicholas, Director, SHINE of Luzerne County.

The Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE program operates in eight school districts and is administered by the Lehigh Carbon Community College and provides academic support. The Luzerne County SHINE program operates in six school districts. Wilkes University is the educational host for SHINE of Luzerne County, providing administrative and educational support services for the program.

Senator Yudichak Announces 21st CCLC Funding for Shine Program

SHINE is Footloose

State Senator John Yudichak recently announced that the Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE after-school program and the Luzerne County SHINE after-school program have received 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant funding for 2019-2024. The federal funding is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) via the 21st CCLC program.

“The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is an essential element of the successful academic outcomes for students in the Carbon/Schuylkill and Luzerne County SHINE programs,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “Quality, STEM-based after-school programs, like SHINE, are expanding in northeastern Pennsylvania as a result of the continued support we have received from our federal legislative delegation and critical funding resources from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.”

SHINE is a nationally recognized after-school program operating in school districts in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne. The Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE program is administered by the Lehigh Carbon Community College and provides academic support. Wilkes University is the educational host for SHINE of Luzerne County, providing administrative and educational support services for the program. Over a thousand students are involved in the SHINE programs in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Lehigh Carbon Community College will receive $2.6 million as part of Cohort 10 of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant program for 2019-2024. The funding will be used to expand the SHINE after-school program in Weatherly School District, Palmerton School District and Shenandoah School District.

Wilkes University will receive $2 million as part of Cohort 10 of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant program for 2019-2024. Senator Yudichak and former U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta brought the SHINE program to Luzerne County in 2015.

Under the 21st CCLC Cohort 10 grant, PDE awarded 74 new grants for a total of $22 million in 21st CCLC grant funds for 2019-24.

Senator Yudichak and Members of the Task Force on Lead Exposure Discuss Legislative Recommendations of Advisory Committee and Task Force Report on Lead Exposure

Senator John Yudichak and legislative members of the Task Force on Lead Exposure held a press conference recently to discuss the legislative recommendations that were part of ‘Lead Exposure Risks and Response in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure.’    

Senator John Yudichak and others Joined to Discuss the Legislative Recommendations from the ‘Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in Pennsylvania - Watch Video
Senator John Yudichak and others joined to discuss the legislative recommendations from the Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in PA

The legislative members of the task force included Senators Lisa Baker, Wayne Fontana, Judy Schwank, Pat Stefano and Gene Yaw.

“The members of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure, created by Senate Resolution 33, have worked tirelessly to analyze the public health threat of lead exposure and their report underscores that lead exposure is an issue in every Pennsylvania county. We come together today, in the spirit of bipartisanship, to advance the legislative policy recommendations put forth by the Joint State Government Commission that will better protect Pennsylvania children from the risks of lead exposure and lead poisoning,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The advisory committee and task force made the following recommendations, several of which are being addressed through legislation announced at the press conference:

  • Require universal blood screenings for children;
  • Mandate inspections/certifications of child-care facilities with vulnerable populations;
  • Ensure safe housing is available to families through a residential rental property certification program;
  • Establish a statewide rental housing registry;
  • Establish a lead abatement grant program to assist property owners in conducting lead abatement;
  • Establish an interagency council to coordinate implementation of lead prevention programs and policies among the relevant state agencies;
  • Require all school drinking water systems to be inspected and certified;
  • Clarify plumbing system lead ban;
  • Permit municipal authorities operating public drinking water system to replace lateral lead service lines;
  • Require lead service line replacements and restrict partial lead water service line replacements;
  • Adopt the Uniform Property Maintenance Code; and
  • Provide guidance on private well construction.

Senator Lisa Baker and Senator Yudichak have introduced Senate Bill 312, which would require universal blood testing for children. Senate Bill 312 has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure was formed after legislation sponsored by Senator Yudichak, SR 33, was approved in 2017. The Joint State Government Commission released the report in April. The report is available online at http://jsg.legis.state.pa.us/

Senator Yudichak and Northpoint Development Welcome Spreetail and True Value to Luzerne County

State Senator John Yudichak and Northpoint Development announced that both Spreetail and True Value will open facilities located in the Hanover 9 site, which is in both Hanover Township and the City of Nanticoke.

Spreetail is an e-commerce company established in 2006 in Lincoln, Nebraska that is dedicated to making customers’ lives better and easier through a high-quality shopping experience, offering a simple and enjoyable way to shop for home, garden and backyard products. Over the past 13 years, Spreetail has grown and expanded across the country, with offices located in eight cities and six states with over 650 employees.

Senator Yudichak and Northpoint Development Welcome Spreetail to Luzerne County
Senator John Yudichak and Northpoint Development
welcome Spreetail to Luzerne County

“Spreetail’s decision to invest in Nanticoke continues to build upon an unprecedented surge in economic growth along the new South Valley Parkway,” said Senator John Yudichak. “With our great partner, NorthPoint Development, we welcome Spreetail to a growing list of global companies that are investing hundreds of millions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs in the South Valley/I-81 corridor.”  

