Sep. 23, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Bill to Combat Aiding and Causing Suicide

 Click here to view video.

I unveiled my House Bill 1827, Shawn’s Law, to combat people who cause or aid in the suicide of others.

My legislation is named for Shawn Shatto, who killed herself in her parent’s Newberry Township home after she received a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide from an online chat forum. According to press accounts, the website contained information about how to prepare poison. Shawn did so and then contacted the website, saying she was terrified. At least one person on the forum gave her reassuring words that suicide was the best route and wished Shawn well on her journey instead of encouraging her to seek help.

People who guide or encourage others to kill themselves are committing murder by proxy. Our justice system must be given more tools in the form of harsher sentences to combat this evil. It seems to me that such an enhancement is needed to send a message that the actions of these disturbed people will not be tolerated.

To learn more about the bill, click here.

Assistance to prevent suicide can be found by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources and best practices for professionals.
Register Now for my Farmers’ Breakfast

Residents interested in attending my free annual Farmer’s Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10, and sponsored by PennAg Industries Association and Seneca Resources, should register now. This year the breakfast is from 8-10 a.m. at the Wellsville Fire Company, 95 Community St., Wellsville. The deadline to RSVP is Monday, Sept. 30.

During this informative event, attendees will receive an update on issues that impact them. The guest speaker this year is Jennifer Reed-Harry, an assistant vice president at PennAg Industries. She will speak about water issues the agricultural industry is facing.

There have been a lot of new and expanded efforts in agricultural programming in Pennsylvania. Understanding the challenges and pressures the state’s agriculture industry has been enduring, lawmakers worked with agricultural communities, businesses and stakeholders to develop a strategy to help agriculture grow in Pennsylvania. I’m excited to share these new opportunities and resources with farmers in my district.

Make sure you don’t miss my annual Farmers’ Breakfast where you’ll learn not only about the new programs, but how to successfully access them as well.

The deadline to reserve a seat is Monday, Sept. 30. To RSVP, call my office at 717-432-0792, or go online to  and click on the events tab.
Applications Open for School Safety Grants

The School Safety and Security Grant Program is now accepting applications for funding from school districts and school entities across the Commonwealth.

The program, created by the Legislature and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, offers both meritorious and competitive grants to help ensure the safety of all students in our schools.

Meritorious grants are open only to school districts, while competitive grants are available to school districts as well as other school entities, including intermediate units, area career and technical schools, charter schools and more.

The funding may be used for any of the nearly two dozen school safety initiatives listed in the law, including such things as hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and other programs and services to protect students.

For more information about the program and how school districts and school entities may apply, click here.

The deadline to apply for the grants is Monday, Nov. 4.
Property Tax Town Hall Meeting Slated

Click here to view video.

I’m co-hosting with Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland) a Town Hall Meeting on Property Tax Reform at Monroe Elementary, 1240 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Spring, on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6:30-8 p.m.

School property tax reform has been discussed in the General Assembly for decades. This session, I am part of a bi-partisan, bi-cameral property tax work group, charged with the task of creating a property tax reform plan than can garner the votes required to get signed into law. I am hopeful we will come up with a viable plan to address this issue that impact all property owners in Pennsylvania.

I recently released a column on school property taxes. To read it, click here. In addition, I urge you to watch the above video.
PA Small Water Program and PA H2O Now Accepting Applications

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has announced the re-opening of two programs in addition to the Dairy Investment Program: the Pennsylvania Small Water Program and PA H2O.

PA Small Water provides funding for activities to assist with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply system, sanitary sewer system, storm sewer system, or flood control projects. Eligible projects are those which have a total project cost of not less than $30,000 and not more than $500,000.

Applications for this program can be found here and will be accepted through Dec. 13.

PA H2O provides funding for single-year and multi-year grants for the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects; the construction or renovation of flood control projects; and the repair or rehabilitation of high-hazard unsafe dams.

Applications for this program can be found here, and will also be accepted through Dec. 13.
Dairy Investment Program Accepting Grant Applications

A grant program created last year to help Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy farmers is now accepting applications for its second round of funding.

Grants support on-farm innovation, research and development, organic transition, and value-added processing of products like cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Act 38 of 2019 established the grant program in statute, meaning it will be offered each year funding is made available. This year’s budget funded the program at $5 million. The program is administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Pennsylvania is home to 6,650 dairy farms, which contribute $14.7 billion in economic revenue annually and support more than 52,000 jobs. However, the industry is currently struggling with some farmers shutting down their operations. The grants are designed to help dairy farmers adjust to current markets.
House in Session This Week

The House is back in session this week. You can stay up on all the latest news on my website, and the House GOP site,, where you can also find this week’s schedule.
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