Senate Votes to Streamline and Increase School Safety Measures

HARRISBURG – The Senate overwhelmingly passed several key provisions today to consolidate and streamline the state’s school safety programs and ensure greater coordination in keeping Pennsylvania children safe, according to Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47).

House Bill 27 would consolidate school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which currently manages the highly successful, bipartisan School Safety and Security Grant Program created by the Senate in 2018.

The legislation would transfer several functions of the Office of Safe Schools – including the Safe Schools Targeted Grants for school safety equipment and programs and School Police Officers/School Resource Officers – to PCCD. School districts would also be required to share additional information on the number and type of School Police Officers and School Resource Officers, as well as data on powers granted to those entities.

The legislation would also create a new Executive Committee under PCCD to review school safety issues and to identify current and emerging trends. The committee would study data on incidents created through the Safe2Say Something program, review information arising from the county safe schools’ collaborative, help identify and prevent threats of targeted violence in school settings and utilize best practices among school entities to boost student safety.

This would bill also provide for assistance in developing a safe schools collaborative with technical assistance provided by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Office of Homeland Security, to ensure schools and counties can develop best practices for emergency response.

“Ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of these programs is a driving force behind this legislation and streamlining these operations under a single entity and improving coordination is a step in the right direction to accomplish this,” Vogel said.

The school safety improvements are intended to build on years of efforts by the Senate to ensure Pennsylvania students can all learn in safe environments. In addition, Safe2Say Something, an anonymous school threat reporting system, was implemented in Pennsylvania in 2018 and is now held up as a national model for other states to follow. The system has led to more than 100,000 tips of potential student safety concerns.

House Bill 27 would also allow for the implementation of $100 million that was included in the 2023-24 state budget for K-12 mental health programs. Bipartisan funding for the programs has been delayed due to the House of Representatives not returning to session to pass budget implementation language over the summer.

The legislation would also provide additional flexibility for school districts that are experiencing shortages of substitute teachers. The bill would extend temporary provisions established during the pandemic that waived certain requirements and allowed for temporary certification of substitute teachers.

The legislation has been sent back to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Vogel, Hunger Caucus to Honor Hunger Action Month on Sept. 20

HARRISBURG – To honor and recognize September 2023 as Hunger Action Month, Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47), Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-20), co-chairs of the Hunger Caucus will be hosting a press conference on Wednesday, September 20, at 9:30 a.m. at the Capitol Hunger Garden, located in between the Main Capitol Building and the Ryan Office Building, 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

The purpose of the press conference is to highlight the impacts of hunger on Pennsylvanians and what resources the commonwealth has to offer in addition to recognizing September as Hunger Action Month.

Press conference participants include:

  • Sen. Elder Vogel
  • Secretary Russell Redding, Department of Agriculture
  • Secretary Valerie Arkoosh, Department of Human Services
  • Sen. Kim Ward, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Rep. Emily Kinkead
  • Julie Bancroft, CEO, Feeding Pennsylvania

Watch live at, or


CONTACT:    Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Vogel to Host Veteran’s Assistance Specialist in Cranberry Township Office on September 14

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA – Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47) has announced that Stephanie Wilson from the Pennsylvania American Legion Veterans Assistance Program will be available on Thursday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his Cranberry Township District Office, 8001 Rowan Rd, Suite 205 in Cranberry Township. No appointment is necessary.

Wilson can help veterans and their families with understanding the benefits they have earned, enroll in the VA health care system, assist with the appeals process, and more. Participants are asked to bring any documentation and paperwork they may need.

For more information, contact Vogel’s Cranberry Township District Office at 878-978-2575.


CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Vogel: The PA Senate Passed Critical Budget Implementation Bills – But Now It’s the House’s Turn to Get It To the Finish Line

HARRISBURG – Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47) provided the following statement regarding Senate passage of critical budget implementation bills (Senate Bill 757 and House Bill 1300):

“These key pieces of legislation contain the necessary implementation language which allows Pennsylvania to delegate the remaining budgetary funds for many key priorities including a two-year tuition freeze for PASSHE schools, reauthorizing assessments and payments for hospitals and increases to EMS reimbursement rates. We have worked tirelessly over the last several weeks to negotiate and craft these bills to ensure it is beneficial to all Pennsylvanians.

“Throughout the entirety of this year’s budget process, my colleagues and I have stood firm and remained committed to keeping our government functioning and making sure we had a funding package that will better assist our schools, state entities, and critical services and programs.

“Now that our Chamber has taken the initiative to vote on and pass these bills, it is currently in the hands of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and their responsibility and duty to get them to the finish line and conclude this long budget process.”

CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees to Host Informational Meeting on the Federal Farm Bill on Aug. 9

HARRISBURG – The Senate and House Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees will host a joint informational meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 9, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in the Red Barn Annex, 2710 W Pine Grove Rd. in Pennsylvania Furnace.

House committee leaders, Majority Chair Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121) and Republican Chair Rep. Dan Moul (R-91); and Senate committee leaders, Majority Chair Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47) and Democratic Chair Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11), will be leading the discussion on the current 2023 Federal Farm Bill.

Informational meeting participants include:

  • Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.
  • Richard Roush, Dean, Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Russell C. Redding, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
  • Chris Hoffman, President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
  • Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture.

Watch live at,, and

CONTACT:    Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Vogel, Roush: Penn State’s 47th Ag Progress Days Showcase What PA and Our Nation Offers to Our Agriculture Industry

HARRISBURG – Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47), chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, and Rick Roush, dean of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, share their perspectives on the importance of Penn State University’s (PSU) upcoming Ag Progress Days and how this event showcases Pennsylvania as well as our country’s position within the agriculture industry.

