Senator Yudichak Statement on the Closure of White Haven Center

Nanticoke, August 14, 2019:  State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) has released the following statement regarding the closure of White Haven Center.

“The closure of White Haven Center, announced today by the Department of Human Services, is a terrible blow for patients, employees, and the people of Luzerne County who care deeply about how those with intellectual disabilities are treated.

Without warning or any advance notification, I was informed by Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller this morning that over the next thirty-six months White Haven Center will close.  It is a decision that was made without consultation or an ounce of input from the Luzerne County legislative delegation.  It is a decision that should be investigated and examined thoroughly from every perspective, especially from the perspective of the families who have entrusted the care of their loved ones to White Haven Center.  

My mother, Sally Yudichak, worked for many years at White Haven Center. As a result, I got to know many of the employees and many of the families who loved White Haven Center. It is a special place, a loving home operated by a caring staff who consider themselves family. I hope over the coming months the Department of Human Services will reconsider this abrupt and poor decision to close White Haven Center.”

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St. Luke’s University Health Network Awarded $750,000 for Hospital Project in Carbon County, Announce Heffley, Yudichak

HARRISBURG – August 1, 2019 − St. Luke’s University Health Network today was awarded a $750,000 state grant that will go toward construction of its new hospital in Franklin Township, Carbon County, announced Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon). The two legislators, working together, played a key role in securing the funding through Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).  

“I fully support this important project, which will provide residents of the county and beyond with access to high-quality patient care much closer to home,” said Heffley. “In addition, the hundreds of family-sustaining health care jobs being created will have a positive impact on our local economy.”

“Today’s state funding announcement for the construction of a brand-new St. Luke’s University Health Network hospital facility in Franklin Township is a game-changer for the people and visitors of Carbon County,” Yudichak said. “The state’s investment will offer convenient, quality health care to our Carbon County residents with a state-of-the-art hospital that will also boost the regional economy with the creation and retention of over 900 family-sustaining jobs.”

St. Luke’s plans to construct a three-story, 155,500-square-foot acute care hospital which will consolidate all inpatient, outpatient and emergency services from the two existing hospitals it operates in the county into one modern facility. The new hospital will have a 15-20 bed emergency department, at least three operating rooms, a radiology department and additional ancillary services. The Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton medical campuses are being repurposed to provide additional health care services to complement the new hospital.

“This grant is great news for Carbon County. It will help St. Luke’s get started on construction of its new full-service, 80-bed hospital in Franklin Township that will create hundreds of family-sustaining jobs and allow area residents to receive even complex medical care close to home,” said John Nespoli, president of St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton campuses. 

RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects with a focus on job creation.

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Senator Yudichak Announces $5.5 million in RACP Funding for the 14th Senatorial District in Luzerne County

Harrisburg, August 1, 2019: State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that $5.5 million in state grant funding has been awarded for five projects for the 14th Senatorial District in Luzerne County.  

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund will receive $2 million for the Gateway Center Project. The Gateway Center Project will be a mixed-use urban development, comprised of two primary elements: a four-story building containing an 83-key-select-service hotel, and an eight-story mid-rise building containing 33 market rate residences above the hotel’s associated two-story conference/banquet facility. The residential units will showcase panoramic river, mountain and city views while the conference center will include a balcony and terrace overlooking the Susquehanna River.

“We have worked together with Governor Wolf to revitalize the city of Wilkes-Barre and bring national corporations to the county seat. Funding for the Gateway Center Project represents another major step in transforming the downtown with a first-class mixed-use hotel/conference center and residential apartments that will make everyone want to call Wilkes-Barre home,” said State Senator John Yudichak.  

McCarthy Tire Service, a family owned and operated commercial tire company will receive $500,000 for the expansion of their national headquarters in Wilkes-Barre. McCarthy Tire Service was founded by Joseph J. McCarthy in 1926 in Wilkes-Barre. The company currently has more than 50 service locations along the east coast of the United States.

“McCarthy Tire, a national leader in the tire service industry, will continue to grow their homegrown business in the city of Wilkes-Barre. For decades, McCarthy Tire has invested in creating quality, family sustaining jobs that have bolstered the economy of northeastern Pennsylvania and aided in Wilkes-Barre’s revitalization efforts,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “Because of McCarthy Tire Service and Guard Insurance, more and more national corporations continue to take notice of the economic opportunities that exist across Luzerne County.”  

“As we continue with plans to expand our national headquarters in Wilkes-Barre, I’d like to thank Senator Yudichak and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski for their assistance in obtaining this important grant funding that will help us grow our operations and create and retain jobs,” said John D. McCarthy, Jr., President and CEO of McCarthy Tire Service. “McCarthy Tire Service is a family business, and our customers are like family to us. This expansion will help us to continue to provide our customers with the service they have come to expect from us, while also allowing us to continue to call northeastern Pennsylvania home.”  

Additionally, the Irem Temple Restoration Project in Wilkes-Barre will receive $1 million for Phase 1 and 2 of their restoration. This will include site security that will secure all doors and windows and install security and fire alarm systems, masonry repair, roof repair and water drainage that will repair the roof and interior gutters. Once the building is stabilized, the main auditorium can be repaired and restored.

Representative Eddie Day Pashinski assisted with securing funding for the Gateway Center Project, McCarthy Tire Service, and the Irem Temple Restoration Project.

