Senator Regan E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Regan Attends Announcement of this Year’s Big 33 Football Classic Roster
  • Daytime Lane Restriction Begins Next Week on I-83 South Bridge in Harrisburg
  • Senate Begins Review of Proposed State Budget
  • Free Webinars for Student Aid Info
  • Financial Assistance for Veterans
  • Mental Health Treatment Available for Farmers
  • Recognizing National FFA Week

Regan Attends Announcement of this Year’s Big 33 Football Classic Roster

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) held a press conference to announce the roster for the 67th Big 33 Football Classic. I was honored to recognize the outstanding young players, as well as the cheerleaders, who have been chosen to represent the Commonwealth on May 26th at this annual game against Maryland’s top players, which will be held at Cumberland Valley High School.

I want to personally thank the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for providing funding to support this great tradition. I look forward to continuing to work with the Big 33, which is headquartered in Upper Allen Township within the 31st District and seeing a great game this year and for years to come.

Daytime Lane Restriction Begins Next Week on I-83 South Bridge in Harrisburg

Beginning on Monday, motorists using the northbound side of the I-83 South Bridge, which connects Cumberland and Dauphin counties, need to be prepared for a daytime lane restriction.

The right lane to 2nd Street will be closed weekdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The left three travel lanes and the exit ramp to 2nd Street will remain open.

PennDOT expects the work, weather permitting, to continue for approximately three weeks.

Please, remain alert and drive with caution. And remember to check 511PA for travel updates.

Senate Begins Review of Proposed State Budget

The Senate Appropriations Committee began public hearings this week on the proposed 2024-25 state budget.

Among the highlights:

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) hearing focused on the commonwealth’s ongoing structural deficit and future financial standing. The IFO’s projected revenues for 2024-25 are $825 million lower than those from the Shapiro administration. Additionally, the IFO director projected the current fund balance and Rainy Day Fund – the state’s emergency savings account – would both run out in 2026-27 under the governor’s budget.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) budget hearing included questions about how the new governance model for PASSHE and community colleges would be structured and when the transition would happen. Unfortunately, very little information was available. PASSHE’s chancellor was not included in the work group planning the merger, which caused concerns.

At the Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Parole Board budget hearing, the committee sought an explanation for Shapiro’s new funding for the department totaling $229 million, which is $74 million more than the department requested. This followed the department overspending its 2023-24 budget by $100 million. The need to curb excessive spending on overtime was also discussed. 

At the Department of Community and Economic Development budget hearing, the committee asked about the negative impacts of Pennsylvania’s burdensome permit process and tax penalties on startup businesses that don’t turn an immediate profit. Members also discussed the governor’s Main Street Matters program, which he wants to fund at more than four times the amount of a similar program that already exists.

Click here for details regarding Thursday’s hearings with the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. And tune in next week to the livestreams and find the hearing schedule here. I will be participating in Thursday’s 1pm hearing with the LCB

Free Webinars for Student Aid Info

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding free webinars to assist college-bound students and their families with navigating the financial aid process.

Speakers will discuss planning for higher education financing, comparing financial aid offers and understanding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Register to attend the one-hour webinars, which run through July.

Financial Assistance for Veterans

Like anyone, veterans and their families can face unexpected circumstances that impose financial burdens. To help veterans who are facing challenging times, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers the Veterans Temporary Assistance (VTA) Program.

The VTA provides temporary financial assistance of up to $1,600 in a 12-month period to veterans or their surviving spouses who reside in Pennsylvania for food, shelter, fuel and clothing.

Learn more about how to qualify and apply.

Mental Health Treatment Available for Farmers

Pennsylvania farmers and farm families live a stressful way of life, often filled with uncertainty. Rural areas have fewer therapists, and the work on a farm never stops.

While the circumstances farmers experience are unique, there is help available for those dealing with loneliness, sadness, stress or depression.

Professional treatment for mental health is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through the free AgriStress HelpLine. Call or text a health care professional at 833-897-2474.

Recognizing National FFA Week

As agriculture is one of Pennsylvania’s top industries, it is important to recognize National FFA Week, which runs from Feb. 17-24.

Farmers work hard so we can enjoy fresh, local fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses and milk. They help to reduce our dependence on other countries for our food supply so we don’t need to worry about being able to put food on the table.

A group of young farmers founded FFA in 1928, and the organization continues to play an important role in attracting future generations. After all, agriculture is more than planting and harvesting – it involves science, business and more.


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