March 5, 2020
REMINDER: Consumer Protection Event Scheduled on Friday
In order to help Lancaster County residents learn more about how to protect themselves from scams, fraud and identity theft, I am partnering with the Attorney General’s Office to host a special event at my district office to provide consumer protection information to community residents.
Members of the community are encouraged to stop by my district office at 48-50 West Chestnut Street, Suite 308, in Lancaster on Friday, March 6, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A representative from the Attorney General’s Office will be available to answer questions and offer information on the issues that consumers face every day.
For additional information, please call 717-397-1309.
Proposal Would Help Municipalities Remove Negligent Local Officials
When local elected officials fail to carry out the responsibilities of their job, taxpayers have very few ways to remove them from office. In current practice, the only ways to address a municipal official who neglects their duties is removal by the Senate and the governor – a process that is difficult, time-consuming and rarely used – or waiting for the next election to vote the official out of office.
We have seen the impact of absent and negligent officials in several communities here in Lancaster County. That is why I was proud to join with my colleague Senator Pat Stefano to author a bill that would help taxpayers and municipalities remove a negligent official from office.
More information about our plan is available here.
Budget Hearings Focus on School Safety, Higher Education
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I appreciated the chance to participate in hearings over the past three weeks to question members of the Wolf Administration and other leaders in government and education about every aspect of the governor’s 2020-21 budget plan.
Below are videos and a summary of some of the questions I posed during the hearings. A complete list of my questions and videos are available here.
Department of Education
I asked for input on mental health assessments for students and questioned the fairness of the proposed college grant program for taxpaying graduates who have debt.
I also urged the Department to continue our shared commitment to the school safety grant program that was created in a bill I co-authored in 2018. The governor wants to cut $45 million from the program – a 75-percent cut – in spite of the fact that schools submitted applications for the program totaling more than $130 million this year.
Department of Labor and Industry
I spoke about the importance of modernizing apprenticeship programs to create new job training opportunities for Pennsylvanians, the solvency of the unemployment compensation system and the impact of potential minimum wage increases.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
I discussed the need for PASSHE to be accountable to taxpayers, students and its mission, as well as the unfairness of the top-performing schools in the State System getting the least amount of state funding.
I discussed REAL ID, structurally deficient bridges and the need for better coordination of transportation infrastructure dollars to planned growth areas.
Military and Veterans Affairs
I urged the Department to do more to find community care options for veterans and to think about allowing them to utilize private options so they can stay closer to their families and loved ones.
Department of Environmental Protection
I expressed serious concerns about the expected price hikes for PA families energy and gasoline costs under Governor Wolf’s RGGI & TCI plans. I also discussed Pennsylvania’s efforts to clean water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.