Joint Public Hearing on Grid Reliability and Winter Storm Elliot Recap

Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

February 27, 2023 | 10 a.m.

Room 8E-B


10:00 – 10:10 AM      Opening Remarks

10:10 – 11:00 AM      Panel One: Regulators

  • Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Chair, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission – Testimony
  • Asim Z. Haque, Vice President of State and Member Services, PJM – Testimony
  • Diane Holder, Vice President of Entity Engagement and Corporate Services, Reliability First – Testimony

11:00 – 11:50 AM      Panel Two: Suppliers

  • Rachel Gleason, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance – Testimony
  • Chris Moser, Senior Vice President of Competitive Market and Policy, NRG Energy – Testimony
  • Matt Crozat, Senior Director for Strategy and Policy, Nuclear Energy Institute – Testimony
  • Andrew Williams, Vice President of Policy and Corporate Affairs, SolSystems – Testimony

 11:50 – 12:00 PM       Closing Remarks

Stefano Resolution to Bring Hope by Ringing Bells Receives Senate Support

HARRISBURG – In response to a request made by a resident of the 32nd District, Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) sponsored Senate Resolution 365, which recognizes three days annually to ring bells as a sign of thanks, praise and unity.

The resolution recognizes the day before Thanksgiving, the Sunday after Christmas and New Year’s Day at 6 p.m. as a time to ring bells for five minutes throughout the Commonwealth.

In 2020 and thereafter, the pandemic disrupted and tragically affected the lives of Pennsylvanians and people all over the world.

To help those who were struggling, churches in the Scottdale area of Westmoreland County provided meals and clothing for the needy, support groups and donations to Salvation Army, United Way and other organizations.

When the Scottdale Area Association of Churches met to discuss how to meet the needs of their community members, they came up with the idea of ringing bells as a way to give hope, connect people and bring comfort to others.

“People of the Scottdale Area Association of Churches rang bells to bring people together physically and emotionally when isolation and many other stressors associated with the pandemic were eroding Pennsylvania’s mental health,” Stefano said. “So when Edwin Zylka of the association reached out to me to bring awareness to this tradition as it prepares for its third year, I wanted to help.”

According to data compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in February 2021, more than half of Americans reported that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health.


CONTACT: Emily Falenski-Hildebrand

Fire & EMS Package Advanced by Stefano

HARRISBURG – Today, the Senate passed a measure that would provide essential funding and support for Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services (EMS) community, according to Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.

With an amendment offered by Senator Stefano, House Bill 397 would:

          *Put in place a Tuition & Loan Assistance Program.

          *Establish Recruitment, Training and Retention programs – including Higher & Secondary Education Partnerships for EMS.

          *Create Capital Grant Programs for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities. 

          *Increase the max Fire & EMS Grants and allows merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.

          *Provide funding for Online Fire Training.

          *Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online Fire Registry of firefighters’ courses. 

          *Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.

“Our fire and EMS systems are facing serious challenges. By working together at the state and local levels, we can help mitigate the threat of any Pennsylvanian needing assistance but not receiving it in a timely fashion,” said Stefano, who inserted the package into House Bill 397. “I was pleased to work with our fire and EMS community, as well as with colleagues in the Senate and House, to put together this measure.” 

House Bill 397 now moves to the governor’s desk for final approval.


CONTACT:  Nate Silcox, 717-787-7175 or

Stefano: Senate Committee Passes Guard and Veterans Measures

HARRISBURG – Yesterday, during “National Guard & Veterans Day at the Capitol,” the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced four measures important to the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans, said Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), committee chairman.

Senate Bill 244, sponsored by Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), would amend the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption Program by excluding Veterans Disability payments from being included in the calculation of a veteran’s income in order to be eligible. 

“This measure will help more veterans who are 100% disabled qualify for this important benefit,” said Stefano. “It is imperative that we ensure programs aimed at assisting veterans actually work for them.”

House Bill 2086, sponsored by Rep. Joe Kerwin (R-125), permanently allows members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to utilize Commonwealth vehicles during emergencies.

“During the pandemic, state agencies found  many outdated laws that impeded response efforts,” said Stefano. “The governor temporarily waived some laws, but since the end of the pandemic, we have looked at which waivers ought to be permanently kept. This measure will ultimately help members of the National Guard do their job without unnecessary red tape.”

House Bill 2361, sponsored by Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-147), would designate June 12 as
“Women Veterans Day in Pennsylvania.”

“The first Women Veterans Day was observed in 2018 and is now commemorated in 14 states,” said Stefano. “I am hopeful that Pennsylvania will soon be the 15th to honor women who served our nation. 

House Bill 2586, sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-117), would designate March 29 as
“Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day in Pennsylvania.”

“The Tuskegee Airmen were vital to the success of the United States in World War II,” said Stefano. “In March of 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen, received their flight training at a segregated air base in Tuskegee, AL, and became the first African American fighter squadron in the U.S. Army Air Corps.”

Each of the bills advance to the full Senate for further consideration.

Meanwhile, Stefano sponsored Senate Resolution 355, designating Sept. 20, 2022, as “National Guard and Veterans Day at the Capitol.”

“In 1747, Benjamin Franklin organized the ‘Philadelphia Associators,’ the precursor to the Pennsylvania National Guard,” said Stefano. “Today, Pennsylvania has the second largest Army National Guard in the nation and the fourth largest Air National Guard. With this resolution, we pay tribute to our citizens, soldiers, and airmen of the Pennsylvania National Guard, veterans of all services and components who have served, and their families.”

Click HERE for the video from the meeting.


CONTACT: Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175,

Meeting to consider SB 244, HB 2086, HB 2361, HB 2586

Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee

Tuesday, September 20 | 12:30 p.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A


Meeting to consider SB 244, HB 2086, HB 2361, HB 2586


I. Call to Order

II. Consideration of Legislation

*SB 244 (Pittman) Title 51/Military Affairs:  Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption/Exclusion of Disability Income

            Amendment 05561 (Stefano) Clarifying Language

*HB 2086 (Kerwin) Title 51/Military Affairs:  Makes Permanent the National Guard Vehicle Waiver

*HB 2361 (Pennycuick) Title 38/Holidays:  Designates June 12th as Women Veterans Day

*HB 2586 (Boback) Title 38/Holidays:  Designates March 29th as Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day

III.  Adjournment