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


Session Update

On Tuesday, legislation I sponsored to protect Pennsylvania’s power grid by increasing fines and penalties against those who intentionally vandalize or attack its critical infrastructure was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under Senate Bill 819, those who willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility will face a minimum of 3rd-degree felony charges and a fine of no less than $10,000, along with the potential to face civil suits for damages to personal or real estate interests. Read more HERE….

This week the Senate approved two measures boosting community safety by targeting opioid overdoses and human trafficking. Both bills, which head to the House of Representatives for consideration, are part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1111, sponsored by Senator Baker and I, would ensure that individuals who are convicted of certain human trafficking offenses – as well as attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit those offenses – are subject to the same Megan’s Law reporting and evaluation requirements as other sexual offenders.

Senate Bill 1054 strengthens the Overdose Information Network (ODIN) law, which requires all law enforcement in Pennsylvania to input reports of an overdose within 72 hours of the incident into the ODIN system. The ODIN database enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze and share information concerning fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and naloxone administrations. The bill would ensure overdose reporting by EMS providers is incorporated into the statewide mapping system. EMS providers are responsible for handling more than 80% of overdoses annually in Pennsylvania.

The Senate also approved legislation to strengthen national security by calling on Gov. Josh Shapiro to offer the services of the PA National Guard to deploy to Texas in support of “Operation Lone Star.”

The negative impacts of illegal immigration and the border crisis are evident in communities throughout the United States. Senate Resolution 251 takes an important step forward in the ongoing efforts of Pennsylvania Senate Republicans to help keep our communities safe.

The Senate also took action on a number of bills including waiving fees for veterans’ license plate replacement, legislation to address agricultural crop damage, and legislation to increase academic opportunities for students.

Around the Capitol

On Tuesday, I welcomed my intern, Hayden Burke, to the Senate Floor.

Hayden is currently a junior at Lycoming College in Williamsport where he majors in Political Science with a minor in History. He is a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, has received numerous academic honors, and participates in several extracurricular clubs and activities.

Hayden has been a great addition to our team and he certainly has a bright future ahead of him!

It was a pleasure to welcome Pennsylvania College of Technology welding engineering students, Nikolas Harnish and Karis Hudson, as well as their professor, Ryan Good, to the Senate Floor today as part of Penn State Capital Day!

Students and staff from Penn State, as well as affiliate schools like Penn College, were in Harrisburg for meetings with elected officials to talk about their educational experiences.

It was great to see students from Lycoming College and Commonwealth University – Mansfield at this year’s Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol!

Brendon Blackson and Dierdre LaBlanc from Lycoming College and Kristen Fulford from Mansfield were all in attendance for this annual event. Undergraduate Research Day brings students from across the Commonwealth to Harrisburg to display and share their research with elected officials and Capitol visitors.

I had a great meeting with representatives from Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities to discuss funding for 2024-25. 

Lisa Raup and Margaret Rothenberger stopped by my office to share how PAR’s workforce of over 50,000 Pennsylvanians supports tens of thousands of individuals and their families.

On the Road

Last week, I was joined by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary, Russell Redding, for a tour of Economy Locker Storage Company in Pennsdale, Muncy Township. 

Economy Locker is a wholesale meat, cheese, and foodservice supplier. Founded in 1957, they also manufacture and distribute their own brand of meat products, Country Store Brand Meats, and a majority of their products are processed and smoked on site.

Their nearly 40 employees have years of experience and skills in their crafts of butchering, processing, and packaging.

On Wednesday, I visited Tioga’s Victaulic facility. Victaulic is a leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining, fire protection, and flow control solutions.

Congratulations to this great team of Wellsboro Area School District Students upon being chosen as the District 3 winner for PennDOT’s 7th Innovations Challenge!

Mentored by Francis Novak, team members include Carter Knowlton, Natalie Cleveland, and Ian Hoose.

PHEAA Statewide Virtual FAFSA Completion Workshop

Apply to become a Certified Conservation Ambassador

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is currently seeking students, ages 14 to 17, to apply to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors. The application can be accessed online HERE. The applicant deadline is March 31st!

 Accepted students will become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending a 5-day residential summer field schools which focuses on a particular wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, bass, brook trout, turkey and bear. Students in each field school will gain extensive knowledge about natural resource conservation, leadership experience, and communication skills.

Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance

To help homeowners struggling as a result of pandemic-related financial hardships, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) reopened a program that had been paused to address a backlog of applicants.

The majority of pending applications has been processed and an assessment of remaining American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds has been made, so PHFA is accepting additional applicants until the remaining monies are exhausted.

New applicants can use the funds for pandemic-related mortgage reinstatement, forward mortgage assistance, tax assistance and delinquent utility bills. Interested Pennsylvania homeowners can find more information, eligibility requirements and instructions about how to submit an application here.

Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers

To stimulate market growth or boost the competitive position for high-priority crops, grants are available for projects that benefit Pennsylvania’s growers as a whole, rather than an individual grower.

Specialty crops eligible for Pennsylvania’s grant program and deemed high priority include hardwoods; honey; hemp and flax for fiber; and hops, barley, rye and wheat for brewing, distilling and malting.

Proposals must be submitted through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application by Friday, April 19, at 5 p.m. Full grant guidelines are available here.

Recognizing Agriculture’s Impact on Our Lives

In Pennsylvania, we are blessed that agriculture is one of our top industries as it helps to provide us with food security without having to rely as much on other states or even other countries.

National Agriculture Week, observed March 17-24, encourages every American to understand how food products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, and fiber industries.

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