NorthPoint Development, a privately held development firm in Kansas City has invested over $393 million in capital investment in the South Valley Corridor, creating over 4,600 new jobs.

In 2019, Spreetail will employ 50 people at the 610,000 sq. foot Hanover 9 site and expects to employ 120 by 2021. They will be hiring fulfillment team members at a starting wage of $16.50 per hour.

True Value Company, one of the world’s leading hardware wholesalers with a globally recognized brand recently announced a strategic investment of $150 million in supply chain optimization including a brand-new, cutting-edge distribution center in Hanover Township, PA.

SpreetailThe 1 million square feet of distribution space, currently under construction, is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in Luzerne County and support the entire northeast region, which consists of more than 1,000 retail locations.

“True Value’s significant investment in northeastern Pennsylvania further establishes the South Valley corridor as the place where quality, global brands come to do business and create jobs,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “As the South Valley Parkway nears completion, the return on a $90 million public infrastructure project has generated $1 billion in private investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs.”

True Value currently operates 13 distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The new distribution center, located at Hanover 9 Industrial Park in Hanover Township, is slated to open this fall.

Senator Yudichak Announces Funding for the 14th Senatorial District in Luzerne and Carbon Counties from the Commonwealth Financing Authority

State Senator John Yudichak recently announced that projects in the 14th Senatorial District will receive over $6.3 million in funding through the Luzerne County and Monroe County Local Share Account program from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. 40 Luzerne County projects in the 14th District received over $5.7 million in funding.

“The LSA Grant funding will help our local communities complete important infrastructure projects that will promote and sustain the substantial economic growth that is occurring in Luzerne County,” said Senator Yudichak. “Significant funding awarded to McCarthy Tire to expand its corporate headquarters in Wilkes-Barre, and the $1 million grant awarded to Hanover Township for its Industrial Park Circulation Road Project will help to further establish that northeastern Pennsylvania is the place where global and national brands want to do business.”

Hanover Township will receive $1 million in funding to help with the construction of the Hanover Township Industrial Park Circulation Road Project. The construction of the road will help to promote the further development of the Hanover 9 site that is currently being developed by NorthPoint Development.

The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $800,000 on behalf of McCarthy Tire for the construction and conversion of an industrial space on the corner of Conyngham Street and Wilkes Barre Boulevard to office space for McCarthy Tire’s Corporate Headquarters. The project will include complete site restoration, paving, landscaping and stormwater control.

The Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority will receive $330,000 on behalf of Luzerne County to help upgrade the county’s 911 system. The system, which is an analog system is currently out-of-date and needs to be converted to digital. The entire Luzerne County state delegation worked together to acquire this funding.

View all the Luzerne County projects in the 14th District that were awarded funding »

In Carbon County, seven projects will receive $624,338 in funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account.
“The state’s investment today ensures that Carbon County continues to develop and progress towards a brighter future,” said Senator Yudichak.

Carbon County will receive $158,338 in funding to help complete its proposed Emergency Operations Training Center. The proposed center will be a two-building facility that will provide county first responders with live fire training sites, a drill tower, police training facility and classrooms where first responders can receive instruction and training.

The facility will also house the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency and will provide vehicle and emergency apparatus parking garages. The facility will also house a stormwater management system that will recycle water that is collected and will then be used for live fire training exercises.

Carbon County received $169,069 on behalf of the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Downtown Jim Thorpe for upgrades and renovations to the building. Upgrades and renovations will include: new stage curtains, an air conditioning system, sound absorption system, sound system, and new console.

The Mauch Chunk Opera House is a non-profit organization and music venue that seats approximately 380 people and is one of the northeast’s premiere listening spaces and most intimate concert venues, which brings approximately 25,000 people per year to Downtown Jim Thorpe and Carbon County.

View all the Carbon County projects that were funded »

Around the 14th District

Senator Yudichak and Cassidy Eckrote I was recently honored along with State Senator Lisa Baker with the 2019 Community Stewardship Award
I was proud to have Cassidy Eckrote with me in Harrisburg recently. Cassidy is interning in my District Office for the second straight summer and she recently graduated in May from Penn State Wilkes-Barre with a Business Degree and was class salutatorian. I was recently honored along with State Senator Lisa Baker with the 2019 Community Stewardship Award from the North Branch Land Trust. Congrats to NBLT on 25 years and 20,000 acres conserved.
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Senator Yudichak and Colonel Robert Evanchick Senator Yudichak and Luzerne Foundation –
I was pleased to recently announce that the Senate has confirmed Wilkes-Barre native Colonel Robert Evanchick as the 23rd Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner. I recently presented the Luzerne Foundation a citation from the Pennsylvania Senate in honor of their 25th anniversary. Thank you for all that you do for northeastern Pennsylvania.
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Senator Yudichak and Noah Gorski  
I was pleased to have Noah Gorski recently shadow me for the day in Harrisburg. Noah is a Business Major with a minor in Political Science at West Chester University where he will be a junior this fall. Noah is a 2017 graduate of Lake Lehman High School. Also pictured is Noah’s father Brian Gorski.  
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