Mar. 04, 2024

Legislative Update
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Nanticoke/West-Nanticoke Bridge Closure

The Nanticoke/West Nanticoke Bridge is scheduled to close Monday, March 4, through Wednesday, March 6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closure is necessary to perform the interim bridge safety inspection. Due to equipment and personnel, it is necessary to close the bridge temporarily to safely perform the required work. Motorists are requested to use the South Cross Valley Expressway (SR29) as a temporary detour during the affected hours of closure. Detour signs will be installed during the closure.

In 2020, the bridge weight limit was reduced to 15 tons after an inspection revealed issues. The bridge, which is owned by Luzerne County, was last rehabilitated in 1987. On average 6,700 vehicles travel over the bridge daily.

I attended a public meeting earlier this month to discuss options to fix the bridge. Currently, county officials are waiting to decide on a path forward as County engineers have proposed three different options for repair. Last November, I announced the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to this project with $55 million grant to be used for the repairs. A full replacement of the bridge is estimated to cost $64 million, creating a $9 million gap for the county. During our meeting with the county administration and county council members, local and state officials pled with federal legislators to step up to the plate with funding.

Seeing this bridge remain open is a top priority of mine.
Elections, Health Care, Energy Issues Highlight Budget Hearings

The House Appropriations Committee continued its review of the governor’s $48.3 billion budget proposal for the upcoming 2024-25 fiscal year.

Election preparations and the constitutional requirement for uniform elections across the Commonwealth took center stage during the hearing with the Department of State Tuesday. That was followed by a session with the departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs, which focused heavily on costs of and access to existing services, and concerns about the loss of several hospitals in the state.

The importance of growing the state’s energy industry was a main focus of the hearing with the Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday. The Shapiro administration continues to advance policies, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), that are harmful to energy consumers and people who work in the industry.

The final week of hearings kicks off on Monday, March 4, with the Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Also on the schedule are the departments of Education and Human Services. The hearings conclude Thursday with the governor’s Budget Office.

For a full schedule, click here.

To watch live streams of the hearings, or video of past hearings, visit
Grants Aim to Fight Drug, Alcohol Abuse

The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General is inviting applications for its Community Drug Abuse Prevention (CDAP) grant program, which aims to cultivate parent, school and community groups leading grassroots efforts to prevent the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

These grants are specifically aimed at programs that help communities provide safe alternatives to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as fact-based education, prevention or intervention efforts. Nonprofit organizations, government entities, community groups and parent groups are eligible.  

Learn more about eligibility, process and funding here.
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