Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Everett Area Team Honored at Capitol
  • Grants Announced for Local Hospital and Health Systems
  • Fayette County Students Visit the Capitol
  • Consumer Protection Bills Move Out of Committee
  • Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs 
  • Bill to Improve Safety, Combat Illegal Street Racing Passes Senate
  • Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work
  • Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law
  • Grants Available to Capitalize on Tourism
  • Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Everett Area Team Honored at Capitol

This week, the Everett Area High School rifle team was recognized at the capitol for a successful season and multiple state titles. This season, the team has won both the PA Interscholastic Air Rifle Championship and the PA Interscholastic 3-P Smallbore Championship, marking their respective sixth and third straight win in each. Congratulations!

Grants Announced for Local Hospital and Health Systems

As part of the finalized 2023-2024 state budget, $50 million was included for the Hospital and Health System Emergency Relief Program. Recognizing hospitals are economic drivers within the communities they serve, administration of the program was placed under DCED. Find a list of the local recipients here.

Fayette County Students Visit the Capitol

On Wednesday, the 10- and 11-year-old students of the New Meadow Run and Spring Valley Bruderhof Communities, in Farmington, joined us at the capitol for a tour and visit to the Senate floor. Thank you to the students and their chaperones for their fellowship and engaging conversation!

Consumer Protection Bills Move Out of Committee

This week, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee met to vote on three bills, two of which I sponsored:

Senate Bill 1173 would give wholesale transactions the same level of transparency and uniformity as other real estate transactions. The bill requires those engaged in residential wholesaling to be licensed in Pennsylvania and also requires the buyer and seller to be made aware if it is a wholesale transaction and that they have the right to seek an appraisal and cancel the contract.

Senate Bill 1174 would enable a public utility to petition the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) for relief from a law, regulation, or policy statement under the PUC’s jurisdiction if the utility can show it will reduce costs for ratepayers and operate more efficiently and effectively. Consumers continue to see increases in their utility bills and we need to find ways to reduce them. As every utility operates differently, this will give each of them an opportunity to seek cost savings that will provide the most benefit to every ratepayer.

Having received committee support, both of these bills have been moved out of committee and now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs

Acting to establish a sweeping, new energy framework for Pennsylvania, the Senate approved legislation this week creating the Independent Energy Office (IEO) and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity with Energy Reliability (POWER) Board. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under Senate Bill 832, the IEO will provide data-driven analysis and ensure lawmakers have the reliable information necessary to review and implement current energy strategies as well as be on the forefront of new innovative technologies. The POWER Board will be a public clearinghouse for energy development in Pennsylvania and allow residents to see public accountability on decisions that impact energy prices in Pennsylvania.

The federal government has passed legislation to provide funding for states to grow solar, wind, hydro and nuclear capacities. Pennsylvania must apply for these funds and provide a framework to distribute funding throughout the state. The General Assembly has not yet established this framework, and statutory authority is needed.

Bill to Improve Safety, Combat Illegal Street Racing Passes Senate

To address how the erratic driving of illegal street racers endangers the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, the Senate passed legislation that would increase street racing fines for first offenses to $500 and all additional infractions to $2,000. Senate Bill 998 also calls for impoundment orders for vehicles used in the offense and would hold event organizers accountable using fines, suspension of driving privileges, classification as habitual offenders, impoundment of vehicles and imprisonment.

Additionally, the bill would impose penalties for drifting on highways or trafficways and for organizing street racing or drifting events. Drifting is a driving technique that involves steering a car to make a controlled skid sideways through a turn.

Senate Bill 998 is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work

Unemployed Pennsylvanians who engage in job dodging by sabotaging their own efforts to get hired would jeopardize their Unemployment Compensation benefits under a bill approved by the Senate.

Job dodging is the process used by some Unemployment Compensation recipients to avoid obtaining a job and to continue to collect benefits. Job dodgers may skip a job interview or refuse employment or a referral for employment to continue receiving Unemployment Compensation benefits.

Senate Bill 1109 is intended to prevent Unemployment Compensation recipients who apply for a job from unreasonably discouraging their own hiring. It would require the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to create or update forms enabling employers to report Unemployment Compensation claimants who discourage their own hiring through job dodging. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law

One year ago, a first-of-its-kind in the nation comprehensive breast cancer screening bill was signed into law as Act 1 of 2023. Senate Republicans supported the bill that eliminated out-of-pocket costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling as well as supplemental screening such as breast MRI and ultrasound for women at high risk.

High-risk conditions covered by the law include dense breast tissue, personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition and prior radiation therapy.

Act 1 covers individuals whose insurance is state-regulated, including plans purchased through the Pennie marketplace or employer-provided insurance. The law takes effect for many plans between 2024 and 2025. All state-regulated plans must be in place before the end of 2025. Learn more.

Grants Available to Capitalize on Tourism

To draw sporting events and the associated tourism to Pennsylvania, grants are available to municipalities, local authorities, nonprofit organizations and legal entities that meet specific criteria. Learn more and apply by June 30 using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application.

The Sports Marketing and Tourism Program was created to attract high-quality, amateur and professional sporting and e-sports events to Pennsylvania. Hosting a major event increases sales to small and large businesses in the area, which boosts the local economy.

The last round of grants benefited Philadelphia Soccer for the 2026 World Cup in Philadelphia, the United States Golf Association for the 2025 United States Men’s Open in Oakmont and the 2024 United States Women’s Open in Lancaster.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania leads the nation with the number of Lyme disease cases. While we are lucky to have access to the many outdoor recreational opportunities in the commonwealth, they come with the risks of tickborne diseases.

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn how to protect your family and pets against Lyme. Use insect repellent when spending time outdoors, treat your clothing and gear with permethrin and conduct a tick check when you come inside.

There are three stages of Lyme disease with distinct signs and symptoms occurring in each stage, including a bullseye rash, headaches, nerve pain, heart palpitations and fever. If you discover a tick, safely remove it, put it in a plastic bag and mail it to the Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab for free testing. Within three business days, you will know if the tick carried Lyme disease and other diseases – valuable information for you and your health care provider.


Facebook Twitter/X Instagram Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy