Gebhard: $305,000 in Gaming Revenue to Benefit Berks County Projects

BERKS – Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) announced nearly $305,000 in Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) funding is being awarded for projects in Berks County.

“I am pleased to announce the projects that will receive funding because Berks County benefits from a share of the profits made by Morgantown Casino,” Gebhard said. “The gaming revenue funds will help the district offset the costs associated with infrastructure improvements, public safety and recreational opportunities.”

The following projects were funded through the CFA Local Share Account (LSA) program, which uses gaming revenue to support projects in the public interest across the commonwealth:

  • Bernville Borough received $20,171 to purchase two new riding mowers.
  • Marion Township received $105,650 for the design and engineering of wastewater treatment system improvements.
  • South Heidelberg Township received $71,350 to purchase two new police vehicles.
  • Wernersville Borough received $107,688 to repave the basketball courts at the park on the corner of Laurel and Fairview streets and to repave around the borough garage.

The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to administer the commonwealth’s economic stimulus packages. The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act of 2004 provides for the distribution of gaming revenue through the CFA and its LSA program.


CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708

Gebhard, Diamond Announce More than $635,000 for Lebanon County Municipal Projects

HARRISBURG – Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) and Rep. Russ Diamond (R-102) today announced state grants totaling more than $635,000 have been awarded throughout Lebanon County for projects that will improve public safety and create additional recreational opportunities.

“Bringing these gaming revenue funds back to the district will help to defray costs that would have otherwise been passed along to residents, or, unfortunately, many of these projects wouldn’t have happened at all,” Gebhard said. “I am grateful to have played a part in securing this critical funding.”

“These funds are a direct result of my 2017 legislative effort to secure a portion of the local share assessments (LSA) of Hollywood Casino proceeds solely for Lebanon County,” Diamond said. “The Pennsylvania Gaming Act allocates LSA funds to the host county of a particular casino to help offset its impact on the county in which it is located, but because of peculiarities of the Gaming Act’s language, my legislation was needed to allow this to happen.”

  • Annville Township received $86,500 to renovate the Annville Free Library.
  • Annville Township received $25,186 for the Union Hose Company’s purchase of battery-powered e-hydraulic rescue tools.
  • Jackson Township, on behalf of Keystone Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, received $47,645 to purchase five portable radios.
  • Jonestown Borough received $25,000 to renovate George F. Kaufman Community Park.
  • Lebanon City received $110,630 to renovate Southwest Louser Memorial Park.
  • Lebanon County, on behalf of Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails, received $44,085 to purchase a tractor to maintain a trail in South Londonderry Township.
  • Millcreek Township, on behalf of the Newmanstown Volunteer Fire Company, received $25,007 to purchase a set of Vetter High-Pressure Lifting Air Bags and support equipment.
  • North Annville Township, on behalf of Union Water Works Fire Company, received $25,518 to purchase new hoses.
  • North Cornwall Township, on behalf of Never Sink Fire Company No. 1, received $25,000 to purchase rescue equipment.
  • North Cornwall Township received $25,000 to construct an administrative building.
  • North Londonderry Township, on behalf of Citizen’s Fire Company, received $48,188 to purchase equipment.
  • South Lebanon Township, on behalf of Lebanon County Firefighters Association, received $25,000 to build a pavilion at the fire training center.
  • South Lebanon Township received $25,000 to pave a walking trail within South Hills Park.
  • Swatara Township received $25,000 to construct the Mill Street Park Walking Trail.
  • Union Township received $73,001 for intersection improvements at the Old Forge Road and Fisher Avenue intersection.

Gebhard and Diamond jointly stated, “We are extremely grateful to have such a good working relationship to coordinate our efforts and accomplish the most possible for the citizens of Lebanon County.”

The Lebanon County Local Share Awards are administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, a division of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.


CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708

Gebhard Calls for Fiscal Restraint, Making PA Business Friendly

HARRISBURG – Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) released the following statement in response to the budget address that Gov. Josh Shapiro delivered today to a joint session of the General Assembly:

“It’s common knowledge that Pennsylvania is not as business friendly as states we compete with on the national stage. Our unpredictable permitting process and unattractive tax structure deter employers from locating and expanding in the commonwealth. As a result, Pennsylvanians miss out on family-sustaining jobs, and the commonwealth misses out on that additional revenue generated by those employers and employees.

“While I am appreciative of the governor’s call to speed up the Corporate Net Income tax reduction plan, I am disappointed Gov. Shapiro has not yet reversed the plan for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which will be a step in the right direction to improve our business climate and lower energy costs for our citizens. In addition to preventing energy sector job growth, this carbon tax, which is being held over from the Wolf administration, will cost our citizens more than $660 million.

