Senator Chris Gebhard E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Working with Schools to Provide a Safe Learning Experience
  • Agriculture and Youth Grant Program Applications Being Accepted
  • Please Help Me Collect Items for Area Food Banks
  • Free Webinars Help New Hunters Enjoy this Pennsylvania Tradition
  • How My Office Can Help You
  • First Responder Funding Workshop
  • Voter ID Survey
  • LCCA’s Annual College & Career Fair
  • Happy Labor Day
  • Local Events

Working with Schools to Provide a Safe Learning Experience

As the new school year gets underway, students and teachers in many districts across the state are returning to classes made safer by actions taken by the General Assembly.

We have worked together on bipartisan legislation that gives our schools the tools they need to identify potential threats early, provide mental health services and safeguard our classrooms.

Landmark legislation in 2018 specifically established a School Safety Committee at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. It also created the School Safety and Security Grant Program which allowed schools to hire school police officers, resource officers and counselors; implement safety plans and violence prevention initiatives; and purchase equipment and physical upgrades to boost student safety.

We allocated $60 million to that program initially and then another $60 million in 2019 and $95 million more in 2022.

Additionally, we passed legislation creating an anonymous school threat reporting system to help schools and law enforcement be prepared for any potential violent incidents. The Safe2Say program has generated more than 80,000 tips since its inception in 2019, not only for school safety concerns, but also for student safety issues like bullying and self-harm.

This is an ongoing process and I’m committed to providing schools with the tools they need to keep students and staff safe.

Agriculture and Youth Grant Program Applications Being Accepted

For every four farmers in Pennsylvania over the age of 65 in 2019, only one was under 35. The Agriculture and Youth Grant Program aims to address the looming workforce deficit the industry is expected to face in coming years.

The program provides direct grants of up to $7,500 and matching grants of up to $25,000 to support projects, programs and equipment purchases by youth-run organizations, and those with programs that benefit youth or promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship. Past funded projects include workforce development programs, seminars and field trips, agricultural safety training, capital projects and equipment purchases aimed at leading students to opportunities in agriculture and building the future workforce that Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry needs to succeed.

Applications for these grants will be accepted through Sept. 30. You can find guidelines and application details here.

Please Help Me Collect Items for Area Food Banks

According to Feeding Pennsylvania, nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians – or one in nine – are struggling with hunger and 500,000 of them are children. The pandemic has caused an even greater need.

At the state Capitol, for 12 seasons now from the spring through the fall, the 1,000-square-foot Capitol Hunger Garden has been producing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce that is donated to Harrisburg’s Downtown Daily Bread, which takes those donations into their kitchen to provide healthy meals to many in the Harrisburg area. Last year, 849 pounds of produce was harvested from the garden and we’re hoping for a similar bounty by the time the growing season ends this year.

Closer to home, I’m asking for everyone who can to donate non-perishable items to their local food banks. My legislative district offices (see addresses below) are collecting donations from anyone who wishes to give, with those collections to be given to food banks in our communities.

Free Webinars Help New Hunters Enjoy this Pennsylvania Tradition

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is hosting free webinars allowing new hunters to ask questions of biologists, game wardens and experienced hunters about the best, safest ways to participate in this Pennsylvania tradition.

Register here for upcoming webinars covering archery deer and pheasant hunting. The page includes past webinars on “Hunting Tips & Tactics,” “Getting Started” and other topics.

How My Office Can Help You

My staff and I are here to make state government more accessible and helpful to you. Listed below are several constituent services available to you:

  • Status reports on legislation
  • Help dealing with state government agencies
  • Help processing PennDOT forms
  • Applications for PA birth and death certificates
  • Child abuse history clearance applications
  • Criminal history applications
  • State tax forms
  • Informational brochures
  • Information for senior citizens
  • Property tax and rent rebate forms
  • PACE/PACENET applications
  • Absentee ballot applications
  • Voter registration forms
  • Notary applications
  • Senate Citations and Certificates of Recognition

Don’t hesitate to contact my offices listed below with any requests, questions or concerns.

First Responder Funding Workshop

I will be hosting a First Responder Funding Workshop on September 15th at 6:30pm at Schaefferstown Fire Hall.  The event will include experts from the following agencies: Senate Grants Team, State Fire Commissioner and PEMA.  As part of the workshop, you will receive a reference manual that contains a comprehensive listing of grant programs and important contact information.

There is no charge for the event, but seating is limited and pre-registration is required.  To register, please click on www.seantorgebhard48.com/first-responder/ or contact Alex Gamble at 717-274-6735.

Voter ID Survey

Please take a moment to respond to my legislative survey.  You can access it here.

LCCA’s Annual College & Career Fair

Is your is business looking for workers? The Lebanon County Career & Technology Center will be hosting their Annual College & Career Fair on October 25th at the Lebanon Valley Exposition Center & Fairgrounds. High School students from throughout Lebanon County will be participating. If your business is interested in having a booth, contact Kelly Flowers at 717-273-8551.

Happy Labor Day

I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend with family and friends. Enjoy the day off and the waning days of summer.

Local Events

Saturday, September 3-5, 11am-6pm Kipona 2022
HBG Riverfront Park
https://harrisburgpa.gov/special-events/kipona/

Saturday, September 3, 9am-4pm Lebanon Mid Atlantic Reptile Expo
Lebanon Expo Center
https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticreptileexpo

Saturday, September 3-4, 9am-5:30pm Flying Circus Airshow Weekend
Golden Age Air Museum
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Golden-Age-Air-Museum/189417601893231

Saturday, September 3, 10am-6pm Hamburg Hamburger Festival
Downtown Hamburg
https://www.tasteofhamburger.com/

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