Nov. 08, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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#Listrak\DateStamplong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Thanking Our Veterans

Throughout the nation this weekend, communities will mark Veterans Day with a variety of parades, ceremonies and dedications.

This past Saturday, I was joined by citizens of the 117th District, including area veterans and their families as we honored the sacrifice of our brave servicemen and women at my 13th annual Veterans Breakfast, Expo and Recognition Ceremony at Misericordia University.

This event has become one of my most treasured traditions as year after year, myself and others have the opportunity to express our gratitude for the wonderful veterans in our community. This year’s keynote speaker was Judge Thomas Munley, and we were also joined by members of the Misericordia University Community Choir, Pamela Zaremba, Eliza Fotta, James Antall and more.

I am photographed above with local veteran Sam Greenburg. In the other photo, I am joined by: Carol Sweeney, my Tunkhannock District Office Manager; Leslie Cadden, District Outreach Specialist at Tunkhannock; Ann Houssock, my Dallas District Office Manager; Julie Williams, District Outreach Specialist at Tunkhannock and Alexandra Zielinski, our intern at the Dallas office.
Pictured above are the student winners of this year’s Veterans Day Art and Essay contest. From left: Varonica DiPasquale, Northwest School, First Place essay; Pyper Lechleitner, Northwest School, Third Place Art; Savannah Chaparro, Lake Lehman, Second Place art and Tyler Lukavitch, Lake Lehman, Second Place essay. Not pictured are Gabby Cheslaw of Northwest School, Third Place essay and Kyla O'Brien, Dallas Middle School, First Place art.

For more about the history of Veterans Day, click here.
New Law Supports #GoodJobs4PA

Following through on our commitment to improve career and technical education (CTE) through our #GoodJobs4PA legislative package, a new state law will make the most significant reforms to our CTE laws in more than three decades.

Act 76 of 2019, which was signed into law last week, will help ensure our students are better prepared for success in the workforce while at the same time attracting employers and economic development to the Commonwealth.

To ensure students are well informed about their choices, the law expands an online database of articulation agreements so students know what courses may transfer between higher education institutions and requires schools to give equal opportunity to both college and career presenters at career fairs. The measure also requires the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, with assistance from the Department of Education, to conduct a survey to determine the number and types of workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions.

To support CTE programs financially, Act 76 sets into law guidelines for CTE equipment grants and establishes the Schools-to-Work Program within the Department of Labor and Industry to provide grants to pre-apprenticeship programs for the purpose of establishing or enhancing workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations to create employment and training pathways.
Congressman Fred Keller Opens New Wyoming County Office

Congressman Keller recently held an Open House at his newly opened Wyoming County office. Pictured from left to right are: Wil Eggleston; Keith Yurgosky; Patrick Williams; Dave Kintner; Leslie Cadden and Julie Williams from my Tunkhannock District office; Commissioner-elect Rick Wilbur; myself; Congressman Keller; Senator Lisa Baker; Ace Shupp; Tom Cahill and David Broadwell from the Congressman's Tunkhannock District office.
Luzerne County Children and Youth Adoption Celebration

My staff and I had a wonderful time at the 26th annual Luzerne County Children and Youth Adoption Celebration this week. I would like to thank Luzerne County Children and Youth Director Joanne Van Saun for all the work she does to offer better lives to the children and families of our community.

In the photos above, I am seen with Senator Lisa Baker, Joanne Van Saun, and the event’s featured speaker, Gary Baker. I was also joined at the event by Carol Sweeney, my Tunkhannock District Office Manager, Sharon Mudlock, Assistant to Judge Jennifer Rogers; Judge Jennifer Rogers, the Bakers, and Rep. Tara Toohil. 
Farmers Market Vouchers to Expire

This year’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) voucher/check distribution ended on Sept. 30. The Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne and Wyoming Counties would like to remind the participants to redeem their vouchers before the deadline date on Nov. 30. Please keep in mind that there may be farmers market stands closing before that date.

These vouchers can only be used to purchase Pennsylvania grown fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers market stands that are participants of the Department of Agriculture’s SFMNP; baked goods, meat, jam, honey, apple cider or eggs are not allowable for purchase with these vouchers.

For further information, contact Rhonda Adams at 570-822-1157, ext. 2337.
Ag and Youth Grant Program to Boost Industry’s Future

A grant program aimed at securing the future of the state’s agriculture industry is now accepting applications.

The Ag and Youth Grant Program, created by the General Assembly under Act 40 of 2019, provides direct and matching grants to help fund eligible projects, programs and equipment purchases conducted or made by organizations composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Eligible projects include education or workforce development seminars or field trips; agricultural safety training programs; and capital projects or equipment purchases.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 29. Click here for additional information.
Fish and Boat Commission Announces Boating Grant Program

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced this week that it is now accepting applications for funding through the Boating Facility Grant Program. This program is open to townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments as well as nonprofit groups including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations that are interested in the planning, acquisition, development, expansion or rehabilitation of public boating access areas.

Local governments and eligible nonprofit groups may use funds awarded through the program to provide or improve public recreational boat access facilities in their communities that are open and available for general public use.

All work funded for this round of grants should be completed by December 31, 2022. The Commission may adjust the amount of funds available, application, and consideration dates to meet existing needs or opportunities that may occur. Large projects may be phased in over several fiscal years to maximize leverage, distribution and availability of funds.

Boating Facility Grant Program funds are derived from boat registration fees, use permits for unpowered boats, state fuel taxes collected on fuel used in motorboats and taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.

For more information about the Boating Facility Grant Program and for application forms, visit the PFBC's website. 
Congratulations to Dorne and Karen White

This week, I had the pleasure of joining Dorne and Karen White as they renewed their vows in recognition of their 50th wedding anniversary. Here’s to many more years of happiness!
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Veterans Day

PennDOT’s driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Nov. 9, through Monday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. No additional fees are charged for using online services.
District Office Information for Next Week

My offices will be closed on Monday, Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

Additionally, please note that Disabled Veterans Outreach hours for the Dallas district office next Thursday, Nov. 14 have been cancelled. The veterans’ representative from PA CareerLink will be available for appointments again in December.
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105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 | Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117