Senator Vogel E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Highlights in the 47th
  • Legislation to Assist Residents Affected by the East Palestine Train Derailment
  • Pre-Register for Our Senior and Kids Expos!
  • School Safety Grants Awarded
  • Over $6.3 Million in State Infrastructure Grants for Beaver and Lawrence Counties
  • Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions
  • Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania
  • Spring Gobbler Season Began on April 27
  • April is National Donate Life Month

Highlights in the 47th

Congratulations to Joe Taylor on your retirement after 28 years with Armstrong! Throughout his career, he served on several local boards and spearheaded numerous projects for Armstrong, notably the Network of the Future project.

Joe has also been a dedicated volunteer, lending his time to various organizations such as food banks and Veteran organizations in Butler County. I wish you well on as you begin your next chapter!

Surrounded by his family and friends, it was a pleasure to present a certificate of recognition to John Kuharsky who is a lifelong resident of Beaver County and U.S. Navy WWII veteran. Thank you, John for your service!

Legislation to Assist Residents Affected by the East Palestine Train Derailment

Last week, I joined Senators Doug Mastriano and Michele Brooks in introducing Senate Bill 1149 to provide a state income tax deduction for disaster relief payments provided to Pennsylvania residents by a government agency, Norfolk Southern or an insurer as the result of the Feb. 3, 2023, train wreck. The deduction would also be retroactive to any payments received by victims in 2023.

There are many residents still having to deal with negative, residual effects from the derailment, which have caused increased financial burdens on these hurting families.

Through this proposal, we aim to help alleviate some of the financial stress they are experiencing and continue to help these families as we navigate further through the aftermath of this tragic accident.

Additional information about this bill can be found here.

Pre-Register for Our Senior and Kids Expos!

Our expos are just around the corner! Come learn more about the local services that are available for families and seniors while also enjoying some refreshments and fun activities.

The Kid’s Expo will be Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Community College of Beaver County – Athletics and Events Center (1 Campus Drive in Monaca). Pre-register for this event here.

The Butler County Senior Expo will be on Friday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Discovery Church (170 Scharberry Lane in Mars). Pre-register for this event here. If you are unable to make this expo, we will be holding a senior expo in Beaver County on Friday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Community College of Beaver County.

If you have any questions, you can reach out to our Cranberry Township office at 878-978-2575.

We look forward to seeing you there!

School Safety Grants Awarded

More than $150 million in School Safety Grants have been approved this week for students across the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s School Safety & Security Grant Program was originally established in 2018, providing for school entities to be safer places for students, staff and visitors. Most recently through Act 33 of 2023, changes were made to strengthen and expand the program, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, School Safety and Security Committee.

Meritorious Grants ranging from $30,000 to $45,000 were awarded to each of the 497 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. The award amount is based on the school size. Funding can be used to address safety and security through security assessments, violence prevention and all-hazards plans.

Mental Health Grants ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 were awarded to each of the 719 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. These applicants included school districts, area career and technical schools, intermediate units, charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools. School districts received a base of $100,000 plus a formula amount depending on their school size. The intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school applicants each received $70,000. The funding can be used for school mental health services, training and programs for students and staff.

Additionally, grants were approved through the Competitive School Safety and Security Grant Funding, and Targeted School Safety and Security Grant Programs. Learn more.

Over $6.3 Million in State Infrastructure Grants for Beaver and Lawrence Counties

Congrats to Beaver County Conservation District (Beaver County) and Wampum Borough (Lawrence County) who benefited from recently released state infrastructure grants.

Beaver County Conservation District was awarded over $1.3 million for the Wright Brothers Dairy Farm project which will include new feeding and resting areas as well as a cattle walkway to minimize erosion and sedimentation. Manure collection facilities for both solid and liquid manure, a waste storage facility, a silage bag pad, and gravel access areas around the buildings will also be added. A grassed waterway will provide a stabilized channel to convey stormwater from the upslope fields. Stormwater runoff will be collected and treated with stormwater Best Management Practices.

Wampum Borough was awarded $3.4 million to remove existing distribution lines along and near Clyde, Kay. Main, and Beaver Streets and replaced with approximately 9,300 feet of new six-inch ductile iron water line with miscellaneous appurtenances and restoration. Approximately 100 feet of the new water line will be encased in 12-inch steel pipe.

Additionally, Wampum Borough was awarded $1.6 million to remove approximately 50 lead service lines along and near those same streets in the borough’s drinking water system. New 0.75-inch copper service lines will be installed to include relevant appurtenances and restoration.

The funding was approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), an independent state agency providing financial assistance to fund construction of drinking water, sewer and stormwater projects.

Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions

Complementing Senate Republicans’ efforts to protect Pennsylvania jobs, support is available for community colleges, trade or tech schools, school districts and nonprofits through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant Program.

The program is designed to help companies identify and train a skilled workforce for existing positions or ones that will be open soon. It is also designed to advance capacity for local and regional manufacturers and increase awareness of manufacturing career opportunities for youth or those with barriers.

Grants may be used for professional services/consultants, internships, equipment purchases, shop modifications, program development, marketing, domestic travel and salaries. Learn more and apply online.

Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania

The Senate approved a bill aimed at increasing the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania by reforming the certification process without sacrificing quality or safety.

Current firefighter applicants must complete four training modules totaling 188 hours. They then must pass a cumulative test covering all four modules. Senate Bill 1101 would enable applicants to be tested following each of the four modules.

In the 1970s, the commonwealth had as many as 300,000 volunteer firefighters. There currently are fewer than 38,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania.

Spring Gobbler Season Began on April 27

Yesterday, April 27, spring gobbler season opened with a half-day hunt for junior hunters and mentored hunters 16 and under.

The regular season runs from May 4-31. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from May 4-18 and 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset from May 20-31.

Approximately 172,000 people hunt spring turkeys in Pennsylvania every year. Last season, hunters harvested about 39,500 gobblers – an increase from 35,700 in 2022 and 28,100 in 2021. Information about spring turkey hunting rules and regulations, for youth and regular hunts, is available here.

April is National Donate Life Month

Making a difference in the lives of others might be easier than you think. With nearly 7,000 Pennsylvanians awaiting organ transplants, donors can save up to eight lives. People donating tissue can enhance the lives of 75 others by helping them recover from trauma, spinal injuries, burns and vision loss.

If you aren’t an organ or tissue donor yet but would like to be, there’s no need to wait until you get or renew your driver’s license, learner’s permit or photo ID. It’s easy to register online to donate.

Misconceptions about organ and tissue donation can discourage people from taking the important step to save lives. Find myths and facts here.


Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to receive help in dealing with a state agency.

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