In this Update:
Happening in Harrisburg
May is Beef Month! Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture celebrated beef farmers and meat producers across the state with a rally at the capitol. Logan Family Farms served up fresh burgers for those in attendance and the entire complex smelled delicious for the rest of the day.
This week, my colleagues and I enjoyed a friendly bocce competition with the Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Special Olympics Unified Sports is a fully inclusive sports program that facilitates social inclusion by bringing together individuals with and without intellectual disabilities as teammates on sports teams. The program combines Unified Sports, youth leadership, and whole school engagement activities and is transforming the culture and climate in nearly 400 schools across the state – reducing bullying and promoting respect, acceptance, and diversity.
Around the District
We waited for this day for quite some time! Last week, the Fayette County commissioners and county officials cut a ribbon on the new Fayette County Jail.
The project started in 2016 and construction began in March 2021. The building is now in the final phase of construction and inmates are slated to relocate to the location this summer. Congratulations to everyone involved!
It was a beautiful day in Chalk Hill to celebrate a ribbon cutting! Ridge Runner Distillery at Christian W. Klay Winery unveiled a new addition to their facilities last weekend, creating another indoor/outdoor venue for the property.
Both facilities have become an agricultural and tourism staple in Fayette County, and this addition is an exciting opportunity for the further economic growth of our area. Congratulations to Christian, Tia and Sharon Kay! Wishing you continued future success.
This week, the Adrian Bible Class at Christ United Methodist Church in Uniontown celebrated its 100-year anniversary. They held a worship service dedicated to the class and showcased the history of the ministry. I was honored to present them with a citation commemorating this monumental milestone.
Thank you to Pastor Ryan Washabaugh and Deb Conn for allowing me to take part!
Senate Acts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Taxpayers and Job Creators
The Senate approved a legislative package to reduce the burden of unchecked government regulations on taxpayers and job creators. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 188 requires regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million to go before the General Assembly for approval before taking effect. The Independent Fiscal Office, rather than the regulating agency, would be tasked with calculating the economic impact.
Senate Bill 190 requires an automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million. The regulating agency must report to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on the effectiveness of the regulation, whether current state laws require the regulation’s repeal or amendment, and more.
Senate Bill 350 requires state agencies to create an accessible website for permit applicants to check their application status. In addition, all the permits issued must be publicly accessible and if rejected, it must state the legal authority the agency relies on to reject the permit application. It also requires that a permit, license or certification is deemed approved by the state if the agency reviewing the application misses its statutory deadline.
Senate Approves Measure to Improve Personal Financial Literacy
To teach high school students the financial basics, the Senate approved legislation that will enable them to make better decisions that lead to a lifetime of success and financial independence. Senate Bill 647 moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Recent estimates show there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and credit card owners average about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion in debt overall.
The bill would give high school students the information they need on topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.
Measure Boosting Support for PA Veterans Approved by Senate
The Senate passed bills to help veterans start or expand a business, access programs and services available to them, and make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a free lifetime fishing license. All three bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 248 would create the Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program, which would be funded with $5 million of existing dollars from another program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as one in which 51% or more of the organization is owned or controlled by one or more veterans. Veteran-owned businesses in America employ nearly four million workers and generate more than $175 billion in annual payroll.
Senate Bill 447 would establish in law the PA VETConnect program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and helps the commonwealth’s more than 700,000 veterans access programs and services tailored to their needs. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates – including staff at county veterans affairs offices – to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 411 would make it possible for disabled veterans with a 100% disability determination to obtain a free, lifetime fishing license. Free lifetime fishing licenses currently are available only to disabled veterans with a 100% permanent disability determination, and they must apply for a new free fishing license every year.
Legislation Expanding Access to Breast Cancer Screenings Signed Into Law
Recently signed into law, Act 1 of 2023 is a first-of-its-kind breast cancer screening measure that will save Pennsylvanians’ lives.
It eliminates all costs associated with genetic testing and counseling as well as breast MRI and ultrasounds for Pennsylvanians with high-risk conditions like dense breast tissue, a personal history of breast cancer, a family history, a genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Approximately one of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but this law will ensure that high-risk individuals have affordable access to early detection.
Recognizing Police Officers’ Memorial Day
In recognition of Police Officers’ Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, as designated by Senate Resolution 111, the Fraternal Order of Police joined Senate Republicans to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year. The five officers were:
Like so many other members of law enforcement, these officers served and protected their fellow citizens – despite knowing the sacrifices they and their families would have to make. Thank you to each brave man and woman who defend the safety of our communities.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
To all the women who put their family first, thank you for being such a source of strength and support in our communities. Happy Mother’s Day!