I am pleased to present my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 21st Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatorscotthutchinson.com for more information about your state government. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page.
True Steel City Pride
Budget Impasse Update
As we enter the fourth month without a state budget, it appears that no resolution is in sight.
In fact, things may have taken a step backwards with Governor Wolf’s veto on September 29 of the emergency funding package that would have provided vital financial relief to local school districts and social service agencies impacted by the prolonged budget impasse.
The emergency funding proposal was the latest effort by Republicans in the General Assembly to help schools, counties, municipalities, agencies and contractors that saw their state payments end on July 1 after Governor Wolf vetoed House Bill 1192 (the Fiscal Year 2015-16 general fund spending bill) on June 30 -- almost immediately after its passage by the General Assembly.
The fact is the emergency funding in no way represented a commitment to anything in the final budget. It was simply a way to get money to schools and social service organizations to see them through while negotiations continue.
It would also have released federal funds that are administered by the state. Taxes are continuing to be collected and money is just sitting in Harrisburg. The three-bill emergency funding package -- Senate Bill 1000, Senate Bill 1001 and House Bill 224 – would have provided $11.2 billion in state allocations. That represents one-third (four months) of the state funding as authorized by HB 1192 with limited exceptions.
New Partnership Supports Farmer Veterans
The state Department of Agriculture recently launched a partnership with the national Homegrown By Heroes (HBH) initiative to support Pennsylvania’s farmer veterans and provide consumers with a way to support current and former military service members.
Under this partnership, products from Pennsylvania’s farmer veterans can display a special “Homegrown by Heroes/PA Preferred” label. This designation will allow all of us to support our friends and neighbors who have chosen to serve our nation twice, by defending it and by feeding it.
Created by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, HBH was granted national status on Veterans Day 2013. It now has more than 250 members in 43 states and is supported by several national agriculture and food safety leaders including the USDA and the American Farm Bureau.
The program is open to Pennsylvania farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and value-added producers of all branches and eras of military service. For more information about participating in Homegrown By Heroes and how to support farmer veterans, go tohttp://www.farmvetco.org/homegrown-by-heroes/. To learn more about PA Preferred, go to http://www.papreferred.com/.
Free App Available to Help Prepare for Emergencies
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s new smartphone app provides key tips to prepare for emergency situations. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to download the free ReadyPA app for Apple or Android or visit www.ReadyPA.org to find tips and valuable information on preparing for emergencies.
Emergencies, especially those created by severe weather, can arise in Pennsylvania at any time throughout the year. It is important to know that help may not be immediately available when an emergency arises, so PEMA recommends that residents should always be stocked with enough provisions to last at least 72 hours. The ReadyPA app and website provide sample checklists, contact lists and other important tools to help the public prepare for emergency situations.
In addition to taking steps such as storing medicines, flashlights and battery-powered radios, PEMA emphasizes people should especially consider those in their family who may have special needs that could inhibit their ability to help themselves. Families should include their pets in their preparedness planning as well.
Voting Underway for Color of 2016 Fishing License Button
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is encouraging anglers to vote online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R6PJ3L2 for their favorite color for the 2016 fishing license button.
In addition to six color choices for the button, the PFBC has also provided a Brook Trout button background as a choice. The online ballot will be available through Oct. 7.
Each custom button measures 1 ¾ inches with a high-quality, pin-back design and feature the angler's customer identification number, the same number displayed on a paper license. The PFBC re-introduced the availability of an annual Pennsylvania fishing license button in 2014. The selected button for 2016 will be available for purchase on December 1.
PGC to Host Tour of State Game Lands 29
On October 25, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will hold a guided, public tour of State Game Lands 29, located approximately 12 miles south of the City of Warren, off Pleasant Drive.
This will be a guided, driving tour to last approximately three hours, with various stops along the route to view and discuss infrastructure projects and practices for managing wildlife habitat. Only licensed and registered passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs will be permitted access to the tour route. ATVs and ORVs will not be permitted.
Participants should plan to meet promptly at 11 a.m. at the Tower Gate parking area, located approximately one-half mile off Pleasant Drive, at the end of Radio Tower Road. The GPS coordinates for the meeting location are (N- 41.735376 W- 79.253771).
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.
Here to Serve You
Senate Box 203021
170 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
FAX: (717) 787-6088
TTY: (877) 659-4483
22045 Route 6
Warren, PA 16365-7952
FAX: (814) 728-2102
110 East Diamond Street
Butler, PA 16001
FAX: (724) 282-6852
302 Seneca Street
Oil City, PA 16301
FAX: (814) 677-6331