Senator Vogel E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Preventative Care Protects Moms, All Women
  • Highlights in the 47th
  • Pre-Register for Our Senior and Kids Expos!
  • Senate Passes My Legislation to Bolster Telemedicine in PA
  • Senate Republicans Secure Historic Tax Cuts for Working Families
  • Penn State’s Butcher School Apprenticeship Program is Accepting Applications
  • Senate Votes to Create Statewide Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking System
  • Legislation to Curb Distracted Driving Set for Enactment
  • Scholarship Bill Wins Bipartisan Support

Preventative Care Protects Moms, All Women

Happy Mother’s Day to the women who play a critical role in their families as they care for their loved ones. Often, they are so focused on supporting everyone else that meeting their own needs takes a back seat.

However, when it comes to breast cancer, that’s simply not safe to do. It’s important for all women who are at least 40 years old to carve out time to get a mammogram every two years. Know your risk and family history because Act 1 of 2023 eliminates all costs associated with screening breast MRI, ultrasound, genetic testing and counseling for individuals with high risk.

The comprehensive breast cancer screening bill will save lives so we can enjoy more time with the mothers and all other women in our worlds.

Highlights in the 47th

Last week was a busy one in Harrisburg. In addition to attending session, I had a chance to meet with many different groups to discuss their priorities and viewpoints – many of which were constituents that came all the way from the 47th district!

See more pictures here.

Recently, I attended a Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber event where we recognized the Chamber’s President Jim Boltz for his years of service and wished him well on his upcoming retirement! I was happy to present him with a citation to commemorate this milestone!

I also presented certificates to this year’s Chamber award recipients:

  • Women’s Leadership Excellence Award: Dr. Amanda Laichak, Commonwealth Charter Academy
  • Distinguished Business Award: Fun Fore All Family Fun Park
  • Young Professional of the Year Award: Maggie Giel-Bovaird, Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Pittsburgh
  • Bruce Conley Outstanding Volunteer Award: Kathleen Kuznicki, The Lynch Law Group
  • Prestigious Business Leader Award: Julie Campbell, PNC Bank
  • Nonprofit Excellence Award: So Many Angels

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!

Senate Passes My Legislation to Bolster Telemedicine in PA

With support from my colleagues, my Telemedicine legislation (Senate Bill 739) aimed at strengthening telemedicine in the commonwealth passed the PA Senate with overwhelming support and now advances to the House for consideration.

Telemedicine has proven to be a multifaceted approach to alleviate wait times in our healthcare facilities, serve as an alternative to residents who are unable to make it to their doctor’s appointments in person, and allow for better coordination among our healthcare providers.

Senate Bill 739 sets a base for how telemedicine will be covered by insurance companies and medical providers in Pennsylvania.

Senate Republicans Secure Historic Tax Cuts for Working Families

Working families, job creators and energy consumers in Pennsylvania would see their taxes reduced by approximately $3 billion a year under a bill approved by the Senate with a strong bipartisan, veto-proof majority. It would represent the largest tax cut for working families in Pennsylvania history, saving taxpayers more than $13 billion over the next five years.

Senate Bill 269 would reduce the personal income tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8%, putting more money in the wallets of every Pennsylvanian who earns a paycheck. The bill would also eliminate the gross receipts tax on energy, effective Jan. 1, 2025, providing critical relief from high energy costs.

The tax cuts would benefit all Pennsylvania families and inject an additional $3 billion into the state’s economy, rather than growing government and arbitrarily picking winners and losers. The plan is a sharp contrast from Gov. Josh Shapiro’s calls for $3.2 billion in new government spending, as well as legislation introduced by House Democrats to nearly quadruple certain taxes paid by small businesses. Instead, Senate Republicans continue to protect taxpayers against unnecessary tax increases, new spending and unchecked growth in the size of government.

Penn State’s Butcher School Apprenticeship Program is Accepting Applications

Applications are now being accepted through the end of June for Penn State’s Butcher School Apprenticeship Program. This year’s program will begin with instruction at the University Park campus from July 22 to Aug. 23. After the opening five weeks, each apprentice will complete 3,000 hours of on-the-job training with a butcher shop.

Prospects will go through an interview that will give them an opportunity to ask questions about the program.

Applicants don’t need prior experience in meat cutting, but they should be interested in the business.

Learn more about the program here.

Senate Votes to Create Statewide Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking System

To assist survivors of sexual assault, the Senate approved Senate Bill 920, which would establish a sexual assault evidence tracking system. Using the system, individuals could follow the path of a rape kit throughout the collection and testing process.

Sexual assault forensic exams are conducted using what are commonly referred to as rape kits, in which DNA evidence is collected from the assault victim’s body, clothes and other personal belongings. The process can increase the likelihood of criminal prosecution.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have established rape kit tracking systems. Enactment of the legislation would enable Pennsylvania to receive additional federal funds.

Legislation to Curb Distracted Driving Set for Enactment

Legislation passed by the Senate to prohibit the handheld use of cellular and other devices while driving is set for enactment into law.

Senate Bill 37 would enhance driver responsibility by prohibiting the use of handheld cellphones or other communication devices while operating a motor vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or trafficway. While hands-free use of devices when driving would remain legal, handheld use of devices would only be permitted when the vehicle is parked on the side or shoulder of a roadway and the vehicle can safely remain stationary.

To inform drivers about the new law, law enforcement must issue warnings for violations during the initial 12 months following the bill’s enactment.

Scholarship Bill Wins Bipartisan Support

The Senate Education Committee advanced bipartisan legislation to provide more educational options to children in low-performing public schools through scholarships to attend the school of their choice.

Senate Bill 795 would establish the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) Program. During Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address earlier this year, he referenced his continued support for “scholarships that let poor families in struggling school districts put their kids in the best position for them to succeed – whether that’s paying for extra tutoring, books and computers, or yes, going to another school.”

The bill, which now heads to the full Senate for consideration, is part of a larger Senate Republican initiative to preserve the role parents have in their children’s lives.

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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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