Senator Judy Ward E-Newsletter

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In This Update:

  • My Legislation Approved by Aging and Youth Committee
  • PA CareerLink April 20 Job Fair for Displaced Appvion Workers
  • First Responders Virtual Workshop
  • Saint Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen
  • 10-Digit Dialing for 814 begins Saturday, April 3
  • Pennsylvania Expands and Accelerates Vaccine Schedule
  • New Guidance Will Help More Schools Return to In-Person Instruction
  • Share Your Experience Voting by Mail or In Person in 2020
  • Summer Camps Set to Resume This Year
  • Deadline to Submit Comments on State Transportation Plan is April 14

My Legislation Approved by Aging and Youth Committee

3/23/21 - SB 323

My legislation extends the current moratorium on increases in income due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for PACE and PACENET enrollees for 2 years, from Dec. 31, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023. This extension will benefit nearly 17,800 seniors who are in dire need of assistance.

PA CareerLink April 20 Job Fair for Displaced Appvion Workers

PA CareerLink will be hosting an in-person, socially distanced job fair for the 300 displaced Appvion workers on Tuesday, April 20th.

Even if you are an Appvion worker who has not yet been laid off, this job fair is for you. Details are as follows:

  • Date: April 20th 
  • Time: 9AM – 2PM;
  • Place: Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park, 201 S. Walnut St., Martinsburg, PA 16662
  • Pre-registration required: Appvion workers should call for a time slot: 814-623-6107
  • Details: More than 20 employers & agencies will be in attendance including: ACCO, American Eagle, BC Stone, Bedford Reinforced Plastics, Blair Image Elements, Cenveo, Champion Homes, Curry Supply, Lampire Biologicals, Mayville Engineering, Mission Critical Solutions, New Pig, NPC, REI, Sheetz (retail/distribution center/corporate), Smith Transport, Tram Bar, UPMC, US Foods, Walmart distribution center, Your Building Center. Agencies include Allegany Community College, Center for Community Action, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, The Health Insurance Place, PA CareerLink and PA Unemployment.

While this event is for Appvion workers only, PA CareerLink is a great resource for anyone who is out of work.

Virtual First Responders Workshop

Saint Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen

Each year, Saint Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen hosts a spring chicken BBQ fundraising event with proceeds benefitting the needs of the community. I always have a great time helping out with this effort.

10-Digit Dialing for 814 begins Saturday, April 3 (Graphic attached)

Reminder: Callers in the 814 area code will have to use the area code plus the 7-digit phone number for local calls beginning Saturday, April 3. It’s the next step toward arrival of a new 582 overlay area code needed to free up phone numbers. More information is available from the PUC.

Pennsylvania Expands and Accelerates Vaccine Schedule

The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced recently that the timetable for vaccine eligibility has been accelerated. As a result, state residents who work in law enforcement, grocery stores, the food and agriculture industries and firefighters are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

In addition, all residents in Phase 1B will be eligible to begin scheduling vaccination appointments on April 5, and all residents in Phase 1C can start scheduling appointments on April 12. A breakdown of individuals included in the various phases is available here.

All other state residents can start scheduling appointments to be vaccinated beginning on April 19.

New Guidance Will Help More Schools Return to In-Person Instruction

New guidance from the state Department of Health and Department of Education will make it easier for schools to return to in-person instruction in the near future. The updated recommendations on social distancing align with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that only require students to stay 3 feet apart, rather than the previous recommendation of 6 feet of separation.

The guidelines also include recommendations for how schools should handle confirmed cases of COVID-19, including shorter closures in certain cases. The new guidance goes into effect on April 5.

The Senate Education Committee and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing last month that included testimony from teachers, superintendents, students, parents and other key stakeholders about the importance of returning to in-person instruction.

Share Your Experience Voting by Mail or In Person in 2020

The bipartisan Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform is inviting Pennsylvania voters to share their experiences from the 2020 election by taking an election survey. The information will be reviewed by the committee and will be used in consideration of future election reform measures.

The panel held two hearings last month to gather input from local and state election officials, county commissioners on the administration of the 2020 election, and to review best practices in other states that allow mail-in voting.

Summer Camps Set to Resume This Year

The Pennsylvania Department of Health released new guidance that will allow summer camps to resume this year at up to 75 percent of maximum occupancy. Camps and other congregate activities were prohibited last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth and summer camps are encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to protect the health and safety of participants and staff.

Deadline to Submit Comments on State Transportation Plan is April 14

Every two years, PennDOT updates its 12-Year Program to prioritize infrastructure projects and ensure the state’s transportation needs are met. The Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission is seeking input from members of the public regarding improvements not only for motorists, but also for recreation, public transit and other modes of transportation.

State residents can submit feedback on the plan during the public comment period, which is open through April 14.

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