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.
April 11, 2019
“Happiness will never come to those who don’t appreciate what they already have.”
– Gautama Buddha
Senate Passes Package of Bills to Protect Crime Victims
The state Senate passed a package of bills this week designed to protect crime victims and ensure they have more opportunities to participate in the judicial process.
The package of bills includes measures to give crime victims more rights to attend criminal trials; expand the rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism to provide testimony; provide hearsay exceptions for statements made by young witnesses of cases of sexual assault; shield rape victims against irrelevant cross examinations; and provide for a bill of rights for sexual assault survivors.
To read more, click here.
Ag Law Legislative Update Held Tuesday
The Ag Law Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association held its annual breakfast meeting Tuesday morning to discuss legislation and issues impacting PA’s farming communities. I was happy to provide a legislative update on a few items I have sponsored in the Senate, including Senate Bill 145, a measure to give property owners more options for managing their preserved farmland.
Senators Offer No-Tax Alternative to Wolf’s Restore PA Plan
A legislative measure will soon be introduced in the state Senate and will serve as an alternative to Governor Wolf’s “Restore PA” tax on natural gas companies in the state. The proposed plan would fund similar projects through revenues generated by lifting the Governor’s moratorium on non-surface disturbance natural gas drilling on state forest lands.
To read more, click here.
Public Hearing Takes Closer Look at the Future Demographics of Higher Education
It is always good to see my friend, Dr. Kent Trachte, President of Lycoming College in Williamsport. This week, Dr. Trachte & Professor Nathan D. Grawe, of Carleton College in Minnesota, discussed the demographics of higher education before the PA Senate Majority Policy Committee. To see a recap of the hearing, click here.
Senate Panel Passes Bill to Help Farmers with Barn Wedding Venues
The Senate Labor and Industry Committee approved a bill this week that would set commonsense safety standards for barns and other agricultural buildings that are repurposed for weddings and other social events.
Senate Bill 453 would allow farmers to apply for an annual exemption to certain costly requirements that are included in the state’s Uniform Construction Code for buildings that host weddings, receptions and similar events.
Honoring Loyalsock Boys’ Basketball Coach Ron “CI” Insinger
Loyalsock Township High School Boys’ Basketball Coach Ron “CI” Insinger was honored on the floor of the Pennsylvania state Senate Tuesday for his distinguished career as a high school coach and teacher.
Coach Insinger became the first coach in Pennsylvania history to amass 1,000 career high school victories when the Loyalsock Lancers defeated Hughesville earlier this year.
“CI” is more than just a coach to those young men and women who play and continue to play under his leadership. He is a father figure and a teacher. He is a mentor who knows the value of being a mentor; and he lives it every day.” His career at Loyalsock is one for the history books.
What We’re Watching….
Nuclear debate continues…The Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 510 this week, legislation that would update the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act, which would make fundamental changes to Pennsylvania’s energy markets. To view the discussion, click here.
The state Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee this week unanimously approved the nomination of Russell C. Redding to continue serving as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Over the years, Secretary Redding has been responsive to the needs of the agriculture community in my Senate District and has been willing to meet one-on-one with many of my constituents, listening to their concerns and working with them to find common ground on a myriad of important issues.
The state Senate will be in voting session the week of April 29th, and my legislation, Senate Bill 109, could see some momentum. The bill provides for the duty of passengers in a vehicle to render aid to any person injured in an accident. This legislation was presented to me by a constituent living in Bradford County.
Welcoming Northeast Bradford Students
(L to R) Teacher Rebecca Folk, Eryn Nichols, Senator Yaw, Jenna Whaley, Jazmine Elliott, and Madison Jochum
This week, I welcomed Northeast Bradford School District students Madison Jochum, Jenna Whaley, Jazmine Elliott, Eryn Nichols & their Science/STEM teacher Rebecca Folk to Harrisburg. They were here competing in the 2019 PennDOT Innovations Challenge. During their visit they had the opportunity to meet with me, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Sec. Leslie Richards as well as PA Department of Labor & Industry Sec. Oleksiak & even the Governor. They also had the opportunity to tour some of the Capitol Building. What a visit!
Supporting PA’s Lumber Industry
I always enjoy talking with members of the PA Forest Products Association during their annual Day on the Hill. They are all doing their part to be environmental leaders in the community and lumber industry. I was especially pleased to welcome my constituents Scott Cummings, President and Norm Steffy, Vice President of Cummings Lumber Company, Inc. in Troy, Bradford County.
In Other News…
Pennsylvania outdoor tradition gets into full swing this Saturday, April 13 for the Statewide Opening Day of Trout Season! Fishing begins at 8 a.m. This annual occasion will take place in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Union in addition to other counties statewide. To participate, anglers ages 16 and older must have a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a Trout/Salmon Permit, both available at www.gonefishingpa.com or at more than 700 issuing agents.
The best time to test your home for the carcinogen radon is following a sealed-up winter. The radon data base will indicate if your home is at higher risk, but testing is recommended regardless. About 40% of PA homes have high radon levels. Find out how to test your home or hire a certified testing company, click here
Childhood Begins at Home Roundtable
On Thursday, I participated in a roundtable discussion with the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children – Childhood Begins at Home Coalition – to learn more about evidence-based home visiting programs. Home visiting programs recognize parents are children’s first teachers, but sometimes even parents need help. Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs can lead to a reduction in child abuse and neglect, as well as improved family health, literacy and economic security.