Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Proposes Bold Steps to Protect Pennsylvanians

08 Feb, 2006, 00:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today
 proposed aggressive action to safeguard the commonwealth's residents,
 including funding 90 additional state troopers -- bringing the number of
 troopers to an all-time high -- and increasing funds to prepare and plan for
 the possibility of a statewide avian influenza outbreak and pandemic.  The
 proposals are part of the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget.
     "In today's world, we face unusual and unprecedented threats that vary
 from bio-terrorism to disease pandemics, along with crime and natural
 disasters," Governor Rendell said.  "We need to take aggressive steps to
 ensure we are prepared, and in this budget I am furthering a broad public
 safety agenda that will make Pennsylvania and its residents even safer.  One
 of government's core responsibilities is protecting its people.
     "Throughout the past three years, I have made public safety and security a
 priority, and this budget continues that commitment."
     The public safety initiatives in the 2006-07 budget involve a number of
 commonwealth agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the Department
 of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
     For the State Police, Governor Rendell is proposing $8.1 million to fund
 and support 90 additional trooper positions in 2006-07. That will bring the
 total number of enlisted state police to the highest level ever -- 4,548
 positions. These 90 trooper positions are in addition to the 180 enlisted
 personnel included in the 2005-06 budget.
     Reaching this unprecedented number of enlisted personnel depends upon the
 Pennsylvania State Troopers Association accepting a proposal from the State
 Police that will increase the number of troopers engaged in direct law
 enforcement activities. This proposal calls for adding 30 new troopers, moving
 an additional 68 enlisted personnel currently performing desk duties to active
 law enforcement duties, and keeping 45 experienced corporals on the road
 rather than in dispatch centers answering calls.
     "Our mission is to ensure the safety of all Pennsylvanians in communities
 across the state," said State Police Commissioner Col. Jeffrey B. Miller.
 "These additional troopers will help us carry out that charge."
     The 2006-07 budget also includes $25 million to continue the Volunteer
 Company Grants program in 2005-06 and another $25 million for this program
 from the State Gaming Fund in 2006-07. The funds are for activities and
 equipment purchases of local volunteer fire and ambulance services.
     In the area of public health, the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget is
 addressing the threat that bio-terrorism poses in the post-9/11 world. This
 budget includes:
      - $80.8 million in federal funds to develop plans for bio-terrorism
        preparedness, notify the medical community of emergency situations and
        improve the Department of Health's laboratory capabilities; and
      - $8 million to support the National Electronic Disease Surveillance
        System, an electronic laboratory reporting system that provides on-line
        reporting information from laboratories, hospitals and clinicians.
 
     With worldwide concern about the spread of avian influenza from animals to
 humans, the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget addresses this public health
 issue as well - even though there have been no human cases of avian flu in
 either the commonwealth or the rest of the United States. The Governor's
 proposed 2006-07 budget recommends $12.3 million in federal grants from the
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for pandemic influenza
 preparedness. The proposed budget also includes:
      - $500,000 in state funds for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management
        Agency and the Department of Health to coordinate the commonwealth's
        statewide avian influenza and pandemic preparedness activities, and
      - $820,000 for the Department of Agriculture to continue its work on
        avian influenza.
 
     Natural disasters also pose a continuing threat for Pennsylvanians, with
 flooding a serious concern in many communities. The proposed 2006-07 budget
 includes $3.5 million in state funds and $4.5 million in federal funds for a
 hazard-mitigation program to provide flood protection, and $4 million for the
 development of a statewide digital map that will enable commonwealth officials
 to share digital imagery data and help local governments develop their own
 emergency preparedness plans.
     As identity theft becomes increasingly prevalent, this budget also
 includes $8.8 million for the first year of a seven-year federal program to
 create uniform driver's license and personal identification standards. This
 new program will help prevent identity theft and will strengthen the screening
 process for driver's license applicants.
 
