In this Update:
Focus on Election Integrity Continues
The Senate voted last week to approve two major election integrity measures: a bill I sponsored prohibiting the use of drop boxes that have proven to be breeding grounds for fraud and abuse, and a measure banning the use of private money in election administration.
The bill eliminating drop boxes was based on video evidence in several counties of ballot harvesting taking place, with some individuals inserting handfuls of ballots into drop boxes. The District Attorney in Lehigh County validated these concerns, stating that a single drop box in his county included more than 900 more votes than the number of people who visited the drop box.
In addition, Right to Know requests uncovered the fact that an organization that provided election grants to counties unfairly steered the overwhelming majority of the money to Democrat-leaning counties. This happened with the support of Department of State officials who invited Democrat-leaning counties to apply for the funding before Republican-leaning were even made aware of the funding opportunity.
These are two examples of why many Pennsylvanians have lost faith in our elections. It is critical to ensure our elections are conducted fairly and impartially so every Pennsylvanian can have confidence in the results. I will continue to fight to ensure our Commonwealth has an election system that everyone can believe in.
Local Transportation Projects Receive State Funding
I am pleased that three transportation improvement projects in Centre County received funding through the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund this week.
The projects include:
Applications Open for Watershed Cleanup Grants
Applications are being accepted for Growing Greener Plus grants to help protect creeks, rivers and other waterways from pollution and restore impaired watersheds.
The funding supports projects aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution, which is caused by abandoned mine drainage, urban and agricultural runoff, on-lot sewage systems, earthmoving, and streambank and shoreline degradation.
Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, councils of governments, educational institutions and other authorized organizations involved in water resource restoration and protection.
Share Your Views on PennDOT’s Winter Services
How did PennDOT do this winter? Motorists have until April 29 to provide feedback via an online survey.
The 17-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.
The survey should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.
Summer Camp for Teens Interested in Law Enforcement, Military
Teens ages 15 to 17 interested in a career in law enforcement or the military can apply now for a summer leadership camp held by the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard and the American Legion.
The Elmer Hafer-American Legion-State Police-National Guard Youth Camp will be held June 5-11 at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. The cost is $175.
During the camp, cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers and a marksmanship course. Cadets will also visit the State Police Academy in Hershey and Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Lebanon County. In addition, the camp offers three $1,000 scholarship awards at the conclusion of the week.
Call 811 Before Excavation Projects
Nearly half of all underground line “hits” occurring during excavations are caused by failure to contact the PA One Call system by calling 811 before digging, or failure to wait the required three business days before projects begin.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is using Safe Digging Month to remind homeowners, businesses, contractors and anyone else involved in excavation projects of the importance of calling 811 before any project begins and allowing time for utility operators to locate and mark their lines before any digging.
Hits on underground lines pose a danger to contractors, utility workers, nearby residents and bystanders. Each incident carries the possibility of serious injuries, service interruptions and costly repairs.
Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to rededicate ourselves to strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides an array of information aimed at preventing child abuse, protecting children from the risk of abuse and promoting healthy families.
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