Dec. 15, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Kutz Initiative to Aid Law Enforcement Signed Into Law

An initiative I offered that would allow Pennsylvania parole agents to wear body cameras was signed into law this week as part of Act 53 of 2023.

Like other members of law enforcement, state parole agents are routinely put in harm’s way when carrying out their duties and responsibilities. This includes monitoring state parolees. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that call for force and it becomes necessary for the agent to protect themselves from harm.

By allowing state parole agents to record their interactions with parolees, we can offer them a degree of transparency that will also bolster community relations while they are carrying out their official duties.

Until now, parole agents in Pennsylvania were barred from wearing body cameras, even though most other law enforcement officials were authorized to do so.

I am grateful for the overwhelming bipartisan, bicameral support for this initiative, and I was glad to advocate for this allowance for our Pennsylvania parole agents. I am grateful the governor quickly signed this important initiative into law.

Grant Helps Monroe Fire Purchase Needed Equipment

Monroe Fire recently received grant funding to purchase greatly needed equipment. I was happy to advocate for the support of that grant. Using the funds from the grant, they were able to purchase 28 new self-contained breathing apparatuses and three emergency air supply systems. This allowed them to replace aging equipment and make needed updates that will protect future personnel who will keep our community safe.

Mount Holly Springs Rail Freight Facility Selected for Grant Award

A $655,000 grant for a Cumberland County rail freight improvement project was awarded Wednesday.

The grant was awarded to Alfagreen Supreme in Mount Holly Springs as part of the state’s Rail Transportation and Rail Freight Assistance programs.

By expanding Pennsylvania’s rail freight network, we are also supporting family-sustaining careers while bolstering the state and local economies. I am glad to see this significant funding award invested locally for the benefit of the Mount Holly Springs facility and the livelihoods of everyone it employs. Rail freight is a tremendous asset to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The facility was one of 25 approved for a grant under these programs. Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads and roughly 5,600 miles of freight lines, more than any other state in the nation.

Alfagreen Supreme may use the funding to construct a rail car storage track, turnout and unloading pit.

A Successful Pancake Breakfast at Monroe Fire Company

Last Saturday, I hosted my 12th event in the 87th District this year as we welcomed neighbors to Monroe Fire Company for a pancake breakfast. I enjoyed speaking with so many people about their concerns with state government and providing an update on what's happening in Harrisburg. Thank you to the incredible team at Monroe Fire for volunteering their time to provide a delicious breakfast for everyone!

Education Code Bill Signed Into Law

This week, the governor signed an education code bill into law as Act 33 of 2023. I was glad to support this bill which provides funding for our public libraries, career and technical schools and community colleges while extending vital programs, like the classroom monitor program which helps our growing school districts meet staffing needs. This bill also provides vital assistance needed to keep our children safe at school.

Open House Next Week!

Weekend Closure Planned on SB I-83 John Harris Memorial (South) Bridge

The southbound Interstate 83 John Harris Memorial (South) Bridge spanning the Susquehanna River between Dauphin and Cumberland counties will be closed this weekend, Dec. 15-18, so a contractor can perform multiple repairs on the bridge.

Weather permitting, the southbound I-83 South Bridge will be closed at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, and is expected to reopen no later than 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18.

A detour will be in place during the closure. Travelers wishing to access southbound I-83 from north of northern terminus of I-83 at Interstate 81 should take southbound I-81 to eastbound Route 581 to southbound I-83.

Travelers wishing to access southbound I-83 from points south of I-81, including Interstate 283, Route 322 and entry points along the I-83 corridor north of the closure in the Harrisburg area should take northbound I-83 to southbound I-81 to eastbound Route 581 to southbound I-83.

The closure may cause congestion along the detour route and adjacent roadways. Motorists should be alert and drive with caution.