Sep. 20, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong#  The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Bill Package Aims to Energize Job Creation in PA

Continuing the House Republican commitment to #GoodJobs4PA, lawmakers and advocates gathered in the state Capitol Rotunda Wednesday to renew the call to action on a package of bills known as EnergizePA.

The bills aim to build on the state’s rich history in energy production, innovation and manufacturing by enacting policies that would open the doors to creating quality, family-sustaining jobs. It does so without increasing taxes or fees on Pennsylvania residents or employers.

One measure already signed into law, Act 20 of 2019 makes grants available to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks and existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises while also providing access to natural gas for residents.

Other measures address developing more competitive tax policies, identifying abandoned manufacturing sites available for redevelopment and improving the state’s permitting processes.

The bill package aims to build on efforts earlier this session to enact other pro-growth policies, including an overhaul of the state’s career and technical education and training programs to better prepare workers for the well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow. Many of those measures are pending action in the Senate.

For additional information about EnergizePA, click here.
 
 
Simmons Announces $170,000 in State Funding for Area Improvement Projects

This week, my office announced the approval of two improvement projects right here in the 131st Legislative District that will benefit from an additional $170,000 in state funding approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) in Harrisburg.

The Borough of Coopersburg was awarded a $145,000 grant to renovate the Southeast corner of East State Street and Main Street—the town center and a key recreation space downtown. This funding makes possible a complete rebuild of the site, including the installation of new landscaping, pavement and a beautiful new flagpole. These improvements will make downtown Coopersburg a more natural gathering place for borough residents.

Additionally, Lower Saucon Township was awarded a $25,000 grant for the installation of inclusive playground equipment at Polk Valley Park and Town Hall Park. As a further safety measure, ADA rubber mulch will also be installed.

Thanks to the CFA and the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, these municipalities will receive the tools needed to continue making the 131st District a safer and more enjoyable place to live and play.
 
 
Dairy Investment Program Accepting Grant Applications

A grant program created last year to help Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy farmers is now accepting applications for its second round of funding.

Grants support on-farm innovation, research and development, organic transition, and value-added processing of products like cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Act 38 of 2019
established the grant program in statute, meaning it will be offered each year funding is made available. This year’s budget funded the program at $5 million. The program is administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Pennsylvania is home to 6,650 dairy farms, which contribute $14.7 billion in economic revenue annually and support more than 52,000 jobs. However, the industry is currently struggling with some farmers shutting down their operations. The grants are designed to help dairy farmers adjust to current markets.
 
 
Applications Open for School Safety Grants

The School Safety and Security Grant Program is now accepting applications for funding from school districts and school entities across the Commonwealth.

The program, created by the Legislature and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, offers both meritorious and competitive grants to help ensure the safety of all students in our schools.

Meritorious grants are open only to school districts, while competitive grants are available to school districts as well as other school entities, including intermediate units, area career and technical schools, charter schools and more.

The funding may be used for any of the nearly two dozen school safety initiatives listed in the law, including such things as hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and other programs and services to protect students.

For more information about the program and how school districts and school entities may apply, click here. The deadline to apply for the grants is Monday, Nov. 4.
 
 
Game Commission Seeks Input on CWD Response Plan

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released a draft of its new Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response Plan and is seeking public comment on the proposal through early next year.

The proposed plan outlines the commission’s goals and objectives in managing CWD, as well as actions that could be implemented to achieve those goals. Those actions could include hunting-related changes, such as expanded deer seasons or removal of antler restrictions, and potential small-scale, targeted removal of deer in certain areas.

Public comments on the plan are being accepted through Feb. 29, 2020, and will be considered in the adoption of a final plan, which will be implemented for the 2020-21 hunting seasons.

CWD is always fatal to the deer and elk it infects. It was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2012, and as of 2018, 250 free-ranging CWD-positive deer have been detected within the state. All but four of the CWD-positive free-ranging deer have been found within Disease Management Area 2 in southcentral Pennsylvania, which covers more than a dozen counties and more than 6,700 square miles. Additional disease management areas, established as a result of positive tests within captive deer herds, are located in Armstrong, Clarion, Clearfield, Jefferson and Indiana counties, and in Lancaster County.

To read a copy of the report and offer comment, click here.
 
 
PPL Warns of Fraud and Deceptive Marketing Attempts

Citizens of the 131st District who are current PPL customers:

My office has received a notification from PPL Electric regarding recent fraud and deceptive tactics being used by third parties to trick or pressure customers into switching supply service.

PPL suggests customers beware of any suspicious contact from individuals claiming to represent the utility provider. PPL does not market or sell supplier services by phone or door to door. If any solicitor claims to represent PPL, the company suggests calling them directly. PPL also advises customers to only return messages and calls to their official phone number listed below.

Additionally, PPL has suggested customers take the following precautions to protect themselves from fraud:
  • Update your account with a security PIN or password and never give it to anyone who calls you. PPL will only ask for your PIN and password when you call them.
  • Create an online account. You can check your account information and current supplier at any time, from any device.
  • Keep your email address and phone number up to date, so you can stay informed about future fraud attempts.
If you have any questions or believe you may have been the victim of fraud, PPL invites you to contact them immediately at 1-800-342-5775. To learn more about how you can protect yourself from fraud, click here.
 
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Office Locations
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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