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


BREAKING: Natural Gas ‘Impact Fee’ Disbursements Announced

The Marcellus Shale Impact Fee continues to deliver millions to county and local governments across the Commonwealth. I am pleased to announce over $27.6 million in funding will be directed to the 23rd Senatorial District.

The Impact Fee not only funds critical projects locally but also a wide variety of important environmental projects in communities throughout the state. The natural gas industry has been a great partner in creating new jobs and opportunities in our communities, and today’s announcement is another reminder of the importance of this industry in Pennsylvania.

Find out more about the funding awarded on my website!

Update on Rt. 6 Bridge Closure

The bridge on Route 6 over Sugar Creek in Troy remains closed as a result of an oversized load striking the bridge and causing significant damage. All hands are on deck to ensure it can reopen ASAP. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll was at the site yesterday for a press conference along with Bradford County EMS, township supervisors, local elected officials, community members, and staff from my office and Rep. Clint Owlett’s office.

An emergency declaration is in place and PennDOT has identified emergency funding for the bridge. Officials said they will have a better idea of when the bridge will be open in the coming week. The construction team’s goal is to have the repairs completed by the end of August.  

For now, detours remain in place and motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution when navigating this area. Updates on District 3 detours and construction can be found HERE.

23rd Senate District Awarded Nearly $3 Million in PHARE Funding

Last week, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) Board of Directors approved the release of $2,850,000 in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) funding that will be distributed across 16 projects in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties.

Read more HERE.

Penn College Breaks Ground on New Clean Energy House

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania College of Technology

On Thursday, Pennsylvania College of Technology held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin construction of a new 1,800-square-foot Clean Energy House.

Once constructed, the Clean Energy House will be used by the college’s nationally recognized Clean Energy Center for training home-energy professionals with in-demand skills and certifications.

Learn more HERE.

Grand Opening of Nomad Distilling Co.

Congratulations to Nomad Distilling Co. on the grand opening of their tasting room in downtown Williamsport!

Around the Capitol

It was great to see some familiar faces from the 23rd District and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce at last week’s Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry legislative breakfast.

Awards and Recognitions

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania College of Technology

Montoursville Area High School student Mason Morrow won first place – and the grand prize of a $10,000 scholarship to Pennsylvania College of Technology – in the 2023-24 Dream-Learn-Pitch competition.

Dream-Learn-Pitch, administered by the nonprofit Brighter Financial Futures/Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy, provides high school and middle school students with an opportunity to innovate and gain exposure to the world of entrepreneurship and small business. Participants research, write and present their business ideas through a video “pitch.”

Mason is pictured here with Brian D. Walton (left), Penn College’s assistant dean of business and hospitality, and Linda Keiser (right), Montoursville Area High School business teacher. Congratulations!

Thank you to the members of Troop 62019 who celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up trash along the streets in Hughesville. They turned it into a fun and interactive scavenger hunt along the way, filling three trash bags and demonstrating how to make the world a better place.

Your Input Needed: Tioga County Housing Survey

The Tioga County Housing Task Force is requesting your input. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey questions and provide your view of housing needs in Tioga County.

Employers’ Survey

Community Survey

Tips During Summer’s First Heat Wave

“Grow PA” Bills to Support Affordable Pathways to Higher Ed, Career Prep Passes Senate

Tens of thousands of students would have more opportunities to pursue affordable post-secondary education and career preparations programs under a package of bills approved with bipartisan support in the Senate.

The Grow PA initiative would create and expand programs to connect students to high-demand careers in Pennsylvania. The bills would not only make education and career training more affordable, but also provide strong incentives for students to stay and work in the state after completing their degrees and certifications.

Grow PA Scholarships would be established for in-state students who attend college in Pennsylvania, pursue a degree in a high-demand industry, and agree to live and work in that industry in Pennsylvania after graduation.

Grow PA Merit Scholarships would be created to allow high-performing, out-of-state students pursuing in-demand occupations to pay lower, in-state tuition at Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools.

Ready to Succeed Scholarships would be expanded to help as many as 24,000 additional students cover post-secondary education costs.

Fostering Independence Tuition Waivers would be expanded to nonresident students, waiving PASSHE tuition and fees for children in the foster care system and children who were adopted.

Performance-based metrics would be added to funding for state-related universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Temple University to provide added accountability to taxpayers.

A Higher Education Task Force would be created to improve higher education and career preparation programs.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion would be required for high school seniors, ensuring families have access to vital information on higher education aid, career and technical education, certificate programs and more.

The Grow PA plan also includes historic investments in career and technical education and dual enrollment.

Bill to Extend Grant Program for Fire, EMS and Rescue Organizations Passes Senate

The Senate approved Senate Bill 1099 to extend the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program for an additional five years. The program is scheduled to expire June 30.

Grants are provided through the program to help volunteer and professional fire companies, emergency medical services (EMS) organizations and volunteer rescue squads construct or renovate facilities, purchase or repair equipment, reduce debt and provide training.

The grant program allocates up to $30 million, with fire companies eligible for grants of up to $20,000 and EMS companies eligible for grants of up to $15,000.

Bill to Protect Property Owners from Squatters Receives Senate Support

The Senate approved legislation to establish more certainty for homeowners, landlords and law enforcement who encounter squatters. It respects the rights of all parties involved, ensuring legitimate tenants are protected while closing the door to those who exploit our system to occupy homes illegally.

Under current Pennsylvania law, squatters are considered trespassers after the property owner warns them they are not welcome and instructs them to vacate the property. Should the squatters remain where they are not licensed or privileged to be, they commit the offense of defiant trespass. However, reclaiming property from squatters requires a “notice to quit” be issued to individuals who have no legal right to the property. It imposes financial burdens and significant emotional strain on property owners.

Given the inconsistencies and lack of clarity in how states address squatter concerns, Pennsylvania must establish clear, uniform guidelines. Senate Bill 1236 defines what constitutes a “tenant,” simplifies the reclamation process – by eliminating the need for a “notice to quit” to be provided to a non-tenant – and offers a practical solution to a deeply distressing problem.

Senate Approves Legislation Combatting AI “Deepfake” Images of Minors

Legislation to combat “deepfake” images of minors and child sexual abuse materials generated by artificial intelligence (AI) was approved by the Senate. The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The unauthorized dissemination of an intimate image is against the law in Pennsylvania. However, the law does not specifically address the use of AI deepfake technology to create and disseminate an intimate image of a non-consenting person. Some websites have published realistic AI-generated sexual images of non-consenting adults, as well as children. The images may be artificial but are created by using data and images from real individuals and children.

Senate Bill 1213 would make it clear that the use of AI deepfake technology to create pornographic images of an individual without his or her consent is prohibited. It would also prohibit the use of deepfake technology to create child sexual abuse materials. 

Free Webinars Provide Helpful Financial Aid Info

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding free webinars to assist college-bound students and their families with navigating the financial aid process.

On Tuesday, June 25, at noon, speakers will discuss how to cover the gap between awarded loans and the actual amount due. On Thursday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m., speakers will focus on how to compare financial aid offers to choose the right loan for the borrower.

Register to attend the one-hour webinars.

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