Lehigh Valley Health Network will receive $1 million as part of a multi-phased expansion project at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton’s Health & Wellness Center campus located along the Airport Beltway in Hazle and Butler Townships. The funding received will assist with a major expansion of facilities and consolidation of outpatient services that will create an ambulatory medical mall at this location. New services being planned for the medical mall will include a medical pavilion, primary care pavilion, women and children’s pavilion, surgical center, cancer services expansion and an urgent care center. Additionally, wellness, rehab, fitness, cardiac rehab, and ancillary testing services such as laboratory, cardiology, and imaging will be centrally located at the medical mall. 

“Lehigh Valley Health Network offers quality health care services to patients across northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Today’s funding will allow the Lehigh Valley Health Network to expand their services at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Hazleton in an effort to deliver access to affordable, quality healthcare,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

Representatives Gerald Mullery and Tarah Toohil assisted with securing funding for the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

“On behalf of our senior leadership at Lehigh Valley Health Network as well as our entire team at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton, I want to express our extreme gratitude to all the members of our state legislative delegation for this support,” said John Fletcher, President, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton. “They worked very hard on our behalf to secure this significant funding to help meet the health care needs in Hazleton and surrounding communities. This funding will go a long way toward providing critical services and access for local residents as we expand and advance our health care campus along the Airport Beltway in Hazle and Butler Townships.”

Additionally, Luzerne County will receive $1 million for the CALO White Haven Development in Foster Township for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of four vacant buildings and the construction of at least two new buildings that will establish a residential treatment facility to treat the effects of early childhood trauma.  

Representatives Gerald Mullery and Tarah Toohil assisted Senator Yudichak with securing funding for the CALO White Haven Development project. 

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Funding for Local Housing Projects

Harrisburg, July 12, 2019 − State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that three local projects have received $315,000 in funding through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund.

“PHARE funding received through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency will allow these three organizations to offer an array of services and programs that will help our citizens with their housing needs and allow them to live more independent lives,” said Senator Yudichak.

The Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania will receive $175,000 to fully rehab a 3,162 square foot building that is declining into a blighted state on East Division Street in Wilkes-Barre. The building will be called the Haven Home and will be used to empower and equip people with intellectual disabilities to live freely and independently.

The Housing Development Corporation of NEPA will receive $125,000 for the Luzerne County Senior/Disabled Home Retention Program. The program will assist seniors and disabled households who are living at home in Luzerne County in at-risk housing to complete home rehabilitation/modification tasks which will enable them to retain their housing and continue living at home.

The Commission on Economic Opportunity will receive $15,000 to develop a Housing Counseling & Homeless Prevention Program in Luzerne and Monroe counties intended to provide direct assistance in the forms of one-time mortgage payments, rental arrers, inspection services, and staffing for case management.

The projects were approved by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

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Senator Yudichak Announces State Funding for SHINE After-School Programs

Harrisburg, July 2, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) has announced that the state budget includes $400,000 each in an annual appropriation for both the Carbon/Schuylkill and Luzerne County SHINE after-school programs.

“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.

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

Harrisburg, June 27, 2019 – Senator David G. Argall (R – Schuylkill/Berks) and Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today 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.”

“With the expansion of this tax credit, we can help protect jobs and continue the progress which we have seen over the past few decades,” said Senator Argall. “Growing up, we were surrounded by black mountains of waste coal that polluted our environment. Our children grow up now surrounded by far more green fields and mountains and with the expansion of this tax credit, we hope that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will experience even more green—rather than brown and gray.”

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. 

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Senator Yudichak Issues Statement on the 2019-20 State Budget

Harrisburg, June 27, 2019 — State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) 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.”

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Carly Simpson

Communications Director

Senator John Yudichak

(717) 787-7105

carly.simpson@pasenate.com

Senator Yudichak Issues Statement on SR 226 Report

Harrisburg, June 19, 2019 — Today the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee issued its performance evaluation of two of the largest, most widely used environmental permitting programs with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The report was required by Senator Yudichak’s Senate Resolution 226 which passed the Senate unanimously in 2018.

“I want to commend the staff of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee for a thorough report on the deficiencies in critical environmental permitting programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “While I acknowledge DEP has made strides to reform the permit process, the report clearly demonstrates more management improvements are needed to ensure DEP permits adequately protect the environment and are issued in an efficient, effective and timely manner.”

The performance evaluation identified several areas for improvement in the Department of Environmental Protection’s administration of the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control (Chapter 102) and Water Obstruction and Encroachment (Chapter 105) programs.  The final report is available online at http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us/

 

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Senator Yudichak and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski Announce Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Harrisburg, June 17, 2019 — State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D – Luzerne) announced a $100,000 Historic Preservation Tax Credit today from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The tax credit will be used to rehabilitate the Spring Brook Water Supply Company building in the River Street Historical District for the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering program at King’s College. The project has an estimated construction expenditure of $4.6 million.

“Public-private partnerships are the driving force behind the economic revitalization occurring in downtown Wilkes-Barre. As the engineering program continues to grow at King’s College, students will work toward their future goals while honoring the history of the Spring Brook Water Supply Company building,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, administered by DCED and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission since 2013, has invested more than $18 million to rehabilitate 105 historic buildings leveraging an estimated $1.5 billion in construction expenditures.

