HARRISBURG, October 19, 2017 — Senator John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) lauded passage of House Bill 118, an omnibus Administrative Code bill that will now go to Governor Wolf for his signature.
House Bill 118 includes language that requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to hold at least one public hearing prior to the closure of any state correctional institution in Fiscal Year 2017-18.
“I am pleased that language which reforms the prison closure process for the next fiscal year was included in the Administrative Code. While this is a good first step, I will continue to push for passage of SB 748, a comprehensive reform package that establishes a formal process prior to the closure of any public safety facilities owned or leased by the Pennsylvania State Police or the DOC,” Senator Yudichak said. “I want to ensure that no community, family or law enforcement personnel will ever have to endure the stress that was caused earlier this year when DOC announced the imminent closure of two of five state correctional institutions,” added Senator Yudichak.
Also included in HB 118 were two important environmental measures that Senator Yudichak co-sponsored this session that support recycling programs and renewable energy.
HB 118 provides a permanent funding mechanism for municipal recycling grants, which were stalled earlier this year based on uncertainty of future funding. “By providing a permanent funding mechanism, we are not only supporting our local government recycling collection programs, we are also fueling our local economies by aiding markets for waste industry employers and our manufacturing sector, which frequently relies on recyclable materials,” said Senator Yudichak.
The bill also encourages growth of Pennsylvania’s solar energy industry by ensuring that electric systems purchase solar renewable energy credits from in-state sources. “We are making significant progress in our clean energy sector with nearly 70,000 jobs statewide. Renewables are filling energy needs throughout the state, including in Carbon County, which boasts the state’s largest solar park that will ultimately produce enough electricity to fuel 3,000 homes,” said Senator Yudichak.