In this Update:
Pennycuick Unveils Capitol Display Commemorating PA Women Veterans Ahead of Women Veterans Day June 12
Recently I unveiled a display at the state Capitol commemorating women veterans as Pennsylvania prepares to observe the first official Women Veterans Day on June 12. The event in the East Wing Rotunda paid particular tribute to the heroic women of the Commonwealth who, after their time in the military, continued their commitment to serve in the state legislature and administration.
Next Monday will mark the first time the Commonwealth will observe this important day since Act 129 of 2022 was signed into law. As a U.S. Army combat veteran, I authored the legislation establishing June 12 as Women Veterans Day in Pennsylvania because I thought it was past time to recognize this burgeoning category of patriots. While women have served in the American military since before the United States was established as a nation, it was not until 1948 that women were recognized as military members or veterans. Until then, only women nurses and secretaries received full veteran benefits.
President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act on June 12, 1948, allowing women to serve as permanent, regular members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. By 2040 it is estimated that women will make up roughly 17% of the total veteran population. That’s why I’m sponsoring bipartisan legislation to establish the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care in Pennsylvania. The task force will study health issues facing women veterans and make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly for implementation.
The honorees included PA Treasurer Stacy Garrity, former state Rep. Karen Beyer, Rep. Nancy Guenst, Rep. Natalie Mihalek, Adj. Gen. Jessica Wright (Retired), PA Civil Service Commissioner Pam Iovino, Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, Brig. Gen. Maureen Weigl (Retired), Col. Robin Hightower (Retired) and Command Sgt. Maj. Shannon Cullen.
Mobile Office Hours
In an ongoing effort to better serve the district, my staff will be available to you at the above times and locations.
Boyertown Middle School East Healthy Living Award
Congratulations to the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Boyertown Middle School East who received my Healthy Living Award. This award is given to students that eat healthy, exercise regularly, shows respect for themselves, parents, teachers, and peers, make good choices and decisions, and have a positive attitude day in and out! These habits will set the foundation for a happy and healthy future in both their personal and professional life. We should all be very proud of these students!
Boyertown Middle School East Good Citizenship Award
Congratulations to these students at Boyertown Middle School East who recently received my Good Citizenship Award. This award is given to students that exemplify outstanding character, leadership and acceptance of responsibility. Citizenship is not only important for developing a strong moral code in individuals, but it’s also important for creating a safe, supportive society while protecting democracy. We should all be proud of these students. Well done!
Providing Critical Information in Emergencies
Pennsylvania offers two free voluntary programs to save the lives of residents in emergency situations: the Yellow Dot program and the Emergency Contact Information program.
PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program allows participants to fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.
The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update their records as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.
The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes.
Helping Communities Fight Illegal Dumps
To limit public health hazards that negatively impact property values, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have launched the Illegal Dump Free PA Program. It will help communities curb illegal dumping by exposing those who commit this crime.
To avoid costly cleanups that average $3,000 per site, grant recipients will receive, as a temporary loan, three cameras to capture evidence of illegal dumping. Equipment includes wireless technology to capture photos of vehicle license plates and illegal dumpers, even at night. One camera uses wireless technology to email pictures when triggered, providing almost instant results.
Grants Available for Emergency Service Training Centers
Because of legislation passed by the Senate last November, emergency services training centers, community colleges, county-owned facilities, municipal or fire department-owned facilities and nonprofit countywide associations can apply for grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.
Through the Emergency Service Training Center Capital Grant Program, funds can be used to establish or modernize facilities that house firefighting equipment, ambulances or rescue vehicles and to repair or purchase firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment.
The application period runs from June 1-30. Learn more or apply for a grant here.
DELAYED: Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vouchers
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reports that, due to vendor issues, the mailing of Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program and Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers will be delayed until the end of June. Vouchers are good until Nov. 30.
Eligible participants will receive five $10 vouchers and a list of participating farmers and farmers’ markets where vouchers can be used to purchase Pennsylvania grown fruits and vegetables. Call your County Aging office to find out when and where it will distribute the vouchers. Learn more here.
Download PA’s Happy Traveler Guide for Summer Fun
Pennsylvania has thousands of places for summer fun, and the state’s official travel guide, the Happy Traveler Guide, is available for downloading here.
Categorized by region, the guide includes nearly 100 pages of attractions, lodging options, dining and many other recreational activities all across the state. Things to see and do are grouped by area, taking the work out of planning a vacation.
Tourism is one of the state’s largest industries. In 2021, Pennsylvania welcomed 180 million travelers, which generated more than $66 billion and supported nearly half a million jobs.
Celebrating the Health Benefits of Dairy
Every June, National Dairy Month highlights the importance of consuming nutrient-rich dairy foods and beverages. Dairy products, like milk, contain nine essential nutrients which may help to better manage weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
Dairy plays no small part in the state’s top industry: agriculture. The Senate has a few legislative measures to help our hard-working farmers who provide for our dairy needs.
Senate Bill 153 would ensure that milk haulers can travel on highways during a declaration of disaster emergency so the perishable product isn’t lost. Senate Bill 297 would allow whole milk in schools. Senate Resolution 48 urges the United States Department of Agriculture to allow 2% and whole milk in schools.
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