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


On the Horizon…

Senate Convenes This Week. WATCH LIVE.

PA CareerLink Lycoming County will host an open recruitment event this Thursday, October 26th from 9 a.m. to noon at their office located at 329 Pine Street, Williamsport. Employers will include UPMC, Muncy Homes and more. Walk-ins welcome. Please call 570-601-5465 for more information.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2024 James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation. This fellowship gives undergraduate college students interested in politics and government the opportunity to be placed in a paid internship at one of the state’s executive agencies located in Harrisburg. More information HERE.

Happy Halloween!

The Downtown Williamsport Fall Festival and Trick-or-Treat will be held this Wednesday, October 25th from 5 p.m. to 8pm. Pumpkins, food, crafts, games, candy and more!

The Shaw Park Spooky Spectacular Haunted House and Costume Contest will be held Saturday, October 28th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join the Lycoming College Community Orchestra for the Halloween Spectacular on October 28th at 7 p.m. at the Community Arts Center in Downtown Williamsport! FREE and open to the public.

Join Pennsylvania CareerLink Tioga County for their 3rd annual Spooktacular Event on October 30th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at their office located at 56 Plaza Lane, Wellsboro.  Trick-or-Treat, Halloween bingo and scavenger hunt! Refreshments will be provided, and staff will be available to learn about CareerLink programs. Please call 5070-724-6356 for more information.

The Wellsboro Halloween Parade and Trick-or-Treat will be held on October 31st at 6 p.m. at Packer Park!

More information on local Halloween events and trick-or-treating happening this week HERE.

On the Road

Recently, I attended the official ribbon cutting of the new Garth Everett Muncy Boat Launch.

Dedicated in memory of my good friend and former state representative, the new access is located just south of the former Muncy boat access on 231 Aquatic Road, which closed in July 2016.

Prior to his retirement in 2020, Representative Everett dedicated his efforts to reopening the boat launch. Garth passed away on January 28, 2023, following an 18 year battle with cancer.

I was honored to join his family, friends, and colleagues at the opening of the launch, along with members of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and local elected officials.

This event marked the first time in Pennsylvania history a boat access has been named after a citizen.

Last Thursday, Representative Clint Owlett and I were in Wellsboro to celebrate agriculture and all who make it Pennsylvania’s #1 industry!

The annual “Breakfast Meetings on Agriculture” bring together local farmers, FFA students, teachers, extension and agribusiness professionals, and elected officials to discuss a number of important topics.

Thank you to all of our attendees and to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding for joining us as our guest speaker!

Following the breakfast meeting on agriculture, Representative Owlett, Secretary Redding and I visited Wheeland Lumber to celebrate PA Forest Products Week.

Wheeland Lumber is a fourth generation, family – owned and operated paper and forest product manufacturing company located in Liberty. Founded in 1940, it is located just north of the once “Lumber Capital of the World” Williamsport.  The company produces more than 8 million board feet of hardwood lumber cut from some of the finest Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Ash, and Oak logs in the world.

During Forest Products Week, which was observed from October 15th through October 21, we celebrate Pennsylvania businesses like Wheeland Lumber who have a proven track record in this vital industry.

This multi-generational company brings high-quality products, sustainable job opportunities, and substantial economic benefits to our region. I am thrilled to see their continued expansion and success and look forward to their future development.

Thank you for having us!

I had a great evening at the Lycoming County Township Officials Annual Fall Convention in Hughesville. It was great to connect with so many local officials and hear about the issues most important to our communities.

Last week, I dropped by the Sullivan County Health Fair in Laporte. It was great to see so many terrific organizations participating and offering a wide range of local programs and services to area residents!

On Friday, I visited Economy Locker Storage Company in Muncy.

Economy Locker is a wholesale meat, cheese, and foodservice purveyor. 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.

The Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Tioga Counties Area Agency on Aging recently held their 6th annual Veteran’s Tribute Luncheon in Wellsboro.

I was proud to see such a great turn out to honor so many of our local veterans. Thank you for your service!

Funding Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites Program (PA SITES) is now open and accepting grant applications from eligible applicants who wish to develop competitive sites for businesses to relocate or expand within the Commonwealth. Applications are due by November 8th! More information HERE.

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) announced the 2023-24 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. Grant applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 8. More information HERE.

Senate Backs Israel, Condemns Hamas

Following the murderous attacks of innocent people by the terrorist group Hamas, the Senate approved a resolution condemning Hamas’ Oct. 7 carnage.

Senate Resolution 185 shows Pennsylvania’s support of the Jewish people as they defend against this terrorist threat. It says that we stand “firmly with the people of Israel and their right to defend themselves.” It labels the attacks by Hamas as “shocking, barbaric and evil,” further adding they “amount to war crimes of the worst kind.”

The resolution further stipulates, “Israel has every right to defend itself with all due force” and noted Pennsylvania’s “special relationship” with Israel since the country declared independence in 1948.

Senate Advances Critical Support for EMS, Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Last week, the Senate approved legislation advancing critical public health components of the budget process.

Passage of House Bill 1351 addresses the crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensures Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.

The bill:

  • Increases EMS reimbursement rates for services and ensures providers are compensated for all loaded miles. The changes will drive $120 million of new revenue and new resources into the EMS network statewide.
  • Reauthorizes a state assessment on hospital services, generating revenue supplemented by federal funds and returned to hospitals. The first payment to hospitals is typically made in mid-October.
  • Freezes the Nursing Facility Case Mix Rate to reduce volatility and level the playing field so Pennsylvania nursing homes can continue to meet the needs of vulnerable patients.

Senate Votes to Increase Access to Addiction Treatment Programs

To combat prevalent opioid addiction, the Senate unanimously passed legislation increasing access to licensed addiction treatment programs for Pennsylvanians.

Senate Bill 941 would provide regulatory flexibilities that can be used during an opioid epidemic to create real solutions to workforce shortages and directly help those in need of treatment get access quicker. 

Additionally, Senate Bill 941 would establish annual reporting requirements to the General Assembly regarding unnecessary barriers to workforce recruitment and access to treatment.

Empowering Parents to Control Sexually Explicit Content for Their Children

The Senate Education Committee advanced a bill to provide parental control of student exposure to sexually explicit content, which Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 can view examples of here, in schools. Prior to the vote, the committee held a public hearing on the measure.

Senate Bill 7 would require schools to:

  • Identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum, materials and books.
  • Create an opt-in policy that would:
    • Notify parents of the sexually explicit content by including a list of the book titles on the form.
    • Give parents the opportunity to review the materials.
    • Require parents to give direct consent for their children to be provided or have access to sexually explicit content.
  • Provide children with non-explicit alternatives if their parents do not opt in.

Importantly, Senate Bill 7 would not ban any books from any Pennsylvania school curriculum or library, but rather empower parents to control only what their own children have access to in school. Empowering parents and families is a priority of the Pennsylvania Senate Republicans.

Recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

In October, we focus on staying safe online by taking steps to protect personal data. Simple steps you can take include using strong passwords, using multifactor authentication, recognizing and reporting phishing, and updating software.

My colleagues and I are also working to put measures in place that will better shield you from online threats. Senate Bill 565 would protect students’ personal data from unauthorized or inappropriate disclosure.

Other legislative measures would safeguard the state’s online assets. Senate Bill 563 would establish that commonwealth agencies have strong capabilities in place to discourage, combat and recover from ransomware attacks. Senate Bill 284 would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The OIT would create a strategic plan for future IT projects across state government, as well as manage and maintain all future IT procurement within state agencies.

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