In this Update:
Legislative Review: Pandemic Response
When Pennsylvania voters chose overwhelmingly this year to amend the state Constitution and limit the length of a governor’s unchecked emergency powers, they were weighing in on ballot questions created through Senate legislation.
Other measures passed by the Senate this year to safely respond to the COVID-19 pandemic include:
Act 1 of 2021 amending the state Fiscal Code to allocate $569.8 million for Rental and Utility Assistance, $197 million for education programs, and $145 million to support Pennsylvania’s struggling restaurants and taverns as they cope with the devastation created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor’s mandated closings and restrictions.
Act 21 of 2021 ensuring all waivers previously effective under the COVID-19 emergency will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, unless sooner terminated by the authority which initially authorized the waiver.
Act 67 of 2021 allowing family members to safely visit long-term care facilities during a pandemic as essential caregivers.
Senate Resolution 90 extending the emergency temporary rules adopted to maintain continuity of operations of the Senate during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.
House Resolution 106 terminating the pandemic emergency declaration and ending the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes or issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.
You can find a full list of bills of note passed by the Senate in 2021 here.
Senate Hearing Explores the Impact of the PA Workforce Shortage
The economic impact of the workforce shortage facing Pennsylvania employers was the topic of a public hearing Wednesday by the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.
Pennsylvania is facing a serious workforce crisis that is threatening our employers and slowing our economic recovery. Businesses across the Commonwealth have been forced to curtail their hours of operation or even close because of a workforce shortage. The panel heard from the PA Chamber of Business and Industry, local employers and the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association in order to fully identify the employers’ needs and the role the General Assembly can play in creating an environment for economic growth and job creation.
You can view hearing video and more here.
$1 Million to Help Address Bethel Park Flooding Concerns
Responding to concerns raised by several years of flood damages, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) awarded more than $1 million in funding to address serious storm sewer issues.
This is a much-needed investment to ensure the people of Bethel Park and surrounding communities that the problems causing repeated, devastating flooding will be corrected. This investment will provide relief to homeowners who have experienced flooding in residential areas and improve water quality of receiving streams by removing sediment. I commend the authority for pursuing this vital improvement to the Bethel Park community.”
The low-interest loan will be used for construction of a 900-foot swale to intercept surface runoff of approximately 17 acres of overland storm flow. Nearly 1,250 feet of storm sewer pipe will also be installed to direct the water captured from the swale to an existing detention pond.
The state’s PENNVEST program provides low-interest loans and grants for the design, engineering and construction of drinking water distribution facilities, stormwater conveyance and wastewater treatment and collection systems.
DMVA: Important to Safeguard DD-214 Military Paperwork
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs urges veterans to safeguard their DD-214. For veterans who have lost this important document, or family members who cannot locate it on a veteran’s behalf, the DMVA can assist in retrieving an official copy.
The DD-214 is issued by the U.S. Department of Defense upon a military servicemember’s retirement, separation or discharge from active duty. It contains information needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans’ organizations. Without this key document, there could be a big delay when veterans seek benefits earned through their service to our nation.
The DMVA can also assist with locating the DD-215, which is used to correct errors or make additions to a DD-214, helping to assure that veterans have accurate discharge documentation.
Anyone needing assistance from the DMVA to locate their DD-214/215, or other military documentation, can call toll-free 1-800-547-2838 or email RA-REQ@pa.gov. More information about locating military documents can be found by visiting the Records Request Program.
Unclaimed Property Waiting for PA Residents
Millions in unclaimed property is secured in the Pennsylvania Treasury vault. An updated website has been launched to help residents look for and retrieve their unclaimed property.
Dormant accounts from financial institutions and other entities must be reported to the PA Treasury by April 15 each year. The vault includes tangibles such as jewelry, coins, collector cards and war medals previously abandoned in safe deposit boxes. In fact, one in 10 state residents have unclaimed property waiting for them.
Whether your search yields enough for a latte or a steak dinner or more, take a few minutes to enter into the Treasury’s database your name and the name of family members. For additional assistance, you may contact the Bureau of Unclaimed Property at 800-222-2046.
Plenty of PA Trip Ideas Available
There’s plenty of summer left and plenty of ideas for getting away in our beautiful Commonwealth.
VisitPA.com can help you find day trips and more to lakes and beaches, experience hiking and camping, sample city life or explore our rich history.
Out & About in the 37th
It’s a busy time in our community. Everyone is anxious to be out and about visiting with neighbors and participating in events. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many of you and experiencing all of the great things our neighbors have to offer.
I had the opportunity to speak at the Starting a Small Business for Veterans seminar at the Veterans Leadership Program. It was great to see the initiative and drive these veterans have for their future small businesses.
I visited a Summer Food Site run by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank today and spoke with some of the kids about their summers. We are lucky to have such valuable resources available in our community.
It was a great day patrolling the waterways of Allegheny County on Friday with my friends from PA’s own Fish and Boat Commission. We hit the Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio, and Youghiogheny Rivers, checking registrations, safety equipment and impaired boaters while passing through the locks and dams. We are very fortunate to have so much technology all around us that enable us to take advantage of this abundant natural resource!
Touring Energy Transfer’s Revolution Cryo facility allowed me to learn about how they separate different elements of natural gas and oil and distribute them across different parts of the country.
A special congratulations to Christian & Tyler. These two young men have a bright future ahead of them. Their hard work and dedication in achieving the rank of Eagle Scout will undoubtedly lead to further success.
My staff and I joined in the AlwaysBSmiling 5K that benefits Horses with Hope therapeutic riding.
Visiting Ohio Township Community Days is always a good time.
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