Senator Vogel E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Happy Presidents Day!
  • Highlights in the 47th
  • Save the Date for Our 2024 Expos
  • Gov. Shapiro’s Record-Spending Budget Proposal Puts PA in a Difficult Position for the Future
  • Budget Hearings Begin This Week Examining Massive Shapiro Spending Plan
  • Shielding Pennsylvanians from Cybersecurity Attacks
  • PA Parks Offer Free Events for People of All Ages
  • Protect Your Money by Investing Wisely
  • Student Art Contest Raises Lyme Disease Awareness

Happy Presidents Day!

Tomorrow, Feb. 19, we recognize Presidents Day and reflect on the effort it takes to guide our country in the right direction. Originally, the holiday was to honor our first president – George Washington – but it has since been expanded.

Because of the holiday, my Harrisburg, Rochester, and Cranberry Township offices will be closed with normal business hours resuming on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Highlights in the 47th

Congratulations to Inspired Hearts and Hands who was awarded a $5,000 community grant last week! The grant will go towards their Kidz Empowerment Program which aims to provide low-income children with food, resources, and opportunities that promote strong, active learning and positive child development.

It was great to see our very own Scott Garing, chief of Fire & Emergency Services for the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company, (pictured to the left of me) in Harrisburg during our most recent session week! Scott and other Western PA first responders came to support legislation (SB792) that would establish an Urban Search and Rescue task force in the Allegheny County area, which I was proud to be a yes vote on!

I had a great time attending Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company’s recent annual awards banquet! Many distinguished fire company members were honored for their years of service as well as their dedication to not only the company but to our community. Thank you for all you do!

Save the Dates for Our 2024 Expos!

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting three expos this year – our annual Kid’s Extravaganza on May 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and two senior expos, one in Butler County on June 7, and one in Beaver County on Sept. 27 both from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you have any questions concerning these events, please reach out to our Cranberry Township district office at 878-978-2575.

Gov. Shapiro’s Record-Spending Budget Proposal Puts PA in a Difficult Position for the Future

The governor has shown blatant disregard toward Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars as he bolstered his record-spending, $48.3 billion budget proposal – all while not sharing how he plans to pay for these increases and putting our commonwealth in a difficult position when approaching balancing future state budgets.

With our communities already experiencing financial hardships due to high costs and inflation, what the governor is proposing would continue to burden Pennsylvanians and our employers with potential future program cuts and broad-based tax increases.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and an advocate for fiscal responsibility, I remain committed to joining my Senate colleagues in examining the governor’s budget proposal more closely and help create more efficient solutions that would enable us to continue to protect Pennsylvania jobs and empower Pennsylvania families while being mindful of how we spend their hard-earned money.

Budget Hearings Begin This Week Examining Massive Shapiro Spending Plan

This week, the process of finding ways to rein in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s high-spending budget proposal begins as the Senate Appropriations Committee starts its three weeks of budget hearings.

Hearings begin on Tuesday with appearances by the Independent Fiscal Office, Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Parole Board, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Department of Community and Economic Development, Department of Labor and Industry and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Livestreams of the hearings and daily recaps will be available here, and I will share updates on this important process each week.

The hearings will be used to review the governor’s spending plan and ask administration officials about the need for any proposed expenses. From there, a budget that more appropriately reflects the needs of taxpayers can be developed before the constitutional deadline of June 30.

PA Parks Offer Free Events for People of All Ages

As people start to feel a bit of cabin fever this time of year, it can be a great time to take advantage of recreational opportunities offered at Pennsylvania state parks.

There are free or low-cost seminars to interest people of all ages. Some examples include a winter photography walk, an introduction to cross country skiing, make and take tree cookie crafts, a cast iron cooking lesson and even a full moon hike.

Find a full calendar of events, including some that are virtual, and sign up here.

Protect Your Money by Investing Wisely

Trying to research financial services, products or companies can be confusing, but investing without first investigating can be a costly mistake.

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) offers free information about how to research people, companies and investments. If you’re not sure where to start, call the department at 1-800-600-0007.

Learn more about the free and confidential help DoBS provides.

Student Art Contest Raises Lyme Disease Awareness

Pennsylvania has one of the highest counts of Lyme disease cases in the nation. Symptoms often initially include fever, headache and extreme tiredness. If the disease is untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system.

First- through sixth-graders can help spread the word about preventing this tick-borne illness by entering the Pennsylvania Department of Health Lyme Art Contest. They are encouraged to submit a poster or video showing how to avoid exposure to ticks, check for ticks and/or remove ticks safely by March 15 at 5 p.m.

Find more information, including how to apply, here.


Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to receive help in dealing with a state agency.

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