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.
Sen. Yaw, Rep. Owlett Announce PENNVEST Funding for Wellsboro Municipal Authority
Last week, Rep. Clint Owlett and I were pleased to announce a $1,024,000 state investment was allocated to the Wellsboro Municipal Authority through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for upgrades to the Borough of Wellsboro’s wastewater system.
The funding will be used for the rehabilitation and conversion of the wastewater treatment plant’s existing chlorine tank to an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection channel, as well as the installation of new UV disinfection equipment. It will also provide for improvements to the structure that houses the treatment facility, including a new roof, stairs, and handrailing.
Read more HERE…
On the Horizon…
Join me for my next Telephone Town Hall Discussion!
I’m looking forward to connecting with constituents and appreciate the opportunity to hear about local needs and engage in thoughtful discussion. The tele-town hall format allows you to participate without the need to travel throughout the region. You may ask questions or simply remain on the phone line to listen to the conversation.
Individuals from Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties can register to participate HERE.
Tune in! On Thursday, Feb 1, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which I chair, will travel to the Ohio State House to participate in a public hearing on Energy Reliability, Sustainability, and Affordability.
The hearing will be the second of two to take place between the legislatures, the first being held in Pittsburgh this past November and focusing on interstate relationships within the PJM Grid.
On the Road…
Thanks to a generous donation from Coterra Energy, in conjunction with the company’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), labs and instructional spaces in several of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s (PCT) programs will soon be renovated and expanded.
The $1.4 million NAP funding will pay for the renovation and expansion of labs and instructional spaces in the college’s electrical and architecture & sustainable design programs, both of which are beyond capacity and applicants have been waitlisted since last spring. The donation will also generate Camp Freedom scholarships for student veterans and first responders. Watch the full presentation HERE.
Read more HERE…
I had a great evening on Saturday at the Union County West End Fire Co. annual banquet. Congratulations and thank you to all the awardees!
Last week, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors, which I chair, hosted a roundtable discussion at the Pennsylvania College of Technology on increasing Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funding in rural areas.
The Center has examined data from the CDFI Fund to evaluate the degree to which rural Pennsylvanians are benefiting from these valuable services, particularly business loans.
Read the Center’s full CDFI report HERE.
2023 Accomplishments: Public Safety
The men and women of law enforcement and emergency response work hard to keep us safe. As their jobs become even more difficult, they need our support.
Last year, we passed legislation to combat different forms of theft. We have new laws that target looting and organized retail theft by increasing penalties and crack down on “porch pirating” by setting penalties for theft of mail, which includes a package, bag or letter.
We also passed measures to prevent the exploitation of older Pennsylvanians and update 911 funding to meet the expanding cost of services so help is available when Pennsylvanians face emergencies. We also provided an additional $20 million for county mental health programs. Ensuring safe communities is among the Senate Republican priorities to protect jobs, empower families and defend freedoms.
Healthy Rainy Day Fund Cushions Against Hard Times
As of the beginning of January, the state’s Rainy Day Fund sits at a record high of $6.1 billion thanks to prudent decisions the Senate made in the past three years. Most recently, we deposited $900 million as part of the current state budget. While others wanted to spend the money on all sorts of things, we prioritized smart saving so we would have a cushion in the event of hard times.
To build on the benefits of smart budgeting, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced a new investment pool specifically for the Rainy Day Fund. It’s designed to earn even better returns while continuing to ensure that money will be available when needed.
A strong Rainy Day Fund offers more than just a financial buffer. Because of the state’s healthy nest egg, Pennsylvania received rating improvements from three rating agencies: Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. The better ratings help Pennsylvania taxpayers by reducing the cost of borrowing for the state.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Now Serves More People
Financial relief is available to more people than ever through the Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) Program, which supports homeowners and renters across the commonwealth using gaming and Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds.
New this year, the income cap increased to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters. Only half of an applicant’s Social Security income is included in the calculations for eligibility. Starting this year, income caps are tied to the annual cost-of-living increases. Additionally, the maximum standard rebate on property taxes or rent paid increased to $1,000. The program is open to state residents 65 and older, widows and widowers 50 or older, or anyone age 18 and over who is 100% disabled.
My office can provide free PTRR application assistance to residents. If interested, please call my office and bring all proof of income, your ID and a voided check if you wish to have the rebate direct deposited. In addition, property owners must have paid property taxes stamped or signed by the tax collector. Renters must have a rent certificate filled out and signed by their landlord.
Free FAFSA Workshops Across PA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) underwent changes resulting from the FAFSA Simplification Act, a federal law intended to streamline the financial aid application process.
Filing the FAFSA online is the first step for students and families to determine if they qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, Pennsylvania State Grant, scholarships, institutional awards and federal student loans.
Because of the changes, free FAFSA workshops are being held across the state. Find one near you.