August 9, 2019
First Tele Town Hall Was a Success
Back in July, I held my first Tele Town Hall event. It was a great way to interact with a large number of constituents at the same time and have discussions about state issues that are important to them.
In all, a little over 4,000 residents of the 27th Senatorial district participated in the event. Some stayed on the line for part of the Town Hall and others stayed on the line for the entire hour. Callers were allowed to ask questions of me on issues that are important to them. We talked about topics such as voting machines and election reform to road conditions and everything in between.
Also during the hour, I posed 5 different poll questions, which callers could answer from their phone. The results are in:
Question 1: Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Pennsylvania? 25% said Yes. 75% said No.
Question 2: Should the state work with the private sector to build out the necessary infrastructure to improve access to high-speed internet? 56% said Yes. 14% said No. 30% were undecided.
Question 3: Should Sunday hunting be allowed in Pennsylvania? 13% said Yes. 77% said No and 10% were undecided.
Question 4: Are things in the Commonwealth going in the right or wrong direction? 27% said Right Direction. 44% said Wrong Direction. 29% were unsure.
Question 5: Should voters registered as Independent be allowed to vote in either a Republican or Democratic primary election? 54% said Yes. 37% said No. 10% are Unsure.
I really enjoyed getting to interact with so many of you back in July. I anticipate arranging for my next Tele Town Hall event to occur sometime this fall. Stay tuned for details!
I was honored to recently announce a significant state grant heading into the Shamokin area.
Broadband Access in Rural Pennsylvania
Access to broadband internet in rural areas across the Commonwealth continues to be a challenge. Recently, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania released a report on the issue, which breaks down the accessibility and types of internet available by county. This information is useful, as we seek to increase internet availability for all Pennsylvanians. More information on the center’s report can be found at the following link: https://www.rural.palegislature.us/publications_broadband.html
To further gain information and explore solutions, the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), has recently begun holding a series of public hearings. The first hearing occurred on August 7, 2019 in the town of Indiana, Pa. More information about the hearing, including video and copies of written testimony, can be found at the following link: http://communications.pasenategop.com/080719/
Senator Phillips-Hill also introduced Senate Bill 470, which directs the Department of General Services to conduct an inventory of all state department, agency, commission or institution owned communication towers, poles, buildings, and facilities to leverage existing state-owned assets for the provisioning of high-speed broadband internet to unserved and underserved areas.
She also introduced Senate Resolution 47, which establishes a legislative task force on the delivery of high-speed broadband services and directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study on the delivery of high-speed broadband services in unserved areas and underserved areas of this Commonwealth and to report its findings and recommendations to the Senate.
I am proud to be a co-sponsor of both pieces of legislation.
Visit Pennsylvania’s “Handsomest Building”
Come in out of the summer heat and enjoy a Pennsylvania State Capitol Scavenger Hunt. Take your first glimpse of the historic Moravian mosaic tiled floor and the Coat of Arms greeting all who step through the revolving door and onto the floor of the Rotunda.
Some 400 Moravian mosaic picture tiles dot the floors of the stately Capitol and represent more than 250 artifacts, animals, birds, fish, insects, scenes, industries, and workers from Pennsylvania history. Circle the marble staircase and begin to widen your path to encompass the entire PA Capitol Rotunda and first floor hallways, being sure to checkoff each creation as you continue your search.
See the art, architecture, and history contained in the “the handsomest building” President Theodore Roosevelt ever saw. Drop by the Senate Library for the current exhibition honoring Senators and Senate Librarians who served the country during war. While planning your trip, allow for a visit to the Interactive Welcome Center and the Capitol Gift Shop.
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