Thursday, March 23, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 937, March 23rd, 2023



The Times Leader reported that in a strongly worded statement Tuesday, a Congressional committee said it will proceed with next week’s hearing about Luzerne County’s November 2022 election paper shortage at the U.S. Capitol, even though invited county officials won’t be appearing.

“The committee wanted to give Luzerne County the opportunity to answer basic questions about how this was able to happen, but they’ve refused. While it’s disappointing that after five months they will still leave voters in the dark, the committee will move forward with the hearing,” said the Committee on House Administration statement released through a spokesperson in response to a media inquiry.

It continued: “We have information from real voters whose votes were suppressed by this election disaster and they deserve to be heard. With another election just around the corner, we need to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Transparency is key to ensuring voters have faith in elections.”

All three invited county officials said Monday they won’t attend the hearing, primarily because the county District Attorney’s Office is still actively investigating the paper shortage. The officials are: county Deputy Election Director Beth Gilbert, Election Board Chairwoman Denise Williams and County Council Chairwoman Kendra Radle.

Here’s the thing. Federal Congressional committees have no business in investigating a local election. That’s what we have local election boards and District Attorneys’ offices for. This is nothing but a bunch of right wing Republicans yelling foul over a shortage of paper. The paper wasn’t ordered, it was discovered on Election Day, a few voters were inconvenienced for a time but they were never, ever deliberately denied their right to vote.

Kudos to Luzerne County officials, red and blue who essentially said “screw you” to GOP Neanderthals wasting tax payer money. (Times Leader, LuLac)



The White House is once again attacking the Freedom Caucus for its plan to cut spending.

Per a fact sheet, the White House said the Caucus' plan would result in lost wages and harmful working conditions.

The Freedom Caucus wants Congress to pass its plan as a condition to raise the debt ceiling.

The White House is still sounding the alarm over the potential repercussions of Republicans' budget proposal — and this time, they're highlighting the potential impact on workers, their wages, and their jobs.

In a fact sheet shared with Insider, the White House claims that the House Freedom Caucus' proposals would result in a loss of job training, wages, and manufacturing jobs to overseas workers.

"While President Biden and Congressional Democrats' economic agenda is revitalizing manufacturing in communities that have been left behind, MAGA House Republicans want to ship manufacturing jobs overseas and undermine American workers — even in their home districts and states," White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa said in a statement to Insider.

Through cutting back on investigations and inspections, the White House estimates that the House Freedom Caucus' plans would cost 135,000 workers an average of $1,000 in back pay. Part of the Caucus' proposal hinges on capping funding at the same level as fiscal year 2022, which Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Rosa DeLauro estimates would amount to a 22% cut in spending on essential programs, when omitting defense and veteran medical spending.

The Department of Labor found that, if faced with a 22% cut, there would be $156 million less in back pay recovered for those 135,000 workers. And if spending stayed stable at fiscal year 2022, with no programs free from cuts, almost 21,000 workers would still lose out on $24.5 million in lost wages.

Beyond millions less in clawed-back wages, cuts could also majorly impede OSHA's ability to inspect workplaces. The DOL estimated a 22% budget cut would lead to the lowest-ever level of enforcement from OSHA — meaning that employers could get away with unsafe and potentially dangerous working conditions.

"Worker health and safety while on the job would be at risk, allowing big corporations to put workers in dangerous conditions by taking advantage of limited enforcement," DeLauro said in a statement to Insider.

Reversing spending in the Inflation Reduction Act – the cutting of which is one of the House Freedom Caucus' core tenets — would move millions of jobs for those projects overseas, the White House said.

"For years, billionaires and big corporations have made record profits while jobs are shipped overseas and American workers are denied pay raises and safe work environments," DeLauro said. (Business Insider)



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NOTE: These documents are usable by Pennsylvania residents only. If you are not a PA resident, there is no guarantee these forms will be valid in your state.

For more detailed information on this, contact the Centini Law Office at this link:

Centini Law | Kingston PA | Facebook or call or e mail 




Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

Commerce, Justice and Science Committee Ranking Member Matt Cartwright, (PA-08) released the following statement today on President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal: “The Biden Administration’s budget proposal makes strong investments in our future, including for efforts of the agencies funded within the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The proposal includes initiatives to combat violent crime here at home and protect our national security, including funding for additional state, local and Federal law enforcement, as well as funding to counter foreign and domestic terrorism threats. The budget proposal would further help preserve and create American jobs, strengthen the Nation’s manufacturing base, and advance science, innovation and space exploration. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help enact these critical investments in America’s future.”



Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)


Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are introducing legislation to enable more Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries to access comprehensive dental, vision, and hearing coverage. Medicare does not cover those services, leaving many beneficiaries with no other options but to buy stopgap, short-term plans or go without coverage, often facing exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for basic care. Medicaid can provide optional dental, vision, and hearing services, but the extent of the coverage varies by state. The Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act would allow Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing services and increase the federal investment in Medicaid, incentivizing more states to provide these comprehensive services.

“Because of a patchwork of limited health care coverage options for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, many older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income families have inconsistent access to basic dental, vision, and hearing services. Cost should not be a barrier to care, and all Americans deserve access to comprehensive dental, vision, and hearing coverage, no matter what state they live in or how much money they make. This bill builds on the promise of Medicaid and Medicare to expand services that people need and help them avoid costly emergencies,” said Senator Casey.

