Feb. 16, 2024 / Press Release

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

In this Edition:
  •   Supporting Our Local Fire, EMS Agencies
  •   Shining a Light on Community Solar
  •   Getting Government Out of the Way of Business Creation
  •   Digging into the Details: Budget Hearings Begin Tuesday
  •   Pay Attention to Your Heart Health!
  •   Driver License Centers Close for Presidents Day Holiday
Supporting Our Local Fire, EMS Agencies

More than $91,000 in grant money awarded this week in the 106th District will support fire companies and emergency medical services as they address building projects, purchase or repair equipment, conduct training, or reduce existing debt.

Established by the Legislature, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner. All funding comes from the proceeds generated by slot machine gaming.

Our first responders do so much for our communities and rely heavily on charitable giving to fulfill their mission. These grants, which do not use tax dollars, are a way for them to address needs that affect their day-to-day work.

Recipient companies in the 106th District include:
• Grantville Volunteer Fire Co., $15,590
• Hershey Volunteer Fire Co., $16,757
• Hummelstown Chemical Fire Co. No. 1, $14,034
• Londonderry Fire Co. No. 1, $14,423
• Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department, $15,590
• Middletown Volunteer Fire Department, $15,000

Companies must file a grant agreement with the Office of the State Fire Commissioner by July 1 to receive their grants.
Shining a Light on Community Solar

Click here to view video.

You've likely heard of the concept of a "community-supported agriculture" farm in which subscribers or members receive their portion of the harvest. What if that sharecropping concept was applied to solar energy?

On Wednesday, the House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee held a hearing about a potential program in which electric distribution customers would subscribe to a portion of a community solar facility and have the result of the subscription be guaranteed savings.

Community solar facilities give residents an opportunity to benefit from solar energy creation, regardless of whether their home has a roof able to support the weight of solar panels and keep them away from shade provided by trees or nearby buildings.

Click on the video above to watch a portion of the hearing, and read more about the bill here.
Getting Government Out of the Way of Business Creation

National Entrepreneurship Week continues through Saturday, Feb. 17. To help encourage people to create and grow new business in the Commonwealth, a new initiative would include legislation to boost Commonwealth procurement opportunities for entrepreneurs; waive filing fees to help with finances; create a new business “startup” ombudsman in the Department of Community and Economic Development; establish a statewide program for entrepreneurship education among post-secondary students; and modernize bankruptcy laws to provide fair protections for entrepreneurs’ assets.

The package also includes a measure that would require businesses that receive grants and loans from the Commonwealth to commit to staying in the Commonwealth.

Click here to view the co-sponsorship memos for the forthcoming package of legislation.
Digging into the Details: Budget Hearings Begin Tuesday

Following the $48.34 billion budget proposal offered by Gov. Josh Shapiro earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee will begin the process of dissecting the plan at budget hearings starting next week.

On Tuesday, the committee will take testimony from the Department of Community and Economic Development beginning at 10 a.m. and from the Department of Revenue at 1 p.m.

Other agencies slated to testify next week include the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and the departments of Aging, Agriculture and Corrections.

The budget hearings will be streamed live at www.PAHouseGOP.com.

For a full schedule, click here.
Pay Attention to Your Heart Health!

February is American Heart Month, a time when all people are encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It notes one person dies every 33 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 695,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2021. That’s one in every five deaths.

To protect yourself, the CDC encourages people to choose healthy foods and drinks, keep a healthy weight, get regular physical activity and don’t smoke. People should also take charge of medical conditions that could increase their risk of heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.  

Learn more about heart disease and how to protect yourself here.

Driver License Centers Close for Presidents Day Holiday

PennDOT’s driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Feb. 17, through Monday, Feb. 19, in observance of Presidents 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.