In this Update:
Child Abuse Prevention Month
This month, thousands of flags line the streets around the State Capitol in Harrisburg, as a reminder to report child abuse. The PA Family Support Alliance planted the small flags for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
There are 73 black flags representing the innocent children who died from abuse in Pennsylvania in 2021. Nearly 4,600 blue flags mark children who were injured by abuse last year. One victim is one too many, and these flags are a sorrowful reminder that there is a great deal more that needs to be done, in order to better protect the most vulnerable individuals across our state. It is up to each of us to do our part to bring awareness to this horrific problem and work together to prevent abuse.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate passed several crime victims protection bills, including Senate Bill 1179, which I introduced with Senator Ryan P. Aument. The bill extends the address confidentiality provisions of the ‘Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act,’ to include the victims of child abduction and the victims of human trafficking. I am hopeful that this and other measures passed will be considered by the House of Representatives in the near future.
If you’re looking for a way to get involved with this cause within the 20th Senatorial District, please join the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Centers’ efforts to help children and families, prevent child abuse, and raise awareness by planting a pinwheel garden at your home or business throughout April. Learn more here.
Share Your Thoughts on Gas Taxes
With gas prices continuing to either rise or settle at very high levels, it is imperative that Pennsylvania takes a hard look at providing relief for motorists. Please click here to visit my website to complete my latest survey on gas taxes. From all indications, this does not appear to be a problem that will subside any time soon. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the imposition of a series of sanctions against Russia have made the economic situation more unpredictable. No one can say when we will again reach stability or what that might look like.
After hearing concerns that many people in our area are expressing, I signed onto a proposal that would reduce the state gas tax through the end of the year, and encourage our representatives in Congress to explore a similar step for the federal gas tax. Since state gas taxes are higher, that is where the best prospect for some savings lies.
The prospects for action on this legislation or any similar measure will depend on the level of public outcry in other legislative districts and whether the governor is fully committed to it. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and comments on this matter, and will keep you informed of our progress.
Applications Open for Watershed Cleanup Grants
Applications are being accepted for Growing Greener Plus grants to help protect creeks, rivers and other waterways from pollution and restore impaired watersheds.
The funding supports projects aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution, which is caused by abandoned mine drainage, urban and agricultural runoff, on-lot sewage systems, earthmoving, and streambank and shoreline degradation.
Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, councils of governments, educational institutions and other authorized organizations involved in water resource restoration and protection.
Summer Camp for Teens Interested in Law Enforcement, Military
Teens ages 15 to 17 interested in a career in law enforcement or the military can apply now for a summer leadership camp held by the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard and the American Legion.
The Elmer Hafer-American Legion-State Police-National Guard Youth Camp will be held June 5-11 at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. The cost is $175.
During the camp, cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers and a marksmanship course. Cadets will also visit the State Police Academy in Hershey and Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Lebanon County. In addition, the camp offers three $1,000 scholarship awards at the conclusion of the week.
Call 811 Before Excavation Projects
Nearly half of all underground line “hits” occurring during excavations are caused by failure to contact the PA One Call system by calling 811 before digging, or failure to wait the required three business days before projects begin.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is using Safe Digging Month to remind homeowners, businesses, contractors and anyone else involved in excavation projects of the importance of calling 811 before any project begins and allowing time for utility operators to locate and mark their lines before any digging.
Hits on underground lines pose a danger to contractors, utility workers, nearby residents and bystanders. Each incident carries the possibility of serious injuries, service interruptions and costly repairs.
Share Your Views on PennDOT’s Winter Services
How did PennDOT do this winter? Motorists have until April 29 to provide feedback via an online survey.
The 17-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.
The survey should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.
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