“I’m pleased that this competitive tax credit has been allocated and will help King’s College preserve this beautiful building while advancing their Mechanical and Electrical Engineering program,” Representative Pashinski said. “This credit will go a long way to ensure the Spring Brook Water Supply Company building is utilized and enjoyed for generations to come.”

“This state program provides vital support to bring historic buildings such as the Spring Brook Water Company building on Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre back to life and economic usefulness. King’s will have well over 100 engineering students in the facility this fall. It’s great for the city, county and college,” said John R. Loyack, Executive Vice President, King’s College.

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Senator Yudichak Statement on Senate Bill 94

Harrisburg, June 11, 2019 – Today, the Senate Labor and Industry Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 94 which includes language from Senator Yudichak’s Senate Bill 393 from the 2017-18 session to require workers compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance corps personnel and volunteer rescue squad members who suffer injuries while providing assistance on state game lands.

“Our municipalities should not have to incur additional financial burdens when providing assistance on state game lands,” said Senator John Yudichak. “As we have seen at the Glen Onoko Falls in Carbon County, our volunteer responders have risked their lives to save others, and they should receive the same protections as employees of the Pennsylvania Game Commission during emergency work on these state game lands. I’d like to thank Senators Scott Martin and Kristin Phillips-Hill for sponsoring Senate Bill 94 and the chairs of the committee, Senators Bartolotta and Tartaglione for considering the legislation today.”

SB 94, which clarifies the definition of employee under the Workers’ Compensation Act, will now go to the full Senate for consideration. 

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Senator Yudichak and Senator Killion Introduce Restore Pennsylvania Legislation

Harrisburg, June 6, 2019 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and Senator Tom Killion (R – Chester/Delaware) have 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.

“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.”

“I am pleased to introduce this important legislation along with Senator Yudichak,” said Senator Killion. “Well-working infrastructure is critical to our economy and job growth. Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state that doesn’t tax that finite natural resource. Restore Pennsylvania will revolutionize how critical infrastructure projects are funded, and I am proud to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to get this done for our communities and working families.”

“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.”

Senate Bill 725 has 25 cosponsors. Representatives Jake Wheatley (D – Allegheny) and Thomas Murt (R – Montgomery/Philadelphia County) have introduced the legislation in the House as House Bill 1585.

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Senator Yudichak Announces 21st CCLC Funding for Shine Program

Harrisburg, June 5, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today 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.

“The Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE Program is excited to partner with the Weatherly, Palmerton and Shenandoah school districts and expand our project-based STEAM programming to serve another 175 students,” said Rachel Miller Strucko, Director, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Carbon/Schuylkill SHINE Afterschool program.

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.

“The SHINE program at Wilkes University is excited to be chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Education ‘s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to receive a Cohort 10 grant. These funds will allow us to continue to provide quality STEM based after-school services to our existing sites as well as offer services to two new sites, Kistler Elementary Center in Wilkes-Barre and an elementary program at Pittston Area.  We are truly grateful to the PA Department of Education for recognizing the value of the SHINE program and providing us the resources to continue our mission to provide safe, stimulating after school programming while preparing our students for the careers of the future,” said Carol Nicholas, Director of SHINE of Luzerne County.

Additionally, the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance will be receiving $2.3 million in 21st CCLC funds for 2019-2024. They will be replicating the Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE Program for its rural implementation of their successful SHINE program. The program will serve 270 children annually and they will be partnering with the Luzerne SHINE program at Wilkes University for best practices, guidance and support.

“The Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance is proving exceptionally resourceful in efforts to better connect today’s students with the jobs of tomorrow.  Putting this sort of extra investment toward bolstering learning outside the classroom, for students who may not receive everything they need to compete from their regular classwork, seems a promising approach based on the results from elsewhere. Leaders across our communities are hoping such innovations will result in better prepared workers, contributing to local economic progress,” said Senator Lisa Baker (R-20).

“I’m pleased to partner with Senator Yudichak and the other stakeholders on the SHINE program. Engaging and empowering our youth is critically important and these efforts will pay dividends for decades to come,” said Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111). Representative Michael Peifer (R-139) also worked with Senator Baker and Representative Fritz on this funding.

“On behalf of the Wayne Highlands School District, we are honored and excited about the SHINE program being implemented in our District and in Western Wayne & Wallenpaupack Area School Districts.  The combined efforts of Workforce Alliance and the community schools is a great demonstration of how great things can happen. Best of all, our students will benefit from this highly regarded program,” said Greg Frigoletto, Superintendent Wayne Highlands School District.

“Having been associated with the SHINE program since 2010, I have seen firsthand the value of investing in our youth. I’m happy to continue the expansion in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Lucyann Vierling, Executive Director of the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance.

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.

“Twenty-first Century Learning Centers grants provide critical investments for communities to expand educational opportunities for students and families,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said.  “This year’s recipients were selected with an emphasis on improving educational equity and expanding the geographic reach of Pennsylvania’s programs.  As a result, more students across the state will have access to wellness, literacy, and career and technical education programs, among others.”

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Senator Yudichak and Representative Toohil Announce Red Light Enforcement Funds for Hazleton Project

Nanticoke, May 29, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and State Representative Tarah Toohil (R – Luzerne) announced today that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) awarded the City of Hazleton with $269,430 in Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding.

