Senator Judy Ward E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Tuesday is the General Election
  • LIHEAP Applications Open
  • Veteran’s Day Dessert Social
  • Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania
  • Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies
  • Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night
  • Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall
  • Out and About in the 30th

Tuesday is the General Election

The General Election will be held Tuesday, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who are voting for the first time in their election district will be required to show an ID. Acceptable IDs for first-time voters:

  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • Military, student or employee ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
  • Any ID issued by the Commonwealth or federal government

If you are unsure where to vote, you can find your polling place here. You can learn about the voting system your county uses here.

LIHEAP Applications Open

Residents who struggle with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online at compass.state.pa.us, by phone at 1-866-550-4355 or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.

Click here for additional information.  The program runs through April 28, 2023.

Veteran’s Day Dessert Social

Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania

New jobs and more investment could be coming to Pennsylvania after the Senate voted to create and expand tax credit programs to support targeted investments in key industries.

The legislation would make new resources available for job growth under the newly established Pennsylvania Economic Development for a Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program. The program will be made up of four components to attract major new investments to Pennsylvania communities.

One of the new programs is the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Tax Credit program, which is designed to support projects requiring a capital investment of at least $500 million. Projects would also be required to make a good faith effort to use the local labor market and create at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.

The bill would also establish a new Pennsylvania Milk Processing Tax Credit program to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. The tax credit would be equal to 5 cents per gallon of milk purchased and processed from within Pennsylvania. The program would also require capital investment of at least $500 million, efforts to use local labor and the creation of at least 1,200 permanent and new jobs.

The legislation would also create the Semiconductor Manufacturing, Biomedical Manufacturing and Research. The Tax Credit program tax credits would be split evenly between semiconductor manufacturing and biomedical projects.

In addition, House Bill 1059 would increase the cap on the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, while ensuring tax credits remain available for construction of a smaller project facility in the near future. The bill was sent to the governor for enactment.

Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies

In the latest effort to help Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services, the Senate passed a comprehensive measure that would provide essential funding and support for these critical first responders.

The assistance is especially vital for volunteer fire companies struggling to recruit members and cover rising costs. As amended by the Senate, the measure would:

  • Put in place a Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program.
  • Establish recruitment, training and retention initiatives – including higher and secondary education partnerships for EMS.
  • Provide financial assistance for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities
  • Increase the maximum amount of fire and EMS grants and allow merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.
  • Provide funding for online fire training.
  • Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online registry of firefighters’ courses. 
  • Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.

The measure was sent to the governor for enactment.

Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

With deer becoming more active during the fall breeding season, and the end of daylight saving time putting more vehicles on the road during dusk and dawn when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking motorists to stay alert.

According to insurance statistics, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-58 chance of a vehicular accident involving a big game animal – one of the highest rates nationwide. Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can make a difference.

You can find out more about avoiding collisions with deer and how to report a collision here.

Out and About in the 30th

I had the pleasure of visiting the Claysburg-Kimmel School District (CKSD) to tour the high school and visit the small business and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classrooms. While there, I had the opportunity to meet with school administrators, staff, and school board members to discuss the great things the school is doing to promote learning, see firsthand the impressive accomplishments of the students, and hear about the district’s needs for the future. Thanks to the CKSD for the hospitality and congratulations on doing a great job for the students and the community!

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Breezeline’s Headend Facility located in Johnstown along with U.S. Congressman John Joyce (PA-13). This facility controls all of the company’s voice, television, and internet operations for the entire company from Maine to Florida. It was very impressive to see the state-of-the-art technology in action and hear about Breezeline’s plans for continuous improvement of services in the future.

This week I attended the annual Blair County Chamber of Commerce Farm-City Dinner, where large animal veterinarian Dr. Barry England was named the recipient of the 2022 ACE (Agricultural Community Excellence) Award. Carissa Itle Westrick of Vale Wood Farms was the keynote speaker (pictured with her daughter Sophie and me) and I was able to catch up with the Blair County Dairy Princess, Darcy Heltzel. Thank you to the Chamber’s Farm City Committee for hosting these types of events to connect the agricultural and business community together.

This week I enjoyed hosting a farmer’s breakfast along with my collegue, State Representative Rich Irvin, in Huntingdon County. Members of the agricultural community were able to hear from Russell Redding, PA Secretary of Ag, and also Sam Hayes, Jr., former Secretary of Ag and State Representative.

We had a great Q&A session, where farmers were welcomed to ask questions on important issues they are currently facing. I am grateful for Secretary Redding’s current leadership and for Secretary Hayes’ past leadership. Both men added much value to our breakfast event.

Recently I visited Penn State Altoona to speak to a Political Science class. We discussed what running for office is like and how to get involved in politics. I enjoyed the students’ great questions and know we have great future leaders in our community.

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