Media Advisory – Stefano, Pittman and Senate Committees to Hear Update on Veteran Homelessness in PA

 PITTSBURGH – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), chair of the Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee, are hosting a joint hearing to hear about the progress made to combat veteran homelessness, as well as what improvements can still be made, on Tuesday, July 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Veterans Place, 945 Washington Blvd., Pittsburgh.

Participants will include:

  • Brig. Gen. Maureen Weigl, Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
  • Rob Hamilton, Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard.
  • Allen J. Lockard, Director of Veterans Affairs for Indiana County.
  • Timothy Martin, Chief Veterans Affairs Officer for Allegheny County.
  • Sally A. Mounts of City Mission of Washington County.
  • William M. Reed of Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania.
  • Janine Wytovich of Veterans Leadership Program.

Watch live at,, or

CONTACT:    Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175 (Stefano’s office)

                        Sarah Stauffer, 717-787-8724 (Pittman’s office)

Stefano and Warner Announce Two Fayette County Projects to Create Jobs Receive Funding

HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) and Rep. Ryan Warner (R-52) announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) awarded nearly $2 million in grants and more than $3 million in low-interest loans to two Fayette County projects that will create 325 local jobs.

The first grant and loan were awarded to the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, which will use the funding to build upon the success of the Dunbar Township Business Park. Another 19 acres will be developed within the park by constructing a 100,000 square foot multi-tenant building that will be marketed as commercial, industrial, manufacturing and office space. It is anticipated that the development of this building will result in the creation of 250 jobs.

“With so many people looking for better jobs or trying to re-enter employment after being forced out of the labor market because of Gov. Tom Wolf’s business closures, these job opportunies will benefit families in the district,” Stefano said. “I look forward to seeing the projects develop and eventually boost our local economy.”

This project received a $1.7 million grant and a $2.6 million 20-year, low-interest loan.

The second project would develop the North Union Commercial Park to accommodate new businesses seeking buildable property in Fayette County’s recognized major business and industry corridor. The site is fully permitted and will be used to attract commercial and light industrial businesses. Because of the project, 75 new jobs are expected to be created.

This project received a $220,000 grant and a $550,000 20-year, low-interest loan.

“Fayette County and the entire southwest region of the Commonwealth have so much potential for growth and opportunity,” Warner said. “This is a great investment in our future.”

The project was funded by the CFA, which is an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development that administers many of Pennsylvania’s economic development and community improvement programs. 


Mark Fetzko (Stefano’s office)

Patricia Hippler (Warner’s office)

Senate Passes 2022-23 State Budget that Cuts Taxes, Funds Essential Services

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a $45.2 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 that meets the needs of Pennsylvanians today without creating multi-billion-dollar budget deficits in the future, according to Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), who voted for the measure.

Senate Bill 1100 now goes to the governor’s desk for enactment into law.

The $45.2 billion budget, which also includes federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, represents a 2.9% increase over the previous year’s spending – and $500 million less than Gov. Tom Wolf’s original budget request.

The budget agreement does not include any broad-based tax increases and is structured in a way to minimize the risk of tax increases in the years ahead.

“While it’s very important not to raise taxes on Pennsylvanians who are still struggling financially because of Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 closures and bad federal fiscal policies, that’s not enough. We also have to attract employers to the Commonwealth,” Stefano said. “The budget does both to most effectively improve the state’s economy long term.”

The budget actually cuts the Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate from 9.99% to 8.99% and creates a phased reduction to 4.99% by 2031, moves designed to attract employers and residents to Pennsylvania.

As important as the economic boost provided by this plan, which will have a projected ending balance of $3.6 billion, the 2022-23 budget includes a $2.1 billion transfer to the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total balance to nearly $5 billion.

These fiscally responsible steps are critical because many economic indicators are showing a risk of a recession on the horizon. Most recently, Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office estimated a 60% chance of economic stagnation or a “growth recession” happening, and a 30% chance of a recession.

The budget includes a $525 million increase for Basic Education Funding, $225 million to provide additional support for the state’s 100 poorest school districts, a $100 million increase for Special Education funding, an additional $60 million for Pre-K Counts and $19 million more for Head Start Supplemental Assistance.

It also includes an additional $125 million in Education Improvement Tax Credits to ensure more students can learn in the educational environment that best suits their needs. Higher education receives a funding boost as well.

Increased funding is also dedicated in this year’s budget to ensure our schools are safe and secure: $100 million is appropriated for the Ready to Learn Block Grant program to address school-based mental health; and $100 million in funding is directed to a new General Fund appropriation for School Safety and Security to address physical safety and security at schools.

