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


“Don’t trust everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar.”

Senate Reconvenes This Week
Watch Session LIVE:

Recap Committee Meetings/Hearings

Additional sunshined meetings/hearings scheduled for the week of January 29th can be viewed by clicking here.

Environmental Resources & Energy Committee Meeting

SR 104 – Urges the Governor to end the moratorium on new non-surface disturbance natural gas drilling leases involving Commonwealth State Forest land.

SR 226 – Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an independent performance evaluation of certain statewide environmental permitting programs administered by DEP.

HB 1341 – Amends the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act to allow emergency medical responders and advanced emergency medical technicians to be employed at mines.

HB 1486 – Amends the Storm Water Management Act to exempt “high tunnels”.

Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee Hearing

A public hearing to receive testimony on Senate Bill 721, amending Title 12 (Commerce and Trade) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in economic development programs, providing for tourism promotion, establishing the Tourism Promotion Fund and imposing duties on the Department of Community and Economic Development.

State Government Committee Hearing

A public hearing to discuss the recently released report issued by the Joint State Government Commission on “Voting Technology in Pennsylvania,” written in response to SR 394 of 2015.

Banking & Insurance Committee Meeting

SB 780 – An Act providing for telemedicine and for insurance coverage.

SB 1031 – An Act amending the act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.789, No.285), known as The Insurance Department Act of 1921, in examinations, further providing for purpose and providing for scheduling conference, for budget estimate and revisions, for billing invoices and for annual examination and analysis report.

Senate Declines to Take Action on Gov. Wolf’s Nominee to Head Labor & Industry

Senate Republican leaders have announced that the state Senate will decline to take action on the Governor’s nominee to lead the PA Department of Labor and Industry (L&I). The leaders did ask for the nomination to be recalled, but Gov. Wolf declined.

In response, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) have issued the following statement:

“The majority of the Senate Republican Caucus expressed serious reservations about the qualifications and abilities of Jerry Oleksiak. At the same time, we wanted to balance those concerns with the understanding that the Governor should have the ability to establish his own team. 

“Our lack of confidence stems from concerns for his fitness to lead this agency that were then underscored during meetings with Mr. Oleksiak. Allowing the time for consideration on Mr. Oleksiak to lapse means the Governor’s nominee assumes the post of Secretary but without the affirmative vote of the Senate.”

The move by the Senate is unprecedented. Under law, Oleksiak will become Secretary of L&I since he has been under consideration by the Senate for 25 legislative days.

The Constitution gives the Senate a maximum of 25 legislative days to take action on an Executive Nomination. Any nomination that remains on the Executive Nomination Calendar and has not been considered by the full Senate by the close of the 25th legislative day will automatically be deemed confirmed.

Senate Calls for Study of PennDOT/Turnpike Consolidation

Last week, the Senate adopted a resolution calling for a study of a potential consolidation of PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operations.

Senate Resolution 209 directs the Joint State Government Commission to study the challenges and opportunities of consolidating the interstate operations of PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission and to provide a final report with findings of fact, recommendations and any proposed legislative remedies.

The Senate also adopted Senate Resolution 228, legislation to establish a Task Force on Global Education. The task force will analyze global education in our K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and make recommendations to ensure Pennsylvania students graduate ready to compete in the global economy.

PA Launches New Interactive Database for Drug Prescribing and Overdose Information

Last week, a new interactive data report system was launched that provides information on opioid prescribing and drug overdoses.

The data is collected through the Department of Health’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) using the information reported by prescribers. The interactive data report system also collects data from emergency departments from across Pennsylvania.

Of the 171 of emergency rooms in the state, 152 are reporting as part of the report system.

The interactive data report system is made possible by the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance grant, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pennsylvania residents and/or patients, licensed medical professionals and users of the system can request information by contacting the PDMP office at

DCED Accepting Grant Applications for Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced grant opportunities for the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program. The Apprenticeship Program offers assistance to registered programs to increase apprenticeship availability for Pennsylvania employers.

