Apr. 19, 2024

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Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

In this Edition:
  •   Grow PA Bills to Make Higher Education More Accessible, Affordable, Accountable
  •   Time to End Worker Misclassification
  •   Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events
  •   Boosting Autism Awareness, Acceptance
  •   PennDOT Seeks Information on Transportation Projects
Grow PA Bills to Make Higher Education More Accessible, Affordable, Accountable

Lawmakers recently unveiled a multi-bill package to reform higher education to make it more accessible, affordable and accountable. Grow PA is true and meaningful reform for our students and taxpayers.

Grow PA includes two new programs to encourage students to enroll in higher education programs on the condition they remain and work in Pennsylvania after completing their studies. This allows them to be part of our workforce and contribute to the state and local economies. It would also expand some existing higher education assistance programs that have shown success, including the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to high-achieving students to cover the cost of post-secondary education. The Targeted Industry Support Program, which helps cover the cost of a wide variety of certificate programs in high-growth industries, would also be expanded.

In addition, Grow PA would encourage universal completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so students and families are fully aware of what financial aid packages are available to them and can make informed post-secondary education decisions.

To hold institutions of higher education accountable, performance-based metrics to fund some higher education institutions would be instituted. The use of the metrics to determine funding levels gives policymakers the ability to track necessary data and hold institutions accountable for student achievement while continuing to grant Pennsylvania students from all financial circumstances access to a world-class education.

In the coming weeks, House and Senate members will introduce the bills.

To watch the full press conference, click here.
Time to End Worker Misclassification

On Monday, I joined the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters to highlight the fraud occurring when employers misclassify workers as “independent contractors” instead of as “employees." Employers sometimes do this to reduce payroll and avoid providing appropriate benefits.

The construction industry in Pennsylvania employs more than 230,000 people and contributes over $1 billion to the state’s economy. Employees deserve access to sick pay, guaranteed time off, Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections, and more, which is why I've long been advocating for a stronger Construction Workplace Misclassification Act.
Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

Many thanks to all the families who joined Sportsmen’s Limited Inc. and myself for Saturday’s trout rodeo. It was a lot of fun, and several of the fish caught exceeded 20 inches in length.

Visit RepMehaffie.com/events to learn about several upcoming events, including:

  •   Health Expo from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 2. Join us at the Leader Center for Active Life, 605 Cocoa Ave., Hershey, for resources and screenings.
  •   Ice Cream & Issues from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the South Hanover Township amphitheater, 161 Patriot Way, Hershey. If you plan to attend, please call 717-534-1323.
  •   Scam Jam from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 28, at the East Hanover Township municipal building, 8848 Jonestown Road, Grantville. Learn about scams in this fun, interactive game. Please call 717-534-1323 if you are planning to attend.
Boosting Autism Awareness, Acceptance

April is Autism Acceptance Month, formerly known as Autism Awareness Month. The month is designed to help empower autistic individuals and their families, and to ensure improved support and opportunities in education, employment, accessible housing, affordable health care and long-term support services.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs works to provide an array of support services for individuals of all ages, as well as their families. The Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) is a statewide initiative to provide streamlined access to information for Pennsylvanians living with autism.

To learn more, visit www.paautism.org.
PennDOT Seeks Information on Transportation Projects

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Office of Public-Private Partnerships has announced it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through April 30.

The submission period applies to PennDOT-owned projects, infrastructure, and services. During this period, the private sector can submit proposals offering innovative ways to deliver transportation projects across a variety of modes including roads, bridges, rail, aviation, and ports. Proposals can also include more efficient models to manage existing transportation-related services and programs.

Unsolicited proposals are being accepted through 11:59 PM on April 30. Instructions on how to submit a project and information on the unsolicited proposal review process can be found on the state's P3 website.