“Especially considering the record high inflation and difficult financial struggles faced by so many Pennsylvania families as the cost of food and gas skyrocket, we must exercise some fiscal restraint. We can’t keep spending tax dollars at the same rate knowing revenue shortcomings are on the horizon. Today’s announced spending plan would eliminate our Rainy Day reserves by the end of his first term in office.

“Education funding, particularly for the state’s poorest school districts, is also important, so I appreciate the governor highlighting this priority. Pennsylvania’s children deserve to have access to a quality education, no matter where they live. A strong education will give them the foundation needed to secure their own good-paying jobs down the road – a benefit to themselves and the commonwealth.


“Secure elections would be another benefit to the state. Pennsylvanians deserve to have faith in our voting process, so I hope Gov. Shapiro is prepared to support commonsense voter identification requirements. Voter ID has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats with the majority of the state’s residents favoring it; there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to enact a voter ID law.”


CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708

Gebhard to Open New Office in Wernersville on March 6

WERNERSVILLE – On Monday, March 6, Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) and his staff will begin serving residents of the 48th District at an additional district office located at 6 W. Penn Ave., first floor, west side, Wernersville.

Starting March 6, residents are welcome to call the district office with any state-related questions or concerns at 610-562-3411. They are also invited to visit the office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“As the district shifted because of redistricting, I wanted to make sure district residents have convenient access to the services available for their benefit,” Gebhard said. “While my offices are certainly available by phone and email, I understand some residents prefer to communicate in person.”

His top issues include protecting Constitutional liberties, ensuring Pennsylvania has secure and honest elections, strengthening the commonwealth’s economy and schools, assisting small business owners competing in a world of overregulation, and supporting fiscally responsible budgets that put families and taxpayers first.

For more information about Gebhard, residents can visit and follow him on Facebook at They will find information there about the latest legislative developments in Harrisburg, state programs and the latest happenings in the 48th District.

The 48th District covers all of Lebanon County; part of Berks County consisting of the townships of Albany, Bern, Bethel, Centre, Greenwich, Heidelberg, Jefferson, Lower Heidelberg, Maidencreek, Marion, North Heidelberg, Ontelaunee, Penn, Perry, South Heidelberg, Tilden, Tulpehocken, Upper Bern, Upper Tulpehocken and Windsor; the boroughs of Bernville, Centerport, Hamburg, Leesport, Lenhartsville, Robesonia, Shoemakersville, Wernersville and Womelsdorf; and part of Lancaster County consisting of the townships of Brecknock, Clay, East Cocalico and West Cocalico; and the boroughs of Adamstown (Lancaster County portion) and Denver.


CONTACT: Alex Gamble, 717-787-5708

Gebhard Announces Committee Assignments for 2023-24 Legislative Session

HARRISBURG – Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) was assigned to serve on seven standing Senate committees for the 2023-24 Legislative Session: Aging and Youth; Banking and Insurance; Community, Economic and Recreational Development; Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure; Environmental Resources and Energy; Law and Justice; and Rules and Executive Nominations.

Gebhard will serve as the chairman of the Community, Economic and Recreational Development (CERD) Committee, which oversees the Department of Community and Economic Development. CERD is primarily responsible for state’s various grant and loan programs to support economic growth, attracting and retaining businesses, tourism and overseeing the Gaming Control Board. 

Having previously served as the voluntary chairman of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Gebhard said he is pleased to serve as chair of a committee that will focus its efforts on job creation and economic development. “A key focus of mine before I became an elected official was on improving businesses regulations, finding ways to make Pennsylvania more attractive for economic development and promoting our Commonwealth’s great tourism industry.”

Gebhard will also serve as the vice chair of the Banking and Insurance Committee. The committee focuses on improving consumers’ access to high-quality, affordable insurance and financial services while supporting a fair and healthy marketplace that is transparent and cost-competitive. As the owner of a small insurance and risk-management firm in Lebanon, Gebhard stated, “I am looking forward to bringing my business experience to the committee to help Pennsylvanians better navigate the banking and insurance landscape.”

The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has jurisdiction over matters relating to the management of Pennsylvania’s air, land and water. This includes the conservation, of Pennsylvania’s natural resources, as well as the development and planning of sources of energy.  “I look forward to help craft policies that allow PA’s natural resources to be key drivers in building the Commonwealth’s economy in an eco-sustainable way” said Gebhard.

