Senator Doug Mastriano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Start of Bridge Maintenance Project on Mason Dixon Road (Route 3002) in Adams County Rescheduled for September 7
  • Legislative Review: Combatting Human Trafficking
  • Preserving Services for Seniors & Adults with Disabilities
  • Reducing the Impact of Invasive Species
  • Hearings Begin on Department of State Controversies
  • School Buses are Back on the Roads
  • 162 Years Ago This Week Pennsylvania Strikes Oil

Start of Bridge Maintenance Project on Mason Dixon Road (Route 3002) in Adams County Rescheduled for September 7

Project previously to begin August 30

Harrisburg, PA The start of a bridge maintenance project on Mason Dixon Road (Route 3002) in Adams County, has been rescheduled. Work on the bridge, which is located between Barlow Road (Route 2001) and Route 134 in Mount Joy Township, will begin Tuesday, September 7. It previously was scheduled to begin Monday, August 30.

Work includes milling, placing a waterproofing membrane, paving, rock placement, and repointing the stone abutment and wings.

An approximately seven-week closure will begin Tuesday, September 7. A detour will be in place using Barlow Road and Route 134.

JD Eckman, Inc., of Atglen, PA is the contractor on this multiple year $6,441,217 project to perform maintenance work on bridges throughout the eight-county PennDOT District 8 region that includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties at www.penndot.gov/District8.

Information about infrastructure in District 8, including completed work and significant projects, is available at www.penndot.gov/D8Results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAHarrisburg and like the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dave Thompson 717-418-5018

Source: PennDOT Engineering District 8

Legislative Review: Combatting Human Trafficking

The General Assembly enacted several measures in recent years to combat human trafficking. That effort has continued in 2021 with the passage of measures to prevent this hideous practice and help victims.

Act 32 of 2021 prohibits defendants from introducing evidence of a human trafficking victim’s past sexual victimization in any human trafficking prosecution.

Act 38 of 2021 requires that a court consider whether a party or member of that party’s household has been convicted of human trafficking prior to awarding child custody.

Act 45 of 2021 requires any offender that subjected a minor to sexual servitude (human trafficking) to undergo treatment while in prison, helping to reduce recidivism.

Act 52 of 2021 permits expert witnesses in cases of domestic violence and human trafficking.

You can find a full list of bills of note passed by the Senate in 2021 here.

Preserving Services for Seniors & Adults with Disabilities

The Senate Aging & Youth Committee and the Senate Health & Human Services Committee held a joint public hearing with the House Human Services Committee and House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee this week on an issue affecting Pennsylvania seniors and adults with disabilities.

The hearing focused on the intent of the Department of Human Services (DHS) to contract with the firm Maximus US Services as its independent enrollment broker as part of the commonwealth’s Medicaid enrollment process. Members discussed the impact it will have on seniors and adults with disabilities. DHS was unable to testify due to ongoing litigation.

The panels heard about the problems caused by shifting the process from local contacts to an out-of-state vendor. You can view hearing video and testimony here.

Reducing the Impact of Invasive Species

Reducing the impact of invasive species on Pennsylvania’s economy, agriculture and natural resources was the topic of a hearing by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania this week.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan legislative agency made up of Senate and House members, and others, that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

In 2019, the negative economic impact of the spotted lanternfly was estimated to be $13.1 million. Other invasive species include the gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, hydrilla and reed canarygrass.

The panel heard from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center and other experts. You can watch the hearing here.

Hearings Begin on Department of State Controversies

The Senate State Government Committee held the first in a series of hearings reviewing controversial actions recently undertaken by the Department of State. 

The first hearing discussed post-election audits undertaken by the Department of State after the 2020 election with Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid. The panel heard from the acting secretary, Deputy Secretary of Elections and Commissions Jonathan Marks and members of the department’s Risk Limiting Audit Work Group.

The State Government Committee will hold five additional hearings prior to the confirmation hearings for Acting Secretary Degraffenreid, covering the following:

  • The failure to advertise a constitutional amendment protecting victims of childhood sexual abuse,
  • the department’s last minute, confusing guidance to counties before the 2020 election,
  • the 2021 Primary ballot questions that were widely criticized as biased,
  • the difficulties experienced by counties during the 2021 Primary,
  • and the lackluster performance of the Pennsylvania Licensing System for doctors and other professionals.  

School Buses are Back on the Roads

Children are returning to school, which means school buses are back on the roads.

Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. PennDOT has a breakdown of the state School Bus Stopping Law, as well as tips for parents and students for getting to and from school safely.

162 Years Ago This Week Pennsylvania Strikes Oil

On August 27, 1859, the world’s first commercially successful oil well produced black gold near Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Edwin Drake, a former railroad conductor, encountered so many problems before he succeeded that his well was nicknamed “Drake’s Folly.” His financial backers had quit on him and he took out a loan to keep the project going to completion.

The legacy of the Drake Well was creating unprecedented interest and investment in oil drilling, refining and marketing. Pennsylvania would go on to be a key producer of coal and natural gas, and today includes wind and solar power in its energy portfolio.

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