Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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Week of March 18, 2019

Senate Returns to Session

The Senate will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 18, 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, and 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 20. You can watch Session live, search for legislation, find upcoming committee meetings and more here.

Spotted Lanternfly Informational Session with Secretary Redding

Please join PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and me for a Spotted Lanternfly Informational Session on Wednesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Myerstown Community Center, 101 South Railroad Street, Myerstown, Lebanon County (formerly the Elementary School at the corner of Railroad and Carpenter Streets).

York County Pre-Retirement Seminar

The York County Area Agency on Aging APPRISE Program is holding a free seminar on Thursday, March 28 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. to better navigate the Medicare system. The event will be held in Meeting Room 1 of the Penn State Extension Offices in the York County Annex, 112 Pleasant Acres Road, Springettsbury Twp. Pre-registration is required by calling (717) 771-9008 or 1-800-632-9073, or by emailing Topics to be covered include:

  • Review of Medicare benefits
  • Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plan coverage options
  • Medicare prescription drug coverage and tools to navigate the “Drug Plan Finder”
  • Medicare Savings Programs
  • Medicare Preventive Services
  • Supplemental Insurance/Medigap plans
  • and other technological tools.

Constituent Highlight: Ruth Hartnett of Springettsbury Township

Ruth Hartnett, of Springettsbury Township, York County, and a constituent of the 48th Senatorial District, has been named a Volunteer of the Month by the York County Area Agency on Aging for her ongoing service and dedication to the agency and York County’s older adults. Ruth has served on the agency’s Advisory Council and as a volunteer ombudsman. She has played an important role in advocating for York County’s older adults. Thank you, Ruth!

Veterans’ Expo & Job Fair coming to York County

Area veterans of all ages, active military and their families are invited to attend the Veterans’ Expo & Job Fair, a free, one-day event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at the Wyndham Garden York, 2000 Loucks Road. The Veterans’ Expo is presented by OLP Events, and will connect active and retired military members with the benefits and resources available to them through local businesses and organizations.  Exhibitors will include community service providers, healthcare professionals, VA benefits counselors, education/training providers and business startup assistance, as well as businesses covering everything from home improvement, legal services and finance, to retirement living and insurance.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will have a Veterans Outreach Van at the Expo, offering veterans and their families direct access to information on service-connected disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, pensions, VA healthcare, burial, education benefits and more. Students from Barber Styling Institute will also be providing free haircuts.

In addition, the Job Fair is an opportunity for transitioning and former military personnel of all ages to meet face-to-face with employers to discuss available positions. Job seekers can visit the Resource Center for mock interviews, financial services and planning assistance, resume reviews and other helpful information for translating military careers to civilian opportunities.

Sponsors include 50plus LIFE; BusinessWoman magazine; Church & Dwight Co., Inc.; Disabled American Veterans; PA State Headquarters VFW, and; WHTM abc27. For more information, call (717) 285-1350 or visit

Funding to Help Volunteer Fire Companies Battle Wildfires

Funding is now available through PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources paid through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Local firefighting forces in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents qualify for the aid to be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires.

Priority will be placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Grants may also be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles. Grants can also now be used to purchase new or used 4×4 vehicles which will be utilized as a Type 6 or 7 Wildland Engine, and costing $40,000 or less.

Aid is granted on a cost-share basis. Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures of local, public, and private nonprofit organizations in the agreement. The maximum grant that will be considered from any fire company is $10,000. Grant applications must be electronically submitted through DCNR’s grant website by 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 2.

PennDOT to Replace Mount Zion Road Span in Lebanon County

The PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced its contractor closed the bridge carrying Mount Zion Rd. over a tributary to Swatara Creek near the North Lebanon-Bethel Twp. line in Lebanon Co., as crews begin excavation and removal of the existing span. This work marks the start of a project to remove and replace the deteriorated culvert.

Work includes removing the existing deteriorated 111-year-old two-span rigid-frame culvert and replacing it with a precast concrete arch on cast-in-place concrete spread footings, roadway reconstruction and approach work, and new guiderail, signs and pavement markings.

PennDOT advises motorists that the Mount Zion Rd. span will be closed to traffic through the end of September while the culvert is replaced. Until then, a detour which follows Prescott Rd. and U.S. 422 is available for motorists. Mount Zion Rd., or State Route 1011, averages 3,400 vehicles traveled daily. To avoid delays, travelers should allow for additional time in their plans or seek an alternate route.

For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit Subscribe to PennDOT news in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties at Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.

Review & Provide Feedback on Updated Transportation Performance Report

PA residents can view ratings of the state’s efforts in transportation safety, mobility, system preservation, and accountability via the 2019 Transportation Performance Report. The biennial report is a combined effort of the State Transportation Commission, State Transportation Advisory Committee and PennDOT, and is the first step in the state’s transportation program planning process helping to evaluate the system’s performance and opportunities for progress. Public input is a vital part of the process to develop the Commonwealth’s blueprint of prioritized transportation projects – the Twelve Year Transportation Program.

The public can submit feedback through April 26 by taking the survey at, emailing, or calling (717) 783-2262. The 2019 Transportation Performance Report will continue to be updated every two years.

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