Feb. 06, 2024

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Every Team Needs One

Have you ever met that Mom…the one that is happily married, super smart, hardworking, and supports her children through encouragement, love and discipline? The one that has endless energy, no one can keep her down, she can multitask like a pro, and just seems to have it all together? That Disney mom? She's on our team! She walks by faith, not by sight. She is Jill Beatty, located in my Harrisburg office.

Jill was raised in small-town Pennsylvania life, in the quaint town of Valley View, Schuylkill County. She treasures her memories and family time spent on her grandparents’ farm. Her love of a small town continues as an adult. She values living in a small town where the community works together, supports those in need and thrives in their connections.

Jill has been married for 16 years and they have a thriving young teenage son. She and her husband enjoy spending time supporting him through these formative years, especially in the many hours, long drives, and their bleacher time cheering him on at the basketball court year-round.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jill for her 25 years of service to the House of Representatives Republican Caucus. She has been a dedicated, driven and reliable Legislative Assistant, not only to me but also to many other members throughout the years. She helps manage much of my schedule and administrative duties from the Harrisburg office, as well as assists in resolving constituent issues and needs, and preparing citations for the many constituent achievements we celebrate in the 68th district.

Jill's passion to help others and selflessly serve is evident in her work for the Republican Caucus. Not only does she serve our district but that of another member as well. On top of that she is the Caucus Supervisor for the Lower East Wing. Good thing she has the energy, passion and drive to do all she does. And she does it well.

Jill delights in family. Thankfully she thinks of our team more like "family" than co-workers. We are truly blessed to have Jill as part of our "family" in District 68. From the local district offices, we are delighted to work with her every day.
A Glimpse into the Future

It was great spending time with Mrs. Kendra Pardoe's government classes at Troy Area High School last Friday. They say you learn more by doing. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn more from a high school teacher's POV (point of view), and a high schooler himself.

As I entered Mrs. Pardoe's classroom, she has created an environment indicative of the state capitol. The lighting glow is warm, creating a calm reverent effect, hoping to inspire young minds toward the impact they can have on their future rights, legislation and politics. Her walls are adorned with the history of our nation’s founding fathers and their work from a copy of the Declaration of Independence, as well as photos of more recent presidents, such as John F. Kennedy. I am encouraged by her passion for our great nation and teaching the next generation to take on leadership roles, gain knowledge and understanding of our government, and become contributing citizens to our nation and our state.

I had the opportunity to speak with greater detail about how our state legislative process works, from an idea into a law. We walked through how legislation affects the students and the importance of registering to vote. Every vote makes a difference. It counts, it speaks and no one can take it from you.

As I spoke about one of my newer bills, House Bill 1929 regarding driver’s license permit testing, they all tuned in a bit more as they discovered how this bill turning into a law could directly impact them and their friends. This bill would help break down barriers many of them face trying to take their permit tests in rural communities like ours, such as missing school time and struggling to get to the DMV to take the knowledge test.

I thought since we were in the classroom setting, I would take the opportunity to ask the students a few questions. Here are a few of the humorous highlights:
  •   During my introduction as I stated my first name, one of the students questioned the name, "Clint." I responded, "You know, like Clint Eastwood?" The student responds: "I don't even know who Clint Eastwood is."
  •   Me: "What do we do in Harrisburg?" Student: "You're telling me."
  •   Me: "Name some departments of the state." Student: "Department of food." Coming from a teenage boy, I can understand this one.
  •   During one of the final classes when I opened the floor up to questions, a young man, Seth, asked a question and gave a commentary: "Did you ever meet Joe Biden? He likes ice cream!"

I would like to thank Mrs. Pardoe and the Troy Area High School for inviting me into the government classes to share with our youth a better understanding of state government and their needed participation, from voting to one day running for a community, state or national office. I have been encouraged by these engaging students. There was a kind cross-country student who had the courage to approach and ask if I would support him for his fundraiser by purchasing a chocolate bar, and that I did! Best of luck to him, his team and all of the Troy Area High School students in their future endeavors.

If you are 18 and have not registered to vote, here is a quick link to the PA Voters Registration Application.
Coen Kemp Earns the Rank of Eagle Scout

Congratulations to Coen Kemp for attaining the ultimate rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America! He joins many historic and current accomplished individuals, including Neil Armstrong, Rick Perry, Bill Brady and Mike Rowe to name a few.

In 1912 the first Eagle Scout was awarded to Arthur Eldred of New York. Since then, more than 2 million young men have achieved the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. Approximately 15,000 Scouts will complete and earn this rank. Once an Eagle Scout always an Eagle Scout. It's not just a training; it's a way of life, in the moment and for the future.

