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Senate Begins 2019-20 Legislative Session
The Senate opened the 2019-20 Legislative Session with a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 1. Now that the festivities are done, it is time for the Legislature to get ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work for the people of Pennsylvania.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati recently appointed me to serve as to serve as Chairman of the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee. As an avid outdoorsman and the author of legislation that would empower the Game Commission to permit Sunday hunting and modernize the antlerless deer licensing process, I am truly looking forward to taking over this Committee which oversees recreational activities enjoyed by thousands of Pennsylvanians. We will be considering issue that not only impact our sportsmen and our wildlife, but also the communities where these activities are popular.
I would like to thank Senator Scarnati for considering me for this chairmanship, and I intend to make this an extremely active committee with the help of my good friend and Democratic Chairman, Senator Jim Brewster. My goal is to make Pennsylvania the number one state for sportsmen and women, and also to re-engage our youth in outdoor activities.
I was also appointed to serve as a member of the Appropriations Committee, which is tasked with reviewing all legislation for its fiscal impact. The Appropriations Committee also plays a crucial role in developing the state budget each year.
With the uncertainties of the state economy and a level of anxiety present in the business community, Pennsylvania must remain fiscally responsible in the investment of taxpayer dollars. We have a basic responsibility to ensure that state spending is practical and prudent. We should be focused on making Pennsylvania more competitive and more attractive for economic development.
In addition to the Appropriations Committee, I will serve as Vice Chairman of the Banking & Insurance Committee and as a member of the Community & Economic Development, Intergovernmental Operations, and Urban Affairs & Housing committees during this session.
Game Commission to Recruit New Game Wardens
The Pennsylvania Game Commission will soon be recruiting a new class of State Game Warden Cadets.
The State Civil Service Commission will post a job announcement around January 28 under the title of “wildlife conservation officer” for prospective cadets at www.employment.pa.gov. The application period will remain open until February 23, or until 1,000 applications are received.
The class will report for training in March 2020 and graduate in 2021. The Game Commission is seeking up to 35 qualified candidates who have genuine interest in becoming State Game Wardens.
For more information about the position and how to apply visit www.pgc.pa.gov and click on Information & Resources, then Careers and Volunteers.
PENNDOT Snow Plows Can Be Tracked Online
After several years ramping up, online tracking of all PENNDOT snow plows is possible this winter on 511PA.com to plan your travel on interstates and expressways. PENNDOT winter operations use more than 2,248 trucks, plows, and salt spreaders across nearly 95,000 snow-lane miles. To use, click the “Plow Trucks” box above the state map at https://www.511pa.com/.
School Violence Prevention Program Now Up and Running
The Safe2SayPA school violence prevention program created by the General Assembly is up and running. It helps youth and adults recognize signals from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and anonymously report the threat to a crisis center, which reviews all submissions. More information and a downloadable app here: www.safe2saypa.org
State Police Release New Year’s Holiday Weekend Results
The Pennsylvania State Police arrested 406 people for driving under the influence during the four-day New Year’s holiday enforcement period from Dec. 29, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2019. The total is an increase from the 284 DUI arrests made over the three-day holiday weekend last year.
Troopers investigated 642 crashes over the long weekend, compared to 1,169 crashes last year. Of the collisions investigated, 64 involved alcohol, 155 people were injured, and four people were killed in four fatal crashes. One of the fatal collisions involved alcohol.
In addition to DUI enforcement, troopers issued 6,370 speeding citations, 476 seat belt citations, and 115 child safety seat citations.
Crash and enforcement data by troop is available here. These statistics cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.
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