In this Update:
Municipalities Can Apply Now for Grants to Improve Traffic Flow
A new grant program created by the General Assembly this year to reduce traffic congestion is now accepting applications from municipalities.
The Traffic Signal Technologies Grant program is unique in that it is intended only for new technologies at existing traffic signals, including adaptive signal control technology, which adjusts the timing of lights to accommodate changing traffic patterns and ease congestion.
No local matching funds are required. A pre-application form must be completed by Sept. 23.
State Grants Available for Public Libraries
Applications are being accepted until Oct. 14 for the 2023 Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities program.
It provides funds to sponsoring municipalities for up to 50% of eligible project costs to plan, acquire, construct, or rehabilitate public libraries as outlined in the guidelines. Examples of fundable projects include ADA upgrades, a new roof, replacement windows, energy-efficient upgrades to HVAC systems, new elevators, facility expansion and new construction.
To be eligible, the sponsoring municipality and the board of the state-aided library must jointly prepare and submit their application. A competitive review process is used to evaluate and score applications.
Assistance Available for Fire & EMS Companies to Help with Costs
First responders have until Oct. 21 to apply for assistance through the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program.
It helps fire and EMS cover the rising costs of training, equipment, recruitment, retention and more.
The financial challenges facing first responders are especially serious for volunteer companies. Each new generation sees fewer volunteers, increasing the workload on those willing to step up. This grant program is one of the most important that the General Assembly funds each year and I hope it provides some relief to our local first responders.
Help Available to Move Students from Schools to Employment
State assistance is available to develop and improve partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations for pre-apprenticeship and training pathways for students.
Successful project applications should create career opportunities that lessen the gap between high school and employment or post-secondary education through the use of pre-apprenticeships.
Applicants must be registered with the department as a pre-apprenticeship program and be connected to a registered apprenticeship program that will be responsible for administering and operating a pre-apprenticeship program. Additional details and the grant application for the Schools-to-Work grants can be found here. Applications are due by Oct. 12.
Public Comments Accepted on 2022 State Water Plan
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released the draft 2022 Pennsylvania State Water Plan identifying regional and statewide water resources priorities and recommending statewide and legislative actions. Pennsylvanians are invited to review the draft plan and provide comments on it.
As required by the state Water Resources Planning Act of 2002, DEP collaborates with regional committees and a statewide committee to prepare the plan. It covers water availability, infrastructure, water resource protection and other topics.
Comments can be made online or emailed to email@example.com, or can be mailed to the DEP Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063 Harrisburg, PA 17105. All comments must include the commenter’s name and address. The deadline for comments is Sept. 19.
Senate Returns to Session
On Tuesday, the Senate will return to voting session following a summer recess. While I have been in Harrisburg throughout that time working on policy initiatives, I look forward to the opportunity to make a final push to get priority bills across the finish line before the 2021-2022 legislative session concludes in November.
You can watch Senate session live here at 1pm on Tuesday and 11am on Wednesday. Both days I will be introducing floor guests, so be sure to tune in, especially on Tuesday to see National Champions, the Upper Allen 8U Baseball Team, which has been granted the privilege of being seated on the floor during session.