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.
Yaw: Lewis Township, Union County, receives $4M for sewer upgrade and expansion.
Applications are being accepted from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in state Cultural and Historical Support Grants.
Free dental care – including oral screenings, sealants and education – is available to children ages 7 to 15 on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Pennsylvania College of Technology Dental Hygiene Clinic. Appointments are required. They can be made by calling 570-320-8007 between 9AM and 4PM, Monday to Friday.
Route 199 reconstruction project continues in Sayre and Athens, Bradford County; Crack sealing project continues this week along Route 6 from the Tioga County line to Towanda Borough and along various sections of Route 14 north of Troy Borough.
Susquehanna County Township Officials Hold 109th Annual Convention
Last week, I joined officials representing townships of the second class in Susquehanna County for their 109th Annual County Convention at the Montrose Bible Conference.
As I told those in attendance, it has been a pleasure to represent the County for 13 years. On December 1, the County will no longer be in the 23rd Senate District (due to legislative redistricting). That does not mean that I will lose contact with the many friends I have made there over the years. Susquehanna County will always be a special place for me and certainly will be in good hands with my colleague Senator Lisa Baker. I won’t say “Goodbye” only that I will “See You Around!”
Borough of Jersey Shore Looking to Expand Waitlist for Housing Rehabilitation Grant
The Borough of Jersey Shore had received a $500,000 housing rehabilitation grant and interested residents who live within the Borough limits should apply now to get on the waiting list for the no-cost repairs.
Qualified residents may receive up to $65,000 each for home repairs.
Interested residents may call SEDA-COG’s call Stacy Anderson at 570-524-4491 Ext. 7215. For more information, visit www.seda-cog.org.
Public Hearing Held on Mental Health and Rural Schools
On October 19th, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a public hearing on youth mental health in Pennsylvania’s rural schools to emphasize some of the challenges rural school leaders face in combating the growing mental health crisis. The panel comprised public and private sector stakeholders, including officials from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), school representatives and superintendents and behavioral health experts.
Additional information on the hearing can be found at on the Center for Rural PA website, rural.pa.gov.
Senate Approves Measures to Help Women at High Risk of Breast Cancer
The Senate has passed two bills to help women at high risk for breast cancer, ensuring coverage for MRIs, ultrasounds and genetic testing with no out-of-pocket costs.
Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women in the United States after skin cancers, and early detection is the key to saving lives. The Senate approved the following bills:
Senate Bill 1225 eliminates out-of-pocket costs for breast MRI and ultrasound for women with high-risk conditions such as dense breast tissue, a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Senate Bill 1330 removes costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for Pennsylvanians with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic testing for heredity cancers provides the opportunity for earlier screenings and preventive treatments and procedures.
At a news conference celebrating passage of the bills, PA Breast Cancer Coalition President Pat Halpin-Murphy said: “Senate Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 1330 will arm the women of Pennsylvania with the best tools possible to find breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.”
Other Bills Passed by the Senate
In addition to bills expanding coverage for breast cancer prevention, the Senate recently approved the following measures:
Senate Bill 1243 improves personal financial literacy by requiring completion of a half-credit economics and personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement.
Senate Bill 139 directs the Department of Education to establish a model curriculum for instruction in the events and significance of Sept. 11, 2001 and provides for a moment of silence in schools on 9/11.
Senate Bill 1265 creates an online registry of fire courses for firefighters similar to what is maintained for medical responders, EMTs and paramedics.
Senate Bill 1282 grants land banks the same environmental protections other economic development agencies receive when dealing with brownfields.
You can find a list of all bills that received votes in the Senate this week here.
Senate Committee Reviews Legislation to Empower Parents
The Senate State Government Committee held a public hearing last Tuesday on legislation to establish by state statute the rights of parents over the upbringing of their children.
The hearing featured testimony from Pennsylvania parents and parental rights advocacy groups. Testifiers discussed the importance of the parent-child bond, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning, and the inability of parents to remove inappropriate material from Pennsylvania schools.
Senate Bill 996 would make clear in statute that the state, counties, local governments and school districts may not infringe on the fundamental rights of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest — narrowly tailored – and not otherwise achieved by less restrictive means.
The legislation would also ensure a parent’s right to access and review all school records related to their child, a right to review all instructional materials used throughout the school year, and the right to opt out their child from certain curriculum that the parent finds to be objectionable or harmful.
Earlier this year, the Senate approved legislation to require school districts to identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum and materials and notify parents that their child’s coursework includes such content, and prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
HARP Helps Hospitality Workers in Need
Hospitality Assistance Response of PA (HARP) provides immediate, emergency funding to servers, bartenders, front-desk workers, housekeepers, receptionists, cashiers, cooks and others in need in the hospitality field.
HARP is a 501(c)(3) funded by private donations and can help with medical bills or general hardship and provide immediate relief to hospitality employees experiencing a variety of other financial challenges. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability of funds.
If you want to donate or know a hospitality worker who needs help, you can find information here.
Conservation and Natural Resources Grants Available
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recreation and conservation grants program is accepting applications from municipal entities and non-profit organizations for a special fall funding round through Oct. 27.
Because of its unique funding source, the supplemental fall funding round has some differences from typical DCNR grant rounds. The primary difference is that for municipalities with populations under 5,000 people, the match requirement is 20% of the grant amount with no cap on project size.