|Mark Your Calendars for These Fall Events!
Once again this fall, we are hosting a number of events to help you access important state government information and services. Please take a look at what’s coming up and be sure to mark your calendars. Also, please note that some events require advanced registration, which can be completed online or by calling the office. I look forward to seeing you!
Concealed Carry Seminar: Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6-8 p.m. at the Fay-Penn Business Event Center, 1040 Eberly Way, Lemont Furnace. Please join me to learn more about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws and how the state’s Castle Doctrine affects your rights as a gun owner. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. RSVP online here or call my office at 724-437-1105.
Concealed Carry Permit After Hours: Partnering with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Mobile Unit for those unable to make it the courthouse during regular business hours. A valid photo ID is required for permits and renewals, and $20 cash payment is accepted. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call my office at 724-437-1105 or click on the event you want to attend below to register online.
• Thursday, Sept. 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Connellsville City Hall. RSVP Here.
• Tuesday, Oct. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Perryopolis Borough building. RSVP Here.
• Thursday, Oct. 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Connellsville City Hall. RSVP Here.
Senior Expo: Thursday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at Penn State Fayette,
Eberly Campus Community Center, Main Arena, 2201 University Drive, Lemont Furnace. The event promises something for everyone – FREE admission, door prizes, health screenings and refreshments too! Exhibitors from government agencies and nonprofit organizations will be on hand. No RSVP necessary.
Federal Government Day: Thursday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lemont Furnace District Office, 1040 Eberly Way, Suite 250, Lemont Furnace. A representative from U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler’s office will be on-site to answer any federal questions you may have related to Social Security, veterans’ benefits and Medicare. To schedule an appointment, please call 724-437-1105.
Veterans Breakfast: My office will once again host a breakfast this fall to show our appreciation for our veterans’ service and sacrifice. While we work to finalize the date and location, I encourage you to register now by clicking here or calling 724-437-1105. Everyone who registers will be contacted with further details once they become available.
Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians
Students are now back in school, which means it’s time to remind ourselves about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles.
Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.
Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.
Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.
Making PA Schools Safer
Recognizing the importance of ensuring our children feel safe at school, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of investing an additional $60 million in the School Safety and Security Block Grant program.
Now in its second year, the program provides flexible funding that schools may use for a variety of security-related initiatives, including hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety.
Based on revisions to the grant funding guidelines, each school entity that submits an application for funding to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will receive a base grant of between $30,000 and $45,000, based on the school’s average daily attendance.
As part of the Public School Code bill that accompanied passage of this year’s budget, lawmakers also are requiring each public school district to create at least one multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to a level that raises concern about safety.
Fire, EMS Grant Program to Open First Week of September
Fire companies and ambulance services throughout Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply for the 2019-20 Fire Company, Emergency Medical Services Companies Grant Program from the Office of State Fire Commissioner. The application period will open on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 4 p.m. and remain open for 45 days.
Organizations may apply for a grant in up to two of six eligible funding categories. Those categories include: construction or renovation of a unit’s facility and purchase or repair of necessary fixtures and furnishings; purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment, including fuel for company vehicles; debt reduction related to the above categories; training and certification of members; training and education materials about fire prevention for the general public; and, for career fire departments only, overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training.
The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program, which is funded by state gaming proceeds.
For more information about the program, click here.
New Ag Grant Programs Accepting Applications
Two new grant programs established as part of the 2019-20 state budget to help grow our Commonwealth’s agriculture industry are now accepting applications.
The Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program will provide funding up to $50,000 to meat processing businesses with annual sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees. The goal of the program is to increase the supply of locally produced meat products for local consumption. The funding is to be used to help small processors meet federal inspection and certification requirements.
The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program will provide microgrants of up to $2,500 or collaboration grants of up to $50,000 for projects to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources and support for community development efforts.
Both programs are now accepting online applications here.
The deadline to apply for the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program is Friday, Sept. 6. The deadline to apply for the Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program is Monday, Sept. 30.
More information is available at agriculture.pa.gov.
Hunter-Trapper Education Courses Available
State law requires all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, to successfully complete Hunter-Trapper Education (HTE) training before they can buy a Pennsylvania hunting or trapping license.
Prospective hunters age 16 years or older may complete the study course entirely online. Or you may sign up for one of the classes being offered near you.
For a searchable database of classes currently scheduled, click here.