“More than 40 percent of Americans are enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid. Among adults, most of these individuals do not have comprehensive health coverage for vision, dental or hearing benefits, often leaving them without the care they need to protect their health and quality of life,” said Senator Cardin. “Congress has an opportunity to ensure that serious health conditions can be avoided or caught early enough to prevent complications or more costly treatments regardless of where someone lives or their income. Our legislation will make a real difference in so many lives.”

Research shows that untreated dental, vision, and hearing problems can have negative physical and mental health consequences. People with lower incomes are three times more likely to have four or more untreated cavities than adults with higher incomes or private insurance. Vision loss is associated with increased fall risks and mobility limitations among older adults, while hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of social isolation and cognitive decline.

The Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act would strengthen coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services under Medicare by repealing the statutory exclusion that restricts coverage of such services. It would expand Medicare coverage to ensure beneficiaries are covered for routine exams and other preventive care, as well as coverage for items like dentures, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. The legislation would also encourage states to provide their optional dental, hearing, and vision services to people with Medicaid by increasing the associated Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate to 90 percent.



Governor Josh Shapiro (LuLac archives)

In the first full week after his budget address, Governor Josh Shapiro touted his commonsense proposals to address critical workforce shortages by recruiting and retaining more teachers, cops, and nurses in Pennsylvania. At each event, he reiterated his commitment to good schools, safe communities, and healthy families.

Governor Shapiro visited the Lackawanna College Police Academy and Gwynedd Mercy University to hear from teachers, police officers, and nurses and share his Administration’s plan to rebuild our workforce and make it easier for Pennsylvanians who want to enter these professions. 

To address critical workforce shortages in public safety, education, and health care, Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes:

  • A refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 every year for up to three years for anyone who earns a new license or certification in education, nursing, or law enforcement, or for anyone who already has a license in those fields and decides to move to Pennsylvania for work.
  • A $16.4 million proposal for four new Pennsylvania state trooper cadet classes in 2023-24, to hire and train 384 new troopers and to more well-qualified police officers in communities across the Commonwealth.
  • An increase of $567.4 million, or 7.8 percent, for basic education funding, in addition to targeted support to help students learn and grow.

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis also joined Fox29 Philadelphia this week to discuss how Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal will invest in public safety to make Pennsylvania communities safer. Lieutenant Governor Davis was named Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency last month and is helping lead the Shapiro-Davis Administration’s efforts to reduce violence and crime.

Read what leaders across the state are saying about Governor Shapiro’s budget investments in teachers, nurses, and police officers:

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington: “The research says that the single most important factor in student learning is a highly-qualified, well-supported, and stable teaching force over time. We’re pleased that our Governor took time to come here this morning to spend time talking with principals, spend time talking with teachers, and spend time talking with students to hear directly from them about how we can continue to improve schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the School District of Philadelphia. We are particularly grateful for his support in the budget for the School District of Philadelphia, not limited to the $2,500 proposed tax credit for teachers, since they are number one in the research in terms of improving student outcomes.”

Philadelphia School District Board President Reginald Streater: “We really greatly appreciate that Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal increases basic funding education and calls for a personal income tax of up to $2,500 a year for three years for new teachers who received the certifications from the Commonwealth. We are also appreciative the Governor’s budget proposal would invest $500 million over five years in school environmental repairs, another $500 million in student mental health, and provide for each free universal breakfast to every child in Pennsylvania. These are critical investments that address pressing needs to recruit and retain teachers, invest in our facilities, and support the well-being of our students here in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth. We believe that Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal is a positive start, and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

George Washington Carver High School Teacher Paul Wagenhoffer: “I had the privilege alongside of two of my colleagues to sit down with Governor Shapiro and talk about some ins-and-outs of the budget. One of the big things that we took away, and that we tried to share with him, is how important it is to not only keep us as teachers involved and keep us retained, but also make sure that we’re treated as professionals. I feel that a lot of the pieces of this budget really do that, and I’m really excited to have been a part of all this. A billion dollars going to schools is absolutely incredible – for mental health and for facilities.”

State Senator Marty Flynn: “Right now our Commonwealth is short over 1,200 municipal officers statewide. When the Governor gave his address in front of the entire legislature, I was pleased to hear he was going to be investing in new local police officers, state troopers, and 911 dispatchers. I hear from police departments all over my district all the time that they’re struggling to attract new officers. And Governor Shapiro’s idea to provide a $2,500 tax credit to those who decide to join the noble profession of protecting us in our communities is a great idea.”

Scranton Police Chief Thomas Carroll: “I am very passionate about public service, and more importantly, about public safety. The difficulty of maintaining public safety increases when staffing shortfalls exist. Our dedicated officers will always face the challenges and cover those shortfalls, but it’s not sustainable. I, like my fellow public safety counterparts, am concerned about the impact of the shortfalls to our operations over time. For the first time in our history, we have developed a comprehensive recruiting initiative to motivate good people to accept the challenges of policing and join our forces. Governor, we appreciate you understanding the seriousness of our staffing needs, promoting law enforcement’s legitimacy, and proposing recruitment incentives for public safety positions.”





You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400 am The Mothership and 7:30 am on 105 The River. 




Our 1954 logo

RCA manufactures the first color television set (12-inch screen; price: $1,000)…………The Soviet Union recognizes the sovereignty of East Germany. Soviet troops remain in the country………. Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella injures his left hand in an exhibition game against the Yankees. Though he will hit two home runs on Opening Day, Campanella will have surgery in early May for the bone chips, returning on May 30th. The injury started earlier when he was hit on the hand in the 1953 World Series….and this week in 1954 the number one song in LuLac land and America was "Hey There" by Rosemary Clooney.


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