Harrisburg train station, bus terminal to get new HVAC system

The Harrisburg Transportation Center will receive $635,000 in federal funds to pay for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday.

Each year, more than 1.5 million people each pass through the hub, using Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses, a release said. The Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority has operated the 135-year-old station, which is owned by Amtrak, since 1983.

Much of the existing system, including the cooling tower, pumps and chiller, were installed over two decades ago. After the redevelopment authority contacted Casey’s office about the need to replace the unit, Congress earmarked money for the project in its most recent budget, signed into law in March.

“This was urgent because of what we saw during the … pandemic,” Casey said in the release. “Air quality can help prevent the spread of the virus. Even absent that though, it’s critical we make these investments as part of a larger set of investments to improve the basic infrastructure of this historic building.”

The approval process will take a few months to work through the Federal Transit Administration and Amtrak. Once the redevelopment authority receives the funds, it will seek bids for the project.

“We need, and deserve, a station fitting for a capital city,” added Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams, “and we’re incredibly grateful for the work (redevelopment authority executive director) Bryan Davis and his team did to ask for these funds, and for Sen. Casey for delivering the money to the people who need it most.”

York lawmaker’s bill would allow health workers to keep last name off photo ID

A bill approved by the House and Senate that would allow health care professionals to remove their last name on photo identification could help protect Pennsylvania’s medical professionals from workplace violence, according to the bill’s prime sponsor.

Senate Bill 842 is awaiting a signature from Gov. Tom Wolf after it was passed in the House on Tuesday. The legislation would remove a state requirement mandating that health care workers have their last names on photo identification.

Removing the last name from identification would project health care workers from ill-intentioned patients who could use their names to stalk or threaten them, according to Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), the bill’s prime sponsor.

“Employee safety is critical, especially in an industry like health care, where we are seeing more and more cases of workplace violence occurring,” Phillips-Hill said. “Serious workplace violence is four times more likely to occur in a health care setting than in private industry. This legislation will provide better safeguards and protections for men and women who work in the health care industry.”