In this Update:
Sharing Heartfelt Christmas Traditions
Wreaths Across America
Recently, wreaths were placed at the graves of veteran soldiers all over the country to honor their ultimate service and sacrifice.
Thank you to all who volunteered their time or sponsored a wreath for this great annual tradition.
We will never forget.
Bringing Holiday Cheer to Tri-County Vets and Families
Over the weekend, my office worked with Eric’s Angels, a local group that supports veterans in need in the Tri-County Area, to bring a little holiday joy.
This year, they we were able to support 50 military families in need. All these families received a full meal and gifts for each family member to celebrate the holidays.
Thank you to everyone in the area that is a part of this group and helped support our American heroes in their time of need. This year, you were someone’s Christmas Angel, and you are so appreciated.
Holiday Update: Mobile Office Hours
Due to the holidays, my office will not be having Mobile Office Hours, December 20, 2023 through January 5, 2024.
We will resume regular Mobile Office Hours on January 8, 2024.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at 215-541-2388.
PennDOT Makes Progress on Montgomery County Bridge
PennDOT announces a $7.9 million investment in infrastructure improvements for seven bridges and culverts in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. This project will enhance safety and efficiency for drivers across the region.
Replacement of aging culvert in Montgomery County:
Construction is set to begin this winter and will be completed by fall 2026. We’re proud to say that this project is 100% funded by the state of Pennsylvania, demonstrating our commitment to quality infrastructure for all communities.
District 24 Business Wins Prestigious Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence
Adelphia Gateway, owned and operated by New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR)’s Storage and Transportation (S&T), proudly receives the prestigious Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry! This award recognizes exceptional workplace safety programs and the remarkable collaboration between management and employees that drives their success.
The Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence reflects Adelphia Gateway’s exemplary safety record and the high proficiency of its extensive safety training and health and wellness programs. The award celebrates innovations and strong collaborations by management and employees that make company’s safety programs successful. It is presented each year to outstanding Pennsylvania employers who effectively demonstrate effective leadership and strategies the advance safety, protect workers, produce tangible improvements, and increase productivity.
Congratulations to Adelphia Gateway on this well-deserved honor!
State Cancels Contract for New Election Management System
The Pennsylvania Department of State has canceled a contract to upgrade the state’s system for managing voter rolls, an unfortunate development that delays efforts to move on from an outdated system.
The cancelation doesn’t affect the 2024 election – Pennsylvania was already planning to use the current Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors, known as SURE. But it does mean the 20-year-old system could be in place longer than expected.
According to an email the department sent to county officials, the election technology company KNOWiNK and the department mutually agreed to cancel the 2020 contract after it became apparent the vendor could not deliver an upgraded system on schedule.
The Department of State will have to put the work out to bid again. A secure, trusted election system is absolutely critical for the success of our representative democracy. A 2019 Auditor General report highlighted concerns about the SURE system’s reliability and capacity to serve as the elections database for the counties.
While we must upgrade our election system as soon as possible, we must get it right. My legislative colleagues and I will be monitoring this effort. Some of these issues were covered in a recent Senate hearing on the 2023 elections with Secretary of State Al Schmidt. You can view the hearing here.
Become an Army Officer in Two Years
High school students considering serving their country: Valley Forge Military College’s Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program allows you to become a second lieutenant at the end of your sophomore year. This opportunity is not available elsewhere.
As graduates, newly commissioned second lieutenants serve in National Guard or Army Reserve units as platoon leaders while they complete their bachelor’s degrees at colleges and universities around the nation. During their senior year at their follow-on university, lieutenants who are eligible may compete for active duty with ROTC students in their cohort. When cadets receive their bachelor’s degree, they will continue to serve in the National Guard, in the Reserves, or as active-duty officers around the world.
The program provides early exposure to life as a citizen-soldier, allowing members to see where their careers could go. Graduates have almost no debt as long as they choose a PASSHE school upon leaving Valley Forge Military College. Find out how to apply for this incredible opportunity here.
Bill to Combat Package Thefts Signed into Law
The Senate passed legislation to combat porch pirating – the theft of packages delivered to people’s homes – and it was recently signed into law.
Senate Bill 527, now Act 41 of 2023, implements specific penalties for theft of mail, which includes a package, bag or letter. In Pennsylvania, theft of mail is currently charged based solely on the value of the item taken.
According to Forbes, Americans spent $1.7 trillion shopping online since 2020 and nearly eight in 10 Americans have had a package stolen in 2022. Pennsylvania now joins eight other states that have already made porch pirating a felony.
New Law Gives Young Adults Strong Financial Literacy Foundation
Legislation to provide students with basic money management skills was recently signed into law. Specifically, it requires completion of a half-credit personal finance course to graduate high school.
Recent estimates calculate there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and, on average, credit card owners have about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion dollars in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion dollars in debt overall.
The course will give high school students the understanding they need about topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Sharing the Holiday Spirit with PA Veterans
If you would like to support our veterans and military families this holiday season, making a monetary donation goes a long way toward helping the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provide members, veterans and their families with essential programs and services that would not be available otherwise.
Donations can be made by mail or online. They are tax-deductible, and gifts of any amount are appreciated. Learn more about making a donation.
Driving Safely During Inclement Weather
Pennsylvania has nearly 40,000 miles of roads – which translates to 96,000 snow-lane miles – that must be maintained during inclement weather so people can travel safely.
The approximately 2,200 PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks have in-truck technology that logs and shares data in real time so the public can monitor the routes of their interstate and expressway travels on www.511PA.com.
Of course, drivers should avoid the roads until they have been cleared, if possible. Anyone who must travel is urged to use extra caution by slowing down, increasing their following distance and avoiding distractions. Read more winter driving tips here.
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