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Senator Judy SchwankHello friend! I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts and godmothers. I’ve had many professional titles over the years, but my most important role in life is “mother.” As a daughter, I'm very grateful for my mother, who remains a role model for me. Although motherhood is often challenging, it’s also very rewarding. I hope you have a restful day with your loved ones, and I encourage everyone to be sure to say “thank you” to the woman or women whose motherly influence has helped mold you into the person you are today.

For all the latest news and events in the 11th Senatorial District and in Harrisburg, visit my website, my Facebook page and Twitter page.



Cuts Hurt Programs for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Rally for funding programs that help individuals with disabilitiesEarlier this week, I joined people with disabilities, advocates, families, service organizations and supporters to call for adequate state funding for programs that support individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The governor’s proposed budget calls for creating a Human Services Development Fund Block Grant, which would consolidate multiple human services programs into one block grant with the intent of providing counties with the flexibility to determine their specific funding needs. This consolidation plan actually cuts $168 million, or 20 percent, in funding to these services.

Although counties could benefit from flexibility in spending, it's a cruel trick to give counties flexibility but then cut 20 percent. Counties are already stretching resources extremely thin.

We have no more important duty than to provide for the care and welfare of the disabled in Pennsylvania, so I was proud to stand with this group in support of solid funding that will ensure that individuals with intellectual disabilities have a good quality of life.


Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Officer memorialThe Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police held its annual memorial service this week in Harrisburg for Pennsylvania law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2011.

The service honored four officers — Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly from the Berks County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Robert Lasso of the Freemansburg Borough Police Department, Officer Derek Kotecki of the City of Lower Burrell Police Department, and Officer John David Dryer of the East Washington Borough Police Department.

This is the 19th year for this annual ceremony. The Fraternal Order of Police and the governor presented Medals of Ultimate Sacrifice to the fallen officers’ families. Family members placed flowers on a memorial marker and the Philadelphia Police Department gave a rifle salute.

The service was solemn and moving, and it’s a reminder that our first responders put their lives on the line every day.  These men gave the ultimate sacrifice for our safety. Deputy Sheriff Pagerly tragically lost his life on June 29, 2011 while serving a warrant at a home in Albany Township. He will never be forgotten. I am so grateful for his service and the service of all law enforcement.


100 Volunteers Help Clean Up Berks

Berks spring clean up

Nearly 100 volunteers came out to the May 5 Spring Cleanup and tidied portions of Reading, Kutztown and Mount Penn. These volunteers at Pendora Park, including Reading Phillies Troy Hanzawa and Jiwan James, picked up 21 bags of litter. The event was part of the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup.

Tune in to May 17 “State Capitol Connection” TV Show

The next episode of my live interactive television program, “State Capitol Connection,” will air on Thursday, May 17 at 6 p.m. on Comcast (Reading) channel 13, Comcast (Oley) channel 4, Service Electric Cable Vision channel 19 or online at Be sure to tune in!

town hall meetingJoin Me at a May 31 Town Hall Meeting

I am hosting an upcoming town hall meeting, and I invite the public to join me in a lively discussion.

The public meeting will take place on Thursday, May 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Kutztown Borough Hall (Train Station), 45 Railroad St. in Kutztown.

I welcome the community to come and share their thoughts and concerns on the state budget, property tax issues, transportation and any other issues regarding state government.

For more information, call my district office at 610-929-2151.

Respecting the American Flag

American flagWith Memorial Day and Flag Day right around the corner, many Americans will show their patriotism by flying the American flag. Although this is one way to show respect for your country, it’s important to remember the guidelines for handling and displaying an American flag responsibly.

  • Never attach or place any mark, insignia or drawing of any kind to the flag.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object.
  • The flag should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It can be displayed at night only if illuminated.
  • To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • When a flag is worn out, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. (American Legion Posts and many Boy Scout Troops and Girl Scout Troops often retire flags. Contact your local group to see if it offers this service.)
  • On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

For a complete list of flag etiquette guidelines, please visit

Berks Community Health Center Awarded State Grant

Berks Community Health Center has been selected to receive a Community Primary Care Challenge Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The $500,000 grant will increase access to primary health care services in Reading. This health center is expected to open in June at the site of Reading Hospital’s health dispensary at 838 Penn St.

This significant grant will go a long way to provide enhanced accessibility to primary and preventative health services. I’m pleased that the state recognizes the importance of health centers. They are literally a lifeline for our most vulnerable citizens.

The Community Primary Care Challenge Grant program was created to increase access to primary medical and dental services in areas that the federal government has designated as medically underserved.





Video on child protection bills PennDOT website Reading School District website Video of Senator Schwank's budget response Senator Schwank's floor remarks Senator Schwank at rally for individuals with intellectual disabilities