     The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
 education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
 economic investment to support our communities and businesses.  To find out
 more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
 newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
 
      CONTACT:
      Kate Philips
      717-783-1116
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today
 proposed aggressive action to safeguard the commonwealth's residents,
 including funding 90 additional state troopers -- bringing the number of
 troopers to an all-time high -- and increasing funds to prepare and plan for
 the possibility of a statewide avian influenza outbreak and pandemic.  The
 proposals are part of the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget.
     "In today's world, we face unusual and unprecedented threats that vary
 from bio-terrorism to disease pandemics, along with crime and natural
 disasters," Governor Rendell said.  "We need to take aggressive steps to
 ensure we are prepared, and in this budget I am furthering a broad public
 safety agenda that will make Pennsylvania and its residents even safer.  One
 of government's core responsibilities is protecting its people.
     "Throughout the past three years, I have made public safety and security a
 priority, and this budget continues that commitment."
     The public safety initiatives in the 2006-07 budget involve a number of
 commonwealth agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the Department
 of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
     For the State Police, Governor Rendell is proposing $8.1 million to fund
 and support 90 additional trooper positions in 2006-07. That will bring the
 total number of enlisted state police to the highest level ever -- 4,548
 positions. These 90 trooper positions are in addition to the 180 enlisted
 personnel included in the 2005-06 budget.
     Reaching this unprecedented number of enlisted personnel depends upon the
 Pennsylvania State Troopers Association accepting a proposal from the State
 Police that will increase the number of troopers engaged in direct law
 enforcement activities. This proposal calls for adding 30 new troopers, moving
 an additional 68 enlisted personnel currently performing desk duties to active
 law enforcement duties, and keeping 45 experienced corporals on the road
 rather than in dispatch centers answering calls.
     "Our mission is to ensure the safety of all Pennsylvanians in communities
 across the state," said State Police Commissioner Col. Jeffrey B. Miller.
 "These additional troopers will help us carry out that charge."
     The 2006-07 budget also includes $25 million to continue the Volunteer
 Company Grants program in 2005-06 and another $25 million for this program
 from the State Gaming Fund in 2006-07. The funds are for activities and
 equipment purchases of local volunteer fire and ambulance services.
     In the area of public health, the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget is
 addressing the threat that bio-terrorism poses in the post-9/11 world. This
 budget includes:
      - $80.8 million in federal funds to develop plans for bio-terrorism
        preparedness, notify the medical community of emergency situations and
        improve the Department of Health's laboratory capabilities; and
      - $8 million to support the National Electronic Disease Surveillance
        System, an electronic laboratory reporting system that provides on-line
        reporting information from laboratories, hospitals and clinicians.
 
     With worldwide concern about the spread of avian influenza from animals to
 humans, the Governor's proposed 2006-07 budget addresses this public health
 issue as well - even though there have been no human cases of avian flu in
 either the commonwealth or the rest of the United States. The Governor's
 proposed 2006-07 budget recommends $12.3 million in federal grants from the
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for pandemic influenza
 preparedness. The proposed budget also includes:
      - $500,000 in state funds for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management
        Agency and the Department of Health to coordinate the commonwealth's
        statewide avian influenza and pandemic preparedness activities, and
      - $820,000 for the Department of Agriculture to continue its work on
        avian influenza.
 
     Natural disasters also pose a continuing threat for Pennsylvanians, with
 flooding a serious concern in many communities. The proposed 2006-07 budget
 includes $3.5 million in state funds and $4.5 million in federal funds for a
 hazard-mitigation program to provide flood protection, and $4 million for the
 development of a statewide digital map that will enable commonwealth officials
 to share digital imagery data and help local governments develop their own
 emergency preparedness plans.
     As identity theft becomes increasingly prevalent, this budget also
 includes $8.8 million for the first year of a seven-year federal program to
 create uniform driver's license and personal identification standards. This
 new program will help prevent identity theft and will strengthen the screening
 process for driver's license applicants.
 
     The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
 education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
 economic investment to support our communities and businesses.  To find out
 more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
 newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
 
      CONTACT:
      Kate Philips
      717-783-1116
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor