Sep. 12, 2022 / Press Release

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
DEP Declares Drought Watch for 36 Counties, Asks for Voluntary Water Conservation

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for 36 counties across the Commonwealth, including Dauphin County.

Residents on drought watch are asked to reduce their individual water use by 5 to 10%, or a reduction of three to six gallons of water per day.

DEP is notifying all water suppliers in these counties of the need to monitor their supplies and be prepared by updating their drought contingency plans as necessary. Varying localized conditions may lead water suppliers or municipalities to ask residents for more stringent conservation actions.

Some conservation tips offered by DEP include:
  •   Run water only when necessary. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shorten the time you let the water run to warm up before showering.
  •   Run the dishwasher and washing machine less often, and only with full loads.
  •   Water your garden in the cooler evening or morning hours, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant, so you don’t waste water through evaporation.
  •   Water your lawn only if necessary.
  •   When mowing your lawn, set the blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention.
  •   Check for and repair household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
For more information about the drought situation and other water conservation tips, click here.
Wastewater Plant Project to Boost Regional Economy

The Derry Township Municipal Authority has announced how $3.5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will support wastewater plant upgrades, which in turn will support economic development in the area. I was proud to advocate for this grant application in several ways. You can read more about the project in this FOX43 story in which I am quoted.
Nearly 60 Children Lost to Abuse Last Year

In releasing its annual Child Protective Services Report this week, the state Department of Human Services is again reminding all Pennsylvanians to report potential child abuse or neglect to ChildLine. The 24/7 hotline available to anyone concerned for the safety or well-being of a child can be reached by calling 1-800-932-0313.

While the report reveals a decline in child abuse deaths from 73 in 2020 to 58 in 2021, the lives lost last year exceeds the number reported in any other year in the last decade. Also concerning is the increase in “near fatalities” from abuse. In 2020, there were 115 near fatalities, and last year that number increased to 136.

Everyone can play a role in protecting children from abuse. Be on the lookout for signs of potential abuse or neglect, such as numerous and/or unexplained injuries or bruises; chronic, pronounced anxiety and expressed feelings of inadequacy; flinching or an avoidance to being touched; poor impulse control; demonstrating abusive behavior or talk; cruelty to animals or others; or fear of parent or caregiver, among others.

Learn more about the signs of child abuse, visit To report suspected child abuse, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
DMVA to Host Virtual Town Hall on Veteran Transportation Issues

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will host its fourth in a five-part series of virtual town hall meetings for veterans on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The discussion will focus on resources to assist veterans facing transportation issues.

Presenters will include Brig. Gen. (PA) Maureen Weigl, DMVA deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs; Jason Lane, chief, voluntary services, Lebanon VA Medical Center; John Taylor, manager of Planning and Technology, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; and Sherry Welsh, administrator/senior project manager for rabbitcares.

Veterans can participate by using a Microsoft Teams link available on the DMVA’s website at They will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters live during the program through the chat feature.

The final virtual town hall meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 2, and will focus on honoring veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Click here to view past meetings.
2022-23 School Year Off to Strong Start

This is the start of a new school year for our students, teachers and staff. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has left quite a mark on the collective academic achievement of our children. Numerous studies highlight decreased performance across all areas of academic performance. Please know making sure our students close those achievement gaps will be one of my top priorities in Harrisburg.

Let me also take the start of a new school year to remind everyone to drive safely with school buses back on our roads. State law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.

Please do you part to keep our kids safe as they go to and from school!
Much to Celebrate in Dauphin County

I’ve recently had the opportunity to participate in a number of wonderful celebrations in and around the 106th District.

First of all, happy 60th wedding anniversaries to both Walter and Dianne Breininger as well as Ray and Carol Faidley. The Breiningers (first photo, left) were married in Middletown’s St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, where they are still valued members of the congregation. The Faidleys (second photo, right) told me stories about standing by each other in sickness and health.

Next, Happy 90th Birthday to Ed Peterson of Hummelstown. Ed is someone whom I’ve gotten to know through my veterans’ breakfasts and lunches in recent years. I’m honored to know him.

Finally, let me offer my heartfelt congratulations to Nick Kelly, our newest Eagle Scout.

Last Friday, I delivered food and words of encouragement to striking healthcare workers at The Gardens at Blue Ridge. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania drew attention to 14 Pennsylvania nursing homes that need accountability for public funding spent via the state budget. The Legislature indicated 70% of that money was to be spent on staffing and bedside care.