In this Update:
Mastriano Announces More Than $6.4 Million in Grants Approved for Projects in Adams and Franklin Counties
Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) announced more than $6.4 million in state grant funding has been awarded to projects in communities across the 33rd Senate District.
“These grants provide funding for projects that improve our communities and enhance residents’ quality of life,” Mastriano said. “The grants provide funding for basic functions of government, like improving sewer systems, supporting our fire departments and purchasing vehicles for local police departments.”
Four Adams County communities will benefit from five grants totaling more than $2.1million. Butler Township was awarded $250,000 for site preparation prior to the construction of a new municipal complex. Cumberland Township will receive more than $145,000 to purchase three police vehicles and $1 million to upgrade its sanitary sewer system. Littlestown Borough was awarded nearly $350,000 for a sanitary sewer and manhole project. Possum Valley Municipal Authority will receive $370,000 for the construction of a new reservoir in Menallen Township.
Franklin County communities will benefit from nine grants totaling more than $3.3 million. Bear Valley Franklin County Pennsylvania Joint Authority was awarded more than $230,000 to construct a waterline loop connection in Hamilton Township. Chambersburg Borough will receive nearly $880,000 for Downtown Chambersburg Inc. to construct an outdoor amphitheater and greenspace. Franklin County was awarded $25,000 for Maranatha Ministry Inc. for the Peer to Peer Housing Unit renovation project on West Third Street in Waynesboro Borough. Franklin County will receive more than $65,000 for Habitat of Humanity of Franklin County Inc. for the purchase of a construction truck. Franklin county will receive more than $580,000 for The Rescue Hose Company No. 1 of Greencastle for the purchase of two ambulances – one for Greencastle Borough and the other for Antrim Township. Franklin County will receive more than $85,000 for House of Hope to purchase vehicles. Franklin County was awarded more than $50,000 to purchase a K-9 police vehicle for the Franklin County Sheiff’s Department. Guildford Township will receive nearly $375,000 for Marion Volunteer Fire Company to purchase a new ambulance. Littlestown Borough was awarded nearly $350,000 for a sanitary sewer and manhole project. Mercersburg Water Authority will receive more than $335,000 for water system improvements. Waynesboro Borough was awarded $750,000 for Waynesboro Fire Department for the purchase of a new fire apparatus.
Funding for the projects is being provided through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) Local Share Account (LSA) program, which uses gaming revenue to support projects in the public interest across the commonwealth.
The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to administer the commonwealth’s economic stimulus packages.
The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act of 2004 provides for the distribution of gaming revenue through the CFA and its LSA program.
Three additional grants for Franklin County projects totaling more than $1 million were approved through a separate CFA program.
The Borough of Greencastle was awarded nearly $260,000 for streetscape improvements along North Washington Street. Green Township will receive more than $600,000 for the North Chambersburg improvement project. Washington Township was awarded more than $200,000 to replace the Skiway Avenue Bridge.
Funding for these projects is being delivered through the CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund grant program, which provides financial support for projects to encourage economic development and ensure a safe and reliable transportation system for commonwealth residents.
Senate Concludes Week Two of Budget Hearings
The Senate Appropriations Committee continued public hearings this week on the proposed 2023-24 state budget.
Gov. Josh Shapiro’s $45.8 billion budget seeks to boost state spending by more than $1.3 billion above the current year’s budget. Projections indicate it will nearly wipe out the state’s Rainy Day Fund in five years.
Among the highlights:
The Department of Education hearing focused on the largest proposed Basic Education Funding increase in Pennsylvania history as well as Gov. Shapiro’s failure to follow through on his promise to fund Lifeline Scholarships, a key provision to help provide families with greater options to meet their educational needs.
At the Department of State budget hearing, the committee sought details about federal and private election funding, county election grants, funding outreach to unregistered voters and publishing constitutional amendments.
At the hearing for the Department of Labor and Industry, members discussed the potential for major job losses if Pennsylvania enters the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Persistent concerns about Unemployment Compensation (UC) claims processing and preventing UC fraud were also leading topics.
The Department of Agriculture hearing included acknowledgment that the Norfolk Southern train derailment impacted many residents at Pennsylvania’s border with Ohio, including farmers. Testing of livestock and crops will continue following that incident.
During the Pennsylvania State Police hearing, there was discussion about funding methods, as the state police currently receives money out of the Motor License Fund. The governor proposed phasing in a new Public Safety and Protection Fund.
Find full hearing recaps, video, livestreams and upcoming schedule at PASenateGOP.com.
Help Our Struggling Military Members
Anyone who is owed a Pennsylvania personal income tax return has a convenient opportunity to support our military members, veterans and their families who are facing tough times.
You can help those who serve our nation and commonwealth by making a gift to the Military Family Relief Assistance Program. All donations will benefit those with a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control.
On lines 32 through 36 of the Personal Income Tax Return, fill out Code C. If you do not have an overpayment on your return, you may make a donation by sending a check directly to the Military Family Relief Assistance Program, c/o Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Building 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002.
Veterans: Town Hall about PACT Act on April 4
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will hold an in-person Veteran Town Hall on the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act on Tuesday, April 4, from 6-8 p.m. at the West View VFW Post 2754, 386 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh. The town hall will also be available by phone.
The new federal PACT Act law expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances. The town hall will enable veterans and their advocates to learn and ask questions about eligibility and applying for benefits related to the PACT Act.
In-person attendees may arrive early to enjoy a dedicated resource fair from 5-6 p.m. People who will be attending any portion of the event in person are asked to register by calling 717-644-3890.
Anyone joining the town hall by phone should call 267-332-8737 and enter Conference ID: 989503340# to participate. Both in-person attendees and callers will be able to ask questions during the town hall.
State Offers Free Motorcycle Safety Training
PennDOT offers free motorcycle training through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program.
Free courses for novice through seasoned riders are offered to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. Four levels of courses are available – including the 16-hour Basic Rider Course, the eight-hour Intermediate Rider Course, the one-day Advanced Rider Course and the 3 Wheel Rider Course.
For more information or to enroll in a course, visit www.pamsp.com.
$25,000 Fishing and Boating Grants Available
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking applicants for grants to support education programs that promote new and renewed interest in fishing and boating. The grants aim to connect Pennsylvanians with the fun of commonwealth waterways by teaching fishing and boating skills and providing quality places for these recreational opportunities.
PFBC will reimburse qualifying organizations up to $25,000 for eligible expenses from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. The grants require a minimum 25% match of total project costs. Grant applications must be submitted here by April 14.
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