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In this Email Update:
Senate confirms Beemer as Attorney General
The Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of state Inspector General Bruce Beemer on Tuesday to complete the unexpired term of Kathleen Kane as state Attorney General, which ends on January 17, 2017.
Kane resigned from office on August 17, two days after her conviction on nine charges including felony perjury, criminal conspiracy, false swearing and obstruction for leaking secret grand jury information to the media. Her sentencing is set for October 24.
Prior to his service as Inspector General, Beemer served as Chief of Staff under Attorney General Linda Kelly and was Chief of Criminal Prosecutions and First Deputy under Kane.
Municipal leaders, state expert meet to discuss anti-blight efforts
On Wednesday night, I hosted a meeting with local government leaders from Berks and Schuylkill counties, including elected officials, solicitors and code enforcement officers, to hear from Attorney Michael McKeever of KML Law Group in Philadelphia.
Attorney McKeever has been involved with drafting legislation to expedite the foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties in Pennsylvania. While we may not always agree on every issue, it is my goal to bring the banking community and our local officials together at the same table to have a productive and worthwhile discussion on the subject of winning the War on Blight.
The meeting offered a great opportunity to discuss various ideas to help communities throughout Berks and Schuylkill counties deal with the serious problems posed by abandoned buildings and properties falling into a dangerous state of disrepair.
Resolution aimed at accountability of PA State System of Higher Education
Earlier this week, I introduced a resolution to review the long-term viability and sustainability of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Senate Resolution 416 will provide all of us with an unbiased report of the sustainability and viability of these important 14 state-owned universities by examining current and projected revenues and expenses, debt, college affordability, student enrollment trends, potential efficiencies for further cost-savings and infrastructure needs. The state taxpayers are investing more than $400 million annually to support over 100,000 enrolled students, so we need to make sure we are meeting the needs of these students now and in the future, and at a price that makes sense for taxpayers.
Our plan is to pass this resolution in the next few weeks so that we can use the report, which would be due in May of 2017, to suggest further reforms to the PASSHE system as determined necessary.
Read more about the resolution here.
Fall is a great time to camp at a state park
Pennsylvania has some of the best state parks in the country. In total, there are 117 state parks to explore. You can reserve campsites, cabins, picnic pavilions and more.
Check out all that Pennsylvania’s state parks have to offer by visiting their website.
PennDOT, State Police cracking down on drunk driving during holiday weekend
As part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania State Police and local police will be increasing their DUI enforcement over the holiday weekend.
You can learn more by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.
Discount fishing licenses available for Labor Day
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering a special fishing opportunity to entice adults and kids to fish on Labor Day, September 5. The PFBC has reduced the price of a 1-day adult resident and 1-day adult non-resident license to just $1 for Labor Day.
With issuing agent and transaction fees, the total price for the 1-day adult license is only $2.90.
Please visit the PFBC’s website for more information.
You’re invited to participate in a special telephone town hall meeting on the opioid crisis
Pennsylvania is in the midst of a deadly epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse.
I’m joining several senators from our region, including Senator Gene Yaw, who has been leading the fight to end this crisis in Pennsylvania, to discuss our ongoing efforts as well hear from you about this critical issue.
The first telephone town hall event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21.
Sign up ahead of time to take part in this important conversation by visiting the event’s website .