Nov. 16, 2018

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Harrisburg Update

A quick look at what’s happening in Harrisburg
and the 125th Legislative District...

Pottsville Awarded Grant for Redevelopment Project

Together with Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Rep. Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), we helped to secure funding for the city of Pottsville, so it can move forward on a much-needed redevelopment project.

The $1 million Economic Development and Community Development Program grant will identify specific areas and properties within the redevelopment area that act as an impediment to revitalizing the city.

The project will include several steps, including the completion of a blight study, a redevelopment plan area and a final blight report. The implementation plan will take approximately 10 years; however, the project plan will be done by summer.

The Pottsville Redevelopment Authority said $650,000 is proposed for acquisition of land and buildings, $250,000 for infrastructure/site preparations and $100,000 for related costs for the work.

Grants for Local Communities

It was my pleasure to work with colleagues, Reps. Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill/Berks/Carbon) and Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), as well as Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks), to secure funding for community projects in Mahanoy City, Saint Clair and Shenandoah boroughs.

Each community will receive $40,000 from grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The program is funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key 93), the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener 1) and several funding sources.

Residents of these communities stand to gain great recreational opportunities as a result of these grants. This funding will help make needed improvements and will go a long way to impact our natural environment, promote tourism and economic growth in our local communities.

Supporting Small Businesses

With small businesses as the economic engines of our communities, Pennsylvania consumers are encouraged to shop small on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24.

According to the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center, there are nearly 1 million small businesses in Pennsylvania, which employ nearly half of the state’s workforce. Small firms make up 98.2 percent of the state’s employers.

Over the last legislative session, the House Republic Caucus has worked to enhance opportunities for small businesses and job creators in Pennsylvania. One of those measurers, which is designed to help budding entrepreneurs, is the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop. This website, which was based upon legislation initiated in the House, seeks to assist entrepreneurs and businesses at all stages of development. It was launched earlier in 2018.

House Majority Elects Leaders for New Term

With a strong majority going into the 2019-20 legislative session, the 110 members of the House Republican Caucus elected their leadership team to begin Jan. 1.

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) has again been nominated to serve as speaker of the House. New to their respective leadership positions are House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), Majority Whip Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), Majority Policy Committee Chairman Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) and Majority Caucus Secretary Michael Reese (R-Westmoreland).

Retaining their respective leadership positions are Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York), Caucus Chairman Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) and Caucus Administrator Kurt Masser (R-Columbia/Montour/Northumberland).

For just the second time since 1924, the Republicans have maintained control of the House for more than four terms in a row. Republicans hold a 110-93 majority in the state House, but two vacancies will exist on swearing-in day.

Happy Thanksgiving!


For nearly four centuries, Americans have come together in the spirit of thanksgiving. From the earliest traditions that began in Plymouth, Mass., to the first official national observance in 1863, families have gathered in November to celebrate bountiful harvest and all that has been given to them.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 22, state offices will be closed on Thursday, and my offices will also be closed on Friday, Nov. 23. PennDOT Driver License Centers will also be closed Nov. 22-23. If you are traveling, be sure to check for the latest traffic and weather information.

From my family to your, may you all have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Hunters Can Share Their Harvest

To help families, individuals and seniors who are in need, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program has encouraged hunters from across the Commonwealth to share their deer harvest and provide thousands of pounds of venison.

Hunters can donate all or part of a harvested deer by taking it to a participating processor, which will then distribute the ground venison to food banks and pantries.

In an average hunting season, the HSH program’s goal is to channel about 100,000 pounds of processed venison through the state’s 20 regional food banks, which then redistribute to more than 5,000 local provider charities such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelter and churches, as well as individual families.

To find a list of local processors or for more information, visit
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988 Route 61 South, East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 | Phone (toll free) (855) 271-9384
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown, PA  Phone (717) 647-7208
4B East Wing, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2147 
TTY: 855-282-0614