|Funding Available for Flood Recovery
To assist with flood recovery efforts caused by this summer’s flash flooding and torrential rains, $6.25 million is being directed to local entities.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is required to provide the required cost-share for the projects so that eligible projects will be available at no cost to local governments. The funding will assist communities recovering from the recent floods and help them prepare for future storm events.
Funding will be available for municipalities in Dauphin and Schuylkill counties.
Projects eligible for funding include removing debris from waterways, reseeding damaged areas, and protecting eroded streambanks from further damage. Funding is not available to repair or maintain existing structures or repair damage to homes and businesses caused by floodwater.
Applications will be accepted until Oct. 15, 2018.
More information is available here.
Hurricane Could Impact Local Utilities
Although our area of Pennsylvania does not appear to be in the direct path of Hurricane Florence, any additional rain resulting from the storm in the coming days could cause even more flooding for our region and already saturated ground could contribute to tree-related outages, according to PPL Electric Utilities.
All employees – including hundreds of line workers, electricians and other skilled technicians – are ready to respond if needed. PPL also has more than 200 additional workers – including contract line crews and workers to clear downed trees – ready to help restore power to customers, if needed. Crews are expected to work round-the-clock should outages occur.
In the meantime, residents should remember the following safety precautions:
More detailed information on staying safe in storms can be found on PPL’s website at pplelectric.com/safety.
- Stay away from downed wires – always treat any wires on the ground as if they are energized.
- Keep generators far away from buildings and never operate them in an enclosed space like a garage.
- Prepare a storm kit – gather the supplies you might need for a prolonged outage, including flashlights, batteries, canned food, bottled water, medication and a first aid kit.
- Charge your cell phones, tablets and laptops.
- If you rely on medical equipment or have special personal needs, plan what you would do in the event of an extended power outage at your home.
House Committee Examines Telemedicine Bills
Members of the House Professional Licensure Committee this week examined legislation that would allow health care to be more accessible and affordable by offering telemedicine options for patients.
Telemedicine refers to the remote delivery of health care services and medical information using telecommunications technology, a significant and rapidly growing component of health care. Telemedicine enables specialists and other health care providers to expand their reach, helping patients stay in their communities and avoid traveling long distances for specialized care.
Legislation has been introduced in both chambers (House Bill 1648 and Senate Bill 780) that would define the term in state law and offer clarity for insurance company reimbursement for these services. Although the legislation requires payments for telemedicine services, those payments would be established between the provider and insurer.
Schools Urged to Apply Now for Safety Grants
The new School Safety and Security Grant Program – established as part of the 2018-19 state budget package – is now open for applications.
Schools interested in applying for grants to help with safety equipment and resources should submit their applications by Oct. 12 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which is administering the new program.
The grants can be used for any of 22 specific school safety initiatives listed in the legislation, including such things as hiring school security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, and other programs and services to protect students.
The grant money is to be distributed geographically, with no school district receiving more than 10 percent (but eligible for at least $25,000) of the available funds. The money is expected to be distributed by March 2019.
To apply or for more information, visit the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s website here.
Grants Available for Job Training
Local workforce development boards can apply for $2.5 million in Business-Education Partnership (BEP) grants that will connect businesses and school districts – all to expand new career opportunities across Pennsylvania.
As you know, I have been heavily involved in efforts to expand career and technical education and to raise awareness of jobs and careers in these fields. Not only do jobs in these industries pay well, but they are also greatly in demand. To read more about my work thus far, click here.
These partnerships connect schools, employers, parents and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing and career mentoring, all with the goal of engaging more students in the need for technical skills required by employers.
Last year, nearly 9,000 students throughout the state participated in partnership activities.
Additional details and the grant application can be found here. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.
Thank You for Attending My Senior Expo
It was a privilege to host my fifth annual Senior Expo last Friday at the Pine Grove Hose Hook and Ladder. The turnout was fantastic! Constituents appreciated our vendors who did a great job explaining a wide variety of services that are available to seniors in the area.
I look forward to my Senior Expo every year and enjoy spending time with so many of my constituents from 125th District.
Coffee & Conversation
Recently, I joined Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) and Barry Denk, director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, at the Sacramento Fire Company to host a Coffee & Conversation with our constituents. We discussed state government concerns such as opioid addition, flooding in the area, and the safety of our roads and highways.
Conservative Achievement Award
This week, I was honored to be presented with the Award for Conservative Achievement sponsored by the American Conservative Union Foundation.
The award is presented on how elected officials view the role of government in an individual’s life. During the 2017-18 legislative session, I was recognized for voting most consistently with the ideals articulated in the United States Constitution: limited and transparent government, individual rights, personal responsibility, and lasting cultural values.