Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Development Funding Comes to Bedford County
  • Cancer Advocates at the Capitol
  • DEP Announces Funds for Broad Top Mine Lands
  • Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing
  • Stopping Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers
  • Free Hotline to Support New Parents
  • Honoring Law Enforcement Officers
  • Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

Development Funding Comes to Bedford County

The Bedford County Development Association was selected as one of seven recipients in the commonwealth to receive funding from the PA SITES pilot program. The program focuses on preparing sites in rural communities for future development, attracting new companies or allow employers to expand, creating more jobs and economic opportunity. Lt. Gov. Austin Davis visited Bedford this week to speak on the program.      

The association has received a $338,880 grant to develop a pad-ready site at the Bedford County Business Park II. Between location and space, Bedford County is an ideal location for businesses to thrive and the work of our economic partners keeps our soil rich with opportunity and ready for new or expanding businesses to plant their roots. I’m thrilled that the administration also sees the benefit in having the business park “shovel-ready.”

Congratulations Bedford County! You can read the lieutenant governor’s press release here.

Cancer Advocates at the Capitol

Last week, Shelia Shea, Lynda Gallan and JimiAnne Hileman were at the capitol advocating on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The network’s goal is to end cancer while improving the lives of cancer patients and their families through advocacy, research, and support.

DEP Announces Funds for Broad Top Mine Lands

Congratulations to Broad Top Township in Bedford County on their receipt of $51,390 for two abandoned mine drainage restoration projects as part of DEP’s Abandoned Mine Lands and Acid Mine Drainage Grant Program. This funding comes from Pennsylvania’s annual allotment of $244.7 million as part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Pennsylvania has the largest inventory of abandoned coal mines in the nation, with a roughly $5 billion need for reclamation and stream restoration. To date, Pennsylvania has rehabilitated more than 91,000 acres of abandoned coal mines, and with this federal funding, will be able to continue this vital work that protects the health and safety of our communities.

More on the program here

Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing

The Senate unanimously approved legislation to create a new license plate for Pennsylvania sportsmen with proceeds used to fund youth hunting and fishing education. 

The Pennsylvania Sportsman registration plate would celebrate those who hunt and fish. Under Senate Bill 916, the plate would be designed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Pennsylvania Sportsman plate would cost $40 plus the registration fee, of which $14 would be deposited into a Youth Hunting and Fishing Restricted Account to be allocated equally to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for the purpose of promoting youth hunting and fishing activities.

Stopping Major Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers

Pennsylvania reached a $10.25 million settlement with several major mobile device service carriers regarding deceptive advertising practices, including supposed “unlimited” data plans and “free” phones.

The settlement with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Cricket and T-Mobile requires the carriers to disclose all attached fees and agreements, train customer service staff accordingly, and be truthful in future advertising.

The terms of the settlements address misrepresentations in advertisements concerning “unlimited” data advertisements, “free” phone offers, monetary incentives to switch wireless networks and wireless carrier plan comparisons. They will be able to claim that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only when it’s reasonable based on comparisons with the prices of comparable goods and services of other providers.

Free Hotline to Support New Parents

While we celebrated mothers last week, they need our support more than simply on Mother’s Day – particularly when they recently had a baby and are much more prone to feeling depressed, anxious and overwhelmed.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is free, confidential and available 24/7. Trained counselors can listen to what callers and texters are going through, connect them with local support groups and organizations, and refer them to other health care professionals if they need more care.

Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). Partners and other family members may also use the hotline as pregnancy and the birth of a baby can affect the whole family.

Honoring Law Enforcement Officers

From May 12-18, we celebrate National Police Week by honoring fallen officers and recognizing the significant role law enforcement officers play in keeping our communities safe, a top priority for Senate Republicans.

In support of that initiative, we have recently passed multiple laws to aid the men and women who work so hard to protect us. Act 34 of 2023 funded an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer. Act 10 of 2023 gave municipal police the authority to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants to ensure we accept and train qualified individuals.

According to the Fraternal Order of Police, 25 officers were shot and five died in the line of duty in Pennsylvania in 2023.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is higher than 90%. Of course, a missed mammogram could mean the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.

If you are high risk, don’t let the cost of screening deter you. Through Act 1 of 2023, Senate Republicans eliminated costs for breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, and BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.

Women aged 40 and above who regularly get mammograms are in the best position to fight breast cancer. Remember, early detection saves lives.


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