Mar. 01, 2024

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Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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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.

This week, we had hearings with the departments of State; Health; Drug and Alcohol Programs; and Environmental Protection, as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). I had the opportunity to ask these state agency leaders about the rising cost of higher education, improving DEP’s permitting process to aid our business climate and regulations relating to the Commonwealth’s nursing homes.

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 

You can also visit my website to listen to budget hearing recaps and interviews with state agency leaders
Carlisle Chamber Hosts its Annual Elected Officials Mixer

This week, I was pleased to join members of the business community for an elected officials’ mixer hosted in the 87th District at the Allenberry Resort in Monroe Township. It was great to join area business leaders for a discussion and legislative update!

87th District Spotlight: Paulus Farm Market

This week, the 87th District Spotlight will shine on Paulus Farm Market in Upper Allen Township. I had the opportunity to speak with Jim and Amy Paulus, the owners of the market, to learn more about their business, which has been a staple in the community for 32 years. There's something for everyone at Paulus Farm Market!  

Click here to view video.
A Year in Review

My team and I are proud of how we served the 87th District in 2023, but there's always more work to be done! Watch the video below to learn more about all we did for our community last year; and please do not hesitate to contact my office with any state-related issue or concern. We're happy to help!
Click here to view video.
Mark Your Calendar for My Upcoming Events

Dedication of the Firefighter Jerome Guise Memorial Bridge

Toast with Thomas

Document Shredding Event

PHEAA Announces Financial Aid, Refinancing Webinars

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is hosting webinars in March aimed at helping students and families understand financial aid and loan repayment.

The webinar entitled “Refinancing Education Debt – Is it Right for Me?” will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. This one-hour session will be helpful to current or previous students of any age who have student loans and may be overwhelmed with their current repayment options or are moving closer to the repayment phase and wonder if refinance may be a better solution.

The webinar entitled “Financial Aid Timeline – Know What to Do When” will be offered at noon on Thursday, March 7, and again at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26. This one-hour presentation will provide the starting points and web resources for effective research before, during and after your student makes post-secondary education decisions.

Finally, the webinar titled “Understanding the Offer Letter and Balances” will be held at noon on Thursday, March 28, to help recipients understand what is being offered and to ultimately make knowledgeable and affordable decisions.

Additional topics will be addressed during webinars planned for April. For a full schedule, and to register your participation, 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.
Grants Support Future of PA Farming

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center is now taking applications for $500,000 in Farm Vitality Planning Grants. The grants support strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms, or transition of ownership.

Farmers and prospective farmers are eligible for up to $7,500 to reimburse up to 75% of project planning costs. Applications will be accepted until funds are expended.

Apply online through the Department of Community and Economic Development's single electronic application.  

Full program guidelines are published in the February 17 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.