The Snyder County Commissioners signed a proclamation this week, encouraging county residents to fill out their census forms.

Chief Clerk Lee Knepp said he fears an undercount for the county if residents continue to decline participation. So far, response as been “inadequate,” he said.

An accurate count is vital to the county’s well-being, by helping planners determine where to locate schools, day-care centers, roads, public transportation, hospitals, and other facilities, as well as to make decisions concerning business growth and housing needs, the proclamation states.

More than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to states and communities based on census data. It also ensures fair congressional representation and creates jobs that stimulate economic growth. Information collected by the census is protected by law and remains confidential for 72 years.

Democrats say Republicans are blocking unemployment benefits

The Pennsylvania Democratic Committee says that congressional Republicans should put a stop to extending the desperately needed unemployment insurance benefits.

The National Employment Law Project estimates that approximately 212,000 Americans, including thousands of Pennsylvanians, would lose benefits in the first week that unemployment aid expires, according to Democratic party officials.

“While Pat Toomey was busily supporting Tom Cobett’s widely panned health care reform lawsuit, Republicans in the United States Senate were equally hard at work blocking unemployment benefits for out of work Pennsylvanians,” said state party spokesman Patrick McKenna.

“Will Pat Toomey side with Pennsylvania families and condemn the blatant Republican obstructionism? Or, will he remain silent and continue to thumb his nose at out of work Pennsylvanians?”

Gubernatorial candidates to discuss reforms

The six candidates for Pennsylvania's governorship will be discussing the need for reforms in state government at a forum in Harrisburg.

Wednesday night's forum will include the four Democrats and two Republicans who are competing in the May 18 primary for their parties' nominations.

The candidates are expected to cover a wide variety of proposed reforms, including campaign finance limits, stronger ethical standards and changes in the way that the boundaries of Pennsylvania's legislative districts are redrawn.

The 90-minute discussion is being sponsored by the Committee of Seventy — a Philadelphia civic group — the Common Cause Education Fund, Harrisburg Area Community College and the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters.

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