Growing Greener Update
In a strong bipartisan vote, the Pennsylvania Senate this week passed major environmental protection legislation.
In its original form, Senate Bill 799 would have provided solely for a new nutrient credit trading program to help clean-up the Chesapeake Bay. In its amended form, Senate Bill 799 also contains my Growing Greener III language. The bill, which passed by a vote of 47-2 in the Senate, will now go to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.
Established in 1999, the Growing Greener program protects Pennsylvania’s land and waterways through a number of state agencies.
To date, Growing Greener is responsible for preserving more than 80,000 acres of open space and over 78,000 acres of farmland, restoring hundreds of miles of streams and waterways, restoring more than 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land, reducing flooding and water pollution with 400 watershed protection projects and providing over 100 drinking and wastewater treatment improvements.
Growing Greener is a critically important program that has a successful track record of preserving Pennsylvania’s natural resources. Growing Greener III will continue to protect our land and waterways, and it is the first step in renewing our commitment to the environment and enhancing the quality of life for Pennsylvania’s families.
$5 Million in State Assistance for City of Chester
I am pleased to report that the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) will loan $4,888,205 to the Stormwater Authority of the City of Chester to address serious flooding and related water quality issues in Chester.
The loan will be used for structural changes to reduce flooding in Chester and to help mitigate water quality degradation in Chester Creek, Ridley Creek and the Delaware River.
We are fortunate that Pennsylvania has programs such as PENNVEST to assist communities with their needs. I am a supporter of PENNVEST, and it is great news that this funding is being used to help Chester’s families with local flooding issues.
Budget Address for 2018-2019 Fiscal Year
Next Tuesday, February 6th, Governor Wolf will give his annual budget address to a joint legislative session, where he will unveil his spending plan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year state budget.
It is the General Assembly’s Constitutional responsibility to appropriate funds for programs in the budget, and the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold three weeks of budget hearings to examine the Governor’s proposed spending plan.
I look forward to working to pass a fair, balanced and on-time budget. This is one of the most important jobs that we have as legislators. It is our responsibility to allocate new funds as well as utilize current funds to help pay for programs and services that Pennsylvania citizens depend on every day.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues as we begin this year’s state budget process.
Mandatory Reporting for Overdoses When Naloxone Administered
This week, I signed-on as a co-sponsor of legislation that Senator Gene Yaw intends to introduce in the near future, requiring mandatory reporting for all heroin and opioid overdoses where Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is administered.
Currently, there is no statewide mandatory reporting system in place, as reporting is instead voluntary. I believe that this legislation may help provide a more accurate assessment of the tragic heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania.
During the past several years, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held over a dozen public hearings across the state in response to the heroin and opioid epidemic. During the hearings, law enforcement officials testified as to the inadequate tracking methods used to document overdoses and deaths.
I am hopeful that mandated naloxone reporting may help our Commonwealth strengthen the effectiveness of “warm hand-off” services and address concerns expressed about the same people being routinely revived by first responders and EMS personnel.
Assistance for Veterans Available
I have begun a partnership with the Pennsylvania American Legion to assist veterans at my Brookhaven office, located at 4110 Edgmont Avenue. A representative from this organization will be at my office on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I would like to encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment for these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting the office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service will be offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
How I Can Help
My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.
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