In this Update:
Highlights in the 47th
I was excited to join the Enon Valley community for the opening ceremony and parade for their 46th Annual Community Day! Pictured above with me are Mr. & Mrs. Bob Reno, Grand Marshall of the Enon Valley Parade.
Senate Sends Budget Bill to Governor’s Desk
The Senate reconvened this week to send the 2023-24 General Appropriations bill to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law. This action maintains our commitment to moving Pennsylvania forward and will prevent disruptions to the many critical services Pennsylvanians rely on every day. Advancing this legislation ensures funding can be released to schools, counties and nonprofits without interruption as the final components of the budget are negotiated and completed.
The $45.55 billion budget spends approximately $300 million less than what Gov. Shapiro proposed in March. I am pleased we were able to pass a budget that holds the line on taxes, promotes job growth, continues historic support for schools and sets aside money to prevent future tax hikes.
It is important to note this step does not complete the budget process, as certain programs require implementation language before funding can be released. These include key priorities like mental health grants for schools, emergency relief for hospitals and increases to EMS reimbursement rates. We are continuing our work to negotiate these items to ensure a full budget is put in place to help all Pennsylvanians.
The Senate also signed and sent to Gov. Shapiro’s desk a bill that would expand eligibility and rebate amounts available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, providing more assistance to low-income seniors and Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
With the recent resignation of a member of the House, their chamber now stands deadlocked, with an even number of Republicans and Democrats. Having a chamber with a 101 to 101 split makes it very hard to see how some of these important pieces of legislation can be advanced until the vacancy in the House is filled again. The Senate stands ready to return to session and complete the steps necessary to bring this year’s budget to a close as soon as possible.
Attention Veterans: Our Cranberry Township District Office Veteran Assistance Hours are on Aug. 10
John Adams from the Pennsylvania American Legion Veterans Assistance Program will be available on Thursday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our Cranberry Township District Office, 8001 Rowan Rd, Suite 205, Cranberry Township. No appointment is necessary.
Adams can help veterans and their families with understanding the benefits they have earned, enroll in the VA health care system, assist with the appeals process, and more. Participants are asked to bring any documentation and paperwork they may need.
For more information, contact our Cranberry Township District Office at 878-978-2575.
Join Us for Our FREE Annual Senior Expo on Sept. 29
Mark your calendars! Our Free Annual Senior Expo will be held on Friday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community College of Beaver County located at 1 Campus Drive in Monaca.
Representatives from various state and local organizations will be present to offer helpful information concerning healthcare, government services, and more to attending seniors. Additionally, there will be refreshments, door prizes, and health screenings which are also free of charge.
For further information, contact our Cranberry District Office at 878-978-2575.
Upcoming Local Fair Schedule
Fair season is upon us! As we approach the month of August, I wanted to keep you apprised of the dates of some of our local fairs.
Aug. 7-12: Butler Farm Show.
Aug. 22-26: Hookstown Fair.
Aug. 29-Sept. 2: Big Knob Grange Fair.
To view other PA Fair dates visit https://bit.ly/3pXpLXD.
REAL ID Extension Allows Access Through May 2025
Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through May 7, 2025, under an extension granted by the federal government last week.
REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic commercial flight, or entering a military installation or federal facility that requires ID.
REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards are available now to consumers who wish to obtain them. Learn more, including whether you need a REAL ID and what information you must provide if you do, here.
Share Your Opinion about Broadband in Pennsylvania
Rather than a luxury, high-speed internet is a necessity to participate in today’s economy. Access to high-speed internet helps to ensure public safety, benefits employers and Pennsylvania’s workforce, and provides an equal opportunity for students.
Pennsylvania has been awarded $1.16 billion in federal funding to expand internet access across the commonwealth. Community members – including residents, businesses and organizations – are invited to comment on the draft five-year implementation plan via an online survey available through Aug. 8.
Report Abuse of Adults Living with a Disability
Sadly, adults living with a disability are more likely to face abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.
Common signs of abuse include bruises or broken bones, weight loss, memory loss, personality changes, social isolation and changes in banking habits.
If you suspect abuse, report it by calling the Protective Services Hotline at 1-800-490-8505. A report can be made on behalf of the adult whether they live in their home or in a care facility such as a nursing facility, group home or hospital. Reporters can remain anonymous and have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination, and civil and criminal prosecution.
Recognizing National Farmers Market Week
Aug. 6-12 is National Farmers Market Week, and there are so many places to celebrate in Pennsylvania. With agriculture as the state’s top industry, farmers markets can be found all across the commonwealth.
Farmers markets offer more than the freshest produce. You can also find delicious baked goods, cheeses and craft coffees. Some even offer how-to classes and the opportunity to pick your own produce.
Find a farmers market to enjoy here.
Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to receive help in dealing with a state agency.