This prestigious achievement develops character, work ethic, a heart for service, respect for law, mindfulness of community, and determination. It takes years of dedication, determination and grit to accomplish.

Coen started his time in the BSA from Tiger Cub rank through now the Boy Scout Eagle rank. Throughout his years of service he earned his Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts and even a bronze palm. He has held the offices chaplain aide, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and senior patrol leader.

Coen completed all portions of the Eagle Award program up through his community service requirement where he replaced the sign at the Austinburg Baptist Church. Coen said out of all the requirements for Eagle Scout, his service project in replacing the church sign was the hardest, being it was the most time consuming. He was quick to share about several hikes that were challenging, one in particular where there were no breaks and night fell on him as he completed a 20-mile hike in one day. It is challenges like these that will make us stronger as we look back on to what we have accomplished. He is the son of David and Shannon Kemp, and a member of Troop 22.

If you know Coen, please congratulate him for this grand accomplishment and offer your best wishes for his future endeavors in contributing positive impacts for our community, state and nation.
We Stand with Texas

This week, I was one of dozens of Republican House members who signed letters urging Gov. Josh Shapiro and Attorney General Michelle Henry to take whatever steps they can to show that Pennsylvania stands with Texas in its ability to combat illegal immigration.
I also plan to support a concurrent resolution to be introduced soon that affirms state sovereignty and supports Texas in its efforts to defend its southern border. The resolution will send a strong message to the Biden administration that the Pennsylvania General Assembly believes in the ability of states to defend their borders when the federal government fails in its obligation to do so, and we will put the safety and security of our citizens first when it comes to enforcing our laws against illegal immigration.

The statistics we’re seeing regarding the flood of migrants crossing the southern border are truly astounding. We firmly believe Texas and other states have the constitutional right to defend themselves when the federal government has not provided assistance or actually impeded the ability to defend their borders and sovereignty.  

Read the letter to the governor here.

Read the letter to the attorney general here.
2024-25 Budget Address Today

Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his 2024-25 state budget address today (Tuesday, Feb. 6) before a joint session of the General Assembly. The session begins at noon and the address at 12:30 p.m. Watch the live stream at www.PAHouseGOP.com.

It is clear, based on a series of press events the governor has held over the last week, this budget is going to propose spending a lot of your money. We cannot, and should not, grow the size and cost of government when individuals and families are already dealing with rising costs.

Halfway through the current fiscal year, General Fund revenue is falling more than $70 million below estimate, and tax revenue by more than $150 million. We must ensure the Commonwealth lives within its means.
Protecting Critical State Assets from Unfriendly Foreign Entities

Following several high-profile events across the country, including the recent hacking of the Aliquippa Municipal Authority in Beaver County, a package of bills will soon be introduced to help protect critical state assets from unfriendly foreign entities, including China.

One measure would further protect agricultural land in Pennsylvania by restricting the ability of “countries of concern” as designated by the federal government (i.e. China, Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria and other countries that do not permit Americans to purchase farmland in their country) to purchase such land in Pennsylvania.

Another measure would establish the Pennsylvania Cyber Security Task Force, which would be composed of staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Public Utility Commission and other critical stakeholders that would assist institutions and facilities with cyber security needs and require the implementation of security safeguards.

The final proposal would call on the Joint State Government Commission to review possible policies the Commonwealth can establish to review foreign purchases of infrastructure assets and adjacent land in the Commonwealth for possible security implications to critical infrastructure.

Read more here.
Learn More About Infrastructure Funding Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) provides grants and low-interest loans to support sewer, storm water and drinking water projects in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

To help more government agencies and organizations better understand their funding options, PENNVEST is hosting a series of educational outreach sessions over the next several months. The sessions answer questions about funding sources, types of financing and where to go for help.

The first virtual training session will be held on Thursday, March 21, from 10-11 a.m. For a full list of virtual and in-person events, as well as links to register, click here.
Be Aware of Tax Season Scams

The Office of Attorney General is warning Pennsylvanians to be aware and stay cautious of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposter scams during tax season. Be on the lookout for

unsolicited text messages, emails or phone calls appearing to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment or your personal information.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and the IRS both strongly recommend filing taxes early before scammers have the chance to use any personal information and file a fake tax return.

Please remember the IRS: 
  •   Does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or phone calls to request personal or financial information (generally the IRS first mails a paper bill to a person who owes taxes).
  •   Will never demand a specific type of payment using cash, crypto-currency, a prepaid debit card, gift card or a wire transfer.
  •   Will not leave a pre-recorded, urgent or threatening message on an answering system.
  •   Will not immediately threaten to sue or arrest you.

For more tips and information about what to do if you believe you have been victimized by a scam, click here.