Apr. 22, 2024

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Government Day Held at Wellsboro High School

Three local school district government classes gathered at Wellsboro High School to meet with an array of local and state government elected officials, officers, staff and members of the military.

Bryce Bitner, Wellsboro High School government teacher, designed this event to be a Government Day where students in his government classes and surrounding districts would participate in gaining knowledge through directly engaging with local county commissioners, township supervisors, sheriff’s office, Wellsboro police, state police, PA Game Commission, state legislators from both the Senate and House, and military personnel. Students had the opportunity to learn how each of these individuals got to where they are today and what it’s like working in governmental positions – the highs, the lows and everything in between. The students were engaged and eager to ask questions. The many officials who took the time to participate show outstanding care and encouragement in investing in our youth to prepare for the future.

I hope the students were left with the understanding that they matter, they can make a difference, every vote counts, and their voices need to be heard. All are welcome to reach out to my office or connect with me through this link.
Morris Fire and Ambulance Company Annual Banquet and Citations

Selfless service means providing for the needs of other people over yourself. Have you stopped to consider the ones in our communities that give of themselves without thinking of themselves? Stop and think about the many men and women who work all hours of the day to keep us safe, who fight crime and fires, and who help save lives. There are people all over the nation, state, and our own towns who selflessly serve us! I am very thankful for their sacrifices and the duties they perform.

This past weekend we celebrated two selfless servants from the Morris Firemen’s Ambulance Association who are charter members of the ambulance association that started in 1977.

  •   Dean Kreger has served 53 years as an EMT.
  •   Amos Osborn has served 52 years as an EMT and is a 70-year member of the Morris Township Fire Company.

Thank you to these men, and the many others who have given so much of not only their time, but themselves to the dedication of serving others in an honorable way. We greatly appreciate the safety, security and saving of lives that you have done and will continue to be doing!

As springtime is breaking through and you are going for those walks, four-wheeler rides, jeep rides and fishing the beautiful streams and lakes of Tioga and Bradford counties, you will most likely be passing by your local fire and EMS department. I encourage you to stop in and say thank you, deliver a sweet treat to the many volunteers that keep us safe, and even better, ask how you can volunteer to help the department. Our chiefs are ready to share how you can selflessly serve and branch into a new family of community and life-long friendships. Maybe you, your child or even grandchild could one day be receiving an honor of 50 years of selfless service in our community!
A District Homeschool Group Visits Capitol

What a great day for nearly two dozen homeschooled students from our district who took the time and opportunity to experience our state Capitol in Harrisburg. It was great timing for these students as the House was in session last week, giving students the opportunity to have a brief meeting with me in my office, a tour, lunch, exploration of the museum and the opportunity to observe session in person, hearing how bills are presented and voted on! It is an experience that a student will not forget and may entice them to consider a future in state government.

If you or a school group would like to plan a visit to the Capitol, please contact my legislative assistant in Harrisburg, Jill Beatty, at jbeatty@pahousegop.com or 717-772-5371 to schedule a visit. You can learn a lot about touring the Capitol by clicking here.
Northcentral Regional ATV Trail Permits Available

Permits for the Northcentral Regional ATV Trail (formerly the ATV Regional Trail Connector Pilot) are now available for purchase from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The 650-mile riding area includes parts of Clinton, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties.

Permits are required to use the designated PennDOT and state forest connector roads, the cost of which serves to offset implementation and management of the program. The cost is $40 for Pennsylvania-registered ATVs and $60 for non-Pennsylvania-registered ATVs.

Permits are available for in-person sales only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Memorial Day weekend. Beginning Friday, May 24, offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays at Sproul, Tiadaghton or Tioga state forest district offices.

Permit applications also will be accepted by mail by sending a properly completed Northcentral Regional ATV Train Permit Application to: Mira Lloyd Dock Resource Conservation Center, 137 Penn Nursery Road, Spring Mills, PA 16875.

For additional information and a link to the trail map, click here.

