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! PA Commonwealth Court Unanimously Rules that Skill Games are Legal.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania unanimously ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s (POM) Pennsylvania Skill games, manufactured in Muncy, Lycoming County, are legal games of skill.

In the case, originally brought forth in Dauphin County, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the POM game is a game of predominant skill, not a game of chance, and that the “POM machines are not slot machines [and] the POM machines are not illegal” as noted in the ruling. Click here to read the Commonwealth Court Decision on the Dauphin County Case.

This decision is a victory for the many fraternal clubs, taverns, veterans service organizations, volunteer fire companies, and small businesses that rely on revenue from skill games to pay their staff, pay their bills, maintain their establishments, and pay for donations to help their communities.

It is my hope that we can now put this conversation behind us and focus on advancing my legislation to establish a taxing structure and regulatory framework for skill video games in the Commonwealth so that we can ensure this industry flourishes safely and responsibly.

Learn more about games of skill and the Skill Video Gaming Act HERE. If you would like to share your support or tell your local representatives how skill games have helped your organization, please fill out the form HERE and I will personally pass your message along.

On the Horizon…

Join White Deer Community Park for the Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Tuesday, December 5th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hot cocoa, Christmas carols, and tree decorating! Attendees are invited to bring an ornament to place on the tree. FREE for all ages.

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities will hold “Fraud BINGO” to promote financial capability and provide investor education this Thursday, December 7th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 137 Silver Moon Lane, Lewisburg for members of the Foster Grandparents Program of Central PA. Those interested in learning more about protecting themselves from investment fraud should contact Sarah Long at 570-374-9196 or

Christmas in Dushore will be held this Saturday, December 9! Breakfast with Santa, Christmas marketplace, tree lighting and grand finale Parade of Lights on Main Street. More information and schedule of events HERE.

The 17th Annual Skip Hunsinger Holiday Spectacular will be held on Monday, December 10th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Williamsport Community Arts Center, 220 West 4th Street.  Holiday cheer, gifts, and entertainment. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Sen. Yaw Receives MSC “Shale Gas Advocate Award”

Last week, I was honored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition with the “Shale Gas Advocate Award” during the MSC 2023 Annual Awards Ceremony at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington. The Shale Gas Advocate Award honors MSC members and other individuals for their leadership and contributions in advocating for the development, transportation, and use of Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources.

The Marcellus Shale industry has been a great partner in ensuring consumers have access to the affordable, reliable energy they depend on, along with creating new jobs and economic opportunities at a time when many households are struggling. As a legislator, I take very seriously my role in advancing measures that I believe will unleash Pennsylvania’s energy potential while improving our environment and protecting it for future generations.

Thank you to the MSC for this wonderful recognition!

Read more HERE

The LIHEAP Program is Open – Apply Today!

The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides grants to eligible households to help pay their home energy bills. This program is for YOU and it’s quick and easy to apply. You don’t need a past due balance and the grant doesn’t need to be repaid.

Fill out the application and mail it along with your proof of income information to your local county assistance office. They’ll review your application, see if you qualify, and let you know how much you may receive toward your bill. Once approved, the LIHEAP grant will automatically credit to your PPL Electric bill.

Request an application by stopping by one of my offices, visiting your local County Assistance Office, calling the statewide LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, or calling PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. You can also apply online.

New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Recently signed into law, Act 24 of 2023 makes it easier for an estimated 185,000 students of relocating military families to enroll in school.

Previously, students of military families that transferred on official military permanent change of station orders were not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or participate in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they were physically located within the district boundaries. The delay caused students to miss deadlines, requiring them to shift their planned courses of study, which forced some to take summer classes, or even graduate later than expected.

The new law allows such families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This enables them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.

Bill to Punish Looters Wins Bipartisan Senate Approval

In the aftermath of widespread looting in Philadelphia and many other cities, the Senate approved legislation to prevent these crimes by a bipartisan vote.

According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, organized retail theft has resulted in the loss of almost 700,000 jobs nationwide due to more than $125 billion in economic losses. While large retail stores have been the primary target, 54% of the state’s small business owners said they have seen an increase in shoplifting in the past year. These hardworking Pennsylvanians who are trying to provide for themselves and their families rightly deserve our support.

Senate Bill 596 would create a first-degree felony offense, which can result in up to 20 years in prison, for thieves who steal $20,000 worth of goods and intend to resell them. The bill would also create the Office of Deputy Attorney General for Organized Retail Crime Theft to pursue the leaders of these criminal rings.

Babies Receive Life-Saving Care with New Law

Legislation approved by the Senate to provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies is now law.

In very low birth-weight babies and other medically compromised infants, human donor milk protects against serious health complications that can lead to longer hospital stays, multiple medical and surgical procedures, readmissions, lifelong disability or even death.

The law grants children who are less than a year old access to medically prescribed pasteurized human donor milk by requiring Medical Assistance coverage in inpatient and outpatient settings. To qualify for coverage, the child must meet medical necessity requirements or the child’s mother must be medically or physically unable to produce breast milk in an amount needed to meet the child’s needs.

High Schoolers: Can You Fix These Transportation Issues?

High school students are invited to participate in the seventh annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge. The statewide competition pushes teams of students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges.

Regional winners will be selected by PennDOT’s Engineering Districts. Those winners will move on to a statewide competition where an overall winner will be selected.

Students can find the details of the 2023-24 Challenge and project guidelines here. All submissions must be received by Jan. 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Safely Discard Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Help keep your loved ones and community safe by discarding old and unwanted prescription medications through Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program.

Items that can be accepted include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, prescription patches, prescription ointments, vitamins and pet medicines. Hydrogen peroxide, thermometers, iodine-containing medications, compressed cylinders or aerosols, alcohol and illicit drugs cannot be accepted.

There are nearly 900 locations statewide. Find one near you here.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

“A date which will live in infamy…”  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Dec. 7 marks 82 years since the surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After a decade of strained relations between the United States and Japan, that act drew the United States into World War II. While thousands of lives were lost, they were not lost in vain. The gruesome and exhausting war ultimately ended in a victory of Allied powers around the globe.

As we enjoy our American ideals and freedoms because of battles fought and wars won, please thank a veteran for his or her service.

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