In this Update:
Senate Launches Hearings into Train Derailment at Pennsylvania-Ohio Border
The Pennsylvania Senate is holding hearings on the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals near the Pennsylvania border.
The derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, near the border with Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was followed by a “controlled burn” of train cars containing vinyl chloride.
On Feb. 27, the Senate Transportation Committee will conduct a hearing on hazardous materials transported by rail in Pennsylvania. The panel will review federal and state laws, regulations and policies covering the safe transport and management of hazardous materials by rail. The public is invited to submit questions here.
Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation with the highest number of operating railroads, 65, and fifth in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles.
This Week’s Hot Jobs in Erie County
Check out Erie County 𝐇𝐨𝐭 𝐉𝐨𝐛 listings at PA CareerLink. For more information on the postings below, type in the job number at: https://www.pacareerlink.pa.gov/jponline/
Edinboro Satellite Office
My office will now have a monthly satellite office in Edinboro to better serve all my District 49 constituents. If you are in the Edinboro area and need help with something state-related, please stop at the Edinboro Borough Building on the second Thursday of the month. A representative from my office will be able to help you with things like Property Tax and Rent Rebate Forms, PennDOT-related issues, Unemployment Compensation, and more.
Telephone Town Hall
Please 𝙟𝙤𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙚 for a live telephone town hall to discuss important state-related issues impacting you and your neighbors in the 49th Senatorial District. This type of meeting allows you to listen in and ask me questions from the comfort of your own home via your telephone or live audio stream. Sign up here to register and receive a call for my next telephone town hall on February 28th at 6:00 P.M.
Micro Mold & Plastikos Tour
This past week, I joined the Erie County Community College on a tour of Micro Mold & Plastikos.
The Erie County Community College has recently started a computer numeric controlled operator program with multiple local manufacturing plants that prepare students for jobs needed to be filled in the Erie area.
This is a prime example of a good partnership between the industry and higher education that grows our local workforce and builds our economy.
I can personally attest to the importance of these training programs. When I got out of high school, college wasn’t really the path that I was on. So, I was able to go to the skill center. As a 19-year-old kid, I was earning a family sustaining wage back then, got my footing in life and went on to become a state senator.
Fantastic work by all collaborating organizations; this goes to show great things are happening in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Friday Deadline for Business Taxpayers to Sign Up for New Online State Tax-Filing System
Business taxpayers in Pennsylvania are encouraged to sign up for an account on myPATH – the new online system that enables them to register, file and pay their state taxes through the Department of Revenue – before the old system goes offline this Friday.
The myPATH system was created to replace the prior online filing system known as e-TIDES, which the Department of Revenue will retire on Friday, Feb. 24. Taxpayers no longer will be able to use e-TIDES after that day. They will need to use myPATH to file their taxes.
Businesses can migrate their prior account information from e-TIDES into their new myPATH accounts.
An informational website about myPATH features step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on switching over, and an online customer service center can help taxpayers who still need assistance.
Resources for Understanding Military Benefits and Tax Filing
If you are a member of the military or veteran, you earned benefits from grateful citizens in honor of your service to our nation. You may find these resources on taxes and their benefits helpful this tax season.
For Pennsylvania state taxes, this U.S. Army site provides information on:
For federal taxes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides information on how veterans can maximize their tax benefits. It covers what’s taxable and what’s not and includes AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program, which offers free tax help to anyone, with a focus on taxpayers who are 50 and older and have low to moderate incomes.
PA Senate Library Holds 200 Years of History
The Library of the Senate of Pennsylvania has served as the major source of information on the chamber for more than 200 years. It has in-person exhibitions and online exhibits that intrigue and inform to this day.
The current exhibition is Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate, which focuses on the President, President Pro Tempore, Chief Clerk and Secretary of the Pennsylvania State Senate, positions critical to making the chamber function.
The library is located in Room 157 of the Main Capitol Building. Exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with limited access when the Senate is in session.
Heart Healthy: How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often called the silent killer. You might not have symptoms, but it’s a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Monitoring your own blood pressure at home can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
Understanding the risks posed by high blood pressure is one step you can take to be heart healthy during American Heart Month.
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