“While Ag Progress Days have been held by Penn State since 1976, the existence of these agricultural showcase events date back to the 1800s,” said Vogel. “Events like this serve as a central hub to help educate farmers on newer agricultural breakthroughs, host various farming workshops, and allow people to get a glimpse of how agriculture is integrated into our day to day lives.”

“This year, it is expected that 42,000 people will attend with 60% of those being active within the agriculture industry, and over 400 exhibitors from 35 states and 4 Canadian provinces will be present through this three-day event,” he said. “Our farmers play a crucial role in not only providing healthy food options for us to put on our table but contributing to both Pennsylvania and our nation’s economy. Agriculture is the backbone of our country and Ag Progress Days are a shining example of just how much the industry supports our communities. I look forward to attending this year’s festivities and see what new and exciting advancements are being brought to the table.”

Roush added, “Ag Progress Days is a great opportunity for Penn State to bring together state and federal agencies, elected officials, agricultural producers and the public to learn about the land-grant research and education that helps drive innovation in our food system. This year we especially look forward to conversations around pressing current issues, such as Pennsylvania’s priorities in the 2023 U.S. Farm Bill, soil conservation and water quality, ag workforce development, and animal health in the wake of recent avian flu outbreaks. We hope visitors come away from the event with a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Pennsylvania agriculture.”

Ag Progress Days run from August 8-10, at PSU’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center, 2710 W Pine Grove Rd, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA 16865. The show hours are Tuesday, 9a.m.-5p.m., Wednesday, 9a.m.-7p.m. and Thursday, 9a.m.- 4 p.m.

The House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees will be hosting a joint informational meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 9, beginning at 10 a.m. also at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in the Red Barn Annex to have an in-depth discussion concerning the 2023 Federal Farm Bill. 

CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076 (Vogel)
                      Charles D. Gill, (Dean Richard Roush)

Vogel: PA is Closer to Resolving Its Budget Impasse, But More Needs to be Done as the Senate Awaits House Action

HARRISBURG – As Pennsylvania moves one step closer to having an agreed upon, completed spending plan, Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47) released the following statement regarding the 2023-24 State Budget bill, House Bill 611, moving to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk.

“After much debate, today we see our Commonwealth move closer to having a completed budget as we sent the $45.55 billion General Appropriations bill, which spent about $300 million less than governor’s original proposal, to Gov. Shapiro’s desk for his signature. It’s then up to him as to whether he will approve the bill in its entirety or line-item veto the $100 million allocated for the Pennsylvania Award for Students Success (PASS) scholarships.

“What the governor has received today encompasses 75% of the total budget package and showcases record investments we have made to support our students, our seniors, our police, and many others to ensure they receive the assistance they need. While this can be seen as a step in the right direction, we still are awaiting House action on Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Code which makes up the last 25% of the budget. Until we receive and approve of that code bill only then will Pennsylvania’s budget impasse cease.

“This remains an ongoing process and I remain dedicated to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see that our commonwealth achieves a completed, balanced budget.”

Additionally, the Senate also signed and sent to Gov. Shapiro’s desk a bill that would expand eligibility and rebate amounts available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, providing more assistance to low-income seniors and Pennsylvanians with disabilities.


CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Area Seniors are Invited to Vogel’s Free Annual Senior Expo on Sept. 29

HARRISBURG – To better inform local seniors of programs and services available to them, Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47) will be hosting his annual FREE Senior Expo on Friday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community College of Beaver County located at 1 Campus Drive in Monaca.

Representatives from various state and local organizations will be present to offer helpful information concerning healthcare, government services, and more to attending seniors.

Additionally, there will be refreshments, door prizes, and health screenings which are also free of charge.

Vendors for this event include, but are not limited to: AAA East Central, AARP, AARP- Driver Safety Program, Aetna Medicare Solutions, Allegheny County Health Department- Injury Prevention Program, Anova Health Care System, The American Legion, Beaver County Association for the Blind, Beaver County District Attorney, Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation, Cambridge Retirement Living, CapTel Outreach, Columbia Gas of PA, Den-Mar Consulting, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley, Franciscan Manor Senior Living, Gallagher Home Health and Hospice, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medic Rescue, MRS Physical Therapy, Patriot Home Care, PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA Relay, Senior Select Plans, Inc/ Alyson Gross, St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows, Successful Financial Solutions/ American Senior Benefits, and Tri Rivers Musculoskeletal Centers.

For further information, contact Vogel’s Cranberry District Office at 878-978-2575. 

CONTACT: Abby Chiumento, 717-787-3076

Informational Meeting on the Federal Farm Bill 2023

Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee & House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

Wednesday, August 9, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.

Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center
Red Barn Annex
2710 W Pine Grove Rd.
Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa 16865


10:00 a.m. Opening Remarks by Committee Chairs
                  Member Introductions
10:10 a.m. Remarks by Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, Member of Congress
                  Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
10:20 a.m. Federal Farm Bill 2023
                  *Participants Asked to Provide Information:
                    • Richard Roush, Dean – Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences – Testimony
                    • Russell C. Redding, Secretary – Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture – Testimony, Recommendations
                    • Chris Hoffman, President – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau – Testimony
                    • Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director – Pasa Sustainable Agriculture – Testimony
11:15 a.m. Questions
11:30 a.m. Adjourn