Sep. 04, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Fighting for You

Photo courtesy of Wilkes-Barr Times Leader 

My office has received several complaints on PennDOT’s tar and chip resurfacing project for State Route (SR) 437 and Nuangola Road. While tar and chip resurfacing is intended as a cost-effective method, it can be detrimental to vehicles, causing noise disturbances, and potentially making roads more dangerous for all users, especially motorcyclists.

I spoke to PennDOT, and I learned that they received materials from a vendor that did not meet the expected quality standards. After bringing my concerns to their attention, they tell me all road maintenance activities on SR 437 have been temporarily paused through the Labor Day weekend. In the meantime, PennDOT is engaging a new vendor to supply the remaining materials needed for the resurfacing project.

While PennDOT’s actions will address the short-term problem, I have made it a legislative priority to investigate the overall use of tar and chip across the commonwealth. I plan to collaborate with the non-partisan Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a comprehensive study on the cost-effectiveness of this method of road repair.

Lastly, if anyone has damage because of the tar and chip, please reach out to my Fairview Twp. office at 570-902-4082.
Wyoming Valley West Audit Reveals Lack of Basic Accounting

On Thursday, Aug. 31, I attended a press conference with Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, Rep. Aaron Kaufer and other school officials regarding the audit of the Wyoming Valley West School District. I was disheartened to hear the findings and learn about the lack of basic accounting principles missing in the school district. This is a school district that I love and want to see flourish. I am going to be dedicated to helping Rep. Aaron Kaufer and the Auditor General’s office get the information they need to make sure we can solve these problems, and that Wyoming Valley West can once again be a flagship for this Commonwealth. I will be sharing more details on the audit findings and recommendations soon. A copy of the audit can be found at
Exploring Opportunities in Rare Earth Minerals

Pennsylvania is rich with rare earth minerals, products that serve as vital components in many of today’s technologies, including computer chips, smart phones and touch screens, as well as medical devices, defense systems and more.

The House Republican Policy Committee traveled to Clearfield last week to speak with researchers and industry experts. With a vast majority of America’s rare earth minerals originating overseas, there is an immense need to encourage production here in the Commonwealth, and great potential for growth in this industry can be found in Pennsylvania’s coal regions.
To review testimony and view the hearing, click here.
Addressing PA’s Nursing Shortage

Working to address the critical shortage of nurses and ensure access to health care, Pennsylvania is taking the first step to implement the Nurse Licensure Compact by allowing nurses with multistate licenses issued by 40 other states and territories to practice here.

Effective Sept. 5, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who hold a multistate license through the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) will be permitted to practice in the Commonwealth. The change provides a much-needed expansion in the pool of recruits for hospitals and other health care facilities, and helps alleviate burdens on overworked nursing staffs, making conditions safer for both patients and health care workers.

A November 2022 survey by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) showed vacancy rates of 30% for RNs providing direct care, which is a 10 percentage point increase since 2019. A separate HAP report from January 2023 showed that Pennsylvania could have a shortfall of more than 20,000 RNs by 2026.

This is an important step toward reversing that trend.

PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Labor Day Holiday

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers will be closed Monday, Sept. 4, in observance of Labor Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website,
Ag and Youth Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Department of Agriculture is inviting proposals for this year’s Ag and Youth Grant Program.

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 networking.

The grant program was created by the Legislature in 2019. Additional information about the program is available here.

Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
Attention Students: House Fellowship Program Taking Applications

The Pennsylvania House Legislative Fellowship Program is accepting applications for its spring 2024 session. The 13-week program remains based at Pennsylvania’s Capitol Building in Harrisburg where fellows are placed in committee chair and House leadership offices.

Qualified applicants must be:  
  •   Undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate students or law school students.
  •   Enrolled in a Pennsylvania college/university or a Pennsylvania resident enrolled in an out-of-state institution.
  •   Students of any major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

For more information or to apply, visit Applications can be submitted via email to The deadline to apply is Oct. 1.
PA Elk Cam Back for Another Season!

You can once again check in on the state’s elk herd from the comfort of your own home!

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has installed a camera on Elk County game lands that are typically a hub of elk activity as the bugling season heats up. In the coming weeks, bulls will become more vocal as they compete with one another for available cows.

In addition to the elk, viewers can expect to see turkeys, deer and other wildlife as well. The top time to see elk on camera is late in the afternoon.

If you’d like to see the bugling season in person, the PA Game Commission reminds visitors to always be “Elk Smart.” Give elk space, never feed elk and do your part to ensure the welfare of the herd.  

Learn more about elk here.
Out and About in the District

Thank you to local resident and business owner Donnie Evans, we spent the afternoon power washing the Mill Memorial Library in Nanticoke. Despite the challenges of increasing chemical prices affecting small business owners like himself, Donnie selflessly donated his time and supplies. He was present for his community.