The funding will be used to upgrade the traffic signal at the intersection of 15th Street and Grant Street by installing mast arms, new signal heads, pedestrian countdown signals with push buttons, video detection system, emergency preemption system, pavement markings and ADA ramps.

“The ARLE program is an important tool in helping to make our roads safer for the millions of pedestrians and motorists that use them each day,” said State Senator Yudichak.

State Senator Yudichak worked with State Representative Tarah Toohil to acquire the funding.

“I am pleased the signals at this busy intersection will be modernized,” said State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne). “The new technology will make it safer for students walking to school and improve traffic flow.”

“The City of Hazleton is grateful and gracious for the funding it has been awarded today. I appreciate the hard work of our legislators for securing this funding, which will enable the City of Hazleton to keep progressing in the right direction with a safer infrastructure system,” said Jeff Cusat, City of Hazleton Mayor.

Today’s funding announcement for the City of Hazleton was a part of Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement that 38 municipalities statewide will be receiving $15.4 million in ARLE funding.

The ARLE system is a technological tool to help police by automatically monitoring signalized intersections for red-light-running violators on a 24/7 basis. This improves safety and allows law enforcement officers to focus resources on other critical police functions.

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

Harrisburg, May 7, 2019 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and legislative members of the Task Force on Lead Exposure held a press conference today 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.’ The legislative members of the task force included Senators Lisa Baker (R – Luzerne/Pike/Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), Wayne Fontana (D – Allegheny), Judy Schwank (D – Berks), Pat Stefano (R – Fayette/Somerset/Westmoreland) and Gene Yaw (R – Bradford/Lycoming/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Union).

“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 today’s 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.

“We have known for a while now how debilitating lead exposure is to the health and development of children. Recent revelations of lead tainted water in schools and homes have raised additional alarms. There is an obligation to have every child tested, in order to find out who has been affected, to monitor and treat those who have, and to locate the source of contamination so preventative measures can be taken,” said Senator Baker.

Senator Judy Schwank has introduced Senate Bill 39, which will require lead testing at child daycare programs. The bill requires the Department of Human Services to include lead testing of water, paint, soil and dust in the licensing process for child daycare programs. Senate Bill 39 has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

“My bill, SB 39, aims to protect children in day care programs by ensuring the facilities where they play and learn at the earliest ages are tested for lead,” Senator Schwank said.

Senator Gene Yaw will introduce legislation that requires all school drinking water systems to be tested for lead contamination.

“Lead contamination in schools and in public drinking water supplies is a real threat across our state and our nation,” said Senator Gene Yaw. “It’s unfortunate that schools, a place where our children spend much of their time, can have unsafe levels of lead in their water supply. The bill is one more step we can take to protect our children and school employees from potential health hazards.”

Senator Wayne Fontana plans to introduce a bill that will establish a statewide rental housing registry.

“Our fundamental job as public officials is to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. With increasingly aging infrastructure throughout our Commonwealth, it’s imperative that we do all we can to help local communities on lead abatement projects,” said Senator Fontana. “We must also monitor the sources of lead contamination in our public spaces and in private homes, so that people are educated to what degree they may be exposed. As a result of the study recommendations, my legislation will establish a statewide rental housing registry that has been certified as lead free or lead safe so as to allow potential tenants to verify if housing they are considering will be safe for their families.”

Senator Pat Stefano will be introducing legislation that clarifies the plumbing system lead ban.

“Consumer education is key in preventing lead exposure. That’s why I am introducing legislation that would put educational information in the hands of consumers who may be most at risk for led exposure,” said Senator Stefano.

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/

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Watch Press Conference

 

Senator Yudichak Issues Statement on Major Hazleton Fentanyl Distribution Ring Takedown

Nanticoke, May 3, 2019 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) issued the following statement after Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the arrests of six individuals yesterday for operating a major fentanyl distribution organization in Hazleton, Pennsylvania:

“Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his agencies, including the Strategic Response Team, have been steadfast in working with county and city law enforcement agencies across northeastern Pennsylvania to help eradicate the heroin and opioid epidemic. We must continue to all work together to create safer communities for our citizens.”

In 2013-2014, Senator Yudichak helped lead an effort to secure $2.5 million in state funding for the Office of the Attorney General to implement the Mobile Street Crimes Unit. As part of the 2018-19 budget, the Mobile Street Crimes Unit transitioned into the Strategic Response Team to assist the Commonwealth with the opioid crisis.

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Senator Yudichak’s Statement on Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure

Harrisburg, April 29, 2019 — State Senator John Yudichak (D- Luzerne/Carbon) issued the following statement after the Joint State Government Commission released the report, “Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure”:    

“With the report, we are one step closer to developing a more comprehensive lead assessment and remediation strategy in Pennsylvania. It is now time for the General Assembly to come together and pass the legislative recommendations put forth by the task force so that we can protect Pennsylvanians, especially our children, from the dangers of lead exposure,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The Advisory Committee and Task Force on Lead Exposure was formed after legislation sponsored by Senator Yudichak, SR 33, was approved in 2017. Senator Yudichak will be hosting a press conference on May 7, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in the Capitol Media Center with members of the Task Force on Lead Exposure to discuss the legislative recommendations in the report.  

To read the report, please click here.