Building on our efforts last year to help address the serious financial challenges of our nursing homes and long-term care providers, this budget includes $150 million for costs related to nursing home staffing, $250 million in ARPA funding for long-term living programs and $20 million for supplementary payments to personal care homes.

Inflation is driving up the cost of everything, including housing, both owned and rented, and this budget directs $540 million in ARPA funding to help our most vulnerable and low-income residents by funding affordable housing construction programs, offering additional home repair assistance and bolstering the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. 

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko

Meeting to consider SB 1152, SB 1286, HB 397, HB 1867 and HB 2412

Senate Veterans and Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 10:00 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8EA


Meeting to consider SB 1152, SB 1286, HB 397, HB 1867 and HB 2412


Call to Order

Consideration of Legislation

*SB 1152 (Mastriano) (Overdose Mapping Act)

  • Amendment 04872 (Stefano) Changes to a 48-hour reporting timeline (rather than 24); removes the Overdose Map as an option for entering overdoses; and adds a reporting requirement for ER staff when the overdose victim was not transported by EMS
  • REPLACEMENT AMENDMENT 04962 (Stefano) Changes to a 72-hour reporting timeline (rather than 24); removes the Overdose Map as an option for entering overdoses; and adds a reporting requirement for ER staff when the overdose victim was not transported by EMS

*SB 1286 (Muth/Stefano) (Title51/Military Affairs: PA National Guard Pay Increase)

*HB 397 (Owlett) (Title 35/Health & Safety:  Permits Resolutions for First Responder Tax Credit)

*HB 1867 (Boback) (School Code:  Purple Star Schools)

  • Amendment 03953 (Stefano) Replaces the language of HB 1867 with the Senate passed version, SB 1028, which permits Private School Participation 

*HB 2412 (C. Williams) (Title 51/Military Affairs:  Permits PA National Guard to assist state agencies with Cyber Security)


Civil Air Patrol briefing

Joint Informational Meeting

Senate AND House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 9:00 a.m.

East Wing, Room 60


Civil Air Patrol Briefing


Civil Air Patrol Briefing by Col. Kevin Berry, Wing Commander 

Swearing in of Legislative Squadron by Kevin Berry, Wing Commander

Joint informational meeting with the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS), who will cover their Legislative Agenda, PNGAS Job Board, Employers hiring Veterans and Guard members, and introduction of the PNGAS leadership team

Joint Informational Meeting

Senate AND House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees

Monday, June 13, 2022 | 11:30 a.m.

East Wing, Room 60


Joint informational meeting with the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS), who will cover their Legislative Agenda, PNGAS Job Board, Employers hiring Veterans and Guard members, and introduction of the PNGAS leadership team

11:00 Registration, Brunch and Networking

11:30 Call to Order and Legislative Welcome: Joint Meeting of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Meeting

  • House Chairman Karen Boback
  • House Chairman Chris Sainato
  • Senate Chairman Patrick J. Stefano
  • Senate Chairman Katie J. Muth

11:40 Pennsylvania National Guard Update – Brigadier General Michael J. Regan Jr., Deputy Adjutant General – Pennsylvania Air National Guard

11:45 PNGAS Updates

  • Ronda Fawber, Chairman, PNGAS Board of Directors,
  • Kelly Lewis, Consultant, PNGAS and PNGAS Job Board
  • PNGAS Legislative Agenda, PNGAS Job Board, Employers Hiring Veterans & Guard Members  

11:55 Closing Remarks – Chairman Boback, Sainato, and Chairman Stefano, Muth

11:59 Adjournment

Stefano Bill to Reduce Red Tape and Help Economy Passes Senate

HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano’s (R-32) legislation to cut bureaucratic red tape by reducing the paperwork required by the Steel Products Procurement Act received unanimous support from the Senate today.

Senate Bill 1043 would streamline business practices, as well as save time and money for taxpayers and industries striving to restart the economy.

“As so many people and companies in Pennsylvania are struggling, we have to help. We can do that by reducing some of Pennsylvania’s cumbersome laws and regulations that impede success,” Stefano said.

One burden is within the Steel Products Procurement Act. As currently enacted, “unidentifiable” steel products, melted and manufactured in the United States, carry with them an inordinate amount of paperwork to comply with the act.

The bill would ease the extensive paperwork required as steel leaves the mill while maintaining an auditable record of the product.

“By allowing contractors to submit the necessary documentation electronically, they will have more time to focus on their job of installing steel products instead of doing administrative work,” Stefano said. “My bill would enable these contractors to work more efficiently.”

Senate Bill 1043 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

CONTACT: Jake Gery,

Stefano, Dowling Announce $682,638 Grant to Reduce Stormwater Runoff

SOMERSET – The Joe Walker Manure Storage in the Somerset County Conservation District has been awarded a $682,638 grant to address manure and stormwater runoff issues, Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) and Rep. Matt Dowling (R-51) announced today.