Our Local Recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award

Congratulations to one of the 22 recipients of the Environmental Excellence Award in our very own locale of Wellsboro, PA - This Is My Quest Inc. Their Conservation Education Through Remediation project directly addressed critical environmental issues in Pennsylvania, fostering a culture of sustainability and stewardship. Through hands-on learning experiences and community involvement, the goal of the project was to cultivate a deep-rooted understanding and appreciation of environmental conservation and sustainability in an environmental justice community.

Be sure to check out the organization, either here on Facebook, on their website, or register for one of their upcoming events including things like, golf, veteran specials, women’s camps and even a Honey Harvest Festival!
Combatting Illegal Immigration

In the wake of the Biden administration’s continued failure to secure the nation’s southern border, House Republicans last week highlighted legislation to combat illegal immigration and its impacts on the Commonwealth.

House Bill 2214 would require a minimum bail of $1 million be set in cases of assault of a law enforcement officer, which was introduced in response to the attack on New York Police Department officers by a gang of illegal immigrants earlier this year.  

House Bill 1840 would prohibit counties and municipalities from designating themselves as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, while House Resolution 294 calls on Congress and federal agencies to address ghost flights.

An additional measure, not yet introduced, would both crack down on squatters and require local cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement should a squatter be in the country illegally.
Grow PA Bills to Make Higher Education More Accessible, Affordable, Accountable

Working together, House and Senate Republicans recently unveiled a multi-bill package to reform higher education to make it more accessible, affordable and accountable. Grow PA is true and meaningful reform for our students and taxpayers.

Grow PA includes two new programs to encourage students to enroll in higher education programs on the condition they remain and work in Pennsylvania after completing their studies to be part of our workforce and contribute to the state and local economies. It would also expand some existing higher education assistance programs that have shown success, including the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to high-achieving students to cover the cost of post-secondary education. The Targeted Industry Support Program, which helps cover the cost of a wide variety of certificate programs in high-growth industries, would also be expanded.

In addition, Grow PA would encourage universal completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so students and families are fully aware of what financial aid packages are available to them and can make informed post-secondary education decisions.

To hold institutions of higher education accountable, performance-based metrics to fund some higher education institutions would be instituted. The use of the metrics to determine funding levels gives policymakers the ability to track necessary data and hold institutions accountable for student achievement while continuing to grant Pennsylvania students from all financial circumstances access to a world-class education.

In the coming weeks, House and Senate members will introduce the bills.

To watch the full press conference, click here.
Hearings Focus on Job-Creating Tax Reform

Continuing our commitment to grow the state’s economy, the House Republican Policy Committee held a series of hearings to discuss tax reform policies that would boost job creation and opportunity here.

Testifiers from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, National Federation of Independent Business, and regional economic development officials advocated for a reduction in the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax, which is the second highest in the nation, and a removal of caps on the Net Operating Loss (NOL) Carryforward deduction. Pennsylvania is one of just two states that cap NOL deductions.

Testifiers agreed these changes would make the Commonwealth more competitive with other states, which would help retain and grow existing businesses, as well as attract new ones.

Hearings were held in Columbia, Northampton and Lancaster counties. Watch the hearings here.  
Getting Back to Basics

As we prepare for negotiations on the 2024-25 state budget, members of the House Appropriations Committee have outlined a 13-bill package of legislation that would prioritize government getting back to the basics.

It became clear during testimony from many state agencies they are failing to meet the basic services they were created to provide Pennsylvanians. From protecting vulnerable senior citizens to ensuring reasonable permitting timelines for businesses, members say the Shapiro administration needs to focus on meeting these needs instead of seeking to grow the size and cost of state government.

For additional information about the legislation, click here.
Donate Life Month

April is Donate Life Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the growing need for organ donation across the Commonwealth and the country. According to Donate Life PA, 20 people on average die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and every 10 minutes, another person’s name is added to the national waiting list.

Across the country, more than 118,000 people are waiting for a transplant to save their lives, and hundreds of thousands more wait for life-enhancing tissue transplants. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 8,000 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant.

More than 4.6 million Pennsylvanians have added the donor designation to their driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification card, but this represents only half of those eligible to register. If you’d like to register as an organ donor, you may sign up here. You are also encouraged to let your loved ones know of your wishes.

For more information about organ donation, visit donatelifepa.org.