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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Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to attend the grand opening of the Keller Williams Realty office in downtown New Castle. Congratulations on the expansion!
Senate to Reconvene January 6, 2015
The Pennsylvania Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, January 6. It’s a new legislative session with newly elected members. You can track Senate activity throughout the year at http://www.pasen.gov/. After January 6, you can track legislation that I introduce here.
Attention Notaries Public:
The endorsement by the state Senator of the district in which a notary public applicant resides or is employed will no longer be required on applications received on and after Monday, January 5, 2015. This applies to both new and renewing applicants. Applications received by the Department of State through January 4, 2015 must contain the endorsement of the appropriate state Senator.
In order to prepare for the transition, the Department's Online Notary Public Application System will be offline from 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 26, 2014 until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 2015. Please take this into account should you be planning to submit an online application around this time frame.
The Department has revised its notary public application to eliminate the Senatorial endorsement and will make this application available on January 5. Nothing else about the application has changed.
DEP Extends Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced the extension of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate program, which will continue to provide $2,000 rebates for large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric vehicles until June 30, 2015, or until the 500 vehicle benchmark is reached. To date, DEP has more than 150 rebates remaining at this amount.
Large-battery vehicles that have battery system capacities equal or greater than 10 kilo-watt hours (kWh), including models such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, BMW, Tesla and Chevy Volt, are eligible for the highest rebate amount of $2,000. DEP is also extending rebates of $1,000 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles with battery system capacities of less than 10 kWh, including models such as the Toyota Prius plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.
Rebates of $1,000 are being extended for natural gas, propane, hydrogen or fuel-cell vehicles, such as the CNG powered Honda Civic or any 2014-15 CNG powered car or pickup truck. CNG original equipment, manufacturer retrofits or certified conversions to CNG or propane are also eligible for the $1,000 rebate. A $500 rebate is available for electric motorcycles and scooters.
To qualify, the vehicle must be registered in Pennsylvania, operated primarily in-state, and be purchased no more than six months before the rebate application is submitted.
For more information, click here.
Attention Municipal Officials:
The PennDOT Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) is one of 58 LTAP centers across the nation (one in each state, Puerto Rico and seven regional centers serving American Indian tribal governments.) These centers are dedicated to transferring transportation technology through training, technical assistance, and other customer services to municipal elected officials and their staff. The LTAP program is designed to help Pennsylvania’s municipalities, which maintain over 77,000 miles of roadways, make the best use of their roadway maintenance dollars. PennDOT LTAP provides technical information and proven technologies dealing with roadway maintenance and safety methods to meet the growing demands on municipal governments. PennDOT LTAP has provided technology transfer services to Pennsylvania’s 2600 municipal governments since 1983.
LTAP training takes many forms and is offered at little or no cost to municipalities. Training events include scheduled workshop training, the “Roads Scholar Program”, and local product demonstrations. The “Roads Scholar Program” provides an opportunity for municipal employees to be trained by LTAP’s professional team in the latest road-related technologies and innovations. The program provides a professional certification to municipal employees and officials who attend ten LTAP workshops within a three-year period. For more information including current class offerings, click here.
Two communities in the 47th Senate District will receive state grants to underwrite the costs of upgrading traffic signals under Pennsylvania’s new “Green Light-Go” program.
Jackson Township, Butler County, will receive $15,000 to retime three traffic signals along Route 68 in Jackson Township (Evans City Road and Lindsay Road) and Evans City Borough (Route 68 and Jackson Street and Washington Street).
Harmony Township, Beaver County, will receive $4,500 to upgrade three traffic signals in the township to LEDs along Duss Avenue at the intersections of Dearborn Street, Keystone Road and 24th Street (SR989).
These grants will assist Harmony and Jackson townships in making important improvements to selected traffic signals in their communities. These improvements not only benefit the residents of those communities, but improve safety and traffic flow for everyone who drives those roadways.
Jackson and Harmony townships were among 38 municipalities sharing $1.8 million in the current round of Green Light-Go funding. The program provides funding to municipalities for installing light-emitting diode (LED) technology, performing regional operations such as retiming, developing special event plans and monitoring traffic signals, as well as upgrading traffic signals to the latest technologies.
For more information and to apply for this grant, click here.
The project, based on a comprehensive master plan adopted by the borough in 2010, encompasses Zelienople’s Central Business District, specifically the Main Street corridor bordered by Northview Drive, High Street, Culvert Street and Clay Street. Plans call for infrastructure, paving and sidewalk improvements, the installation of decorative lighting and landscaping with the goal of encouraging the development of specialty shops, restaurants, office space downtown.
PA Patient Safety Authority Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder
PA Patient Safety Authority has a new report: Improving Care for Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Acute Care Setting. Treating a patient with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult, and the report notes that understanding the needs of patients with ASD and using effective strategies to communicate and care for them are essential to provide high-quality care to this patient population. Read more here.
Watch Past & Upcoming Senate Hearings Online
A total of 102 Senate hearings were recorded in 2014, with 80 streamed live over the Internet. With a new governor, next year should be busier, with all the confirmation hearings in the spring. You can find hearing video and information on every committee meeting here.
Follow Me on Twitter!
I have a Twitter account to better connect with my constituents and provide daily updates on my voting record, whereabouts, state government, and local news affecting the 47 S.D. To access my Twitter page, click here.
Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to
receive help in dealing with a state agency.
Senate Box 203047