Politics

Senator Vogel Reappointed Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman

Senator Elder Vogel Jr. was reappointed today by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati to serve as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. The Committee is the Senate’s authority on all legislation involving agriculture and provides review and oversight of regulations proposed by the PA Department of Agriculture. Additionally, issues involving food safety, animal welfare, amusement ride inspection, and weights and measures also fall under the purview of the Committee. Senator Vogel continues to run his family’s farm in New Sewickley Township (Beaver County), established more than a century ago. “It’s an honor to once again serve…


Senator Vogel Supports State Budget Sent to Governor

Earlier today, the Senate approved House Bill 1460, a $30.2 billion, fiscally-responsible spending plan that now awaits Governor Wolf’s signature into law, according to Senator Elder Vogel Jr. This final spending figure represents a 75-percent reduction in spending increases from what the Governor called for in his initial budget request in March. “The bipartisan budget that I voted for today will immediately disburse much-needed funding to schools, counties, nonprofits, and human service providers that are struggling to make ends meet,” Senator Vogel said. “This is not a stop-gap measure, it is a full-year spending plan that does not require the…


Ellwood City Borough Council December Meeting Brief

The following is a brief summary of the Ellwood City Borough Council Meeting December Brief: Visitors Judi Dici, who will be sworn in on council on Jan. 4, addressed council concerning a proposal by council member Ralph Chiappetta at last week’s agenda meeting. The proposal suggested that officers only answer calls with municipalities that have an agreement with the borough, which she described as “inconceivable that an officer wouldn’t answer a call.” She praised council president Brad Ovial for suggesting that the borough seek other agreements amicably with other municipalities. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chiappetta answered that it…


Ellwood City Chamber of Commerce Board of Director Election Results

The Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce (ECACC) is pleased to announce the results of their recent election of their Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is a group of 17 volunteers who govern the Chamber and who oversee a salaried Executive Director. Directors are elected by the membership and they serve a three year term. The terms of five of ECACC’s current Directors expire at the end of 2015. ECACC solicited nominations to fill their vacancies from the membership which resulted in eight nominees that included four current Directors and four who have not previously served. Descriptions of…


Letter to Borough Council from Visitor

At Monday’s agenda setting meeting, visitor Dave McQuade addressed council with two suggestions for conducting meetings in 2016. The suggestions were contained in the following letter: Merry Christmas and thank you for your service this year! I have two observations from the meetings I have attended and I believe they would make the visitor’s more informed on the work you all have been doing. I would like to recommend the agenda’s that are distributed to the visitor’s at the council meeting be a little more descriptive so that visitors clearly understand what is being voted on. I would also like…


Gibbons Reminds Area Residents of Approaching Property Tax/Rent Rebate deadline

State Rep. Jaret Gibbons, D-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, reminded constituents today of the Dec. 31 deadline for 2014 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications. “It’s easy to lose track of time around the holidays,” Gibbons said. “Before you know it, it’ll be a new year and too late to file an application. This program is geared to helping seniors and those who are disabled and I don’t want anyone to miss out what is rightfully theirs.” The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a…


Council Discusses Reimbursement for Police Responding to Calls Outside Borough

Council discussed the possibility of seeking reimbursement for police services to other municipalities during Monday’s agenda setting meeting, The discussion began with a measure, proposed by council members Ralph Chiappetta and John Todorich, that would define when Ellwood City police officers are permitted to respond to calls from other municipalities and attempt to get reimbursement from other municipalities for police services. Currently, the Ellwood City Police Department responds to all calls from neighboring municipalities, such as Wayne and Perry Township. The measure, as initially proposed, would restrict responses unless the borough has a contract with the municipality or Ellwood officers…


Panel Approves Regulation Ending “Summer” Gasoline Mandate

Following up on a process started with the enactment last year of a law introduced by Senator Elder Vogel, a state panel approved regulations Thursday aimed at eliminating the “summer gas” requirement for western Pennsylvania. The Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee approved regulations drafted by the Department of Environmental Resources to eliminate the statutory requirements for low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline in Western Pennsylvania. Act 50 of 2014, sponsored by Senator Vogel and signed into law on May 14, 2014, eliminates the requirements for RVP gasoline in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties during the summer…


Senate Approves Horse Racing Industry Measure

The Senate on Thursday, Dec. 10 approved an amended bill that makes substantial regulatory changes necessary to protect and bolster Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry, according to Senator Elder Vogel. House Bill 941 now includes an amendment by Senator Vogel that includes a mechanism to shift essential funds into the State Racing Fund and protect the horse racing industry in Pennsylvania. The bill returns to the House of Representative for concurrence on the amendment. The State Racing Fund is depleted and without new money horse racing at Pennsylvania’s six tracks could be suspended. Senator Vogel’s amendment makes a number of substantial…


Three Local Child Abuse Victim Support Programs Receive Grants

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) today awarded grants to three local agencies to support their efforts to assist victims of child sexual abuse, according to Senator Elder Vogel. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County was awarded $100,000 for Intervention Services; the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County was awarded $100,000 for its Evidence-Based Therapy Program for Survivors; and the Women’s Center of Beaver County was awarded $62,218 for Children’s Therapy and Services. The local awards were part of $3.4 million in grant funding presented to 44 entities throughout the Commonwealth that assist victims of child sexual abuse….