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Hello Friends,

Spotted Lanternfly Update

While our fight against the spotted lanternfly is constant, we’re preparing to up the ante in a few months when eggs begin to hatch again. We’re in luck because we will have an influx of funds to help us do this. Gov. Tom Wolf proposed $1.6 million in his budget address to fight the spotted lanternfly.

In addition to that, USDA has allocated $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spotted lanternfly’s spread. The funds will allow for a two-pronged approach with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service managing the outer perimeter of the infestation and PDA focusing on a 3-mile perimeter surrounding the core infested area.

I’m encouraged by so much support on a national level. As you know, we’re working hard at the local level, too. A few months ago, I asked Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Secretary, Russell Redding, to put together a task force to focus on the core infested area. While stopping the insect’s spread is important, I felt that helping farmers, homeowners and businesses in the core zone was just as important.

The task force has been assembled and I sat in on its first meeting recently. The group is well-educated in many fields and has many ideas on how to best help our county. I’m excited to see what they will produce in the coming months.

Summer Meals and Nutrition Programs

Summer Food Summer Food The Pennsylvania Department of Education is looking for organizations across the state to help provide nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months through the Department’s Summer Food Service Program. The program is a federally funded child nutrition program designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas. PDE says that last year the program reached children in more than 2,600 locations throughout the state but they want to reach more children and narrow the hunger gap that summer sometimes brings. More organizations and meal sites are needed throughout the state, especially in rural areas.

Participating organizations must be year-round, not-for-profit entities, which include schools, local, municipal or county governments, libraries, churches, fire and police stations and others.

For more information about this program, visit  or call 1-800-331-0129. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2018.


In January, I introduced a resolution that would encourage Pennsylvania corporations to pursue more equal and diverse gender representation in senior management and on boards of directors. 

Companies benefit from the input of women. There is tangible evidence that women have so much to offer to their companies. This is an important and positive step for businesses as well as for the community. 

The resolution recommends all nonprofit, privately held and publicly traded institutions and companies in the Commonwealth make a commitment to increase gender diversity on their boards of directors and in senior management positions by Dec. 31, 2020.

National Agriculture Day Essay Contest

It is so important for our students to learn about agriculture. That's why I'm co-sponsoring a National Agriculture Day Essay and Video Contest for Berks students in grades four through 12. The contest is held in conjunction with Berks Country and the Berks Agricultural Resource Network. I'm excited to announce that first place winners will receive a cash award from BARN, and have their essays published in Berks Country. A first-place winner in the video category will also win a cash award from BARN and have the video air on BCTV.

All applications must be submitted online at by Monday, Feb. 19th.

As always, I am here to serve you. Please reach out to my office if I can be of help.  

Being Social

Twitter/Facebook Facebook Twitter It’s a privilege to be your state senator, so it is important to me to be in touch with you.

I really like face-to-face meetings but understand that in this busy world, sometimes that isn’t possible. Feel free to call my office to ask questions or make suggestions. Also, you may connect with me through my pages on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow me for regular updates and comments about what’s happening in the district and in Harrisburg.

Offices to Serve You

  District Office
210 George Street
Suite 201
Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 929-2151
Fax: (610) 929-2576
Harrisburg Office
457 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203011
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3011
Phone: (717) 787-8925
Fax: (717) 772-0578
National Agriculture Day Essay Contest