Senator Judy Ward E-Newsletter

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  • Weigh in on Ballot Questions for Primary Election
  • Senate Acts to Put the Brakes on PennDOT’s Bridge Tolling Plan
  • Friday is the Final Day to Submit Comments on 2020 General Election
  • Senate Approves Legislation Permitting Essential Family Caregiver Nursing Home Visits During Emergencies
  • Senate Approves Program to Train Next Generation of PA Firefighters
  • Honoring Veterans of Persian Gulf War and Global War on Terrorism
  • Monday is the Deadline to Register for May 18 Primary Election
  • Three Springs Historical Society

Weigh in on Ballot Questions for Primary Election

In less than a month, voters will head to the polls for the May 18th primary election. There will be more than just candidates on the ballot. Watch the video below to see what your vote means on the constitutional amendments.

042221_JWard_BallotQuestions

Senate Acts to Put the Brakes on PennDOT’s Bridge Tolling Plan

The Senate approved a plan this week to reform the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) statute and to void the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative.

On November 12, 2020, the P3 Board, under PennDOT’s jurisdiction, supported an ambiguous proposal to impose user fees or tolls on major bridges throughout the interstate system.; This was the first time in the P3 Board’s history to consider a proposal with user fees.

The reform legislation will:

  • Increase transparency by requiring PennDOT to publish a detailed analysis prior to the P3 Board’s voting meeting, and mandate PennDOT to distribute a copy of the P3 Board’s resolution, with or without a user fee, within 24 hours.
  • Incorporate public input by creating a new 30-day public comment period prior to the P3 Board meeting.
  • Create checks and balances on the obscure P3 Board by clarifying any P3 project with a user fee shall be deemed disapproved unless the Governor and General Assembly approve.
  • Void the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative and require reconsideration by the P3 Board following the new process outlined in this legislation.

Friday is the Final Day to Submit Comments on 2020 General Election

Friday is the final day for Pennsylvanians to share their experience from last year’s election with the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform.

The surveys seek input from Pennsylvanians who voted by mail or in person in 2020.

The committee is expected to use the survey responses and testimony gathered during its series of public hearings to produce a report with recommendations that will be presented to the General Assembly.

Senate Approves Legislation Permitting Essential Family Caregiver Nursing Home Visits During Emergencies

The Senate approved legislation to allow a family member or other designated person to visit and care for a long-term care facility resident during a disaster emergency involving a communicable disease.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents of such facilities have been denied the ability to see and receive care from their loved ones, causing traumatic distress.

The legislation allows long-term care facilities to designate Essential Family Caregivers for regular visits. A participating facility must follow necessary health precautions outlined by federal and state governments.

Senate Approves Program to Train Next Generation of PA Firefighters

The Senate approved creation of a pilot program to train high school students interested in firefighting and help alleviate the pressing need for volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania.

According to the bipartisan SR 6 report on the serious problems facing volunteer fire companies, Pennsylvania is experiencing a severe shortage of volunteer firefighters. The current number of volunteers is down to less than 15 percent of the number in the 1970s.

The legislation creates a pilot program for Pennsylvania community colleges and universities to give interested high school students training in firefighting. The goal is to demonstrate that students receiving training will show an interest in becoming the next generation of firefighters. The bill requires a follow-up study to measure the program’s success.

Honoring Veterans of Persian Gulf War and Global War on Terrorism

Two new designations could honor veterans of the Persian Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism under legislation recently approved by the Senate. The bill would designate March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and October 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day.

Under the bill, the governor would be required to encourage schools to observe the contributions of veterans in these conflicts. However, the observations would not be mandatory for schools.

Monday is the Deadline to Register for May 18 Primary Election

Monday, May 3 is the last day to register to vote in the May 18 primary election.

You can register to vote online, by mail or at several government agencies.

Other Key Dates:

May 11, 5 p.m. – Applications for a mail-in or absentee ballot must be received by your county election board.

May 18, 8 p.m. – Voted ballots must be received by your county election office.

Three Springs Historical Society

I had a great time listening to Brad Esposito from East Broadtop Railroad give his presentation to the Three Springs Historical Society in Huntingdon County.

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