A new circular manure storage structure will be constructed to hold manure, washwater and bedding from the herd for up to six months, eliminating the impacts of overflow and runoff from land application. Best management practices will be applied and will contribute to the elimination of sedimentation and nutrient runoff with the addition of a roofed, heavy-use and manure stacking area to be used during winter months, in addition to the stabilization and resurfacing of silage pads and field lanes.

“This grant money will do a wonderful job balancing the area’s agricultural priorities with the need to preserve our waterways. That’s especially important because Blue Lick Creek flows into Casselman River and then eventually the Ohio River,” Stefano said. “Pollutants in our shared waterways affect everyone, so I am pleased that the funding will address the issue.”

Annually, the project will eliminate approximately 6,267 pounds of sediment, 5,794 pounds of nitrogen and 2,511 pounds of phosphorus.

“The Somerset County Conservation District has done so much to ensure clean water for our region while partnering with area farmers and others to help them employ best management practices to protect that water supply,” Dowling said. “This is an important investment in our community.”

The money was awarded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), whose mission includes funding sewer, storm water and drinking water projects throughout the Commonwealth that contribute to improving the environment and public health, as well as provide opportunities for economic growth and jobs.

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko,


Senate Votes to Ban Unsecured Ballot Drop Boxes and Private Funding of Election Operations

HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) voted today to safeguard the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections as the Senate approved legislation that would prevent the future use of unsecured ballot drop boxes and ban private money to fund election operations.

Senate Bill 1200 would require mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail to be returned only to the County Board of Elections office, effectively eliminating drop boxes in Pennsylvania.

Drop boxes were permitted by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in 2020, despite the fact that they were never authorized or intended by the General Assembly through the legislative process. Since that time, numerous examples of drop boxes being misused have been discovered throughout the state, including:

  • Video evidence from Lehigh County showing ballot harvesting in the 2021 General Election.
  • Video evidence from Lackawanna County showing a man allegedly harvesting multiple ballots into a drop box during the 2021 Primary Election.
  • Video evidence from Montgomery County showing ballot harvesting in the 2021 General Election.
  • Memorandum from Lehigh County explaining how detectives reviewed video from four different drop boxes in the county and determined there were overvotes at each of the locations.
  • Testimony from a Luzerne County Judge of Elections indicating an individual admitting to repeatedly harvesting ballots at a drop box, not realizing it was even illegal.

“After seeing such outrageous misinterpretations of the election reform law my colleagues and I passed, it’s perfectly clear how important this bill is to restoring the faith Pennsylvanians deserve to have in our election process,” Stefano said. “We must get back to running elections fairly.”

Eliminating unsecured ballot drop boxes will not negatively impact voter access. There are more than 10,000 publicly available locations across the Commonwealth that voters can use to return their ballots.

Senate Bill 982 would ban any state employee or county from accepting money from outside groups to pay for the administration of elections in Pennsylvania.

The legislation was created in response to the use of grant money from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) during the 2020 Election. Correspondence between CTCL officials, the Wolf Administration and county officials demonstrates that funding was intentionally directed predominantly to counties that favor Democrats.

Democrat-leaning counties were selectively invited to apply for the grants before Republican-leaning counties were even made aware of the funding. Philadelphia and its surrounding counties received more than $18 million from CTCL in the 2020 Election, while other counties received significantly less.

For example, Philadelphia received $8.83 per voter in CTCL funding in 2020. On the other side of the state, Venango County, with a Republican voter registration advantage, received only $.64 per voter in CTCL funding in 2020.

Both bills were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko,

Senate Committee Votes to Extend Declaration for Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge

HARRISBURG – Following the lead of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by Chairman Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), today the Senate unanimously approved a resolution to extend the disaster emergency declaration of Jan. 28 until Sept. 30 for the collapse of the Forbes Avenue/Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh.

The bridge’s collapse caused adverse impacts within the City of Pittsburgh, and traffic patterns are still disrupted.

House Resolution 188, which also received unanimous support from the committee today, is necessary to help ensure the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is eligible to receive emergency relief funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

In May 2021, the people of Pennsylvania adopted an amendment to the Constitution of Pennsylvania requiring that a disaster emergency declaration not last any longer than 21 days unless the General Assembly votes to extend it.

“While there was some concern before last year’s primary about the Constitutional Amendment’s impact on Pennsylvania, this response to the bridge collapse is the perfect example of how the General Assembly can work cooperatively with the governor,” Stefano said. “Some naysayers worried that legislators would oppose any extensions as a way to thwart the governor, but that’s not the case at all.” 

CONTACT:  Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175,