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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.
Click here to find the latest information on coronavirus from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DCNR, DEP budget hearings set for tomorrow beginning at 10AM and 2:30PM. TUNE-IN
Pa Treasurer divesting $2.9 million of state investments from Russian companies.
Sens. Langerholc, Pittman and Yaw to introduce Resolution urging President Biden to restart the Keystone XL pipeline.
Sens. Yaw and Yudichak sent a letter to the Independent Fiscal Office last week requesting an audit of modeling used to justify Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Op-Ed: Are We Nuts? American Energy is Key to Undermining Putin’s War
By: Sen. Gene Yaw
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody and unhinged campaign to topple a democratic nation once subjugated by the former Soviet Union has resurrected the threat of global conflict from its deep, dark Cold War-era grave.
It’s easy to paint the invasion of Ukraine as the delusions of a narcissistic despot desperate to cement his legacy as the man who muscled Russia’s way back to the top of the world superpower list. In doing so, we ignore the uncomfortable truth: Putin spent years bolstering Russia’s economy with oil and gas exports, knowing full well the West’s race to renewables left them vulnerable and dependent.
As a natural consequence, any imposed sanctions meant to cripple Russia’s energy sector will reverberate across the globe, cutting countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the deepest.
This is what I, and many others, mean when we say energy independence is a matter of national security. And this is why short-sighted climate policies – like forcing Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cancelling natural gas infrastructure, the Keystone XL pipeline chief among them – are so very dangerous. People across the world, not just in Ukraine, will die from the leverage Russia holds over global energy exports. READ MORE
Senate Hearings on Proposed State Budget Get Underway
The Senate Appropriations Committee held the first of four weeks of public hearings on the proposed 2022-23 state budget.
Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $45.7 billion budget that would increase spending by $4.5 billion. Based on projections, this will create a $1.3 billion deficit in the following fiscal year and produce a $13 billion deficit by FY 2026-27.
The administration’s proposed massive spending increase relies on rosy revenue projections not supported by the Independent Fiscal Office. IFO Director Matthew Knittel testified that revenue projections could be revised downward depending on various factors including the end of the stimulus funding and actions at the federal level.
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity said Treasury sees the potential for sizable deficits in future years that would require tax hikes, new taxes or spending cuts to erase the deficits. She testified the governor’s budget proposal contains wildly low projected spending, particularly in human services, while it builds in unrealistic revenue assumptions.
You can find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at PASenateGOP.com.
Additional 100,000 Older Adults Eligible for Prescription Assistance
Legislation approved by the General Assembly in December expanding income eligibility limits for the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program is now in effect.
The new law allows an additional 100,000 older adults to now become eligible to sign up for the program with enrollment beginning this month. The law expands the PACENET income limits by $6,000:
The PACENET and PACE programs are funded with revenue from the Pennsylvania Lottery and provide comprehensive reimbursement coverage for prescription medications to qualified older Pennsylvanians. The program serves older Pennsylvanians 65 years of age and older, many of whom require multiple medications for several chronic conditions.
You can read more about PACE/PACENET, the latest expansion and the application process here.
Applications Being Accepted for Schools-to-Work Grants
State grants are available to foster partnerships between schools, employers, organizations and associations that lead to career pathways for students. The application deadline is March 15.
Eligible applicants for the Schools-to-Work Program must be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry as a pre-apprenticeship program or connected with a registered apprenticeship program. Other eligible applicants include an entity that has an established connection with a registered apprenticeship program.
Project proposals must create learning opportunities for participating students and should focus on the coordination of people and resources to help individuals on a continuous path to family-sustaining employment and career growth. The proposal must also focus on building pre-apprenticeship programs to fill current and anticipated labor market needs in the given geographical area.
Virtual Veteran Town Hall Series Set for 2022
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has announced five Virtual Veteran Town Halls to provide veterans with a convenient platform to learn and ask questions about programs and benefits earned through their military service.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters live during a chat feature. Visit DMVA’s website two weeks prior to each town hall for the link to participate.
Student Art Competition Raises Awareness About Ticks and Lyme Disease
As the number of Lyme disease cases in the state and across the nation continues to rise, students can use their artistic talents to raise awareness of the prevalence of ticks and the types of diseases they carry.
The Lyme Disease Art Contest is open to children in first through sixth grade. Entries must be received by March 11. Contest materials can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website. Finalists will be notified by mail and will be invited to an award ceremony in May.
There are reports of up to 10,000 Lyme disease cases per year in Pennsylvania and more are likely unreported. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a short course of antibiotics. However, if the infection is left untreated, it can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system. Ticks that cause Lyme disease are found in every county and every green space, even in cities.
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