In this Update:
Highlights in the 47th
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Kaisha Jantsch and Judy Graca from Trying Together to discuss child care in Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties.
Last week, Butler County natives, Bob McCafferty, owner of North Country Brewing Company; Terrilynn Halbleib, from North Country Brewing Company; and Amy Pack, Senior Director of Tourism Development came down to Harrisburg for Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Legislative Day! Thank you for stopping by my office!
Last Friday, I enjoyed spending the morning with the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, its members, and fellow colleagues who represent Butler County as we discussed issues area businesses and residents are facing.
Join Us for Our Kid’s Extravaganza This Saturday!
Join us this Saturday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at CCBC – Athletics and Events Center, 1 Campus Drive in Monaca!
While vendors will be present to share information about services they can provide for parents and their children, there will be plenty of fun activities offered for kids to take part in including face painting, a coloring contest, special character performances, a selfie station, and more.
Families are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for a chance to throw a pie at Vogel. The Beaver County District Attorney Dave Lozier will be present with a Drug Take Back box for disposal of expired or unused medications.
For more information, contact our Cranberry Township District Office at 878-978-2575.
Offices Closed for Primary Election Day, May 16
Tuesday, May 16, is primary election day, with polls being open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place, click here. Additionally, my Harrisburg and district offices will also be closed that day and will reopen on Wednesday, May 17, at 8:30 a.m.
Senate Confirms Russell Redding as PA Department of Agriculture Secretary
Yesterday, I was proud to join my colleagues in unanimously confirming Russell Redding as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture!
He has remained dedicated to serving and advocating for Pennsylvania’s ever-growing agriculture industry in his role as secretary over the last several administrations, as an educator, and as a farmer. He not only is a great asset to our Legislature, but to our Commonwealth. I want to congratulate him on his successful recommendation and look forward continuing to work with him to better the future of agriculture in our state.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
To all the women who put their family first, thank you for being such a source of strength and support in our communities. Happy Mother’s Day!
Recognizing Police Officers’ Memorial Day
In recognition of Police Officers’ Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, as designated by Senate Resolution 111, the Fraternal Order of Police joined Senate Republicans to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year. The five officers were:
Like so many other members of law enforcement, these officers served and protected their fellow citizens – despite knowing the sacrifices they and their families would have to make. Thank you to each brave man and woman who defend the safety of our communities.
Senate Acts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Taxpayers and Job Creators
The Senate approved a legislative package to reduce the burden of unchecked government regulations on taxpayers and job creators. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 188 requires regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million to go before the General Assembly for approval before taking effect. The Independent Fiscal Office, rather than the regulating agency, would be tasked with calculating the economic impact.
Senate Bill 190 requires an automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million. The regulating agency must report to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on the effectiveness of the regulation, whether current state laws require the regulation’s repeal or amendment, and more.
Senate Bill 350 requires state agencies to create an accessible website for permit applicants to check their application status. In addition, all the permits issued must be publicly accessible and if rejected, it must state the legal authority the agency relies on to reject the permit application. It also requires that a permit, license or certification is deemed approved by the state if the agency reviewing the application misses its statutory deadline.
Senate Approves Measure to Improve Personal Financial Literacy
To teach high school students the financial basics, the Senate approved legislation that will enable them to make better decisions that lead to a lifetime of success and financial independence. Senate Bill 647 moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Recent estimates show there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and credit card owners average about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion in debt overall.
The bill would give high school students the information they need on topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Measure Boosting Support for PA Veterans Approved by Senate
The Senate passed bills to help veterans start or expand a business, access programs and services available to them, and make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a free lifetime fishing license. All three bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 248 would create the Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program, which would be funded with $5 million of existing dollars from another program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as one in which 51% or more of the organization is owned or controlled by one or more veterans. Veteran-owned businesses in America employ nearly four million workers and generate more than $175 billion in annual payroll.
Senate Bill 447 would establish in law the PA VETConnect program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and helps the commonwealth’s more than 700,000 veterans access programs and services tailored to their needs. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates – including staff at county veterans affairs offices – to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 411 would make it possible for disabled veterans with a 100% disability determination to obtain a free, lifetime fishing license. Free lifetime fishing licenses currently are available only to disabled veterans with a 100% permanent disability determination, and they must apply for a new free fishing license every year.
Legislation Expanding Access to Breast Cancer Screenings Signed Into Law
Recently signed into law, Act 1 of 2023 is a first-of-its-kind breast cancer screening measure that will save Pennsylvanians’ lives.
It eliminates all costs associated with genetic testing and counseling as well as breast MRI and ultrasounds for Pennsylvanians with high-risk conditions like dense breast tissue, a personal history of breast cancer, a family history, a genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Approximately one of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but this law will ensure that high-risk individuals have affordable access to early detection.
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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