Jul. 02, 2019

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Happy Independence Day!
On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers declared us a free and sovereign nation by signing the Declaration of Independence. The values they held, and the sacrifices they made, allowed us to become an independent nation, and the bastion of freedom in the modern world.

During your festivities this weekend, take some time to reflect on what these great men did in the name of liberty and freedom.

God bless America!

Below are some links to fireworks celebrations and other community events in the Susquehanna Valley:

- Susquehanna Valley Fireworks and Community Celebrations
- Susquehanna River Valley Fireworks Displays

Those traveling for the weekend are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking the Holiday Travel Restrictions page at 511PA.com when planning their travel routes. The 511 service provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to nearly 1,000 traffic cameras.

American Legion Celebrates Centennial Anniversary
Last Sunday, the American Legion Post 71 Ladies Auxiliary and The Improved Milton Experienced (T.I.M.E.) teamed up to host a celebration for the centennial anniversaries of the legion and auxiliary. The theme of the celebration was “Vision for a New Century: The legacy of time, honor and values drives The American Legion forward”. Long-time legion and auxiliary members who attended the event dedicated it to those who have served, continue to serve and those who have lost their lives in defense of their country.

Founded in 1919, the American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans organization, with nearly 2.4 million members worldwide. The legion provides advocacy for veterans, support for military personnel, promotion of patriotic values and opportunities for children and youth.

Thank you to the American Legion, and all members of the military, for your service to your nation and community.

For more information on the American Legion, click here.


Northampton Representative Defending our Nation
Rep. Zach Mako (to my left in this photo) is my legislative “neighbor,” serving the 183rd District in Lehigh and Northampton counties. He is also a combat veteran and U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Friday during session, we “sent him off,” as he prepares to deploy to the Middle East this fall to help fight terrorism and secure international peace.

Farewell and Godspeed, my friend, and thank you for your service! We look forward to seeing you next summer!

with Reps. Mako, Peifer, Rader, Hahn, Brown and Emrick.

Supporting Our National Guard Members and Their Families
A new initiative to help our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families has been signed into law.

Act 32 of 2019 extends the current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a Guard member’s spouse or child in this benefit program. The benefit will be offered in exchange for a Guard member’s six-year reenlistment.

Under the law, the educational benefit can be used at any Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institution or any institution of higher learning approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. If the approved institution costs less than the annual tuition rate charged by the state system schools, the student would not pay anything. If it costs more than PASSHE’s annual tuition rate, the student would only pay expenses in excess of PASSHE’s annual tuition rate.

Pennsylvania National Guard members will be eligible for the benefit beginning July 1. Their family members may begin claiming the benefit on Aug. 1, 2020.

2019-20 Budget Invests in Future Workers, Leaders

One of the most important responsibilities of state government is to support the education and development of our children who will become the future workers and leaders of our Commonwealth.

The 2019-20 state budget, which was signed into law last week, again makes record investments in our schools.

PreK-12 education funding is increased by $432 million, making this year’s state budget investment the highest in Pennsylvania’s history. This includes $160 million more for Basic Education Funding, $50 million more for special education and $25 million more for PreK Counts.

An additional $10 million goes to support career and technical education, to help prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The budget also provides $60 million in funding for school safety grants.
To ensure students and their families have options, the budget also includes $25 million more for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program.

Finally, our community colleges, state system universities and state-related institutions (Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln) each received a 2% funding increase.

To learn more about this year’s state budget, click here.

New Laws Will Help Grow PA Agriculture
A series of bills to support Pennsylvania farmers and help grow the state’s top industry were signed into law by the governor this week.

The measures aim to address several current challenges facing our farmers by creating a special account to help fund the state’s response to threats to livestock or crops, such as African swine fever and spotted lanternfly; providing technical and financial support to farmers for implementing best management practices; and establishing the Dairy Investment Program to provide grants for the struggling dairy industry.