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Senator Yudichak Statement on Environmental Quality Board Meeting

Harrisburg, April 16, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) has released the following statement regarding action taken today by the Environmental Quality Board:

“Today, at a meeting of the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) — of which I am a voting member, I voted to accept for consideration a rulemaking petition submitted by the Clean Air Council to adopt a proposed regulation establishing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The submitted petition passed this procedural step, and now the proposed regulation goes to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for evaluation.

However, I believe that the EQB rulemaking petition process is not the appropriate way for environmental policy of this breadth to be made, regardless of the validity of the idea.  In our system of government, the elected officials of the General Assembly make the laws. And policy proposals that would touch every aspect of our state economy, such as this, must be considered by those of us directly accountable to the citizens.

To that end, soon I will be introducing a resolution requiring the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an in-depth study of how such a cap-and-trade system would work in Pennsylvania.  I hope that this will shift the discussion to its appropriate branch of government, and that it will provide the General Assembly with the information it needs to move forward in addressing the devastating effects of climate change.”

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Senator Yudichak and Northpoint Development Welcome Spreetail to Luzerne County

Nanticoke, April 3, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) and Northpoint Development announced today that Spreetail will open a fulfillment center in the Nanticoke City section of the Hanover 9 site.

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.

 

“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. “Today, 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.

Investment in South Valley Corridor“NorthPoint takes pride in delivering another quality tenant to the Hanover Township – Nanticoke area. We are pleased they will join the names of Chewy.com, Adidas, Patagonia and True Value as great tenants NorthPoint has been able to secure for northeast Pennsylvania. We are proud of the public-private partnership we have built with the city of Nanticoke, Luzerne County, the Earth Conservancy, the school districts and the community college as we continue to invest in the area and keep the momentum to an all time high with capital investment and jobs for the area,” said Brent Miles, Vice President of Economic Development, NorthPoint Development.

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.

“We are very excited to open our new, state of the art facility in Luzerne County. This location offers logistical advantages that allow us to grow our business while creating new opportunities in the surrounding area. The team members we are already adding from the local community will no doubt have a great impact on how we delight our Spreetail customers each day,” said Bret Naugle, Regional Fulfillment Manager, Spreetail.

Masterplanned Industrial ParkThe support that Spreetail has received from the leaders of Luzerne County, Hanover Township, the City of Nanticoke, school districts, Luzerne County Community College, and the Earth Conservancy also made it clear that Luzerne County was the perfect fit for Spreetail.

“The jobs being created by Spreetail are good paying family sustaining jobs that will benefit our residents. We look forward to continuing a partnership that will pay dividends for the South Valley Corridor for years to come,” said Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.

“Spreetail has a long history of community involvement and we are thrilled to welcome Spreetail to the city of Nanticoke and to Luzerne County,” said City of Nanticoke Mayor Nicole Colatosti-Mackiewicz.

The fulfillment center is tentatively expected to open on June 1.

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Senator Yudichak and Representative Heffley Announce Over $600,000 In Funding From the Commonwealth Financing Authority

Jim Thorpe, March 26, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) and State Representative Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) announced today that seven Carbon County projects will receive $624,338 in funding through the Monroe County Local Share Account from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

“The state’s investment today ensures that Carbon County continues to develop and progress towards a brighter future,” said Senator Yudichak.

“I am excited to work with the Senator and local leaders in securing the state funding for these much-needed projects in our communities,” said Representative Heffley. “I will continue to do what I can in Harrisburg to ensure that state dollars are allocated to Carbon County for public safety and infrastructure improvements that help to enhance our quality of life.”

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.

“The Carbon County Board of Commissioners and emergency responders of Carbon County are very thankful for the LSA grant award for our training facility. In a time when volunteerism is in a crisis, training is essential to the safety of not only our volunteers and first responders, but all our residents and the property they protect,” said Wayne Nothstein, Chairman of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners.

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.

“I would like to thank Senator Yudichak and Representative Heffley as well as the state for investing in what we think is one of the crown jewels of Carbon County,” said Vincent DeGiosio, representative for the Mauch Chunk Opera House. “The implementation of the desired upgrades will heighten the entertainment experience and will also allow us to possibly take on more shows, creating more opportunities for economic growth in the area.

“Preserving and improving the Mauch Chunk Opera House is also significant to the heritage tourism business in Carbon County as well, which has helped to revitalize the region.”

The following projects in Carbon County were approved for funding:

  • Parryville Borough will receive $147,146 in funding for improvements at the Carl Wolter III playground.
  • Mahoning Township will receive $66,319 in funding on behalf of the Mahoning Township Fire Company for its Fire Company No. 1 Rehabilitation Project.
  • Lansford Borough will receive $40,444 in funding for phase II of its Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project.
  • Jim Thorpe Borough will receive $24,631 in funding for the purchase of automatic license plate readers for the police department.
  • Lehighton Borough will receive $18,391 in funding for the purchase of automatic license plate readers for the police department.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Over $5.7 Million in Funding for the 14th Senatorial District in Luzerne County from the Commonwealth Financing Authority

Nanticoke, March 26, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that 40 projects in the 14th Senatorial District will receive over $5.7 million in funding through the Luzerne County Local Share Account program from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

“Today’s 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.”

“I would like to thank my colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in Luzerne County for working together with me to acquire this critical funding for the region,” said State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. “LSA funding helps to improve the quality of life in our communities by making investments in infrastructure and safety that will benefit the people of northeastern Pennsylvania.”

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.

