Telephone Town Hall Scheduled for Next Week
As state budget deliberations move quickly toward the deadline, I am hosting a Telephone Town Hall to talk with constituents about their views and concerns.
Everywhere I go, people tell me how busy their lives are and how it’s hard to find the time to participate in their community and their government. The Telephone Town Hall will put technology to work and allow constituents to participate from the comfort of their own homes. I’m really looking forward to it.
The teleconference will take place on Tuesday, June 24 starting at 7:00 p.m.. Participants will be able listen to the discussion of issues and ask questions during the live event.
To find out how to participate, or to submit a question in advance, click here to fill out the on-line form or call my district office at: (724) 746-3762.
PUC Announces Impact Fee Distributions
Communities in the 46th Senate District continue to be among the top beneficiaries of the gas well impact fee enacted in Act 13 of 2012.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently released distribution amounts to counties and municipalities across Pennsylvania. While some counties saw their share level off or dip slightly, Greene and Washington counties will receive significantly more money than in 2012.
Greene County will be receiving $3.6 million, a 25 percent increase over last year, while municipalities in Greene County will get a total of $5.8 million, according to the PUC.
Washington County will receive $6.1 million, nearly a third more than in 2012. Municipalities in Washington County will share more than $10 million.
For a breakdown of what each municipality is expected to receive, click here.
Alternative Energy Grants Webinar Available
The Department of Environmental Protection is conducting a webinar for those interested in applying for a share of $12.5 million in assistance set aside for alternative energy projects.
DEP, along with the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), an independent public financing authority created in 1982, is offering the loans and grants for alternative and renewable energy projects, along with projects deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass.
The funding is available for companies, municipalities, schools and organizations to convert to alternative energy projects or construct new facilities related to alternative fuels.
Those eligible to apply include non-profit corporations; Pennsylvania schools, colleges and universities; any Pennsylvania municipality, and public or private corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations and other legal business entities.
Applications are due by 4 p.m. on August 15th and must be submitted online using the state’s eGrants system.
To register for the webinar, complete an online grant application or learn more about PEDA, click here. The webinar is scheduled for June 24 from 2 to 3 p.m.
Veterans Bills go to the Governor
The House has unanimously passed several Senate bills intended to help veterans who may be struggling financially.
Two bills allow disabled Pennsylvania veterans to apply for reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses. Senate Bill 1102 will reduce the cost of fishing licenses for disabled veterans to $1 for an annual license. Senate Bill 1090, would do the same for hunting licenses.
Currently, Pennsylvania law allows for free hunting and fishing licenses only for veterans who are either certified as 100 percent disabled, or who have lost the use of one of their arms or legs. These bills will allow those rated at less than 100 percent disabled but paid at the 100 percent rate due to non-employability to be eligible for a free hunting and fishing license.
On Monday the House also passed a bill that will help a greater number of military families who have fallen on hard times.
Senate Bill 923 expands the eligibility for grants for the state’s Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP) to include more service members and their families.
The program, which currently has a $1 million surplus, receives funding through a voluntary check-off on the Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax refund. Grants of up to $3,500 are awarded to financially struggling service members and their families.
To provide additional flexibility, the bill will allow service members to receive aid for any pressing financial need beyond their control, not just those needs directly resulting from military service. For more information on the MFRAP program, click here.
All three bills now head to the governor’s desk.
Congratulations to Keep PA Beautiful, FITS Program For Cleanup Efforts
Last week I recognized key leaders in the fight against illegal dumping in Washington County at an illegal dumpsite along South Sunset Beach Road in East Finley Township that was recently cleaned through the partnership between Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Washington County Court System Furlough Into Service (FITS) Program. Pictured left to right: Christian Koroly, Evan Banasick, Shannan Reiter, President of Keep PA Beautiful, Sen. Tim Solobay, J. Bracken Burns, Janice Bowman, FITS Program and Gregory Thomas, Director of Community Service
Me and My Shadows
Victoria Snatchko (left) and Hanna Smith were my shadows at the state Capitol this week.
Both are students at Canon McMillan High School and they were participating in the 2014 GirlGuv program through the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. The foundation provides the exciting opportunity for young women to explore careers in government and learn about effective government practices.
2014 Miss Rices Landing Riverfest Pageant Queens
June 7, 2014: Representative Pam Synder and Senator Solobay with the 2014 Miss Rices Landing Riverfest Pageant Queens - from left to right, Erin Kline, Miss Riverfest; Caitlyn Ricco, Teen Miss Riverfest; Hannah Giles, Junior Miss Riverfest; and Jersey Gianna Smith, Petite Miss Riverfest.