In this Update:
Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving
Pennsylvania has a rich history related to celebrating the day of thanks, as the first nationally recognized Thanksgiving was celebrated in York County in 1777. Americans had just soundly defeated the British in the Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolution. To mark the victory, the Second Continental Congress proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving.
The first Thanksgiving Day Parade was also held in Pennsylvania in 1920 – four years before the first Macy’s parade.
May your holiday be filled with an abundance of blessings, health and good times. In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, my office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24.
Gov. Shapiro’s RGGI Appeal is a Misguided Approach
Just three weeks ago the Commonwealth Court ruled the RGGI Electricity Tax violates our state Constitution. This was a tremendous victory for Pennsylvanians.
On Tuesday, Gov. Josh Shapiro made the misguided decision to carry the failed mantle of his predecessor and appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Gov. Shapiro’s action further places family sustaining jobs at risk and stymies the ability for any meaningful conversations on energy and environmental policy in the Pennsylvania legislature.
Ignoring the needs of Pennsylvanians while simultaneously working to circumvent the constitution is a reckless and irresponsible approach. You can read my full statement about this development here.
Indiana County Visit to Harrisburg
A delegation of representatives from the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations recently made a trip to the Pennsylvania Capitol to meet with various state departments, associations and legislators.
Making the day trip and pictured with me below (from L to R) were Nicholas Schmidt, Assoc. Director, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development; Laura Herrington, Executive Director, Indiana County Tourist Bureau; Mark Hilliard, President of Indiana County Chamber of Commerce; and Byron Staffer, Director, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development.
One of the goals was to promote Indiana County as a great location to host conferences, workshops etc. It was a pleasure to host this group of folks in Harrisburg as they endorsed the economic advantages and strengths of Indiana County.
Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance Meeting
I appreciated being invited to speak at the Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance (PMHA) Board Retreat recently held at IUP’s Sutton Hall.
PMHA is a group of fifteen facilities that banded together in 1996 with a goal of working towards efficiencies to enable hospitals to improve their operations and maintain some independence. The current group includes thirty senior leaders from regional hospitals and medical centers.
I commend PMHA for their efforts and support of rural healthcare. Working together we can help to increase access to quality healthcare throughout all our rural communities!
“It’s A Wonderful Life” Festival and Holiday Parade
Philadelphia Street was bustling with activity on Friday night for the festival and holiday parade in downtown Indiana! Beautiful Christmas tree decorations and lights adorned lampposts, buildings and storefronts.
Thank you to the Lucy Donnelly Memorial Fund and Indiana County Tourist Bureau for working to make this evening such a success. It was great to see so many folks take part in this annual tradition unlike any other!
Playing Santa? Shop Small on Saturday
Small Business Saturday is this weekend, a great time to shop small when thinking about gifts for the holiday season.
Small businesses account for 99.6% of Pennsylvania businesses and half of our jobs. That’s why I’ve advocated for the continued phase-out of the state’s excessive Corporate Net Income Tax – which burdens many small business operators – and voted for a host of measures this year to cut government red tape that is hampering the work of these crucial job creators.
You can find state resources on starting a small business here.
Healthy, Free Food Available to Low-Income Seniors
The Senior Food Box Program supplements low-income seniors’ diets with nutritious food, including non-fat dry and shelf-stable fluid milk, juice, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, dry beans, peanut butter, canned meat, poultry, fish and canned fruits and vegetables.
To participate, individuals must be at least 60 years old and meet income eligibility guidelines. A single senior’s annual income may not exceed $18,954, and the income for a couple is capped at $25,636.
Seniors who would like to participate should call 800-468-2433 to be directed to the regional food bank distributing the Senior Food Box in their county of residence. Learn more here.
Preparing Pennsylvanians of All Ages for Career Success
People at any stage of their careers – and even before their careers have begun – may use SkillUp PA, Pennsylvania’s free online job training platform. The free trainings are designed to fill critical skill gaps that can be a barrier to employment, prepare people for credential or certification tests and sharpen soft job skills.
Some of the courses include Being an Effective Team Member, Essential Skills for Professional Telephone Calls, Interpersonal Communication: Listening Essentials and Thinking Critically: Coming to Terms with Assumptions.
Learn more about SkillUp and enroll here.
Winter Life Jacket Requirement in Effect
Until April 30, all boaters are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any kayak, canoe or paddleboard on all Pennsylvania waters.
A disproportionate number of boating fatalities occur from November to April in Pennsylvania, and cold water is one of the primary reasons. When water temperatures are less than 70 degrees, the cold water shock can cause an involuntary gasp, hyperventilation, breathlessness and a reduced ability to control breathing and swim.
A life jacket greatly increases your chance of survival in cold water. It also increases the amount of time for you to be rescued. Find more cold water survival safety tips here.
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