Hanover 9 already has one confirmed tenant in True Value, which is investing $150 million in a more than one million square-foot warehouse distribution center, creating hundreds of jobs for the region. The Hanover 9 site is expected to create 1,548 jobs with a capital investment of $209,466.14 and an annual payroll of $63,468,000.

“I would like to thank Senator Yudichak as well as Representatives Pashinski and Mullery for helping us to acquire this vital funding. The construction of this road within the Hanover 9 site is a key infrastructure project that needs to be completed in order to pursue and attract tenants,” said Brent Miles, Vice President of Economic Development for NorthPoint Development. “Investing in this project is investing in the people of Pennsylvania and will help to create jobs for many years to come.”

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.

McCarthy Tire Service is a family-owned and operated commercial tire company that has served the transportation industry for more than 90 years. Joseph J. McCarthy founded the company in 1926 in Wilkes-Barre and it has been a job creator for the northeastern Pennsylvania region ever since. In 2016, McCarthy Tire invested over $3.2 million to expand retreading operations, creating 49 new full-time jobs, while also retaining 197 existing employees.

“I would like to thank Senator Yudichak and the rest of the Luzerne County state officials who helped us acquire this important funding. McCarthy Tire’s success has centered in Wilkes-Barre for 93 years and the conversion of this structure into our Corporate Headquarters will help to keep a fourth-generation company in its home, which is the City of Wilkes-Barre,” said John D. McCarthy Jr., President and CEO of McCarthy Tire Service Company. “The project will help to create new and future jobs and will help to keep those jobs here for the next 30-plus years. Northeastern Pennsylvania is our home, and this is where we want to stay.”

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.

“I would like to thank the entire Luzerne County state delegation for working together to secure funding for this critical public safety issue,” said David Pedri, Luzerne County Manager. “The switch to a digital system is a must as the analog system we currently have will be rendered obsolete by 2020. Our 911 system is obviously an integral part of keeping our residents safe, so this funding will go a long way in helping the people of Luzerne County when emergency services are needed.”

West Hazleton Borough will receive $225,000 to help with bridge repairs to the Jaycee Drive Bridge inside the Valmont Industrial Park.

“A recent inspection showed that the bridge is in dire need of replacement due to damage to the bridge’s foundation,” said West Hazleton Borough Council President Lou Pacelli. “The Jaycee Drive bridge is a vital infrastructure asset within our community inside the Valmont Industrial Park, which is utilized by hundreds of workers each day. I’m grateful for the state’s investment in this project and for realizing its importance to our borough.”

The following projects in the 14th Senatorial District in Luzerne County were approved for funding:

  • Ashley Borough will receive $21,000 in funding to bring a historic artifact in a mine lokie once used to haul cars laden with freshly mined anthracite back to the Huber Breaker.
  • Ashley Borough will receive $50,000 in funding for its 2020 Vision Streetscape Project.
  • Edwardsville Borough will receive $150,000 in funding for its DPW Garage Project.
  • Edwardsville Borough will receive $50,000 in funding for its Mural Revitalization Project.
  • Exeter Borough will receive $100,000 in funding for the Schooley-Wyoming Avenue improvement Project.
  • Fairview Township will receive $20,343 in funding to help with the purchase of police department equipment.
  • Fairview Township will receive $20,450 in funding for the Bow Creek Roadway Improvement Project.
  • Hazle Township will receive $79,000 in funding for a feasibility study for the Hazleton Indoor Recreational Facility.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $100,000 in funding for phase II development of Hazleton Central Park.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $38,000 in funding for the Castle Auditorium Community Arts Center to purchase equipment.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $47,500 in funding for a comprehensive park and recreation plan for the city.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $50,000 in funding to help with the purchase of a fire department utility truck.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $182,944 in funding for its Fire State Water Remediation Project.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $37,500 in funding for the Hazleton Regional Airport to purchase equipment.
  • The City of Hazleton will receive $50,000 in funding install turf and sports netting at its community athletic center.
  • Hughestown Borough will receive $115,000 in funding for its DPW Sanitation Truck Project.
  • Larksville Borough will receive $49,200 in funding for the purchase of a new police cruiser.
  • Luzerne Borough will receive $50,000 in funding for its Local Share Account plan.
  • The Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority will receive $98,856 in funding to help with the Culvert Street Bridge removal.
  • The Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority will receive $126,365 in funding for a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system to be installed at Mohegan Sun at Casey Plaza.
  • The City of Pittston will receive $200,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of the Greater Pittston YMCA.
  • The City of Pittston will receive $24,000 in funding for Phase V of the Pittston Revitalization Project.
  • The City of Pittston will receive $300,000 in funding for its Stadium Improvement Project.
  • Plymouth Borough will receive $150,000 in funding for improvements to its vehicles.
  • Sugar Notch Borough will receive $140,000 in funding for the acquisition of land for its municipal/police building.
  • Warrior Run Borough will receive $100,000 in funding for its Public Safety Improvement Project.
  • West Pittston Borough will receive $50,000 in funding for DPW building renovations.
  • West Wyoming Borough will receive $50,000 in funding for its Firehouse Addition and Rehabilitation Project.
  • White Haven Borough will receive $37,116 in funding to purchase a new police vehicle.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $420,000 in funding for the purchase of a fire department tractor drawn ladder truck.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $109,500 in funding for roof, flooring, and windows improvements to the Osterhout Free Library.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $20,000 in funding for the Catholic Youth Center to make facility improvements.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $30,000 in funding for upgrades and modernizations to be made to RC Theaters 14.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $75,000 in funding for the Volunteers in Medicine “Increase to Access to Care” Initiative.
  • The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $100,000 in funding for the Irem Temple Restoration Project.

