Senate Committee Advances Veterans Measures

HARRISBURG – Today, the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced three measures supporting the military and veterans in Pennsylvania.  According to Senator Pat Stefano, Committee Chairman, the first bill would establish two new Veterans Recognition Days.  The second would enhance the Keystone Youth Challenge Academy Program.  And the third would create a Veterans Business Logo.

Senate Bill 248, sponsored by Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), and Chris Dush (R-Jefferson), would designate March 6th as “Persian Gulf War Veterans Day” and October 7th as “Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day” and encourage all educational institutions to observe these days by conducting exercises recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by these veterans.

“Americans have long-remembered the sacrifices made by our men and women in the military,” said Sen. Stefano.  “And now it is time to give the same respect to the soldiers that have fought for our freedoms in these wars.”

Senate Bill 433, sponsored by Senators Stefano and Maria Collett (D-Montgomery), would establish a special fund in the State Treasury for the Keystone Youth Challenge Academy.

“The Keystone Youth Challenge Academy will provide Pennsylvanians who have left high school early with a quasi-military/residential education in the same manner that 28 other states have successfully implemented — turning around the lives of at-risk youth,” said Sen. Stefano.  “The Special Fund will help ensure the long-term solvency of the program which will be based out of the Pennsylvania National Guard headquarters at Ft. Indiantown Gap and will open in July 2022.”

Senate Bill 455, sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington), would task the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs with creating a “Veterans Business Logo,” to help promote veteran-owned businesses in the Commonwealth.

“This measure that will not only help encourage military pride amongst the veterans business community, but also promote entrepreneurialism to veterans returning to civilian life,” said Sen. Stefano.

Each of the bills now go to the full Senate for consideration.

For a link to the video from the meeting, click HERE. 

CONTACT:  Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175,

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