Spotlight on The Brandywine Conservancy
The Brandywine Conservancy has helped preserve over 64,000 acres of land in our region. It was wonderful to speak with them about their incredible work in protecting our open spaces and waterways.
Local Schools Receive Safety Grants
Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. With this in mind, I am happy to report that our local school districts have been awarded state grants to improve student and teacher safety.
Earlier this year, I voted in favor and was a co-sponsor of legislation creating the School Safety and Security Grant Program. This new program is now providing grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.
The school districts in our area that have just received grants from this new program include the Kennett Consolidated, Unionville-Chadds Ford and West Chester Area School Districts in Chester County. Delaware County recipients include the Chester-Upland, Chichester, Garnet Valley, Penn-Delco, Ridley, Rose Tree Media and Wallingford-Swarthmore School Districts.
These districts all received $25,000 for this grant. Additional safety grants from this new program will be awarded to school districts in 2019.
Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students and creating other programs to protect students.
The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June by Governor Tom Wolf. This legislation will add more than $60 million in new funding in the current year’s state budget to improve school safety.
While we have more work to do to protect students and teachers in the classroom, these school safety grants are an important first step. Information on school safety measures under consideration in the General Assembly is available HERE.
Legislative Session Overview
As the 2017-2018 Legislative Session comes to a close, I am proud of the work done by the Pennsylvania Senate.
As of this week, there were 1,255 Senate Bills and 2,657 House Bills introduced in the current Session; for a total of nearly 4,000 bills. This is about 150 more bills introduced than last session (3,759 bills).
I intend to re-introduce the prime-sponsor bills I introduced this Session that did not make it to the Governor’s desk. Of the 24 bills I introduced, 4 became law.
Of the 24 bills I introduced, 8 were unanimously approved in the Senate but were not considered in the House.
Many of my prime-sponsor bills were ideas proposed by constituents who contacted me and asked me to offer legislation that was important to them, including Senate Bill 521.
Senate Bill 521 relates to CPR instruction for high school students, and it is a deeply personal issue for a constituent from Bethel Township, Delaware County who I had met with on numerous occasions. She is an active volunteer advocate of the American Heart Association (AHA) and a mother of a young man who suffered a heart attack. CPR saved his life.
I will be working with her and the other several stakeholder groups including the PA Athletic Trainers’ Society, Inc.; Independence Blue Cross; the PA Medical Society; the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation; Rachel Moyer of the Greg Moyer AED Fund; and the PA State Education Association (PSEA) to pass this legislation next session.
Senate Bill 521 was unanimously approved by the Senate, but was not considered by the House Education Committee prior to the last scheduled voting session day.
In addition, I was a co-sponsor of 192 Senate Bills and am aware of the interest and support of many constituents that I heard from over the two-year period, including comments from residents on legislation such as pipeline safety. As we begin the new session in January, I will be sure to keep you advised of important legislation that is re-introduced and referred to a committee for consideration.
Finally, I was prime-sponsor of 16 Senate Resolutions, which designated or recognized an area of importance, and typically was the request of a constituent or advocacy group from the 9th District. Last month, I introduced Senate Resolution 473, which designated October 2018 as “Bullying Prevention Month” in PA, similar to the national level. I was proud to present a resolution to the students at Boothwyn Elementary School.
As we close the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the families in the 9th Senatorial District. If I may be of assistance on any state-related matter or if you have ideas for legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me through the form on my WEBSITE.
Heating Assistance Available
Pennsylvania residents are now able to apply for assistance with their heating bills. Enrollment in the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has opened for the cold weather months.
LIHEAP helps struggling families pay their heating bills by sending payments to utility companies and fuel providers. These assistance grants can be as large as $1,000.
For more information about income eligibility levels for LIHEAP grants and how to participate in this program, click HERE.
PUC Invites Public Comment on Proposed Water Rate Hikes
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled a series of hearings this month for the public to provide comments on the proposed water rate increases by Aqua Pennsylvania. The PUC is the organization that approves rate increases requested by utility companies in our state. Consumers are given the ability to provide input before the PUC takes action on rate increases.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania public hearings begin on November 13th. Information about Aqua’s proposed rate increases, the dates and locations of the public hearings and how to participate in the hearings can be found HERE.
I was treated to a tour of SunCenter Studious, a top tier all-encompassing film production facility frequented by M. Night Shyamalan and A-list celebrities located in Aston Township. Keep an eye out for a video of my tour in an upcoming episode of the “Killion Report.”
I would like to congratulate Mildred Clark on her 100th birthday. A member of my staff attended the celebration at Lima Estates to present Mrs. Clark with a Senate Citation. Happy Birthday!
I was invited to attend and speak at the Kennett Area Senior Center Veterans Luncheon. The event was well attended, and in advance of Veterans Day I was proud to be a part of honoring our service men and women.
Assistance for Veterans Available
My partnership with the Pennsylvania American Legion to assist veterans at my Brookhaven office, located at 4110 Edgmont Avenue, is continuing this month. A representative from this organization will be at my office on Wednesday, November 28th 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.
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