Nov. 15, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampShort# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
East Brunswick Township Awarded Grant

Sen. Dave Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) and I this week announced that East Brunswick Township was awarded $560,173 to replace the deteriorating Pine Valley Road Bridge over Indian Run to remove the existing bridge weight restriction and maintain vital connectivity.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) grant will be used to address the erosion of the stream bank, reconstruct the approach roadway and install guide rails. The total cost of the project is $723,500.

I was happy to support it. This grant will go a long way toward addressing safety issues and better travel conditions along Pine Valley Road.

The grant funding is part of a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program used for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects.
 
 
Speaking at the Summit Hill Historical Society


I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Summit Hill Historical Society Dedication of the Switch Back Car. The car is a replica of an early passenger car on the Switchback and was built off pictures contained in a book by Vincent Hydro titled, “The Mauch Chunch Switchback: America’s Pioneer Railroad”.

The Switchback is considered Pennsylvania’s first railway and the nation’s second. It was used for hauling coal from 1827 to 1932, with its length being nine miles.

The Great Depression is blamed for the demise of the Switchback.
 
 
Security Grant Program for Nonprofits Now Law

Faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations will be eligible for grants to boost security at their facilities under a new law approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor.

Act 83 of 2019 will make funding available to faith-based institutions and nonprofits that serve individuals, groups or institutions listed by the FBI as at risk for hate crime incidents.

Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $150,000. Faith-based institutions and nonprofits could use the money for a variety of security planning, equipment and technology needs, including surveillance cameras, emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets, threat assessments and building upgrades.

The program is similar to the School Safety Security Grant Program, which helps schools meet a variety of security needs. It will be administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Applications are expected to become available early next year.
 
 
Veterans Trust Fund Grant Program Open for Applications

The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now accepting applications for 2019-20 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grants. Up to $800,000 in VTF grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state.

Up to $150,000 in funding is available for new, innovative or expanded programs or services operated by the county directors of veterans affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The areas of emphasis for applicants in this category are veterans’ outreach and veterans’ court programs.

Up to $650,000 in funding is available to veteran service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and nonprofit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans granted 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code. Funding priorities for applicants in this category are homelessness, behavioral health initiatives and veterans’ courts.

The deadline to apply is 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. For more information about the program, click here.
 
 
New Education Benefit for PA National Guard Families Available

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard are encouraged to take advantage of the new Military Family Education Program, or PA GI Bill, which is now open for enrollment.

Under Act 32 of 2019, Guard members who commit to an additional six years of service can receive five years of higher education benefits for their spouses and children. The program will provide 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).

The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency-approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Interested Guard members can apply through their unit to the PA National Guard Education Office. Tuition benefits will begin for the 2020-21 academic year.

More information about the program is available here.
 
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