In this Update:
Agriculture Summit in Westmoreland County
It was a pleasure to welcome Congressman Glenn Thompson, chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding to an Agriculture Summit this past week at the Lamplighter Restaurant in Delmont, PA.
Also in attendance were local farmers, producers, community members, the Westmoreland County Fair Queen, the Derry Township Agricultural Fair Queen, the Derry Township Agricultural Fair Princess and attendants.
Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry, so it is important to gather stakeholders together to discuss current issues and share thoughts on how to continue to improve and promote this great industry!
Thank you to state Rep. Jill Cooper for coordinating the event along with other co-hosts: state Sen. Kim Ward – Unofficial, state Rep. George Dunbar, state Rep. Abby Major, state Rep. Eric Nelson and state Rep. Eric Davanzo.
Interviews with ‘Indiana in the Morning’ and ‘KDKA CBS Pittsburgh’
On Wednesday morning, I stopped by ‘Indiana in the Morning‘ for an interview about where things stand with the state budget, and other issues impacting our region. Thank you to Todd Marino for the invitation to join him in the studio. You can watch this interview here.
It was also great to welcome Jon Delano from KDKA-CBS 21 Pittsburgh to the 41st Senatorial District, earlier this week. Jon visited my Indiana office and we had a good conversation about the Senate’s continued work to complete all aspects of the state budget process. You can watch this interview here.
Budget Response Letter Sent to House
On June 30, the Senate passed a responsible compromise budget plan which advanced to the state House of Representatives; however, the budget process is not complete.
I have sent this letter to House Majority Leader Matt Bradford regarding the necessary implementation language to fully effectuate a budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Secondary Road Maintenance Project Begins in August in Armstrong County
Secondary road maintenance will soon begin in Cowanshannock, Wayne, Valley, Rayburn, Boggs and Plumcreek Townships in Armstrong County.
These improvements are the beginning of a $10 million investment over two years to improve the infrastructure of rural, secondary roadways throughout Armstrong County.
State Rep. Donna Oberlander, state Rep. Abby Major and I will continue work to secure funding to make necessary improvements and help advance transportation projects throughout Armstrong County and our entire region.
We appreciate the attention Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll has given to this needed investment and hope more will come in the years ahead.
The state routes included in the project are:
🚧 S.R. 1020 in Wayne Township
🚧 S.R. 1027 in Boggs and Wayne Township
🚧 S.R. 1028 in Cowanshannock, Wayne, Valley, and Rayburn Townships
🚧 S.R. 1035 in Cowanshannock, Valley and Boggs Townships
🚧 S.R. 1037 in Wayne and Cowanshannock Townships
🚧 S.R. 2003 in Plumcreek and Cowanshannock Townships
Pennsylvania to Receive More Than $1 Billion to Close Digital Divide
Pennsylvania is set to receive $1.16 billion in federal funding to increase access to high-speed internet connectivity for individuals, businesses, schools and hospitals.
Thanks to everyone who submitted information to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s map that indicates areas with and without high-speed internet connectivity, Pennsylvania had the third highest number of successful challenges in the country.
While funding was predicated on the map released by the FCC, residents may still view and challenge the map should the information be incorrect. Residents can view the statewide broadband map and learn more about challenging any location in Pennsylvania here.
Beware of Student Loan Scam Robocalls and Robotexts
Following the Supreme Court decision regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s student loan forgiveness program, scammers are likely to attempt to use the program to make their misleading robocalls and robotexts seem more legitimate.
Common scams pretend to be from the “student loan forgiveness center” or from a state “forgiveness center.” Other messages reference a “settlement” with the U.S. Department of Education that entitles the recipient to “fully discharge” their student loan obligations. Incoming communications may also fraudulently reflect seemingly legitimate caller ID information to convince consumers to respond.
Learn more, including how to spot a scam and what to do if you are a target, here.
Purple Star School Program Supports Military-Connected Children
Thanks to legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) launched the Purple Star School Program.
The program encourages schools to support the children of service members on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserves as they transition to a new school due to a parent’s change in duty station. Public and non-public schools can receive the Purple Star Award from PDE if they demonstrate their commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.
Pennsylvania now joins 37 other states that offer this designation. Schools can learn more and apply for the Purple Star School designation here.
Celebrate National Ice Cream Day on PA’s Ice Cream Trail
Sunday, July 16, is National Ice Cream Day – a wonderful time to enjoy Pennsylvania’s Ice Cream Trail at a great creamery.
With locations across the state, you’re sure to find an ice cream destination in your area. They’re often family-owned and support the local community by using locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.
From cones to milkshakes to sundaes to soft serve, there are so many delicious ice cream confections to try. Check out the interactive map of more than 40 locations here, and learn about the creameries and what they offer here.
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