Senator Yaw E-Newsletter

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Dear Friends,

Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!

This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Gene Yaw
State Senator


JUST IN! Sen. Yaw, Area Legislators Announce Funding for Muncy Twp., South Williamsport

I am pleased to announce over $1 million in state funding has been awarded to two local projects through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

Last week, $552,084 was awarded to install natural gas lines to the District at Lycoming Valley in Muncy Township through the CFA’s Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE). As sponsor of legislation establishing the Pipeline Investment Program, I am pleased to see our region continue to benefit from this funding. I am thankful to Rep. Hamm and our local officials for their support to help make these projects a reality. Read more HERE.

Additionally, $500,000 in Flood Mitigation Program funding was awarded to the Borough of South Williamsport to rehabilitate and recertify the Borough’s levee system. It is critical that we take the needed steps to repair infrastructure and prevent future flood damage. I was pleased to work with Rep. Flick and our local officials to help make these funds a reality. Read more HERE.

Funding Opportunities…

The Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) application period is now open. Counties, municipalities and municipal agencies, pre-qualified land trusts, non-profits and other eligible organizations interested in applying for conservation, recreation, trail, and riparian buffer grants through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) may do so now through April 3, 2024. More information and online tutorials are available HERE.

Local youth baseball and softball organizations may be eligible for funding through the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. The Foundation provides support for capital projects including field lighting, renovations, and construction, and players’ and infrastructure equipment, uniforms, and training of coaches. Learn more and apply HERE.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) Grant Program application period is open now through March 1. More on eligibility and applications HERE.

The Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania Inc., (LHR) is now accepting applications for LHR’s 2024 Mini-Grant Program through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). More on eligibility and applications HERE.

The 2024 AARP Community Challenge Grant is open now through March 6 and can be used to support permanent physical improvements in the community, certain temporary demonstrations, and new and innovative pilot programs or services. More on eligibility and applications HERE.

It was great to have Lycoming County Commissioners, Scott Metzger, and Marc Sortman, in Harrisburg recently! We were also joined earlier in the day by Commissioner Mark Mussina and Jason Fink, President and CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

We had a great discussion on business and economic development issues and plans for 2024.

I am pleased to introduce my spring intern, Hayden Burke! Hayden is an incoming junior at Lycoming College and is studying Political Science and History. Hayden has earned Dean’s list in each of his previous semesters and will be inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society this April. He is also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society.

I am thrilled to welcome Hayden to our team and look forward to helping him gain insight into the legislative process.

DCNR Announces ATV Regional Trail Connector will Continue Through 2025

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently announced it will continue operations of an ATV Regional Trail Connector through the 2025 riding season, following the conclusion of its pilot program in 2023.

More information on riding opportunities in state forests HERE.

Report Details Plan to Maintain and Support PA’s Education System

Republican members of the Basic Education Funding Commission shared a report updating the commonwealth’s funding formula for K-12 education as required by law.

The plan would provide greater budget stability for school districts, ensure students will receive at least the same amount as the current year’s historic budget allocations and seek to institute increased accountability for hard-earned tax dollars paying for public education.

To create a plan that benefits students while respecting the taxpayers who foot the bill, the members of the commission gathered testimony from more than 90 individuals at 14 public hearings and received more than 1,000 comments through the public website. Learn more.

Attracting and Retaining the Best Teachers

As Senate Republicans work to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive a quality education that sets them up for future success, one focus is attracting and retaining great teachers.

In addition to a high rate of teachers retiring or switching professions, fewer students are training to become teachers. To fight that concerning trend, we created a teacher stipend program. Through the program, a $10,000 stipend is available for individuals to complete their student teaching requirement. Students may claim an additional $5,000 stipend if they complete their student teaching in schools that don’t traditionally have student teachers and schools with high teacher vacancies.

Another new law reduces barriers for teachers moving to Pennsylvania by entering the state into the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. Teachers with eligible certification in other compact states would not be required to complete additional materials, exams or coursework when applying for certification in Pennsylvania. They would still be required to complete background checks and other

Denied a Health Care Claim? Request a Review

Because of legislation passed late in 2022, Pennsylvanians who believe their insurer has wrongly denied a health insurance claim can now request a review of the decision to be completed by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

The denial can be for a service, treatment or item. An independent group of experienced doctors and health care professionals will review the case. If the review determines the request should have been covered, your health plan must do so. Independent review decisions are final and binding.

Act 46 of 2022 also streamlined the prior authorization – when physicians and other health care providers must obtain advance approval from a health plan before services and treatment are rendered – and step therapy processes for medical treatment.

2023 Accomplishments: Healthy and Safe Communities

Families, not government, are the heart of our commonwealth. To empower families, we must provide healthy and safe communities.

In 2023, Senate Republicans passed a key health care measure that eliminated out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing of hereditary cancer syndromes and supplemental screenings for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. We also addressed crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensured Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.

Other new laws provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies and increase access to licensed addiction treatment programs for people facing substance use disorder.

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

In recognition of January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Senate Majority Policy Committee recently held a hearing to help raise awareness about the complexities of human trafficking crime and to discuss strategies for prevention, victim support and the prosecution of traffickers. Law enforcement, policymakers and people on the front lines of raising awareness about and helping victims of human trafficking joined the conversation.

By way of force, fraud and coercion, human traffickers push their victims into sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. In 2021, 315 victims were identified in Pennsylvania. If you suspect human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or the ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.

The Senate also passed legislation to ensure sexually exploited children who are human trafficking victims have full access to appropriate services and support. Act 39 of 2023 would ensure that third-party control is never a consideration for access to services, and Senate Bill 45 would eliminate the third-party control requirement to access victim services under the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Notification Act.

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