Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint)
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Capitol Update Friday, April 21, 2023The latest news from the State Capitol
You are welcome to contact me through this link.
Grant Program to Advance Broadband Deployment to Open Soon
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, created under legislation I authored last session, announced recently it will start disbursing $200 million of federal funding for the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program.
Businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and economic development organizations are eligible to receive these grants to provide affordable high-speed internet to residents in unserved and underserved areas of the Commonwealth.
Grant recipients must provide affordable services that includes at least one low-cost option offered at speeds that are sufficient for a household with multiple users to simultaneously telework and engage in remote learning. Applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, May 10, through Monday, July 10.
More information is available here.
If You’re Traveling, Be Aware
With more and more people choosing to travel internationally again, the time to renew and issue passports has increased significantly.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the current processing time for routine passport applications is 10-13 weeks, and for expedited applications it is 7-9 weeks.
If you’re looking to travel internationally and either don’t have a passport or have an expired one, be sure to gather the necessary paperwork and submit your application as soon as possible.
Learn more about applying for a passport here.
Continuing Support for Human Trafficking Victims
House Republicans have a record of standing up for crime victims, including those who are victims of human trafficking or the sex trade.
The House Judiciary Committee this week voted in favor of legislation that seeks to further help these victims by making it easier for them to bring lawsuits against their offenders.
Under the bill, both victims of human trafficking and victims of the sex trade would be permitted to bring civil actions either in the court of common pleas where the victim resides or where the alleged violations occurred.
House Bill 394 passed the committee unanimously and now goes before the full House for consideration.
House Set to Return to Session Next Week
With state budget hearings completed, the House is set to return to legislative session next week, April 24-26.
Session will convene at noon Monday and at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Several committee meetings are planned to conduct informational sessions or vote on bills. Session and all committee meetings are streamed live at www.PAHouseGOP.com.
For a schedule of committee meetings, visit https://www.legis.state.pa.us.
Reminder: Town Meeting – Finding Solutions to PA’s EMS Crisis
Ambulance services across the Commonwealth are struggling with rising costs, declining revenue and a shortage of providers – and the problem is especially severe in rural areas like ours.
We all need to work together to ensure our emergency responders can continue providing the life-saving services we depend upon. That’s why I am inviting emergency medical services (EMS) providers, county and local officials, and concerned citizens to the following meeting:
Town Meeting: Finding Solutions to PA’s EMS Crisis
Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m.
Smethport Fire Department
109 S. Nelson St., Smethport
Aaron Rhone, director of the Bureau of EMS within the Pennsylvania Department of Health, is scheduled to attend, as is Heather Sharar, executive director of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania, and Tom McElree, executive director of EMS West. A full agenda is still being developed.
RSVPs for the meeting are requested but not required. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to sign up at www.RepCauser.com or call one of my offices in Bradford (814-362-4400), Coudersport (814-274-9769) or Kane (814-837-0880).
Help Keep Drugs Out of the Wrong Hands
This Saturday, April 22, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an event sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to help raise awareness and give citizens across the Commonwealth and the country the opportunity to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.
One of the best ways to fight drug abuse is to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs. Find a drop-off location near you.
Recognizing the Role Our Libraries Play
Even with the evolution of the internet, public libraries remain important institutions in our society. They provide access to information and education, regardless of socioeconomic status or location, and in many cases provide internet access for library goers.
“There’s More to the Story” is the theme for National Library Week, which will be celebrated April 23-29. It highlights the many services offered by our libraries, as well as recognizes the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in our local communities.
Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of public libraries, academic libraries and bookmobiles. Be sure to take advantage of the services offered by our local libraries!
Barbara Moscato Brown Memorial Library, 27 W. Fourth St., Emporium.
Bradford Area Public Library, 67 W. Washington St., Bradford.
Hamlin Memorial Library, 123 S. Mechanic St., Smethport.
S.W. Smith Memorial Library, 201 E. Maple St., Port Allegany.
Mount Jewett Memorial Library, 7 E. Main St., Mount Jewett.
Friends Memorial Public Library, 230 Chase St., Kane.
Coudersport Public Library, 502 Park Ave., Coudersport.
Galeton Public Library, 5 Park Lane, Galeton.
Genesee Area Library, 301 Main St., Genesee.
Oswayo Valley Memorial Library, 103 N. Pleasant St., Shinglehouse.
Ulysses Library Association, 401 N. Main St., Ulysses.
Applications Open for Youth Camp
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in collaboration with the Pennsylvania National Guard and American Legion are seeking applicants for its annual youth camp. The Elmer Hafer-American Legion-State Police-National Guard Youth Camp will be held June 11-17, at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County.
The six-day summer leadership camp is designed for teenagers, ages 15-17, who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or the military. During the camp, cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers, and a marksmanship course.
Anyone interested in applying for the camp must:
• Be between the ages of 15 and 17 prior to entering the camp and not reach the age of 18 during the camp. • Not have previously attended the camp. • Possess a good academic record, be physically fit and be in good health.
The camp is free of charge as their local American Legion post sponsors their attendance. Interested applicants can read more about the camp by visiting pa-legion.com. The application can be found here. It must be returned to the applicant’s local American Legion by May 15.