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||The latest news from the State Capitol
Celebrating the 106th District
Please join me in applauding Eagle Scout Victor Xu from Troop 65 Hershey. Victor is a senior at Hershey High School, where he excels in the classroom and plays several sports. Dr. Kevin Black from the Penn State College of Medicine spoke at the event in which Victor was recognized.
Check out “Little Middletown,” the new playground in Hoffer Park. The playground was designed to depict Middletown landmarks.
I have a real soft spot for the Children's Miracle Network fundraiser held in partnership with the Hummelstown Field and Stream Association. Recently, the 27th annual Penn State Health Sporting Clays Charity Event continued the community's long tradition of supporting Penn State Health, with nearly $2 million raised over the years!
April is Donate Life Month. Carl Rohr received a heart in 1997 and advocates that everyone register as organ donors. More than 104,000 Americans are currently on the national transplant waiting list, so register today through PennDOT or donors1.org.
Hummelstown Fire Department's annual banquet recognized the selflessness of the department's personnel. I especially welcomed the chat with junior firefighter Riley Fanning.
On Friday, we recognized Chief John Goshert from the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office to celebrate his retirement. All the House members from Dauphin County signed a citation for the occasion. The chief spent 49 years in law enforcement, concluding his career as the chief county detective.
The South Hanover Township Easter egg hunt Saturday was a great way to usher in spring.
One of my constituents, Leah Eppinger from the Housing Authority of Dauphin County, received a Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence on Wednesday morning. The public housing and housing choice voucher programs are responsible for the housing of more than 2,000 households. Congratulations as well to Commissioner George Hartwick and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission on being recognized.
Congratulations to Alan and Nancy Knocke on 50 years of marriage! I gave the couple a citation to commemorate the impressive milestone.
Health Expo to Provide Resources, Answer Questions
All are welcome to attend a free Health Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Leader Center for Active Life, 605 Cocoa Ave., Hershey. No pre-registration is required for attendees, and almost 50 vendors are registered to participate. Learn how to safeguard your health and plan for the future, while discovering what resources are available in Dauphin County and throughout the Commonwealth. Health screenings will also be available.
Budget Hearings Conclude
The House Appropriations Committee has concluded its review of the governor’s spending proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
Hearings featured the departments of Human Services, Labor and Industry, Revenue, and Community and Economic Development, as well as the Office of Inspector General, state and school employee retirement systems, the Public Utility Commission and the governor’s budget office
Video of all three weeks of hearings is available here.
Flat Stanley Tours District
I spent a week with Flat Stanley, who was sent by a first-grader at Seven Sorrows BVM Catholic School.
Flat Stanley, a character from children’s books, met PennDOT workers who pave our roads and bridges, steelworkers who construct our buildings, and Carl, who builds a stronger community by advocating for organ donation.
Attention Late-Season Tax Filers
With the deadline to file 2022 Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax returns approaching next week, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is extending its customer service hours for taxpayers to get help over the phone.
The deadline to file is Tuesday, April 18.
Assistance is available by calling 717-787-8201. Phone agents are now available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., weekdays through Tuesday, April 18. There will also be phone availability on Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tax assistance is also available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center at www.revenue.pa.gov.
Additional news about tax filing and assistance is available here.
Applications Now Open for State Police Academy
Considering a career in law enforcement? The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is actively recruiting individuals for three upcoming cadet classes.
Applicants to the State Police Academy must be at least 20 years old by the date their application is completed. They must be at least 21 years old and cannot have reached their 40th birthday before their appointment as a cadet.
After graduation from the academy, a trooper’s starting base salary will be $65,763. Members and their dependents are eligible for no-cost medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.
All applicant requirements and job benefits can be found here.
Stay Alert in Work Zones
Next week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, a time to remind drivers to be cautious, alert and respectful while traveling through areas of roadway and bridge construction.
When you encounter work zones, PennDOT offers the following tips: drive the posted work zone speed limit; stay alert and pay attention to signs and flaggers; maintain a safe distance around vehicles; use flashers if traveling slowly; avoid distractions; and be patient.
