Senator Devlin Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • 2021-2022 Legislative Session Nears the Midway Point
  • Senate Bill 550 Signed into Law
  • Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center Rep. Visiting Office
  • Come Meet an American Legion Representative
  • $1.9 Million for Allegheny County
  • Shopping Local Helps Neighbors, Strengthens Communities
  • Preparing Sites for Jobs: State Assistance is Available
  • Dealing with the Challenges of Driving in Snow
  • Remembering Pearl Harbor
  • Happy Hanukkah

2021-2022 Legislative Session Nears the Midway Point

The first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session is coming to a close with enactment of several key measures and more work to do in the second year.

This fall, the Senate passed bills to ease nursing home staff shortages, enable more schools to combat pandemic learning loss, help farmers transport goods and make home deliveries, and make political campaigns more transparent.

That’s just a sample. I’ll highlight these and other bills in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can check a complete rundown here.

Senate Bill 550 Signed into Law

Senate Bill 550, which I prime sponsored, has been signed into law. Act 89 ensures the proper upkeep of the graves of Pennsylvania veterans.

The placement of U.S. flags at the burial site of our servicemen and women is an important way to honor those who have served our Commonwealth and nation. This legislation ensures that they are appropriately honored and improves this act of remembrance.

Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center Rep. Visiting Office

Come Meet an American Legion Representative

$1.9 Million for Allegheny County

  • The Municipality of Bethel Park
    Pine Tree Park Renovation – $200,000 (Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program)
    This grant will assist in renovating the recreational facility at Pine Tree Park. The project includes adding new landscaping to the park entrance, adding a ramp for better access to the playground and pavilion, and upgrading the basketball court and playground.
  • The Township of North Fayette
    Summit Park Drive West Improvements – $100,000 (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)
    This grant will assist in reconfiguring the roadway lanes along Summit Park Drive and Park Lane Drive to create a bicycle lane for pedestrian safety. The project will include milling and resurfacing of the existing cartway, dedicating a bus stop area at the north intersection, constructing a retaining wall, and installing traffic signaling, ADA ramps and crossings, and a traffic island.
  • RIT-McMurray
    Transportation Improvements for the Strand at McMurray – $300,000 (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)
    This grant will assist in the development of a 40-acre commercial development known as the Strand at McMurray and will include retail shops, a coffee drive-thru, two restaurants, and mixed-use commercial buildings. The project includes transportation and traffic improvements that will provide an enhanced and efficient network into and through the development, along with in-corridor accessibility.
  • South Park Township
    Route 88 and Brownsville Road Project – $200,000 (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)
    This grant will assist with the improvement of the intersection of Route 88 and Brownsville Road. The project includes widening Route 88 to add a left turning lane and increase sight distance, and installation of a new energy efficient traffic signal and sidewalks along the roads.
  • South Fayette Township
    Fairview Park Road Sidewalk Installation – $100,000 (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)
    This grant will assist with the construction of 2.1 miles of sidewalks in Fairview Park to improve safety and connectivity through the park to the surrounding neighborhoods. The project also includes crosswalk markings and improvements to stormwater management.
  • The Allegheny County Airport Authority
    PIT Cargo Intermodal Freight Transport Facilities Development – $1,000,000 (Multimodal Transportation Fund Program)
    This grant will assist in the expansion of the Cargo Building at Pittsburgh International Airport. The project involves the development of a 75,000 square foot warehouse and processing facility, a 122,000 square foot parking lot for tractor trailers and passenger vehicles, and a 348,000 square foot parking apron for planes and a new taxi lane. This project is part of a strategic plan to catalyze future cargo growth at PIT.

The grants were awarded by the CFA under its Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program and its Multimodal Transportation Fund Program. The program is funded with money assessed by
the Commonwealth through the state’s Impact Fee, which is paid by the state’s unconventional natural gas producers.

Shopping Local Helps Neighbors, Strengthens Communities

Small businesses create 65% of jobs in Pennsylvania, and these local employers could use our help this holiday shopping season.

Shopping local doesn’t just help the local economy, it builds relationships within the community. Buying from business owners you trust makes shopping experiences more enjoyable because you know where the products are coming from and the people behind those products.

When you shop locally, many of the goods and services are locally sourced or crafted. This means that many of the items are one of a kind and carry a unique story. It’s not always possible, but when you can, I hope you will support your local employers this season and year-round.

Preparing Sites for Jobs: State Assistance is Available

Municipalities, municipal authorities, redevelopment authorities, industrial development agencies and private developers can apply now for funding to prepare sites for jobs-producing development.

The Business in Our Sites program has no maximum or minimum loan amount. However, the amount of the grant may not exceed $4 million or 40% of the total combined grant and loan award, whichever is less. Private developers are only eligible for loans.

Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2022. The program is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Dealing with the Challenges of Driving in Snow

No one wants to get behind the wheel when it’s snowing, but sometimes we have no choice. PennDOT offers tips for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Beware of roads that may look wet, but are actually frozen, often referred to as “black ice.”
  • Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can often form without warning.
  • State law requires you to turn on your headlights when your wipers are in use.
  • Use your low beams in particularly bad weather, especially in cases of heavy or blowing snow.

You can also find ideas for preparing your vehicle for winter weather and creating a winter emergency kit.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The surprise strike would cost the lives of more than 2,400 military personnel and civilians.

We mark this date knowing that while the attack decimated America’s Pacific fleet, our resilience and industrial might would allow the U.S. to build a military force powerful enough to defeat the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany.

“This war will give us much trouble in the future,” said Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. “The fact that we have had a small success at Pearl Harbor is nothing.” On Tuesday, we will remember the lives lost 80 years ago, and note the fate that awaits any adversary who questions American resolve.

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah ends at sundown Monday evening, wrapping up an observance that this year began Nov. 28.

To everyone celebrating Hanukkah, chag urim sameach, “Happy Festival of Lights.”

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