As a member of the Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, Gebhard will help to decide whether Senate bills returning on concurrence from the House of Representatives are accepted and consider the executive nominations of Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro for his cabinet and departmental boards.

“I am committed to continue working to make our communities in the 48th Senate District, and all across our great Commonwealth, a great place to live and raise our families.”

Gebhard was elected in 2021 as Senator of the 48th District, which is composed of the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, containing all of Lebanon County and portions of Berks and Lancaster counties.


CONTACT: Alex Gamble, 717-274-6735

Robinson, Gebhard Bill Increasing Penalties for Hiring Unauthorized Workers Becomes Law

HARRISBURG – Sens. Devlin Robinson (R-37) and Chris Gebhard’s (R-48) bill improving enforcement of the construction industry’s use of the federal E-Verify system was included in House Bill 2648, now Act 141 of 2022, and was signed into law today.

The E-Verify system, which is administered by the United States Department of Homeland Security, determines the eligibility of employees – both U.S. and foreign citizens – to work in America. The Public Works Employment Verification Act already requires all public construction contractors, and their subcontractors, to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the legal employment eligibility of new hires. However, despite these requirements, the practice of hiring unauthorized workers continues due to weak enforcement mechanisms.

“Improved implementation of the E-Verify system will ensure contractor employees are eligible and authorized to work in the United States,” Robinson said. “This portion of Act 141 of 2022 levels the playing field for companies with strong business ethics, creating a fairer construction industry with the opportunity to attract new employers and boost Pennsylvania’s economy. I am pleased to see its enactment.”

“The current penalty is so small that it’s not a deterrent for companies that aren’t motivated to follow the law on their own. Unfortunately, until it starts to hurt their business, the illegal practice will continue, Gebhard said. “That’s why our bill is so important; it would finally add some teeth to the law.”

To improve compliance, Act 141 of 2022 makes the financial penalties more meaningful. Rather than the current penalty of $250 – $1,000, violators will face a fine of $2,500 – 25,000. It also streamlines enforcement and reduces the need for time-consuming audits by requiring construction contractors to be enrolled in E-Verify upfront and makes it a punishable offense if they are not.

The new law takes effect in 60 days.



Elizabeth Weitzel, 717-787-5839 (Robinson)

Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708 (Gebhard)

Gebhard and Diamond to Host Free Breakfast for Veterans on Nov. 11

LEBANON – In recognition of Veterans Day, Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) and Rep. Russ Diamond (R-102) invite veterans of the 48th Senatorial District and their families to attend a free veterans appreciation breakfast on Friday, Nov. 11, at Country Fare Restaurant, 498 E. Lincoln Ave., Myerstown. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. with breakfast and the program to start at 9 a.m.

“Rep. Diamond and I are honored to host the incredible men and women who have served our country, as well as their families, as a small way to thank them for defending our great country,” Gebhard said. “We owe them a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made so we are able to enjoy our freedom.”

Scott Kohr, director of Lebanon County Veterans Affairs, will be the keynote speaker. Lebanon County Recorder of Deeds Dawn Blouch will be there to issue veteran ID cards, which can be presented to businesses throughout the region in exchange for a discount, at no cost. Veterans who wish to receive an ID card should bring their DD214 Form.

Seating is limited for the breakfast, so veterans and their families are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 1, online at or by calling Gebhard’s district office at 717-274-6735.


CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708

Gebhard Announces $300,000 in Grants to Reduce Environmental Damage

HARRISBURG – Two grants, both for $150,000 were awarded to the 48th Senatorial District to reduce pollution and mitigate environmental damage, according to Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48).

Palmyra Borough received the first grant to construct a bioswale and a vegetated swale as part of a pollutant reduction plan for the borough. The swales will filter polluted stormwater runoff from a development along South Lingle Avenue. They will also help to achieve local water quality goals to improve the quality of life in the community, as well as support county and quality statewide initiatives to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution into local waters and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Myerstown Borough will use the grant funding to mitigate environmental damage caused by polluted stormwater runoff to the Tulpehocken Creek. It will install a nutrient separating baffle box along the storm sewer system upstream of outfall 002 to improve water quality by reducing the sediment and nutrient loading rates discharged to the creek.

“The projects will reduce current pollution and environmental damage, helping to preserve our environment and making our communities nicer places to live,” Gebhard said. “I am pleased these state dollars will be used for the benefit of the 48th District.”

The grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority under its Watershed Restoration Protection Program. The program is funded through the state’s Impact Fee, which is paid by the state’s unconventional natural gas producers.


CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708