Senator Yudichak worked with State Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski (D – Luzerne), Gerald Mullery (D – Luzerne), Mike Carroll (D – Luzerne/Lackawanna), Aaron Kaufer (R – Luzerne), and Tarah Toohil (R – Luzerne) to secure the LSA funding. A total of $11,447,326 was awarded to projects in Luzerne County.

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Senator Yudichak Announces $3.25 Million for Projects in the 14th Senatorial District

Harrisburg, March 26, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that eight projects in the 14th Senatorial District received $3.25 million in state funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Multimodal Transportation Fund program.

“As new economic development brings more jobs to Luzerne County, we must make sound investments in infrastructure projects that support the rapid growth that is occurring. I am grateful that the Commonwealth recognizes that investing in these infrastructure projects will yield great returns for the people of both Luzerne County and northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Senator John Yudichak. 

The Earth Conservancy will receive $500,000 for the Loomis Bank Access Road Project. The roadway, located in Hanover Township, will connect the Earth Conservancy’s reclaimed Loomis Bank and an adjacent parcel to the South Valley Parkway with the intent of stimulating economic development on the sites. Loomis Bank is part of the Hanover Crossings. Senator Yudichak worked with Representative Gerald Mullery (D- Luzerne) to secure funding for the Earth Conservancy.

“It was great working with Senator Yudichak to secure this funding for the Earth Conservancy. The Earth Conservancy has been a vital part of the development of the lower South Valley. I look forward to continued success and revitalization of former mine scarred lands and the creation of family sustaining jobs in the South Valley,” said Representative Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne).

Mike Dziak, President and CEO of Earth Conservancy, extended his thanks to the CFA and DCED.  Noted Dziak, “These agencies have supported the Earth Conservancy from the beginning, understanding the crucial connection between planning, infrastructure, and economic growth.  All are essential to community revitalization.”  He also recognized Senator Yudichak and Representative Mullery, lauding their ongoing efforts to help improve the South Valley through reutilization of legacy mine lands, like Loomis Bank.

Luzerne County will be receiving $200,000 for the Hanover Industrial Estates Improvement Project. The project will include the installation of sidewalks and curbs with ADA accessibility and the placement of 18 bus shelters throughout the Hanover Industrial Estates.

“This funding is vital in ensuring pedestrian safety as more people are being hired to work at Chewy.com, Adidas, and Patagonia in the Hanover Industrial Estates,” said Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri. “I appreciate the support of Senator Yudichak and the Luzerne County delegation in helping to secure this funding.”

In Plains Township, JCJ Holdings II, LLC will receive $250,000 towards the Plains Shopping Center Traffic Control Project. This project includes a traffic signal, road widening and turning lanes that are necessary for bringing in new retailers to the shopping center. 

Also, in Plains Township, $800,000 will go toward the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Access Project, which contains three components that are designed to improve safety and flow adjacent to the newly proposed Wilkes-Barre Area School District High School in the township. The components are recommendations made by PennDOT and include a school driveway at Main Street and a school driveway at Maffett Street as well as removing the Northampton Fuel Road at Main Street.

“As we continue to bring in more retailers to the Plains Shopping Center, we need to ensure that our roads can handle the increase in traffic. This funding will help the township make improvements that are essential to keeping those who visit the shopping center safe,” said Plains Township Board of Commissioners Chairman Gerald Yozwiak. “Additionally, the funding received for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District Access Project is vital for improving safety and traffic flow as the school district works to construct their new high school on the remediated 78 acre site.” 

“The Wilkes-Barre Area School District project will create a state of the art high school that our students desperately deserve, and with any large building project, traffic issues must be addressed,” Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne) said. “These safety improvements are necessary to ensure the proper traffic flow as recommended by PennDOT and I’m confident they’ll help congestion in the area.”

The City of Wilkes-Barre will receive $600,000 for the King’s College Multimodal Transportation Improvement Project. This project includes the replacement of deteriorated sidewalks, curbs, ADA ramps, pavement markings, and brick pavers as well as the installation of pedestrian crosswalks with flashing pedestrian beacons, pedestrian lampposts and lighting utilizing energy efficient LED lights and the installation of benches, trashcans, trees and signage. Senator Yudichak worked with Representative Pashinski to secure funding for this project.

“These improvements will benefit not only students and faculty at King’s College, but also members of the community who attend many of the events the college puts on,” Representative Pashinski said. “I appreciate Governor Wolf and his administration’s continued support of Wilkes-Barre and the institutions that call our area home.”

Other projects receiving funding in the 14th District include:

  • $500,000 to Swoyersville Borough for the Swoyersville Borough Street Improvement Project.
  • $300,000 for Ashley Borough for the Ashley Main Street Streetscape.
  • $100,000 for Luzerne Borough for the Luzerne Vision Plan.

In addition to working with local municipal leaders, Senator Yudichak worked with leaders of Luzerne County’s legislative delegation including Representatives Carroll, Kaufer, Mullery and Pashinski to secure funding for these regional projects.

