I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 46th Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
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Upcoming Outreach Events Offer Opportunities for Feedback
The best way for me to represent local communities is by gathering feedback on the most important issues facing Pennsylvania and our region. In the coming weeks, I have a number of events planned to gather your opinions and ensure local perspectives are well-represented in Harrisburg.
On March 22 at 6 p.m., I will host a telephone town hall event to answer questions about the budget impasse, discuss Governor Wolf’s new proposed tax hikes and talk about other district priorities. Community residents can register for the event on my tele-town hall page at https://vekeo.com/event/pasenbartolotta-22876/.
In addition, I am hosting two “Coffee With Camera” events in the coming weeks that will include an informal conversation about what is happening in our local communities and in Harrisburg. The Greene County event will be held on March 17 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Cumberland Township Municipal Building located at 100 Municipal Road in Carmichaels. Beaver County residents can join me on April 7 from 10 a.m. until noon at my satellite office in the Hopewell Township Municipal Building located at 1700 Clark Boulevard in Aliquippa.
The Beaver County satellite office is also open the second Monday of each month. I encourage you to stop by if I can be of assistance on any issue pertaining to state government.
Agriculture Cuts Threaten Public Safety, Economic Security
Governor Wolf’s elimination of funding for critical agriculture programs in this year’s budget have raised serious concerns in terms of food security and the economic health of our Commonwealth. I recently wrote an opinion editorial regarding the potential impact of these cuts. The opinion piece is available here.
Proposal Could Help More Small Businesses Bid on State Contracts
In current practice, businesses that are interested in bidding on state road projects are required to submit complex financial statements that can cost as much as $10,000 to complete. While it is certainly important to carefully review a business’s financial information prior to awarding state contracts, this expensive hurdle often prevents many qualified and capable small businesses from bidding on smaller projects.
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that would help ease this burden on small businesses by simplifying a reporting requirement for companies that bid on road projects of $500,000 or less. Under my proposal, businesses would still be required to submit financial statements prior to bidding. However, the type of statements that would be required for smaller projects would be less restrictive and expensive than those required of larger firms that work on more expensive projects.
The end result would be a more inclusive bidding process that allows for a thorough review of a bidder’s financial information without disqualifying capable companies from the process altogether due to an outdated, unnecessary disclosure standard.
More information on the proposal is available here.
Washington County Ag Days Scheduled for March 11-12
The hard work of local farmers will be showcased during Washington County Ag Days on March 11-12 at the Washington Crown Center. The free, two-day event will feature a wide variety of locally produced agricultural products and attractions, including an apple pie auction, sheep shearing, fashion show, magic show, tractor pull and more.
Additional information, including a schedule of events, is available here.
Second Week of Budget Hearings Completed
The Senate Appropriations Committee has completed its second week of budget hearings regarding Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 spending plan. Hearings will continue next week on Monday and Tuesday.
Video and summaries of each hearing are available online at www.pasenategop.com. A list of hearings completed this week is available below.
Great American Cleanup of PA Runs Through May 31
The Great American Cleanup of PA campaign is a statewide effort to keep our communities healthy and beautiful. The annual program relies on volunteers and civic organizations to plan and participate in community improvement events such as trash collection efforts and watershed improvement projects. Free cleanup supplies such as bags, gloves and vests are available while supplies last.
If you are interested in doing your part to pass along a cleaner, healthier environment to future generations, more information on local cleanup efforts is available at www.gacofpa.org and at www.keeppabeautiful.org.
For more information on issues of importance to southwestern Pennsylvania, please visit my website at www.senatorbartolotta.com and connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/senatorbartolotta) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/senbartolotta).
SouthPointe District Office
Greene County Office Building