In this Update:
Bill to Combat Opioid Crisis Passed by Senate
The Senate approved legislation I co-sponsored with Senator Devlin Robinson, which offers a targeted approach to combating the growing threat of new drug mixtures being detected in overdose deaths.
A controlled substance is a drug, substance or immediate precursor included in Schedules I through V of Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. Any drug entering the market must be scheduled. Senate Bill 959 would amend the act and allow for the scheduling of controlled substances in Pennsylvania to automatically follow the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classification whenever a new substance is added to the federal scheduling.
I have spoken with many district attorneys, especially within my district, who strongly support this legislation. By tying our schedule to the federal schedule, we can give our anti-drug enforcers a better chance to counter those spreading poisons in our communities.
The bill, which is supported by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Commonwealth Court Rules Against RGGI, Higher Energy Costs
Pennsylvanians will be shielded from higher electricity bills because the Commonwealth Court ruled against imposing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax.
The ruling supported the Senate Republican perspective that RGGI is a tax on energy. It says: “Stated simply, to pass constitutional muster, the Commonwealth’s participation in RGGI may only be achieved through legislation duly enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.”
Instead, we want to focus on efforts to ensure there is sufficient power to meet the demands of customers while avoiding risks of blackouts, restrictions on energy usage and increased prices.
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Grants Available to Organizations Benefitting Veteran Employment
To help veterans as they transition from serving our country to resuming civilian life, funding is available for organizations that connect veterans with jobs.
The grant opportunity is designed to assist veterans who have received a discharge other than dishonorable, members of the reserves and guard, and spouses of veterans and service members in securing employment.
Applications for the Veterans Employment Grant Program must be submitted by Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. Learn more and apply online here.
Funding to Improve Local Transportation and Pedestrian Safety
Grants are available to municipalities, businesses and other organizations to improve local transportation and pedestrian safety. The funding aims to ensure a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents.
Funding for priority investments is available through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Apply online by Monday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m.
Paid Government Internships Available for Undergraduates
Paid internship opportunities with state executive agencies are available for undergraduate college students interested in politics and government through the James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation.
Students who want to apply for the fellowship need to submit an essay between 1,500 and 2,500 words about their opinions for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) Program, which would offer students in struggling schools grants to explore other educational opportunities.
Essays and other materials must be submitted to the foundation by Jan. 26, 2024. Find more information and the application here.
White Mills River Access Park Along Lackawaxen River Trail Now Open
Recently, the Wayne County Commissioners, and the Lackawaxen River Trails group, joined members of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, along with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, to celebrate the opening of the new White Mills River Access Park.
The park is the second of four improved river accesses to be finished from Honesdale to Hawley, as part of the Lackawaxen River Trail System. It features a concrete boat launch, parking lot with ADA parking spaces and walkway, and provides the first handicap accessible public access to the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County.
Hiking and boating are two highly popular activities in an area blessed with woods, waterways, and wildlife. This project opens terrific and accessible recreational opportunities to more residents.
A lot of people were involved in moving this project from conception to completion, so there are a lot of commendations to be given. Recognition is well-deserved for the Fish and Boat Commission and DCNR, two state agencies doing a solid job in protecting our natural heritage and promoting ways for people to enjoy and benefit from this inheritance.
And a tremendous thank you is owed to the Schemitz family for their major contribution to the quality of life in Wayne County in honor of Rudy’s love of nature and outdoor life.
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