Senator Chris Gebhard E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Gebhard Partners with NFL Football Players to Promote Financial Education
  • Senate Expands Right to Know Law to State-Related Universities
  • Hearing Highlights Ideas to Combat Lyme Disease in PA
  • Promise of Carbon Capture Technology in Pennsylvania Explored by Committee
  • March For Life Rally
  • First Responder Funding Workshop
  • September is Suicide Prevention Month
  • Rosh Hashanah Begins Sunday
  • Collecting Items for Area Food Banks Continues
  • Local Events

Gebhard Partners with NFL Football Players to Promote Financial Education

This week, I partnered with FinEd50 and NFL stars Hines Ward, Brian Dawkins, and Brandon Copeland to highlight the importance of financial education for Pennsylvania’s students.   I have recently introduced Senate Bill 1243 that would make completion of a full-credit personal finance course a graduation requirement in Pennsylvania. The event featured a panel discussion, which included the following speakers:

  • Senator Chris Gebhard.
  • Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Bryan Cutler (R-100).
  • Timothy DeFoor, auditor general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Worku Gachou, head of North America Inclusive Impact and Sustainability for Visa Inc.
  • Nan J. Morrison, president and chief executive officer for the Council for Economic Education.
  • Patricia Bealmear, business teacher for New Oxford High School.
  • Becky Doumaux, vice president of community development for the Junior Achievement of South Central PA

Following the discussion, I hosted a financial football game with students from high schools from across the district.  Hines Ward and Brian Dawkins were in attendance to coach the students through the virtual video game of financial football and speak on the importance of basic financial literacy.

I feel strongly that we must provide our students with the knowledge for a successful financial future.  Too often, we see young people take out student loans with little understanding of how debt may affect them. 

See the full panel and financial football game here: https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/s1bm15utql

Senate Expands Right to Know Law to State-Related Universities

Seeking to shine light on costs driving college tuition increases, the Senate approved legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law to provide greater access to public records at state-related universities.

Senate Bill 488 would create an online searchable database that details information about budgets and contracts approved by Penn State University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University. The legislation also increases the amount of university personnel salary information subject to public disclosure.

State-related universities receive more than $600 million in taxpayer dollars.

Under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, the Office of Open Records processes requests for documents from public agencies, such as the governor’s administration, legislative and judicial agencies and local organizations. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Among other measures passed by the Senate this week was Senate Bill 1203, which prevents companies from receiving state contracts, grants or tax credits if they are owned, controlled by, or acting on behalf of the Russian government.

Hearing Highlights Ideas to Combat Lyme Disease in PA

Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases, with children making up the largest demographic affected.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a public hearing to increase understanding of tick-borne diseases, tick testing and mitigation, testing options for physicians and patients, and guidelines for treatment options.

The panel heard testimony from Physician General and Acting Health Secretary Denise Johnson, as well as the director of the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University, an infectious disease physician, and the president of the PA Lyme Resource Network.

Promise of Carbon Capture Technology in Pennsylvania Explored by Committee

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an informational briefing Tuesday on Pennsylvania’s potential as a carbon capture, utilization and storage hub.

Wolf administration officials and the carbon capture and storage business opportunity manager for Shell USA, Inc. took part to discuss the region’s promise as a premier hub for both carbon capture and clean hydrogen.

The Great Plains Institute, using data from a 2009 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report, estimates the state could store about 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide underground. This is equivalent to the level of greenhouse gases emitted from 517 million gas-powered passenger vehicles annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

March For Life Rally

This week, I attended the March for Life rally that drew an incredible crowd to stand up for the rights of the unborn.  It was a truly humbling view from the stage and I was honored to play a small part in it all.  I was happy to connect with constituents who had the chance to visit the Capitol that day.

First Responder Funding Workshop

Last week, I hosted a First Responder Funding Workshop at Schaefferstown Fire Hall.  The event included experts from the Senate Grants Team and State Fire Commissioner’s Office.  As part of the workshop, I provided a reference manual that contains a comprehensive listing of grant programs and important contact information. 

If you would like a digital copy of this information or have any questions regarding state grants, contact my district office at 717-274-6735 or https://senatorgebhard48.com/contact-the-office/.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Approximately 1.2 million adults attempt suicide annually in the United States, with more than 85% reporting having made a suicide plan prior to their attempt. In 2020, the most recent year that data is available, approximately 1,700 people died by suicide in Pennsylvania.

Suicide Prevention Month provides an opportunity to remind Pennsylvanians that help is always available. This summer, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline officially launched nationwide, streamlining call and text access to the national lifeline that provides no-cost crisis response support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition to 988, many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:

  • Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Mothers: 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS
  • Farmers AgriStress mental health hotline: 833-897-2474
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357

Rosh Hashanah Begins Sunday

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sunday and ends at nightfall Tuesday evening. For all who observe this Jewish holiday, I wish you a wonderful new year.

Collecting Items for Area Food Banks Continues

Throughout Hunger Action Month, my district offices (addresses are listed below) are collecting non-perishable items to be given to food banks in our communities.

Neighbors helping neighbors is the best form of charity and it’s one of the many traditions that make our country great. Please consider making a donation to help a family in need.

Local Events

Saturday, September 24, 10am-2pm Myerstown Block Party
Myerstown Community Center
https://www.facebook.com/events/600433900990790?ref=newsfeed

Saturday, September 24, 12pm-4pm Recovery Day 2022
Monument Park, 8th & Lehman St, Lebanon
https://www.facebook.com/events/257732716493253

Saturday, September 24, 9am-4pm Free Admission Day Cornwall Iron Furnace
94 Rexmont Road, Cornwall
https://www.facebook.com/events/1391543594659275

Saturday, September 24, 1-9pm Berks County First Responder Fair
100 Cabela Dr, Hamburg
https://www.facebook.com/events/1391543594659275

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