Jun. 28, 2019

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House of Representatives Passes 2019-20 Budget

On Tuesday, June 25, the House of Representatives passed a budget bill for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Highlights include educational and child care funding, library subsidies, and saving money.

Through a combination of state and federal dollars, funding for child care services and child care assistance would increase under this budget. We want to make sure that parents have access to the childcare programs and services that have been there for their children in the past.

This budget prioritizes Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry by providing a $19.5 million, or 12.8%, increase in funding to the industry. These include livestock and consumer protection, animal health and diagnostics commission and business and workforce development.

I am especially excited about our record setting educational investments, particularly the $5 million increase in public library subsidies. I worked hard on behalf of this initiative and I am very happy to see it addressed in the budget.

We have also set aside more than $250 million for the state’s Rainy Day Fund. This will help us avoid future tax increases in years of lower revenue collections. The fund was drained during the recent economic downturn, and my colleagues and I have been committed to replenishing it to protect taxpayers in the future.

This is a balanced, responsible budget that takes into consideration the present and future needs of the taxpayers, and funds key areas of importance.

The budget bill – House Bill 790 – has been passed by the Senate and is now on the governor’s desk.

 


Designating the H. Donald Whipple Memorial Bridge
Today, my office attended the ceremony commemorating the official naming of the H. Donald Whipple Memorial Bridge. The bridge lies on State Route 405, over the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks in West Chillisquaque Township in Northumberland County.

Don graduated from West Branch High School in 2001 and from Mansfield University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and environmental sciences. He was employed by the Commonwealth, beginning in 2008, and was recognized as PennDOT District 3-0 Employee of the Month in August 2012 for his outstanding work and dedication. He was involved in the drafting and designing of the State Route 405 bridge in West Chillisquaque Township. While performing his job duties on Aug. 3, 2016, Mr. Whipple died from injuries suffered in a severe motor vehicle accident. This bridge will stand in honor of Don’s service to the Commonwealth and as a lasting memory of his work.

 
Family of Don Whipple at the bridge naming ceremony.

 
Sandy Tosca, district executive, PennDOT District 3-0; Jeff Cole, district office staffer; Julia Whipple, Don’s wife; Sharon and Dennis Whipple, Don’s parents
 

Selinsgrove High School Boys Baseball Team Visits Capitol
On Tuesday, June 25, we were visited by the Selinsgrove High School Boys Baseball Team, who received an official House citation for winning first place in the 2019 PIAA State Class 4A Baseball Championships.
I am pictured here with the team, along with Sen. John Gordner.

Congratulations to these fine young men!

 


Gaudenzia Inc. Opens New Addiction Recovery Center
Gaudenzia Inc., a drug and alcohol treatment facility located on the Northumberland County South Campus, held a community open house on Friday, June 28 to commemorate the opening of a new outpatient and residential recovery facility. Gaudenzia program services include intervention, adult and adolescent outpatient services; and “intensive” outpatient care for adults. The inpatient program for adults has 24 beds — eight short-term beds up to 24 days and 16 long-term beds up to 90 days. The detox program has seven beds for up to five to seven days.

The outpatient program opened in February and the inpatient residential treatment program will begin accepting clients next week, many of whom are referred to the program from the region’s Single County Authorities (SCA).
Gaudenzia is the largest nonprofit treatment provider for substance abuse use disorder in the state, offering a full continuum of residential and outpatient treatment services, including specialized programs for pregnant and parenting mothers, adolescents and people suffering from mental illness simultaneous to their addictions.

Since its founding in 1968, the organization has admitted into treatment more than 250,000 people.

 
Officials from Gaudenzia Inc., Northumberland and Snyder Counties, and the state government.
 

PennDOT and Safety Partners Highlighting Independence Day DUI Campaign
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Highway Safety Network, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Koch’s Autobody have placed a crashed car in the vacant parking lot in the 700 block of Route 15 southbound (Derr Drive) in Lewisburg to highlight the importance of designating a sober driver during a national Independence Day impaired-driving mobilization.

The crashed car, which represents what can happen when a driver is impaired, features a 6-foot banner reminding passing motorists that “Sober Driving is Safe Driving”. The car and banner will be on display through July 5 for photo opportunities. Task force members are available for comment and are listed below.
 

Independence Day Reminders
A few important reminders as you plan to celebrate our nation’s independence next week!

If you are traveling, check out 511pa.com. Free and available 24 hours a day, the site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Thursday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!
 

Fish for Free on Independence Day
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is hosting the second of its two annual Fish for Free Days on Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.
This is a great opportunity to try your hand at fishing in any of Pennsylvania’s waterways, even if you don’t have a license.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Just make sure you follow all other fishing regulations.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.  
 
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Office Locations
106 Arch Street, Sunbury, PA 17801 | (570) 286-5885 | 1-800-924-9060 | Fax: (570) 988-1627
402B Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202108, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2108 | (717) 787-3485 | Fax: (717) 782-2892
Email: lculver@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
 
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