Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • State Grants Totaling $6.3 Million Approved for Local Projects
  • Intern to Hire Program – PA Auditor General’s Office
  • Voter ID in Pennsylvania
  • Troop 245 Eagle Scout Ceremony
  • Capitol Undergraduate Research Day
  • Supporting Firefighters, Community Safety
  • Voter Registration Deadline is April 8
  • Free Tax Resource for Pennsylvanians
  • Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8
  • Happy Easter to You and Your Family

State Grants Totaling $6.3 Million Approved for Local Projects

Grants totaling more than $6.3 million are being awarded through the Multimodal Transportation Fund and Local Share Account Category 4 Facilities Program to 19 local projects that will benefit Armstrong County, Indiana County, Jefferson County and Westmoreland County communities.

You can read more about the Armstrong County grants here; about the grants for Indiana and Jefferson counties here; and the Westmoreland County grants here.

Intern to Hire Program – PA Auditor General’s Office

I was pleased to join Auditor General Tim DeFoor at IUP this past week, to celebrate Austin Pastal as the first Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) graduate of the department’s Intern to Hire program.

This innovative program is designed to provide career pathways through internships to students at Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

The program is a perfect example of the long view the Auditor General has about making sure the office works beyond his term of service. You can only have an office work in the way it’s supposed to work if you impart institutional knowledge and give generations an opportunity to learn and grow in the craft.

Congratulations to Austin and Auditor General’s Team!

Those taking part in the event included:

  • Michael Driscoll, President, IUP
  • Timothy L. DeFoor, Pennsylvania Auditor General
  • Austin Pastal, IUP alumnus, Intern to Hire graduate, Auditor 1 at the Department of the Auditor General
  • Sam Smith, Board Vice Chair, PASSHE
  • Tammy Manko, Director, Career and Professional Development Center, IUP

Voter ID in Pennsylvania

Thirty-five states, the world’s most developed countries and many developing ones have voter photo ID requirements.

Our Pennsylvania Senate Republican Caucus has been and remains committed to strengthening election integrity in Pennsylvania because we believe that the foundation of a healthy and vigorous democracy requires free, fair and secure elections.

Troop 245 Eagle Scout Ceremony

Last weekend, I had the honor of attending a joint Eagle Scout ceremony with state Rep. Brian Smith for two fine young men from Jefferson County.

David Kunselman, the son of Gregory and Rebecca Kunselman, is a member of Troop 245. For his Eagle Scout community service project, David raised funds and renovated the Mat Hog Wrestling Room at the Punxsutawney Community Center.

Nicholas Motter, son of Cheryl Motter, is also a member of Troop 245. Nicholas raised funds and built a Gaga Ball pit at the Josh Smith Memorial Playground in Punxsutawney for his Eagle Scout community service project.

I congratulate both David and Nicholas on earning their Eagle Scout Awards and wish them well in all future endeavors!

Capitol Undergraduate Research Day

I was very pleased to meet with four Indiana University of Pennsylvania students who took part in Undergraduate Research Day at the state Capitol, presenting and discussing their research.

This fun and informative event brought students from colleges and universities throughout the commonwealth to the Capitol to present posters describing their research and scholarly activities.

The event strives to demonstrate that undergraduate research is important to the educational development of college students, and to show that undergraduate students can produce important, valuable research results that help our communities, our state and our nation.

The IUP presenters included:

  • Samuel Shelenberger – “Rural Pennsylvania Music Education: How Inter-District Relations Benefit School Music Programs”
  • Alexander Tseng – “The Effect of Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Other Influences on State DUI rates”
  • Taylei Boring – “Surveillance of Antibacterial Resistance Around IUP Campus”
  • Isabelle Clayton – “Not Your Average Joe: The Concentration of Caffeine Over Time in Yuki Minami”

Thank you to these bright young men and women for all their hard work!

Supporting Firefighters, Community Safety

Applications for the federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs will be accepted until Friday, April 12. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering webinars to assist in the process.

The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations.

SAFER Grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters available in their communities. SAFER’s goal is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards.

Voter Registration Deadline is April 8

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary election is Monday, April 8. Your county election board must receive your application for a mail-in or absentee ballot by Tuesday, April 16, at 5 p.m.

To legally register, individuals must be a citizen of the United States, reside in their local voting precincts at least 30 days prior to the election and be at least age 18 on Election Day, Tuesday, April 23. Once registered to vote, you are not required to register again unless you change your residence, name or political party affiliation.

Voter registration forms, mail-in ballot applications and absentee ballot applications are available here or from your local county’s Board of Elections. You can also use the site to check your registration status.

Free Tax Resource for Pennsylvanians

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue myPATH site is a free resource all Pennsylvanians can use.

Using the website, residents can file their PA personal income taxes, make a payment and check the status of their refund. There is also an option to verify your tax refund to expedite processing.

Anyone who needs some extra help using myPATH can access video tutorials explaining how to create a profile, file a personal income tax return and use a smart device to access myPATH.

Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8

On Monday, April 8, the continental United States will experience its last total solar eclipse until 2044. As it travels from the southwest to the northeast, the eclipse will cross through a portion of northwest Pennsylvania, including Erie, Crawford, Warren and Mercer counties. For nearly four minutes around 2:30 p.m., the afternoon sky will go dark. The sun will slowly reemerge, and by 4:30 p.m., it will be as if nothing happened.

You must be in the path to see the sun totally eclipsed by the moon. Most of Pennsylvania lies within the 90% coverage range, so there will be excellent viewing across the state, weather permitting, even outside the path of totality. Before the total solar eclipse, many state parks have free eclipse educational programs.

To safely view the eclipse, do not look directly at the sun with the naked eye, through an unfiltered camera lens or with any kind of standard sunglasses. Find more information about safety and what to expect here.

Happy Easter to You and Your Family

Warmest wishes for you and your family as we prepare to celebrate the holy holiday of Easter. While we reflect on the hope and love the day symbolizes, may you enjoy time surrounded by loved ones. Happy Easter!


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