Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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IFO Long-Term Economic Projections and Budget Outlook

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) recently released its annual long-term economic projections and budget outlook for the next five years.  While the IFO expects better than predicted revenues ($300 Million more) from corporate and sales taxes and gaming moneys, the report also projects a potential shortfall of $1.5 Billion for the 2019-2020 budget.  The IFO also believes a recession may be on the horizon over the next three years, which would also impact state resources.  The IFO recommends the potential impacts of a recession be considered when developing the Commonwealth’s budget for next year.

Grants Awarded to Career & Technical Education Centers

The PA Department of Education recently announced $1.2 million in competitive grants to 38 Career and Technical Centers and Area Vocational Education Schools for the purchase of new equipment aligned to training students in high demand occupations.  Each grant must be matched dollar-for-dollar from a local source which could include local school funds or contributions from business and industry partners.  The following grants will serve students from the 48th Senatorial District:

  • Dauphin County Technical School
    • Construction Trades – $25,500 for a Bobcat 5600 M1221
    • Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology Technician – $8,000 for an Ergonomic Center Clamping Tire Changer TC39SS
    • Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology Technician – $6,600 for an AutoComp Elite (TM) Lathe
  • Lebanon County Career & Technology Center
    • Electromechanical Technology/Engineering – C$14,460 for components for 6-Motor Control Stations
    • Plumbing Technology – $2,400 for a Fujitsu Ductless AC
  • York County School of Technology
    • Machine Tool Technology/Machinist – $45,000 for a HASS VF-2SS with HRT160 Milling Center

Preliminary Three-Day Bear Harvest Results

The preliminary first three-day harvest total of PA’s statewide bear season was 1,833, a 12% increase of the 1,628 bears taken during the 2017 season’s first three days, with bears having been harvested in 54 counties so far.  The top 10 bears processed at check stations by the third day were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more, with the top two being a 780-pound male taken with a rifle on November 19 in Howe Township, Forest County, and a 708-pound male also taken with a rifle on November 20 in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.  Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in this report.  The top bear-hunting county after three days of season was Clinton County with 119, followed by Lycoming County with 103.  Seven bear in Lebanon County and 25 bear in Dauphin County were harvested in the first three days.

Private-Sector Input for Commercial Truck Parking P3

To analyze and prepare for current and projected freight-industry growth in PA, PennDOT’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Office has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking private-sector feedback on development, design, construction, implementation, maintenance, operation and commercialization of truck parking facilities and those impacting how information is conveyed to those impacted by such parking.

The RFI, which is open to any member of the public, is accessible at and is being accepted through 1:00 p.m. on December 12.  The information could help develop a potential future statewide or regional P3 project addressing innovative and efficient solutions related to commercial truck parking.

Examples of questions and themes included in the RFI are:

  • What is the private sector’s role in solving the truck parking problem, including issues related to public awareness?
  • How can the Commonwealth best encourage partnerships within the freight industry to supply truck parking solutions?
  • What truck parking technology solutions are doing well or how are they underperforming?
  • What are the primary elements needed in a successful truck parking area and how can truck drivers be attracted to privately owned/operated parking facilities?

The RFI also aims to collect input on how PA can assist local governments with considering truck parking in their plans and zoning regulations, any strategies or technologies being used elsewhere that could be successful in PA, and how the private sector can be encouraged to participate in any potential truck parking P3 project.

In 2011, trucks moved more than 867 million tons of goods on PA highways. According to Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Freight Movement Plan, by 2040, that number is projected to increase to nearly 1.5 billion tons.

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