The Mehaffie Message 3/29/24 - Emailed Newsletter
3/29/2024
 
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Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

In this Edition:
  •   How Sweet It Is – Kiss Bill Passes House
  •   Grant to Support Hershey Lumberyard Redevelopment
  •   Home Energy Costs Addressed in Legislation
  •   Reminder: Key Dates for Upcoming Primary Election
  •   PennDOT Offers Survey
  •   Children Invited to Fish
  •   Sportsmanship, Service Hallmarks of 106th District
  •   Offices Closed for Holiday
 
 
How Sweet It Is – Kiss Bill Passes House



Legislation to name Hershey’s Kisses the official state candy of Pennsylvania took an important step forward this week. My bill, House Bill 1030, is headed to the Senate for its consideration, following a 130-71 vote in the House on Wednesday.

I’m hopeful that we can get an expedited review and vote in the Senate not for the sake of the teenagers who actually wrote this bill as part of their civics education.

A group of students from Council Rock School District in Bucks County first started advocating for the Hershey’s Kisses when they were in eighth grade. Now 11th-graders, the students came to the Capitol for the House vote; they are pictured above with Reps. Perry Warren, Kristin Marcell and me.

If enacted as law, the measure would designate Hershey’s Kisses as the state candy of Pennsylvania. It would join other state symbols like the state animal (white-tailed deer) and state flower (mountain laurel). In 2019, 20 high-schoolers obtained state amphibian status for the Eastern hellbender salamander.

This symbol would acknowledge not only that the Kiss is recognizable worldwide and made right here in Pennsylvania, but also that the entire community of Hershey was built on the manufacturing innovation and charitable legacy of Milton and Catherine Hershey. Their impact continues in many ways, not the least of which is the world-class, free education provided by Milton Hershey School and the newly developed Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning.
   
 
Grant to Support Hershey Lumberyard Redevelopment



A $588,493 grant announced this week will help Hershey Lumberyard LLC make road and sidewalk improvements along North First and L streets in Derry Township.

The Multimodal Transportation Fund grant supports redevelopment of the former Hershey Lumberyard into short-term housing for employees and recent graduates associated with Milton Hershey School as well as Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. The project is designed to be pedestrian friendly for those accessing shops and restaurants in town.

Hershey Lumberyard LLC is a joint venture between Hershey Trust Company and Benchmark Real Estate.

Multimodal Transportation Fund grants distributed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets.
   
 
Home Energy Costs Addressed in Legislation


As Pennsylvanians deal with rising costs to heat and light their homes, a newly introduced package of bills seeks to address energy affordability across the Commonwealth.

The nine bills would boost support for energy efficiency and conservation programs; create an independent energy advocate; permit energy bills to be paid with pre-tax dollars; account for utility costs when calculating eligibility for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; rename the current Department of Environmental Protection to better reflect its role in supporting energy production; encourage redevelopment of now-shuttered energy production facilities; create a new independent agency, which would oversee approving any regulation or action of a state agency that would impact the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio; require the government to show how regulations impact affordability for communities at risk for energy poverty; and direct the state’s entrance into a power-exporting state consortium within the PJM Interconnection.

Additional information is available here.
 
 
Reminder: Key Dates for Upcoming Primary Election


The 2024 Primary Election is coming up on Tuesday, April 23.

If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to do so is Monday, April 8. To register to vote, you must be a United States citizen, a Pennsylvania resident for at least 30 days before the next election and age 18 before the next election. You may register in person at your county elections office, by mail or by visiting the state’s online voter registration website.

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is Tuesday, April 16, by 5 p.m. Completed ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23.

For more information about voting in the Commonwealth, including how to check your registration and voting location, visit www.vote.pa.gov.
 
 
PennDOT Offers Survey


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking the public’s feedback on winter services through an online survey found here. 

PennDOT is seeking the public’s feedback on operations and public information. The survey is available through April 17 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous.

The 16-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities, and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.

Respondents are also asked how they receive PennDOT roadway information, and whether or how they use the state’s 511PA traveler information services. During the winter, 511PA offers its standard traffic and incident information while adding PennDOT plow-truck locations, winter roadway conditions, and other services.
 
 
Children Invited to Fish

Click here to view video.

Just a reminder this Saturday, March 30, is Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day across the Commonwealth. Additionally, I am hosting a children’s trout rodeo Saturday, April 13. See the flyer below for more information.

To participate on Saturday, March 30, youth anglers (those under the age of 16) must have either a free Mentored Youth Permit or a Voluntary Youth Fishing License. More information about the mentored youth program, as well as a link to obtain a permit or license, is available here. 

Next Saturday, April 6, is the first day of trout season. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to buy your fishing licenses and permits and get your gear organized. Visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) online at www.fishandboat.com or the FishBoatPA mobile app for more information.


                                                  
 
Sportsmanship, Service Hallmarks of 106th District

 
 

On Saturday evening, a pair of experiences reminded me yet again of why I love the 106th District. I was able to celebrate four Hummelstown Fire Department members (Pat Heisey, Jamie Deal, Terri Kienzle and Brian Heisey) for their many years of service, plus I witnessed great sportsmanship between Central York and Parkland players in the PIAA Class 6A Boys’ Basketball Championship game at the Giant Center. While there, I caught up with Gov. Josh Shapiro, House Majority Leader Matt Bradford and their sons.
 
 
Offices Closed for Holiday



My Hershey and Capitol offices will be closed today to commemorate Good Friday. I wish you a blessed, restful Easter weekend.