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Senator Elder Vogel

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


Last week, I filmed a television segment with my colleagues, Senator Bartolotta and Senator Yaw, to discuss the upcoming hearing, “Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania,” hosted by the Center for Rural PA. Click the picture above to watch that video. The hearing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 2 at The Fez in Aliquippa. Stay tuned to my Twitter and Facebook for more info.


Senate Approves Vogel Cost-Saving Legislation for Schools

The Senate recently approved my legislation that will allow school districts to save thousands of dollars in annual mailing costs.

Senate Bill 1077 eliminates the mandate that school districts annually inform parents by physical mailing when the district uses audio and video recording to identify and address discipline issues on school buses.

The mailer mandate was included as part of Act 9 of 2014, which gave school districts the ability to use audio recordings on school buses.

Instead of the physical mailing, which can easily cost thousands of dollars each year, schools must post notice of the policy in the student handbook as well as on the school’s website.

Student handbooks outlining rules and procedures are already posted on each school’s publically accessible website. Parents have to acknowledge they have read and understand the rules and procedures by an electronic signature. There is no need to require a separate, physical mailing each year for this one specific policy. This will save taxpayer dollars.

Senate Bill 1077 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves Bill to Increase Penalties for Home Invasions

Last week, the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their Initial Revenue Outlook for Fiscal Year 2016-17. These forecasts are critical to the budget process because these statistics are largely used as a basis for the crafting of a balanced budget. Without delving into the details too much, I can report here that revenue collections are expected to modestly grow, due mostly to growth in personal incomes and sales tax receipts. It’s important to note that these projections assume current tax rates. Click here to read the full report.

The IFO, created by an act of the Legislature in 2010, provides revenue projections for use in the state budget process along with impartial and timely analysis of fiscal, economic, and budgetary issues to assist residents and the General Assembly in their evaluation of public policy. I encourage all of my constituents to visit their website and learn more about the state of our Commonwealth’s finances. Click here for more information.

Kaufman House Renovation Project Receives $500,000 State Grant

I’m pleased to announce that efforts to restore the historic Kaufman House in Zelienople received a significant boost in the form of a $500,000 state grant. The grant was part of more than $2.6 million in funding awarded through the Keystone Communities program to support 14 community revitalization projects across the Commonwealth.

This is a great contribution by the state to support a major project by a coalition of organizations that will provide a significant economic boost to Zelienople and the entire region. This project will help the Kaufman House rise up from the ashes of the 2011 fire and again become a major component of downtown Zelienople.

The Kaufman House was built in 1909, but the hotel portion has not been used for overnight stays since the early 1970s.

The Butler County Tourism Foundation, the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, the Butler County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Butler County Community College (BC3), Zelienople Borough and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are working in collaboration to restore and renovate the building on West New Castle Street.

The Kaufman House's history will be preserved by the project, which includes a restaurant/coffee shop/lounge and a boutique hotel with 18 to 22 rooms. The facility will serve as a training facility for the tourism and hospitality industries. BC3 will provide internship opportunities for culinary arts and hospitality management positions.

Zelienople was awarded a $3 million state grant in December 2014 for a major downtown improvement project including the restoration of the historic Kaufman House. The project, based on a comprehensive master plan adopted by the borough in 2010, encompassed Zelienople’s Central Business District. The project included 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.

Beaver Country Rail Freight Projects Awarded over $1 Million in Grants

Two rail and freight projects in Beaver County have been awarded over $1 million in Rail & Freight Assistance Grants.

Investments in rail and freight infrastructure are vital to the success of local heavy industry. I welcome these state investments in Beaver County and the good jobs that come with them:

  • Middleton Properties West LLC -- $633,711 to rehabilitate 4,800 feet of track and construct 2,700 feet of new track.
  • Pennsylvania Southwestern Railroad -- $535,610 to rehabilitate five tracks, a pit track and a turnout.

The rail Freight Assistance Program provides assistance for investment in rail freight infrastructure. The intent of the Program is to:

(1) Preserve essential rail freight service where economically feasible, and

(2) Preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail freight service.

Click here for more information.

The Darlington Days festival will be held on June 3, 4, and 5 in downtown Darlington with fireworks on Saturday night. For more info, see flier.

Capitol Hunger Garden Opens for 7th Season

Recently, I and fellow members of the Legislative Hunger Caucus joined together at the Capitol to mark the opening of the Capitol Hunger Garden.

The Capitol Hunger Garden is an approximately 1,000 square-foot area of land adjacent to the State Capitol Building which is overseen by the Hunger Caucus. Since its inception, the garden has annually produced between 700 and 800 pounds of vegetables that are donated to food banks, pantries, and local soup kitchens.

Click here for more information.

This Thursday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. there will be a Support Our Troops Rally at the Rochester VFW (179 Virginia Ave, Rochester).

Opioids for Pain: Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Sure

Prescription opioids are crucial for pain management, but growing abuse of these drugs has reached epidemic proportions in Pennsylvania. The PA Medical Society recently launched “Opioids for Pain: Be smart. Be safe. Be sure.” It seeks to reduce opioid abuse and overdoses, educate patients about the safe use of opioids and the warning signs of addiction, and help physicians prescribe opioid drugs with more precision and less potential for abuse. use/topics/opioids/OpioidsForPainInitiative

Free Dental Clinic

The MOM-n-PA is an annual, two-day free dental clinic for underserved Pennsylvanians. It will be held on June 3rd and 4th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Their mission is to provide dental treatment at no cost to individuals that cannot afford dental care. Treatment is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis and turnout is expected to be high, so please make sure to go early. Patients do not pre-register.

Click here for more information.

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.

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Contact Me


Senate Box 203047
362 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3047
Phone: (717) 787-3076
FAX: (717) 772-2756

8:30 - 4:30

488 Adams Street
Rochester, PA 15074-1940
Phone: (724) 774-0444
FAX: (724) 773-7384

New Castle
1905 W. State Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Phone: (724) 654-1444
FAX: (724) 656-3182



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