Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Around the District
  • Stefano Discusses EMS and Fire Legislation with PCNTV
  • PA Air National Guard Participates in Operation Noble Defender
  • Free Educational Opportunities for Fayette County Veterans
  • Senate Accomplishments: Helping Crime Victims
  • Utilities Set to Adjust Seasonal Energy Supply Prices Dec. 1
  • Support Available for Nursing Apprenticeships
  • Pre-Application Period Begins for Traffic Signal Improvement Grants
  • National Guard Academy for At-Risk Youth Taking Applications
  • Help for Pennsylvanians Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Happy Thanksgiving

Around the District

Last week, I participated in Mount Carmel Christian School’s National Young Reader Day celebration.

I read one of my favorite children’s books to the students, Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This book is one of my favorites because it explains and illustrates the continuing tradition at Arlington National Cemetery of fellow soldiers honoring and protecting those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, ensuring they are never alone.

Thank you, Mount Carmel Christian School, for having me. It was an honor to read this book to your students.

Stefano Discusses EMS and Fire Legislation with PCNTV

On Monday, I was interviewed by Pennsylvania Cable Network’s Larry Krasner regarding EMS and Fire legislation that came through the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee this Session. Amongst the many items that were discussed, I highlighted three of my measures that were enacted into law:

Senate Bill 739 – now Act 10 of 2022 – utilized $25 million in federal ARP funding for EMS agencies.  Overall, EMS agencies received $39,000 each.

Senate Bill 861 – now Act 45 of 2022 – provided for Pennsylvania to participate in the EMS Compact

Senate Bill 1027 – now Act 155 of 2022 –  permits junior firefighters, aged 17, to receive training on live burns.

The interview aired on PCN on Wednesday night.   

PA Air National Guard Participates in Operation Noble Defender

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 171st Air Refueling Wing, participated in the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Operation Noble Defender, an air defense operation off the northeastern coast of the United States, Oct. 25-27, 2022. NORAD’s continental U.S. region led this iteration of OND, which incorporated military assets from CONR and the Canadian NORAD Region to exercise layered defense of North America.

Read more:

Free Educational Programs for Fayette County Veterans

The Private Industry Council (PIC) of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. recently announced two free educational opportunities designed exclusively for Fayette County Veterans. PIC received two grants, $193,034.50 from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and $150,000 from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, to establish the Veterans Employment Program (VEP) and AgVets Project.  

PIC is recruiting local Veterans to receive free tuition to attend training programs at Douglas Education Center, Laurel Business Institute, and Penn State Fayette.

Both grants will fund training for a total of 56 veterans in the areas of CDL Class A, Heavy Equipment Operator, Farming and Butchering on-the-job training with local farms and businesses, Welding, and Building Auditor Certification. In addition, the participants will receive supportive services such as Career Pathways classes, group sessions with behavioral and learning support, assessments, stipends, and help with employment.

Fayette County Veterans can sign up for the program by visiting their website at or calling the Private Industry Council at 412-554-2503. For more information, contact Erika Doyle at

Senate Accomplishments: Helping Crime Victims

As lawmakers, we work to implement legislation to help communities prevent crime. But when crime does occur, we need to make sure the laws stand behind victims.

Three bills recently signed into law will help protect crime victims from being targeted again, give them a greater say in criminal proceedings and help them recover restitution from offenders.

Act 50 of 2022 extends the Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act to give victims of child abduction and human trafficking access to substitute mailing addresses. This approach has been successful in preventing assailants from using such information to locate victims. The new law also allows requests for address confidentiality to be submitted electronically. Previously, requests had to be made in writing, impeding access and slowing the process.  

Act 71 of 2022 requires that a victim of a violent crime be notified of any proceeding in which conditions for bail can be modified. This affords the victim the right to offer comment regarding a defendant’s bail conditions when they’re imposed or later modified.

Act 134 of 2022 makes it easier for crime victims to obtain relevant information learned by law enforcement during the investigation of the crime. Crime victims can then use that information in civil legal actions to recover damages for their injuries. The meager restitution obtained through criminal cases often does not fully compensate victims.

I look forward to continuing to work in the next legislative session to reduce crime and support those impacted by offenders.

Utilities Set to Adjust Seasonal Energy Supply Prices Dec. 1

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reports that Pennsylvania electric and natural gas utilities will adjust their prices on Dec. 1 for customers who do not shop around for energy suppliers.

All regulated utility companies will adjust their “price to compare” (PTC) rates in the coming weeks, but Pennsylvania’s electricity marketplace gives consumers the option to select a different supplier to find the most competitive pricing.

The two major parts of monthly electric or natural gas bills are the delivery/distribution charge and the generation/supply charge. Consumers can shop for and contract with a competitive supplier or for consumers who do not shop, the utility provides energy supply at the PTC. The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill and will be adjusted at the end of this month.

The PUC urges consumers currently struggling to pay monthly bills to act now and seek assistance by contacting their utilities. State assistance is also available. You can see what price increases utilities are reporting, and how to reduce energy costs, here.

Support Available for Nursing Apprenticeships

Local workforce development boards have until Nov. 30 to apply for state assistance to develop nursing apprenticeship programs in low- or moderate-income communities.

Distributed by the Department of Labor and Industry, Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership grant funding will award local workforce development boards up to $260,000 to collaborate with community partners, organizations, sponsors and regional industry partnerships to register, maintain and manage nursing apprenticeship programs, as well as recruit and retain qualified health care professionals.

The initiative aims to prepare individuals for a range of nursing positions, including home health aides, certified nursing assistants, and licensed practical nurses.

Pre-Application Period Begins for Traffic Signal Improvement Grants

Green Light-Go is a competitive state grant program designed to improve the efficiency and operation of traffic signals in Pennsylvania communities, reducing congestion and increasing safety at intersections.

Prior to applying for this assistance, municipalities, counties and planning organizations must pre-apply by Dec. 23. Full applications must be submitted electronically through the DCED Single Application for Assistance between Jan. 3, 2023 and Jan. 31, 2023.

It is anticipated awards from this application round will be announced in summer 2023 and the projects must be completed by spring 2026.

National Guard Academy for At-Risk Youth Taking Applications

Applications are being accepted for youth to take part in the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy class beginning in January 2023. If selected, students will attend the 22-week residential phase at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Lebanon County.

The academy provides a positive learning environment designed to guide at-risk teenagers in furthering their education and setting a path to a brighter future. Cadets will experience a structured and disciplined residential program built upon a military-based training model.

There is no tuition cost to attend. Meals, housing, uniforms and school supplies are provided at no charge. There is no military obligation requirement after completing the program. Find out more and apply here.    

Help for Pennsylvanians Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease

There are an estimated 280,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s disease. This type of dementia is the seventh leading cause of death among all adults.

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is a reminder that while there is no cure for this disease, there is a wide range of support available for patients and families.  

You can find caregiver resources and information on risk reduction and other topics at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Alzheimer Association’s Greater PA Chapter.

Happy Thanksgiving

President Lincoln began his proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday by writing: “The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”

It was October 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, but Lincoln pointed Americans toward developments for which the nation should be thankful.

Today, we can be thankful that, despite often heated divisions and the remnants of the pandemic, we live in peace and relative abundance in 2021. I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude.

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