February 21, 2017: State budget hearings begin in Harrisburg this week as lawmakers gather information to help draft a new spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says Senate hearings started with questioning of the state Treasurer.
February 7, 2017: Senator Blake says Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 budget invests in jobs and working families and is a good fiscal blueprint to begin budget deliberations. The $32.3 billion budget plan eliminates a $3 billion deficit while making $2 billion in budget cuts and a 1.8 percent increase in spending, all without a broad-based tax increase. The budget plan also calls for an additional $100 million in basic education, $75 million for high-quality early education and $25 million for special education.
January 31, 2017: Senator Blake would like Pennsylvania to join 33 other states and adopt a program that would provide financing to help businesses install energy-efficient upgrades in their buildings.
January 23, 2017: Senator Blake speaks at a joint hearing held by three state Senate committees on the Corrections Department’s plans to close two state prisons as a way of saving money in the state budget. SCI-Waymart is one of the prisons being considered for closure; Senator Blake addressed the committees shortly after testimony was given by officials asking to keep Waymart open.
January 18, 2017: Pennsylvania Moment: Winter weather can cause hazards and delays for drivers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Senator Blake advises you to be prepared by checking Turnpike conditions before you head out.
December 1, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake suggests making a donation to your local food bank as one way to make this a happy holiday season for all.
November 2, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Registration has opened for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senator Blake says the LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income Pennsylvanians pay for heat this winter and get needed repairs to furnaces and other heating equipment.
October 27, 2016: Senator Blake has good news for people whose work depends on the seasons, such as construction workers. A law that made it more difficult for those workers to qualify for unemployment has been fixed.
October 5, 2016: The month of October is set aside to increase awareness about Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence. Senator Blake has information on both topics.
September 27, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate today welcomed the 2016 Triple A Champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders baseball team to the State Capitol. Here’s more with Senator Blake who introduced team officials and players on the Senate Floor.
September 2, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: The deadline to register to vote in this November’s Presidential election is October 11th. Senator Blake reminds state residents that they can now register online to vote (register.votespa.com).
August 5, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake reminds drivers to watch out for highway workers, police and emergency personnel who may be on the shoulder of the road.
July 8, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution designating the third Saturday in July as “Anthracite Heritage Day” in the Commonwealth, to celebrate the rich history of anthracite coal mining in northeastern Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Blake, a cosponsor of the resolution, who says this year’s celebration will be held Saturday, July 16.
July 5, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Lyme disease has been found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Senator Blake has some simple tips to help everyone avoid Lyme disease this summer, as well as the West Nile and Zika viruses carried by mosquitoes.
June 13, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: With summer coming, more bicycles will be on Pennsylvania roadways. Senator Blake has safety tips for motorists and bicyclists on how to share the road.
May 6, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: May is national Pet Month. Senator Blake says one of the best things you can do for your dog is get a license.
May 6, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: May 30th is Memorial Day, and May 21st is Armed Forces Day. Senator Blake says veterans, their families and survivors should check and make sure they are receiving all of the benefits to which they’re entitled.
April 13, 2016: In remarks on the Senate Floor today, Senator Blake paid tribute to the City of Scranton which will celebrate its 150th anniversary on April 23rd. Listen here to the senator’s tribute.
April 6, 2016: April is SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. Senator Blake says there’s a statewide campaign, “It’s On Us, Pennsylvania,” designed to call attention to and stop sexual assault, especially on college campuses.
April 6, 2016: April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. Senator Blake says state law requires insurance coverage for autism treatment, and there’s a website listing the services offered to help those with autism.
April 5, 2016: Villanova Wins! Senator Blake, a true-blue Villanova fan, salutes his team in remarks on the Senate Floor.
April 4, 2016: Senator Blake gave a shout-out today to Villanova University’s men’s basketball team as they play tonight for the NCAA Championship against North Carolina in Houston, Texas. Listen here to the senator’s Senate Floor remarks.
March 17, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says one of the best ways for people to help their communities is to volunteer as a firefighter or emergency responder.
March 16, 2016: A bipartisan group of state lawmakers say they’ve reached an agreement on legislative redistricting reform principles and hope to reach consensus on a specific bill soon. Here’s more with Senator Blake who spoke at a State Capitol news conference today to stress the urgency for the state legislature to act soon on redistricting reform.
March 14, 2016: Senator Blake has co-sponsored a resolution marking March as “Irish American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania.
February 19, 2016: State lawmakers will begin hearings on the 2016-17 budget without having a 2015-16 budget in place. Senator Blake, vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says it’s not a good situation.
February 12, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution designating February as “Turner Syndrome Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Blake, sponsor of the resolution, who says its purpose is to raise awareness and provide support to those women living with this rare chromosomal disorder.
February 10, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Time for parents and students to begin the process of applying for college loans and grants. Senator Blake says Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency can help.
February 9, 2016: Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a $32.7 billion proposed Pennsylvania budget for 2016-17, but Senator Blake says the state won’t get out of its fiscal crisis until lawmakers deal with passing a realistic 2015-16 budget.
January 8, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says Pennsylvanians who need health insurance have a new affordable option: the Health Choices program.