Senator Judy Ward E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Acts to Increase Campaign Finance Transparency
  • House Committee Approves Bill Expanding Access to Education for Nurse Aides
  • Update on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission
  • Webinar for First-Time Environmental Grant Applicants
  • Apprenticeship Week: Information for Employers and Job Seekers
  • November is American Diabetes Month
  • Out and About in the 30th

Senate Acts to Increase Campaign Finance Transparency

All candidates for office and political action committees in Pennsylvania would be required to file campaign finance reports online under legislation recently approved by the Senate.

Senate Bill 140 would require all candidates for office and political action committees in Pennsylvania to electronically file their campaign finance reports using the Department of State’s online filing system.

Currently, candidates and committees have the option of filing their campaign finance reports through paper submission, which aren’t visible online until uploaded by staff. Citizens wishing to view the reports in a timely manner have to travel to Harrisburg or pay for copies to be sent by mail.

The bill also increases penalties for late filings. Senate Bill 140 now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

House Committee Approves Bill Expanding Access to Education for Nurse Aides

On Wednesday, November 18, the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 729, a piece of legislation I sponsored to expand access to education for nurse aides.

Specifically, this bill would allow individuals participating in a state-approved nurse aide training program to complete the education portion of their instruction via online courses.  This change would help individuals who have an interest in becoming a CNA consider it by taking classes online and help address a long-standing labor shortage issue that the nursing home industry has been facing.

The legislation now moves on to the full House where it can be further considered. 

Update on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission held its latest public hearing this week in Harrisburg.

The commission took input from an expert panel about citizen mapping efforts. You can watch the hearing and view testimony here. It has held nine public hearings, receiving input from a total of 29 experts and 51 citizen witnesses, in addition to 490 written submissions by citizens. 

As dictated by the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission redraws the lines of Senate and House of Representative districts every 10 years to reflect changes in the U.S. Census.

Webinar for First-Time Environmental Grant Applicants

Organizations, municipalities, businesses and farmers can register now for a free webinar on applying for state environmental grants.

The webinar is geared toward first-time applicants and based on survey feedback, and will cover the essentials of applying. It will also look at seven grant programs and answer questions.

Hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection, the webinar will be held Thursday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can find more information and register here.

Apprenticeship Week: Information for Employers and Job Seekers

National Apprenticeship Week is a reminder apprenticeships play a critical role in producing a skilled workforce by connecting aspiring workers with employers in need, and that resources are available to make that connection happen.

According to state Labor and Industry Department estimates, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after they complete their apprenticeship, and the majority take jobs with a starting salary of $60,000 a year or more. Apprenticeships also allow Pennsylvanians to graduate with little to no student debt.

There are 1,585 apprenticeships registered with the state, along with 74 pre-apprenticeships. You can learn about the different kinds of apprenticeships, how to secure one and more here.

November is American Diabetes Month

More than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians, or 11.1% of adults, have diagnosed diabetes. An additional 303,000 have diabetes but don’t know it.

More than 34% of the adult Pennsylvania population have prediabetes with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Complications from diabetes include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death. American Diabetes Month is an opportunity to learn about the risks, how to manage diabetes, and more.

Out and About in the 30th

Congratulations to Andy Haines, 2021 recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award from the Borough of Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Andy has done many commendable things for our community.

I enjoyed attending the annual Blair County Chamber of Commerce’s Farm City Dinner, where I presented a citation for the ACE (Agricultural Community Excellence) Award to Doug and Veronica Smith of Martinsburg. Joe DelGrosso was the guest speaker of the event and gave an interesting overview of the products made at the DelGrosso factory and how they depend on the agricultural industry to provide ingredients for the factory to produce an adequate supply to retailers across the United States. Also pictured with me are members of the Tyrone FFA group.

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