The Apprenticeship Program grants may be used to cover expenses related to on-the-job learning and instruction. Proposals will be accepted from any sponsor operating an internship program in Pennsylvania, regardless of whether the sponsor employs the apprentice. Funding is available for up to three years, at $3,000 per apprentice per year.

To register your apprenticeship, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s website here.

To apply for the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, visit the Department of Community & Economic Development website here.

Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Hosts 132nd Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet

On January 25th, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce hosted their 132nd Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport. In addition to reviewing the Chamber’s activities for the previous year, three local businesses were honored for their success and contribution to the community.

Accelerated Speed Dynamics (Williamsport) and owner Jim Cowden received the 2017 “Emerging Business Award.” PMF Industries, Inc. (Williamsport) received the “Large Business Award,” with Ken Healy accepting the award on behalf of the company. Keystone Advertising Specialties (Muncy) and owner Mike Philbin were recognized with the Phillips/Plankenhorn Small Business Award.

In addition, the Chamber of Commerce recognized a variety of local leaders within the Chamber. Paul Rooney, Jr. (Quandel Construction Group, Inc.), received the President’s Award, presented to a volunteer committed to the Chamber of Commerce’s mission within the community. John Houser (Lundy Construction Company) was recognized for his service as chair of the Industrial Properties Corporation, while the Board of Directors recognized outgoing chair Roger Jarrett (RDJ Enterprises) and welcomed incoming chair Michael Gaetano (The Hartman Agency, Inc.).

PA Humanities Council Expands Teen Reading Lounge Program into Union County

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) expanded the award winning Teen Reading Lounge program into the Public Library for Union County (Lewisburg). The Teen Reading Lounge aims to use the humanities to create positive youth development.

Created in 2010, the Teen Reading Lounge provides youth aged 12-18 with an interactive book club, creating book discussions and hands-on projects. The funds granted to the participating libraries will cover expenses and the hiring of a local professional to develop and implement the program. In addition to the funding, library staff will receive training to design future programs that are meaningful for their communities.

The Teen Reading Lounge has run in more than 80 communities to date, and has engaged more than 1,000 youth in various areas across the state. In addition to forming important skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem solving, the program has encouraged community involvement and civic engagement: 60% of participating teens said they would help their libraries develop future programs, while 40% report that the Teen Reading Lounge encouraged their involvement in activities that would improve their community, school, or neighborhood.

Lycoming Rubber Company Added to National Register of Historic Places

On December 21st, Lycoming Rubber Company (Williamsport) was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register recognizes historical, architectural, and cultural merits of a property. Properties listed on the registry may qualify for federal and state historic preservation tax credits or grant assistance.

The building, located at 1307 Park Ave., Williamsport, was built between 1883 and 1919 by the Lycoming Rubber Company. Following the departure of Lycoming Rubber in 1932, Weldon Pajama Company began leasing part of the building in 1934, before purchasing the whole complex in 1951. Weldon’s became the largest pajama factory in the world, and was used by the Broadway musical The Pajama Game for research, props, and backgrounds. Since 1985, the building has hosted a variety of restaurants and night clubs, before its current role as the “Pajama Factory,” a complex for a mix of artists, businesses, and community groups to hold studio space.

February Satellite Office Hours in Bradford County

As a means to better serve the residents of the 23rd Senatorial District through increased outreach efforts, the hours and locations will provide better opportunities for area residents to meet directly with a member of the Senator’s staff.

February Satellite Hours and Locations:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Allen F. Pierce Library
34 Fenner Street
Troy, PA  16947

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Wyalusing Library
115 Church Street
Wyalusing, PA  18853

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Towanda Library
104 Main Street
Towanda, PA  18848 

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Green Free Library  
38 North Center St. 
Canton, PA  17724

Satellite hours and locations will be announced monthly and can be viewed by visiting the Senator’s website at  Constituents are encouraged to visit any of the satellite locations during scheduled office hours.  Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended.

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