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Heffley, Yudichak Announce State Grants for Fire and EMS Companies in Carbon County

HARRISBURG – March 20, 2019 – Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) today announced more than $300,000 in state funding has been awarded to 26 fire and emergency medical services (EMS) organizations in Carbon County.

“Our first responders are selfless in the dedication of their time in service to our communities,” said Heffley. “These state funds help to ensure they have the equipment and training necessary to continue the important work of protecting lives and property in Carbon County.”

“The fire company and EMS grants are a vital funding source for our volunteer fire companies and emergency services organizations to help keep our communities safe. There are countless volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel throughout the 14th District and the Commonwealth that put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” said Yudichak. “The funding administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) can continue to aid our fire departments and EMS services in purchasing better equipment and upgrading training and education, so their personnel can continue to protect us to the best of their ability”

The funding is part of an ongoing grant program created by the Legislature. Projects eligible for funding include construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training or reduction of existing debt. All grants are generated from slot machine gaming proceeds, and not General Fund tax revenue.

Fire and ambulance companies are reminded that in order to receive their grants and retain their eligibility for the program, paperwork must be submitted back to the OSFC by the end of May.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Keystone Communities Grants

Nanticoke, February 25, 2019 – Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that two community revitalization projects in Luzerne County received funding through the Keystone Communities program. The Keystone Communities program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress received $158,000 for the rehabilitation of a blighted property at 13-15 W. Broad Street for the Penn State Hazleton LaunchBox, a small business incubator.

“This supplemental funding will allow renovations to proceed as planned with the Penn State LaunchBox–a critical component of the broader downtown revitalization initiative. We are very thankful for the support DCED and our state legislators have given to this project, which will allow for the renovation of a formerly blighted property to be adaptively reused as a new business incubator in downtown Hazleton,” said Krista Schneider, Executive Director for the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittston received $220,246 to redevelop the second floor of the underutilized “Open Space” building on South Main Street. By repairing and renovating this floor, the building can house additional tenants and catalyze development in Pittston’s central business district.

“We have worked closely with Governor Wolf and DCED Secretary Dennis Davin on these projects in Hazleton and Pittston which will spur economic development and job growth to the area,” said Senator John Yudichak.

Representatives Tarah Toohil and Mike Carroll also worked with Senator Yudichak to obtain funding for these projects.

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Senator Yudichak Announces 2019 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Schedule

West Pittston, February 20, 2019 — State Senator John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) hosted residents at the Garden Village Apartments today in West Pittston for an outreach event to help local seniors apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Over the next two months, Senator Yudichak’s staff will be holding outreach events at various locations across Luzerne County.

“The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program continues to provide millions of dollars in property tax relief to the people who need and deserve it most, the senior citizens of northeastern Pennsylvania,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “Pennsylvania must do more to get the burden of onerous property taxes off the backs of taxpayers, and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has proven to be valuable to reducing that burden on older Pennsylvanians.”  

In Luzerne County, 18,525 applicants received over $9 million in rebates through the program in the last year. In Carbon County, there were 3,737 applicants that received over $1.7 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 older. The income limit is $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, and the program is funded through state lottery and gaming revenues. Since its inception in 1971, more than $6.9 billion has been paid to qualified applicants through the program.

The deadline to apply for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is June 30.

2019 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Schedule

Please note: The events at the apartment buildings are for residents only and NOT open to public. Anyone who needs assistance with filing their application for the program can also visit Senator Yudichak’ s Nanticoke and Jim Thorpe district offices any Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

February 21 – with Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Office
10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Luzerne Towers

February 21 – with Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Office
2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Swoyersville Apartments

February 26 – with Rep. Gerald Mullery’s Office 
9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Ken Pollock Apartments

March 5 – with Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Office
10:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m.
Temple Apartments

March 12 – with Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Office
1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Exeter Apartments

March 14
9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Lee Park Senior Center

March 19
9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Plains Manor

March 21
9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Infantino Towers

April 9 
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Lincoln Heights Apartments

April 11
9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.
St. John’s Apartments

 

These four events are open to the public:

 March 7  
10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Rose Tucker Senior Center
570-735-1670

March 12
9:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m.
Pittston Senior Center
570-655-5561

March 28
12:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Pittston Library
570-654-9565

April 2
9:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m.
Charles T. Adams Senior Center
570-825-3484

 Any updates or changes to the outreach schedule due to the weather or any other unforeseen circumstances will be posted on www.senatoryudichak.com

 

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Senator Yudichak Issues Statement on Governor Wolf’s 2019-20 Budget Proposal

Harrisburg, February 5, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) issued the following statement after Governor Tom Wolf unveiled his 2019-20 budget proposal today:

“Governor Wolf celebrated Pennsylvania’s strong economic growth as a central factor to the fiscal health of the Commonwealth and the essential driving force behind growing prosperity for millions of Pennsylvanians.

 

“I applaud Governor Wolf’s call for continued investments in education and workforce development training that will further fuel the job growth, economic development and fiscal responsibility in Pennsylvania.

“Northeastern Pennsylvania is leading the way in job creation with over 4,000 new jobs created in the South Valley in just the last two years – jobs that empower families and improve communities.

“As the budget process gets underway, I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass a budget that helps the Commonwealth invest in a brighter future for all Pennsylvania.”    

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