The measures also address the future of the industry by reviving programs to educate school children about the importance of agriculture and healthy eating; raising awareness about career opportunities in the industry; providing tax credits to existing farmers or landowners who lease or sell their land, buildings and equipment to beginning farmers; and creating the Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help every farmer create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan, helping to ensure farm operations continue to thrive through ownership changes.

To learn more about the efforts to support Pennsylvania agriculture, click here.

Bills to Support Crime Victims Signed into Law
Delivering on our commitment to help support victims of crime and ensure justice is served, I’m pleased to report several new crime victim protection bills were signed into law by the governor late last week. The House focused heavily on these issues back in April.

House Bill 315, now Act 21 of 2019, criminalizes the act of female genital mutilation by making it a first-degree felony.
• Act 23 of 2019 ensures a victim is permitted to be present in any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim's own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.
• Act 24 of 2019 helps protect victims of rape by preventing prosecutors from bringing up the victim's sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.
• Act 29 of 2019 makes updates to the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, including requiring the Pennsylvania State Police to create procedures for anonymous victims and establishing timelines for submitting, testing and storing rape kits.
• Acts 30 and 31 of 2019 expands the circumstances under which out-of-court statements may be used by including victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder (Act 30) and adding new crimes to the list that allows such statements made by a child under age 12.

In addition to these new laws, the General Assembly has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to include a Victim’s Bill of Rights in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Voters will have the opportunity to approve the proposed amendment in the upcoming November election.

For more about House Republican efforts to support crime victims, click here

Antlerless Licenses on Sale Starting Monday
Application for the purchase of antlerless deer licenses begins this Monday, July 8, for Pennsylvania residents who already hold a 2019-20 hunting license.

Hunters wishing to apply may do so by sending a paper application with a check or money order to their local county treasurer’s office. Cost of a license is $6.90. Please click here to view contact information for your local county treasurer.

Nonresidents may submit their first applications a week later, beginning Monday, July 15.

Hunters are limited to purchasing one license at this time. In any Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) where antlerless licenses remain, resident and nonresident applicants may apply for a second license beginning Aug. 5.

Information on how many licenses have been allotted to each WMU, as well as how many have been purchased, is available by clicking here.

All successful applicants will receive their antlerless deer licenses after the second Monday in September.

PennDOT Accepting Applications for Winter Maintenance Positions
Individuals seeking seasonal employment are encouraged to apply for a variety of winter maintenance positions now open through PennDOT.

The program runs from September through April, and includes positions for transportation equipment operators, diesel and construction equipment mechanics, automotive mechanics, tradesman helpers, clerks, clerk typists, stock clerks, welders, semi-skilled laborers and custodial workers.

Individuals in these positions supplement the permanent workforce and have the potential to lead to permanent full-time employment. Additional details about the positions, along with the job application, are available at employment.pa.gov. Click on “Open Jobs” and then go to “PennDOT Winter Program.”

Annual Senior Expo at Shikellamy High School
The 9th annual Senior Expo will be held on Thursday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Shikellamy High School Cafeteria, located at 600 Walnut St. in Sunbury. The event is being sponsored by UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury.

More than 65 local vendors are expected to attend with information beneficial to area senior citizens. We will also be offering free health screenings services including general foot care assessments, blood pressure screenings, blood glucose readings, heel scans, balance assessments, consultations with pharmacists and more.

Drawings will be held for door prizes, and refreshments will be provided by UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury in addition to free tote bags for the first 300 attendees.

For more information, please feel free to contact the district office at 570-286-5885, toll-free at 1-800-924-9060, my satellite office at 570-742-6975 or visit  LyndaCulver.com.
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Office Locations
106 Arch Street, Sunbury, PA 17801 | (570) 286-5885 | 1-800-924-9060 | Fax: (570) 988-1627
402B Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202108, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2108 | (717) 787-3485 | Fax: (717) 782-2892
Email: lculver@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614