Senator Vogel E-Newsletter

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Dear Friend,

I am pleased to present my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 47th Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.

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Elder Vogel Jr.


May 28, 2019

Thank you to everyone who came out to our 10th annual kids expo! It was one of the best turnouts and most eventful expos we have hosted! These three lucky kids got the opportunity to pie me in the face because they brought food donations for our friends at Faith Restorations. They all had very good aim!

Pennsylvania Economy Growing Stronger

With the upcoming budget talks I want to take an opportunity to give an update on our plans moving forward. The Pennsylvania economy is on the upswing, in large part due to a responsible budget advocated by the Senate Republicans. Because of my efforts to stop tax increases and responsibly allocate your hard earned money we find ourselves in a better financial position than we have been in over a decade.

Our recent economic news has been encouraging to say the least. Here are some of the great turns our state has made:

  • Pennsylvania’s unemployment is at an all-time low of 3.8 percent
    • Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate has declined faster than the national average over the past three years (1.6 percent in PA, compared to 1.3 percent nationally)
  • Employee wages have continued to climb, and with more than 6.2 million jobs in the state, there are more people working in Pennsylvania today than at any time before.
  • The state has added more than 400,000 jobs since 2010
    • More than 120,000 of these jobs have been created since October 2016
  • The number of Pennsylvanians earning the minimum wage has fallen to an estimated 96,300 people, the lowest since 2006
  • State revenue collections are more than $800 million above estimate for the current fiscal year
  • The five-year fiscal outlook has improved by nearly $8 billion from what the Independent Fiscal Office projected in January 2016

During the recession, Pennsylvania was one of the only states in the nation that did not raise broad-based taxes, such as the Sales Tax and the Personal Income Tax. Instead, we did what any responsible family would do when facing challenging economic circumstances – we made hard decisions on spending and tightened our belt.

Over the past 10 years, Senate Republicans have helped trim more than $4 billion from budgets proposed by the Governor. Nearly $1.2 billion in excess spending was cut from Governor Wolf’s budget proposals alone. Spending increases over the last 10 years have been below the rate of inflation. Instead of raising taxes, Senate Republicans passed budgets – often without the Governor’s signature – that forced state government to live within its means.

Moving forward, we remain committed to holding the line on spending and fighting back against proposed tax increases, just as we have over the past four years. We will continue to update during the upcoming budget talks so stay tuned to our E-news for more information.

We want to thank Ready Yourself Youth Ranch for agreeing to bring along a few horses for the children to meet and interact with. Anyone looking to see what Ready Yourself Youth Ranch is all about can click here to visit their website.

Fire and EMS Act 13 Grants

Fire companies, rescue companies and EMS in the 40 counties with unconventional gas well drilling, and those that directly border them, can apply now for Act 13 grants to help pay for training, certification, and specialized equipment.

Important dates include:

  • May 20, 2019 — The 2019 Act 13 UGWF Grant application period opens. Applications are only available and accepted online
  • July 24, 2019 — The application period closes at 4:00 PM
  • September 20, 2019 — PSFA/OSFC must approve or disapprove all 2019 Act 13 UGWF Grant applications. All notifications will be made by email after this date
  • December 18, 2019 — Signed grant agreements must be returned to PSFA
  • February 20, 2020 — Project modification requests must be returned to PSFA
  • March 20, 2020 — The final report of grant completion for the 2019 Act 13 UGWF Grant year must be completed and returned

The deadline to apply is July 24. Details and applications can be found by clicking here.

Fish for Free Day

The next “Fish for Free Day” of 2019 is set for July 4th. No fishing license required, but all other regulations apply. First-timers can contact the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program to borrow a rod, reel and tackle box. It’s a great way to introduce the family to the joys of fishing along a Pennsylvania waterway.

For more information on Fish for Free Day, please click here to visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission webpage.

PUC tips for movers

May marks the start of the busiest household moving season. The PA Public Utility Commission has tips for hiring a licensed mover, including your rights and responsibilities, how to file a complaint, etc.

Household goods movers operating within Pennsylvania are required to be licensed by the Public Utility Commission and must maintain adequate levels of insurance coverage and charge fees approved by the PUC. One tip: check delivered items for missing or damaged goods prior to signing the delivery receipt.

For more information and a list of active movers in PA, please click here to visit the PUC webpage.

Another thank you to the Beaver County Model Railroad and Historical Society for bringing along a beautiful train set and taking the time to tell the kids all about it!

National Senior Health and Fitness Day

Wednesday, May 29th is National Senior Health & Fitness Day, a time to highlight the benefits of keeping active as we age. Area Agencies on Aging, Adult Day Centers, and Senior Community Centers can connect older residents with recreation as well as health and wellness programs.

Find local programs by clicking 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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