May. 03, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
School Safety Grants Awarded

I am pleased to announce that all five school districts within the 131st Legislative District this week were awarded state grants to improve safety and security in their buildings.

The funding was made available through a new $60 million grant program created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was included in the 2018-19 state budget.

These school districts were approved for funding in the following amounts:
  • East Penn – $105,000
  • Salisbury Township – $150,000
  • Saucon Valley – $154,856
  • Southern Lehigh – $34,302
  • Upper Perkiomen – $58,320
No parent should have to worry about their children’s safety when they send them off to school. This funding will enable these school districts to enhance their security efforts in order to provide a safer learning environment for students, faculty and staff.

In addition, the United Way of the Great Lehigh Valley was awarded a safety grant in the amount of $330,431.
Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers

We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget! State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.

House and Senate Republicans held a news conference this week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.

The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and rejecting the excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.

We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30. Learn more here.
Government Done Right

House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.

Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.

We kicked off the effort this week by passing House Bill 762 to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to facilitate better understanding of new and existing regulations and boost compliance rates among affected businesses.

We also passed House Bill 509, which would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.

Finally, we started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.

You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s state government here.                                    
Welcome to the Capitol

It was my pleasure to have Michael Nagy “shadow” me on Monday at the Capitol. He’s a sophomore at Southern Lehigh High School who is interested in public service.
Free Paper Shredding Event Set for May 18

In our continuing effort to help constituents combat identity theft, I am hosting our annual paper shredding event on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. The free service will be available in the parking lot of my district office in Coopersburg, located at 21 N. Main St., Unit 9.

This event is for residents only; no businesses, please. Residents can bring documents that contain sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, medical data or bank account numbers, to be shredded at no cost to them. The limit per vehicle is five 30-gallon garbage bags or copy paper boxes of paperwork.
Permit Needed in Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Area

To prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has issued a quarantine for the 14 counties where the presence of this pest has been confirmed, including Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

Businesses and organizations conducting business in the quarantine zone must obtain FREE permits from PDA to move vehicles, equipment and goods within and out of the zone. Permit enforcement began this week, but there will be a grace period. Learn more here.
Test Your Ticks

With May designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, individuals who spend time outdoors should check themselves for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments. Our state has led the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease for three straight years.

Last year, a $500,000 grant was provided to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) to allow all state residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free by the university. Click here to access the Tick Lab website with all the details.

All but two of our 67 counties have submitted ticks so far and 42% of the ticks tested positive for a tick-borne disease, confirming the health risks in Pennsylvania. For tips about how to protect yourself from Lyme disease, click here.
Let's Get Connected
Our District
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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
TTY: 855-282-0614