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Happy weekend, all.
State officials from across several agencies are working together to bolster Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation economy.
State agencies, including the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Department of Community and Economic Development, are joining forces to develop an Office of Outdoor Recreation, which “would be responsible for coordinating and synergizing among entities within and connected to state government to help align and support strategic initiatives, partnerships, policies, resources,” according to DCNR.
Outdoor recreation adds nearly $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, according to DCNR, making it the sixth largest outdoor recreation economy in the nation.
Nationally, outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output, accounting for approximately 3% of all jobs in America.
The outdoor recreation sector, which includes retail, manufacturing, and tourism, supports 152,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Shapiro administration has previously said that workforce development across all sectors and industries is a top priority. In a statement issued last week, DCNR said workforce development would also be an area of focus for the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
“A skilled and competitive workforce is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s $14 billion outdoor industry,” Pennsylvania Director of Outdoor Recreation Nathan Reigner said in a statement.
As always, the top five stories from this week are below.
Two state lawmakers are proposing a package of legislative reforms that they say will better protect animals across the commonwealth by increasing oversight of kennels, breeders, and testing facilities.
The reforms, which are part of a three-pronged, companion proposal by state Sen. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, and Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, mirror a similar legislative package enacted in Virginia last year.
President Donald Trump was set to appear in a courtroom in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, making him the first American president — current of former — to face criminal charges. Here’s how Pennsylvania politicians reacted to the news of his indictment and court appearance.
Advocates and lawmakers warned against the spread of the far-right ideology embraced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his followers ahead of a speaking appearance by DeSantis near Harrisburg on Saturday.
DeSantis, who has said he has been considering a run for president in 2024, is set to speak at the conservative Pennsylvania Leadership Conference at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Cumberland County.
A bipartisan proposal now making the rounds of the General Assembly would allow Pennsylvania to join the company of 22 other states that allow “community solar” projects that backers say “would enable access to solar energy for all Pennsylvanians,” regardless of whether they can install solar panel on their roofs or not.
“Rising costs and energy bills are very real here in Pennsylvania, and we must help find creative solutions to maintain reasonable utility costs,” Sen. Rosemary Brown, R-Monroe, the prime sponsor of the Senate version of the proposal, said in a statement.
A Pennsylvania senator has announced plans for a series of proposals to increase housing accessibility and make finding affordable housing easier by removing some barriers to renters and low-income homeowners in Pennsylvania.
The three bills sponsored by Sen. Nikil Saval, D-Philadelphia, would remove inaccurate eviction records from screening reports, create a database to help find affordable housing, and prohibit housing discrimination based on an arrest or conviction record.
And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.
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