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Legislative roundup

Fitzpatrick introduces legislation to make Election Day a federal holiday; liberal activist Gregory Bullough publicly apologizes to NAC owner Jim Worthington

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

Election day a holiday?

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Debbie Dingell introduced legislation to designate Election Day as a federal holiday.

“There is no institution more fundamental to our democracy than our elections,” Fitzpatrick said. “At the beginning of this 118th Congress, I was proud to introduce a comprehensive reform package that includes measures to ensure election integrity, guarantee that only American citizens vote in our elections and standardize absentee vote counting to produce election results quickly — and this bill is the next step. Designating Election Day as a federal holiday will give all Americans more flexibility and accessibility to cast their votes.”

Liberal activist apologizes to Worthington

As part of a settlement of a defamation lawsuit, liberal activist Gregory Bullough publicly apologized to Bucks County businessman Jim Worthington for creating an online petition that was widely interpreted as accusing him of sponsoring and organizing busloads of rioters to participate in violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

The apology comes nine months after former Democratic congressional nominee and current candidate Ashley Ehasz and her Democratic campaign firm – Foglamp Digital – publicly apologized for campaign materials that falsely accused Worthington of funding the Jan. 6 “insurrection.”

The apologies were part of the resolutions of two lawsuits challenging statements linking Worthington to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

In response, Worthington issued the following statement:

“In the aftermath of the events of January 6, 2021, many supporters of President Trump were demonized simply for attending a peaceful rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, I was among those subjected to indiscriminate and untrue accusations, including as a result of an online petition which was interpreted as stating that I had sponsored and organized busloads of rioters to participate in violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol Building.   When this petition was published, it not only resulted in a torrent of hatred and threats towards me and my family personally, but also did significant damage to my business, the Newtown Athletic Club (NAC).

“After I filed a lawsuit against the creator of the petition, he chose to apologize and donate to my charity. I wanted to share this apology with you so you can read it yourself. There is a lesson to be learned from this – the division in our public discourse is hurting our country at a time when we need to be united. We can disagree, and we can even disagree forcefully, but at the end of the day we are all members of this community, and we should treat each other with dignity and respect. Indeed, I echoed these same sentiments earlier this year when former Congressional Candidate Ashley Ehasz and her team publicly apologized for repeating false accusations about me during her campaign.” ••

Chamber thanks Fitzpatrick

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry launched billboard ads in the district of U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick thanking the congressman for working through the dysfunction in Washington and fighting for Pennsylvania families and employers.

“Breaking through the gridlock in Washington is no easy task these days,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Evan Jenkins, a former West Virginia congressman. “These members of Congress continue to lead the fight to find common-sense solutions to the most pressing issues facing Main Street, and we’re proud to let their constituents back home know they’re championing policies that drive jobs, opportunity and bolster free enterprise.”

The ads are part of a six-figure ad campaign the U.S. Chamber is launching in select congressional districts across the country to thank legislators for supporting America’s job creators and fighting for free enterprise. ••

Upgrades at train station

U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and John Fetterman announced $30 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to construct a new high-level pedestrian platform at Cornwells Heights Station in Bensalem Township. The funding will improve accessibility and safety for SEPTA Trenton Line commuters and Amtrak Keystone Service riders.

“The infrastructure law continues to deliver results for Pennsylvanians,” Casey said. “Thanks to the law, SEPTA will be able to keep commuters safe, help them reach their destinations more quickly and ensure more riders, including those with disabilities, can access public transit. I led the effort to include accessible transit funding in the infrastructure law and I’ll keep working to make transportation more accessible for all Pennsylvanians.”

SEPTA and Amtrak will match the funding with $11,956,000 and $244,000, respectively. SEPTA will also provide $13,109,000 of other federal funds to the project to round out the $55,809,000 needed for the full project.

“Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians rely on SEPTA every day. I’m proud to support expanded transit infrastructure that will strengthen service, help our environment and boost the local economy,” Fetterman said. “This $30.5 million for SEPTA is a significant investment and will help SEPTA deliver the high-quality transit system that Pennsylvanians deserve.” ••

Fitzpatrick lauds infrastructure projects

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick released the following statement after Amtrak announced $10 billion in Federal Railroad Administration funds for 12 infrastructure projects along the Northeast Corridor, including in Bucks and Montgomery counties:

“Intercity passenger rail and regional public transportation connect Bucks and Montgomery counties to one another, the commonwealth and the entire Northeast region. Today’s grant announcement awarding funding to Amtrak and SEPTA means more jobs, faster service and sturdier infrastructure are on their way to our communities. These major investments include millions in project planning throughout Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and $30.5 million alone for substantial platform and accessibility upgrades at the Cornwells Heights SEPTA station in Bensalem. While key programs through Amtrak and like the Fed-State Partnership were bolstered by the funding made available by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, robust annual appropriations for these grants remain essential to keeping America’s infrastructure, workforce and economy strong. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that our nation’s infrastructure is efficient, competitive and safe.”

The funds include a significant investment for upgrades at the SEPTA Cornwells Heights Station in Bensalem.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing critical funding to support of SEPTA’s infrastructure state of good repair and accessibility priorities,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “With funding from this grant, SEPTA will be making a major investment at Cornwells Heights Station – one that not only will make the station fully accessible but also improve operational efficiency and customer convenience. We are grateful to Congressman Fitzpatrick and the region’s congressional delegation for working to fund this program and supporting our application.” ••

Farry office hours in Bensalem

State ​​Sen. Frank Farry (R-6th dist.) is offering satellite office hours the first Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Farry’s staff will be on site to assist with state government services; Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, birth and death certificate applications, SEPTA Senior Key card registrations and renewals; and unemployment issues. ••

Lower South supervisor meeting schedule

The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors will meet on Monday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville.

Future meetings, both at the same time and location, are scheduled for Dec. 13 and 20. ••

Bensalem Council meeting schedule

Bensalem Township Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Xfinity Channel 22 in Bensalem and on Verizon Fios Channel 34 throughout Bucks County. They can also be streamed live on the Bensalem Township YouTube channel.

The schedule is Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and 11. ••

Bensalem school board meeting schedule

The Bensalem Township Board of School Directors holds meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center, 3000 Donallen Drive, Bensalem.

Upcoming meetings will take place on Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 (third Tuesday).

The public is invited to attend.

The School Board annual reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. ••

Commissioners meeting Nov. 15

The Bucks County Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.

The meeting will be broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.

Future meetings will be on Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. ••

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