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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.
In The News…
Need proof that something is wrong, not just yelling.
We can promote energy, protect environment.
Pennsylvania American Water Launches Water Service Line Material Inventory Project.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Presidents Day Holiday.
Op-ED: Voter ID Strengthens Election Security, Improves Confidence in Process
By: Sen. Gene Yaw
In January, the state Senate passed, and I supported, legislation that would present three state constitutional amendments to voters, including a requirement for Pennsylvania voters to present identification at a polling place before they receive a ballot. Approved identification would consist of photo and non-photo IDs alike. Senate Bill 1, which included these proposed constitutional amendments, must be approved by the House and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions and then approved by voters through a ballot referendum. The bill made it through the first step by receiving a majority vote in the Senate.
Like many of my colleagues in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, I have been receiving a form email criticizing the state Legislature for, as they say, “disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters by proposing a constitutional amendment that would require personal identification at the polls in order to vote.”
Quite frankly, when answering these form emails, I tell the writers that I, personally, do not know of anyone who does not have an identification of some type. I advise that if the writer knows of anyone who does not have an ID, why don’t they help that person get an ID? I further advise that if the writer knows of someone, but does not want to assist that person in obtaining an ID, contact my office and I will help the person get an ID. READ MORE…
Recognizing YWCA Northcentral PA on 130th Anniversary
Senator Yaw presents Dawn Linn, CEO of the YWCA Northcentral PA, with a special Senate congratulatory citation marking the organization’s 130th anniversary.
It is an honor to recognize the YWCA Northcentral PA’s 130th anniversary. Over the years, those in leadership positions, as well as its dedicated staff members and volunteers, have contributed in a tremendous way to the YWCA’s growth and development. I applaud them for their service. READ MORE…
“Government Day” Program Held
I joined state Rep. Jamie Flick (R-83) last week to meet the Leadership Lycoming Class of 2023 during their State and Local Government Day program. Developing the next generation of leaders is important in any sector. Whether that be government, academia, business healthcare or nonprofits. We are living and working in a time of accelerated change, and the Leadership Lycoming program will help prepare and shape our leaders of tomorrow. It was great sharing my experience in public service and talking about how legislative actions have impacts on all aspects of our society.
The application window for the Class of 2024 is now open. Interested individuals can download an application form here.
New Law Targets Growing Number of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths
Fentanyl-laced heroin and counterfeit pills are killing an increasing number of Pennsylvanians. Legislation enacted by the General Assembly is now in effect to prevent overdose deaths by legalizing fentanyl test strips for personal use.
Effective Jan. 1, Act 111 of 2022 amended the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act of 1972 to no longer define fentanyl test strips (FTS) as drug paraphernalia in Pennsylvania, making them a legal, low-cost method to prevent drug overdoses.
The Pennsylvania departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services, along with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, created a survey for substance use disorder stakeholders to gauge demand for FTS, while work is underway to make them available across the commonwealth. The survey contains questions on currently available trainings and materials, preferred brands and current distribution methods.
As Chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, we will also be holding a hearing on March 9 at the State Capitol to discuss other developments in the fight against opioid and substance use disorder in rural Pennsylvania. More details to come.
You Can Provide Input on Traffic Safety with Online Survey
Motorists have until Feb. 28 to provide input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through an online survey by PennDOT.
In 2021, 1,230 people died on Pennsylvania roadways. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by safer driving. PennDOT works with educational and enforcement grantees to deliver programming each year to help prevent crashes, fatalities and injuries on our roadways. This survey seeks information on motorists’ behavior behind the wheel to help inform program planning.
The voluntary questionnaire covers several topics including seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving, as well as bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety. It should take about five minutes to complete and all responses are completely anonymous. You can find information on safe driving here.
Out and About in Tioga County
While in Tioga County this week, I had the opportunity to drop by the Wellsboro Gazette to discuss several of my legislative priorities for the new legislative session.
I also met up with UPMC Wellsboro President Janie Hilfiger for a tour and discussion on several important items including critical access funding, physician recruitment, worker shortages, as well as the lack of transportation & behavioral health services impacting rural Pennsylvania.
During my visit to Mansfield University’s campus, I toured several campus buildings and dormitories, and reviewed and discussed Mansfield’s Early Start Program, Emergency Response Training Certification and overall vision for higher education with faculty and staff. I appreciated hearing how Mansfield is positioning itself for growth and to meet economic and workforce development needs in our region, across Pennsylvania and beyond.
Help Available to Boost Security at Nonprofits and Religious Institutions
Applications are being accepted for state Nonprofit Security Grants for nonprofit organizations and religious institutions.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the program provides grants to nonprofit organizations that principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication.
Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including:
- Safety and security planning and training.
• Purchase of safety and security equipment and technology.
• Upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security.
• Vulnerability and threat assessments.
The application period closes March 2.
Extra SNAP Payments Set to End
During the COVID-19 emergency, the federal government allowed states to issue additional SNAP food assistance payments that increased the maximum available for households by at least $95 each month.
These extra payments will be ending after February and SNAP recipients will only receive one regular SNAP payment starting in March.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are food assistance programs available in your community. Visit the Department of Human Services or Department of Agriculture for information on food assistance programs and where to find local resources. Additionally, if recipients currently have extra funds on their cards, they will still be available. SNAP benefits only expire if cards are not used for nine months.
To ensure households are receiving the maximum SNAP benefit based on their individual circumstances, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to report changes to their household size, income or expenses online at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS via the myCOMPASS PA mobile app or by calling 877-395-8930.
Veteran Discounts are Available All Year
Some businesses offer discounted prices for military service members and veterans on special days, but many others feature them all year.
A list of veteran discounts offered year-round by national businesses is maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Check local businesses for their participation.
It’s a small way to show appreciation for the men and women who served our country, as well as the families they support.
2023 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
The 2023 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling.
The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 1. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 25.
Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 707,000 Brown Trout and 168,000 Brook Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length with an average weight of .58 pounds.