In this Update:
Senior Center Visits in Indiana County
It was a pleasure visiting two local senior social centers on Wednesday – Chestnut Hills Social Center in Blairsville and Two Lick Valley Social Center in Clymer. I was impressed by all the beautiful arts and crafts on display, as part of their Fiber Arts Grand Showcase Parties. Thank you for inviting me to stop-by and view your wonderful creations!
The centers offered art classes throughout the summer through the ArtsPath Arts-in-Education program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). The IUP program is one of 14 Arts-in-Education partners in a statewide partnership. These partnerships are supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and partially funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
General Appropriations Budget Bill Signed Into Law
Last Thursday, the Senate convened to send the 2023-24 General Appropriations Budget bill to the governor’s desk. With enactment of this legislation, funding is now being released to schools, counties and non-profits without interruption, as the final components of the budget are negotiated and completed.
Click here for a video update on the budget that I recorded with my colleague, Senate Appropriations Chairman Scott Martin.
Supporting Children Who Faced Trauma
This week, the Senate Aging and Youth Committee held a hearing to gather information about the critical roles played by children’s advocacy centers across Pennsylvania.
Children’s advocacy centers (CACs) coordinate the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases by utilizing teams of professionals involved in child protective and victim advocacy services, law enforcement and prosecution, and physical and mental health.
Without CACs, children who already had traumatic experiences – like sexual abuse – are revictimized when they are forced to repeatedly relive their horror by describing it separately for people representing county agencies, law enforcement and health care. At CACs, everyone gathers at one time in a way that is comfortable for the child.
Pennsylvania has 41 CACs, which provided services to 15,735 children in 2022. Types of cases include sexual abuse, physical abuse, child witness to violence, drug endangered children and others. Learn more about the hearing and access video here.
Senior Expo on Aug. 23 in Kittanning
I will be joining state Reps. Donna Oberlander (R-63) and Abby Major (R-60) in hosting our Kittanning Senior Expo later this month. I look forward to this annual event which will share information on the many services available to seniors throughout our region.
Save Your Child from Preventable Death
Since 1998, more than 900 children have died from vehicular heatstroke – a tragedy we never want to experience. Luckily, it is preventable.
The National Safety Council offers a free online course about the danger of vehicular heatstroke and children, the three primary circumstances that have led to children dying and what we can do to prevent these deaths.
Keep in mind that even on mild or cloudy days, temperatures inside vehicles can reach life-threatening levels. Leaving windows slightly open doesn’t help, and children should never be left unattended or be able to get inside a vehicle. Learn more here.
Watch Out for Heat-Related Illnesses
When it’s extremely warm outside, there are several heat-related illnesses that can impact you and your loved ones. While many of us have experienced sunburn before, you should also be aware of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash.
In an effort to avoid these illnesses, stay hydrated and be careful with how long you’re exposed to the heat – even if you’re not in the sun.
Read more here about the signs of heat-related illnesses and what to do if you have one.
Smart Money Management Leads to Financial Independence
To become financially independent and create the foundation for a secure life, thoughtfully considering financial decisions and their implications is key.
Monday, Aug. 14, is National Financial Awareness Day, which reminds all of us to plan for a more financially successful future. Of course, in addition to a willingness to plan, we must also have the knowledge about positive versus negative money management practices.
Senate Republicans passed a bill to improve personal financial literacy by requiring completion of a high school course that would advise on basic money matters like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; and college, home and auto loans. By teaching high school students the basics, they will be able to make better decisions to position themselves for a lifetime of financial independence.
As you take an active role in managing your money, you may come up with a question, concern or complaint about Pennsylvania financial institutions, services or products. Call the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-722-2657 or fill out the online complaint form here.
Searching for High School Students to Keep PA Clean
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are inviting 10th -12th grade students from around the state to help keep Pennsylvania clean and beautiful through the Young Ambassadors program.
The program provides opportunities for high school students to train and network with industry leaders, state agencies, local media and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network to increase leadership and problem-solving skills.
Learn more about ambassadors’ responsibilities and apply for the program by Sept. 14 here.
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