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In this Email Update:
SCI Frackville to remain open
Representatives Goodman, Knowles, Tobash and I were pleased to announce that that SCI Frackville will remain open.
Our assessment is in line with the Department of Corrections that SCI Frackville is an efficiently run facility that should be expanded – not eliminated. Over the next two weeks we will be holding meetings in Schuylkill County and at the Capitol to discuss ways that we can further improve SCI Frackville and SCI Mahanoy so that we can avoid any potential closings in the future.
Since the January 6 announcement regarding the proposed closing of SCI Frackville, many local residents reached out to us to voice their concerns about the negative impact it would personally have on them. This announcement is great news for the county and surrounding area because it will maintain the safety of the public as well as hundreds of jobs for local residents.
A special thanks goes out to the 5,670 individuals who signed the petition urging the governor and Secretary Wetzel to keep SCI Frackville open!
Read more about the announcement here.
Public hearing on proposed Hamburg Center closing
On Monday, January 30 I will be presenting testimony at a public hearing held by the Department of Human Services regarding the proposed closing of the Hamburg Center.
As many of you already know and have voiced to me, the Hamburg Center has been committed to providing its residents with a warm environment with quality care and services. It is important that we hold the Department of Human Services accountable as we continue to review their decision.
The public hearing will be held at Hamburg Borough Hall, which is located at 61 N. Third St. The hearing will begin at 1 p.m.
If you are interested in providing testimony for the hearing, please register by calling 717-783-8964 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Progress on the Property Tax Independence Act
What is the most loathed tax according to many residents not only in Berks and Schuylkill counties, but across Pennsylvania? If you said the school property tax, then you are correct.
As we continue to spearhead our efforts to eliminate the burdensome school property tax which has crippled homeownership for over a century, I am confident that we can garner enough votes in the Senate to pass Senate Bill 76 for the first time in history.
So far, we have made progress from the previous session, gaining a new co-sponsor for the bill, Senator John Disanto (R-Dauphin/Perry), who defeated incumbent Senator Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/Perry) this past November election.
Eliminating the school property tax is a necessity so that we can save taxpayers money, find a fairer way to fund our public schools and keep the dream of homeownership for present and future residents alive!
The Argall Report highlights school property tax elimination, welfare reform and community revitalization
During the latest edition of The Argall Report, I discuss some of my top legislative priorities for the 2017-18 legislative session.
The Argall Report features interviews on WYLN 25’s “Topic A” program which I filmed last month where I discuss school property tax elimination, welfare reform and community revitalization and blight remediation.
The program will air on:
You can also visit my website here to view the report.
Stopping animal cruelty
As someone who is honored to share a home with two very active terriers, Maggie and Wolfgang, I am a huge proponent of supporting legislation that seeks to protect the well-being of animals and strengthen Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws.
During this 2017-18 legislative session, I am co-sponsoring Senator John Rafferty (R-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) and Senator Richard Alloway’s (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York) resolution, Senate Resolution 459, which will direct the Joint State Government Commission to create an Animal Abuse Prevention Task Force. The task force will be responsible for conducting an analysis on current animal cruelty and abuse laws across the country and report their findings and recommendations to the Senate regarding any potential legislation that will rectify this issue.
“Catholic Schools Week” in Pennsylvania
I am a co-sponsor of Senator Thomas Killion’s (R-Chester/Delaware) resolution which designates the week of January 29 – February 4, 2017 as, “Catholic Schools Week” in Pennsylvania.
Over 2 million students across the nation are currently enrolled in Catholic schools at both the elementary and secondary school levels. Catholic schools have been an important part of our education system, providing its students with a quality education and instilling important values and principles from the Catholic faith. It has been cited that 99 percent of students who attend Catholic schools graduate, and 95 percent go on to attend college.
Addressing the issue of sanctuary cities
Immigration has certainly been an important issue that has taken the forefront of discussion at both the state and federal levels.
Over the years I have consistently supported legislation concerning illegal immigration and strict enforcement of provisions for employers and individuals who are found to be living and/or working in the United States illegally, and I will continue to do so.
Senator Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny/Washington) introduced legislation, which I have co-sponsored, addressing the issue of sanctuary cities in Pennsylvania. Under this bill, municipalities and counties would be prohibited from authorizing themselves as “sanctuary cities” as a way to hinder federal efforts to prevent illegal immigration.
Combatting the issue of sanctuary cities is critical for the safety and welfare of our residents and communities.
Analysis of 2012 Census of Agriculture Data report released
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania recently released its report, Analysis of 2012 Census of Agriculture Data, which provides a thorough analysis of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, as well as a profile of farmers in Pennsylvania and the different types of farms which operate in the state.
Using data from the 2002, 2007 and 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, the Center reported a number of findings, some of which I have provided below:
To view the full report and results, please click here.