Federal Infrastructure Bill Set to Become Law

On Friday, November 5, the U.S. House passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act legislation by a 228-206 vote, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature. The President has stated that he will hold a signing ceremony when legislators return the week of November 15.

Congressman Dan Meuser voted against the bill. In August, Senator Pat Toomey also voted against the bill while Senator Bob Casey supported it.

The bill would put $550 billion in new money into transportation projects, the utility grid and broadband. The package also includes $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects, along with $66 billion for passenger and freight rail and $39 billion for public transit.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 173,000 total miles of America’s highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. It also estimates that the current repair backlog is more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations and thousands of miles of track and power systems.

As part of the bill, $65 billion is directed to broadband, a priority for many lawmakers after the coronavirus pandemic highlighted inequities in internet access for households and students across the country.

The legislation would also invest $55 billion into water systems, including $15 billion to replace lead pipes and $10 billion to address water contamination.

Both the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the bipartisan passage as the investments are paid for in part by repurposing unused federal funds from other programs.

An article from the Associated Press (VIEW ARTICLE HERE) provides more details about the package.

Legislation Extends Benefits for Hospitality Industry

On Wednesday, October 27th, the PA House unanimously concurred on House Bill 425 (VIEW HERE) which extends some benefits to the restaurant industry that were enacted during the disaster declaration. The legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf this week. Highlights of the bill are as follows:

  • Extends outdoor seating for licensed establishments
  • Eliminates the $500 fee for off-premise catering permits
  • Allows an unlimited number of catering permits
  • Eliminates the 5-hour cap for catering events
  • Allows a licensee that goes out of business to sell their liquor and wine to another licensee

These provisions would take effect immediately and be in effect until December 31, 2024.

The final bill only allows prepared beverages and mixed drinks for off-premise consumption during a disaster emergency. As the legislature did not extend the emergency this Summer, drinks-to-go are currently not allowed. Disagreements over drinks-to-go was a significant reason why similar legislation was not advanced earlier this year.


Member News – November 3, 2021

Bloomsburg Children’s Museum Hosting Free Event During National STEM Night

On Monday, November 8, 2021 the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum will host a free event for National STEM Night. From 4-7 p.m. the Museum will offer free admission. Activities include soldering, NFC treasure hunt, Lego Engineering challenges, robotics, programming, 3D printing, and much more!

National STEM Day is celebrated every year on Nov. 8 to encourage kids to explore their interests in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

T-Mobile is sponsoring the night and supplying free food from Big Dan’s Barbecue (while supplies last).  

“There is a deficit of workers in STEM fields in Pennsylvania. The Museum provides exhibits and programs like National STEM night to get kids engaged in STEM learning. If kids are excited about these subjects, they are more likely to want to pursue a career in these fields.” Shelby Kellner, Assistant Director 

For more info: www.the-childrens-museum.org

Penn State World Campus Open House

Join Penn State World Campus for a virtual open house to mee the staff and learn about the process of applying for and earning an undergraduate degree from Penn State World Campus. This is an opportunity to connect with several Penn State World Campus departments. The virtual open house is flexible, and you can customize your “journey” according to your own interests. Drop in throughout the open house to chat one-on-one with members of the team for up to 20 minutes or join an open discussion with other prospective students.

Virtual Open House Afternoon Session on November 4, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Open House Evening Session on November 4, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Montour Area Recreation Commission Preserve Wildlife Art Expo

The wide variety of Pennsylvania wildlife is inspiration for wildlife artists. Join them to enjoy the skill of these artists as they display the wild outdoors captured in photos, oils, pen and ink, and wood. It might be a strutting turkey, a sun-dappled rainbow trout or a white-tailed buck slipping through an autumn forest. It could be a hawk riding a west wind or a colorful songbird picking berries from a bush. This is a great opportunity to get a close look at original art, meet the artists behind the creations and pick up a few ideas for your own artistic side or possibly an early Christmas present.

Family/kid friendly: Yes
Cost: free admission; artwork available for purchase
Masking: Face masks are recommended while indoors

Saturday, November 13: 12:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 14: 11:00 a.m.


McKonly & Asbury Offering Webinar on Employee Benefit Plan Compliance

Attendees of this McKopnly & Asbury Webinar will gain insight on the following:

  • An Accounting and Legal Update
  • Best practices when sponsoring an employee benefit plan
  • Lessons learned from recent court cases

This free, one-hour webinar will take place on Thursday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. One “Specialized Knowledge” CPE credit is available for this webinar. The level for this CPE is basic and there are no prerequisites for attending. This program is a live webinar which offers the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the presenters.


Grant Program for Women-Owned Restaurants

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women will donate funds to provide $2,500 grants to 80 women-owned restaurants across Pennsylvania, which will be selected via an application process through the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association. Restaurants with 51 percent or more women ownership can apply.  For the full press release, click here

This grant money is specifically earmarked to support female independent restaurant owners in keeping their doors open and their staff employed. Eligible restaurants must be open/operating and plan to continue to do so. Closed restaurants are not eligible for this grant. After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by an internal committee and a decision letter will follow.