State law requires motorists to travel with their headlights on in all posted work zones, not just active work zones. Daytime running lights are not sufficient; drivers must have their headlights on to also activate their taillights.
Drivers also should be aware that interstate work zones with a project cost exceeding $300,000 will have a speed-monitoring device to alert motorists of their speed prior to entering the work zone.
For more information about work zone safety, click here. Remember: The men and women working on our roadways are parents, children, siblings and spouses. They deserve to return home from work each day safely.
PennDOT Announces Planned Projects
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 8 officials this week highlighted projects anticipated to be in construction status this year in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties.
Work this year includes replacing the Eberts Lane (T-854) bridge spanning Mill Creek in York County. This project, which is expected to begin today, also includes adding an additional span to the existing structure on nearby Route 1033 (Sherman Street) over Interstate 83 so Mill Creek can be shifted to allow Interstate 83 to be widened.
This $10.1 million project is part of a larger North York Widening initiative to improve safety and efficiency within the I-83 corridor from Exit 19 to Exit 22 in York County.
In 2023, PennDOT District 8 is expected to have 113 projects in construction status with an estimated contract value of $641 million. Overall highlights in the 2023 construction season in the region – including projects supported and accelerated by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – include:
• approximately 186 lane miles of paving;
• approximately 1,100 miles of sealcoating and crack sealing; and
• approximately 55 bridges will be preserved, rehabilitated, or replaced.
Additionally, the district expects this year to bid approximately 87 projects, including 14 local projects, with an estimated contract value of $534.3 million. Some projects will not begin construction until 2024.
Notable ongoing projects this year include:
• Centerville Road interchange improvement project and widening from Route 23 (Marietta Avenue) to Route 462 (Columbia Avenue) in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, $36.4 million;
• I-81 resurfacing from Route 581 to the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge in Hampden and East Pennsboro townships, Cumberland County, $24.5 million;
• Route 22/322 resurfacing Greenwood, Howe, Watts, and Buffalo townships, Perry County, $23 million;
• Route 15 resurfacing and safety improvement project from just south of York Springs in Adams County to just south of Dillsburg in York County, $19.4 million;
• Route 22 bridge replacement over Route 34 in Howe Township, Perry County, $11.2 million;
• Route 22 and I-81 bridge preservations in the City of Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, $9.8 million;
• Route 30 multiple bridge project that includes the rehabilitation or replacement of bridges in Saint Thomas and Hamilton townships, Franklin County, $7 million; and
• I-83 resurfacing from Cameron Street in the City of Harrisburg, through Swatara Township, to Union Deposit Road in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, $4.9 million.
Notable projects that are expected to begin this year include:
• I-83 widening and reconstruction from19th Street to 29th Street in the City of Harrisburg City, Swatara Township, and Paxtang Borough, Dauphin County, estimated cost, more than $100 million;
• Route 462 Veteran Memorial Bridge rehabilitation between Columbia and Wrightsville boroughs in Lancaster and York counties, estimated cost, more than $100 million;
• Route 222/Route 30 Interchange improvement and widening project in Manheim Township, Lancaster County, estimated cost, between $50 million and $100 million;
• Route 322 (Paxton Street) and Chambers Hill Road intersection improvement project, Swatara Township, Dauphin County, estimated cost, more than $10 million;
• Route 2012 (Laudermilch Road) Bridge replacement in Derry Township, Dauphin County, $10.6 million;
• Route 72 (Ebenezer Road) bridge replacement in Union Township, Lebanon County, estimated cost, more than $5 million;
• Route 34 and Cavalry Road intersection improvement project in North Middleton Township, Cumberland County, estimated cost, less than $5 million;
• Route 97 (Baltimore Pike) resurfacing in Germany Township and Littlestown Borough, Adams County, estimated cost, less than $5 million;
• Route 34 and Route 11 intersection improvement project, Carlisle Borough, Cumberland County, estimated cost, more than $1 million.
As construction projects are underway in the region, the traveling public can anticipate seeing many work zones and are urged to keep in mind their safety and the safety of highway workers. When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers and avoid all distractions. In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and to take turns merging into the open lane.