Mar. 08, 2019

Free Admission at Several State Museums Sunday

This Sunday, March 10, is Charter Day – a day to celebrate Pennsylvania’s 338th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History this Sunday.

Visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. In addition to the charter, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
Help Available to Local Small Business Owners

My office is proud to offer a unique opportunity for current or aspiring small business owners who could benefit from advice and guidance about starting or growing their small business.

A representative from the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be available at our district office for a special Small Business Outreach Day on Friday, March 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you or someone you know would like to schedule a one-hour meeting with the SBDC representative, please call 570-577-1249 or email by March 20.

Meetings will take place at our Elysburg district office located at 467 Industrial Park Road.

SBDCs offer entrepreneurs educational resources and information they need to start and grow successful businesses.
Speech Highlights Progress Achieved by Redevelopment Agencies


I recently attended and delivered some remarks at a gathering of the Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (PAHRA), an organization committed to strengthening Pennsylvania communities by developing affordable housing options and repurposing old and abandoned properties.

I introduced legislation last session that was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor that established a foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties in an effort to combat blight in our communities. I am working this session on legislation that would define the characteristics of a blighted property. These tools are intended to help local redevelopment agencies fulfill their mission to transform dilapidated properties into new opportunities for community growth and progress.

I appreciate the work performed by PAHRA and its members to rebuild Pennsylvania communities by transforming our communities through blight remediation and property development.

Pictured with me are Ed Christiano, executive director of the Northumberland County Housing Authority, and Joseph Kohut, president of the board of directors of PAHRA.
Supporting PA National Guard Families

Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.

The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for the guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.

The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.

The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).

The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Budget Hearings Conclude

Making sure every dollar of state tax money is used to its maximum benefit, the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings this week, with the committee looking into all aspects of the governor’s budget proposal.

The committee heard testimony and asked questions to the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2019-20 budget. All of the hearings are available here.
Resources to Help with Problem Gambling

With March being observed as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery highlighted the warning signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

Gambling can become a problem when a person develops strained relationships with loved ones; borrows money to gamble; gambles to get a “high”; or misses work, school or other activities and obligations in order to gamble.

In the Commonwealth, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania works to educate Pennsylvanians on compulsive and problem gambling to prevent development of dangerous gambling habits. It operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at

Click here for more information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem. Click here to find information about treatment options.
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend

Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.

Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 3.