Senator Gene 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, Susquehanna 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
www.SenatorGeneYaw.com

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*Click here to find the latest information on coronavirus from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Wishing You All a Joyous Holiday Season & Prosperous and Healthy New Year!

Support Our Local Restaurants with CarryoutPA.com

Residents across Northeastern and central Pennsylvania are encouraged to support local restaurants by visiting the CarryoutPA Web site, https://www.carryoutpa.com/.

The site offers a comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside or delivery services during the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Despite the shutdown, it’s important to remember that we can all still do our part to support local restaurants in our communities as they work to provide safe dine-out options. 

CarryoutPA.com was developed by the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA) to serve as a go-to resource for dine-out options in support of the commonwealth’s restaurant industry.

Senate Action on Ensuring Fair Elections

Beginning in the summer of 2020, the Senate Republican Caucus moved to intervene in several cases to preserve our rights to determine the time, place and manner of elections.

Those filings have been ongoing since and includes numerous filings before the Pennsylvania Courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

The following is a timeline of actions that we have taken to ensure that every Pennsylvania resident would have the opportunity to vote, that results would be known in a timely manner and that the nation could have confidence in the results…[continue reading]. 

JUST IN:  Three Lycoming County Projects Receive RACP Funding

During these challenging times, it is imperative that our Commonwealth continues its focus on reinvesting in our communities and strengthening our economy.  Driving critical state dollars toward these initiatives will ensure we are spending funds both responsibly and effectively.

I was happy to announce today that I have secured $2.5 million for three Lycoming County projects.  To learn more, click here.

In Case You Missed It…. 

The U.S. Congress passed a targeted emergency relief package yesterday that delivers support to the people of Pennsylvania and our country… This bipartisan legislation will provide additional funding for families, small businesses, hospitals, schools and transportation, while ensuring the efficient distribution of safe and effective vaccines.  Importantly, it will add deductibility for PPP expenses and improved PPP initiatives for those in the hospitality industry that have suffered from forced shutdowns.

Unemployment compensation-related provisions of the bill include: 

  1. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • Extends the program until March 14, 2021 and allows individuals receiving PUA benefits as of March 14 to continue collecting through April 5, 2021 so long as they have not exhausted benefits.
    • Increases the maximum number of PUA benefit weeks from 39 weeks to 50 weeks. 
  2. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Extends the program until March 14, 2021 and allows individuals receiving PEUC benefits as of March 14 to continue collecting through April 5, 2021 so long as they have not exhausted benefits.
    • Increases the maximum number of PEUC benefit weeks from 13 to 24. 
  3. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    • This was the federal program that provided an additional $600/week in benefits to all UC, PEUC, EB and PUA claimants for benefit weeks ending April 4, 2020 through July 25, 2020.
    • The bill restores the program at $300/week for benefit weeks starting with week ending January 2, 2021 and ending with benefit week ending March 13, 2021. 
  4. Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation
    • This is a new program aimed to further assist self-employed individuals who were ineligible for PUA because they supplemented their self-employment with wage earnings, making them eligible for regular UC.
    • The program provides a federally funded $100/week supplement to FPUC (so $400/week total) for individuals that had at least $5,000 in self-employment income but are collecting traditional UC. The benefit would terminate on March 14, 2021. 

PA Senate GOP Creates Bipartisan Committee to Review 2020 Election… On Monday, Sen. Jake Corman announced legislation to create a bipartisan Special Committee, which will conduct an exhaustive review of all aspects of the 2020 general election.  I have signed on as a co-sponsor to this bill.  The committee’s primary focus will be on the security of the vote before, during and after Election Day; the accuracy and security of the election process, particularly during the pre-canvassing and canvassing stages; the uniformity of the election processes across the Commonwealth; the impact and role of our judiciary in the election process; the impact and role of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in issuing interpretations, guidance and instructions regarding the election process and the conduct of the election as a whole; and other election related issues that may come before the Committee.

FCC Awards Over $65 Million to 23rd Senate District for High-Speed Internet Service…Over 22,000 residents living in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties will gain access to high-speed broadband services due to $65,416,189 in funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). [Read More]

Sen. Yaw Reminds Residents of Dec. 31st Deadline for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program…Older adults and people with disabilities living in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties have until Thursday, December 31st, 2020 to apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2019.  [Read More]

Lycoming County Farmland Added to State Preservation Program… A Lycoming County farm was one of 32 farms in 17 counties added to the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program recently. [Read More]

Sen. Yaw Reminds Area Veteran Organizations of Grant Opportunities through Veterans’ Trust Fund… The 2020-21 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is now accepting grant applications.  Area veteran service organizations, non-profits and county directors of veteran affairs are eligible.  [Read More]

Public Comment Period on “RGGI” Remains Open – Say NO to New Taxes

The Wolf Administration has moved forward with its plan for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Joining this consortium would impose a carbon tax on electricity production, raising energy bills for consumers and making the state’s energy industry less competitive with neighboring states.

Part of the process of joining RGGI includes a public comment period, which is open now through January 14. I encourage community residents to click the link below and let your voice be heard in support of Pennsylvania energy production – and against new taxes.

To submit comments, click on the following link and select Proposed Rulemaking: CO2 Budget Trading Program (#7-559): https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/.

2019-20 Legislative Session in Review

The two-year legislative session that ended November 30 was highlighted by measures to help Pennsylvania respond to COVID-19, including providing resources to the individuals and organizations who were deeply affected by the virus – hospitals, long-term care providers, community services providers, first responders, food banks, and affected employers and employees. Lawmakers also fought back in cases in which Governor Wolf’s mitigation efforts exceeded his authority and infringed on the civil liberties of Pennsylvanians.

In addition to responding to COVID-19, the General Assembly passed new laws to reform state government, improve public safety, support education at all levels, protect first responders and address Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic. A complete list of bills approved during the 2019-20 Legislative Session is available here.

Dairy Farmers Receive COVID-19 Relief Funds

Many dairy farmers suffered heavy losses and were forced to discard milk during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,500 Pennsylvania dairy farmers who were forced to dump milk due to market changes and supply line disruptions were awarded a total of $7.6 million in direct relief payments last week to mitigate their losses.

The payments were made as part of the Dairy Indemnity Program, which was created by Senate Republicans and funded by the federal CARES Act. Lawmakers also provided $16 million in funding in the recently enacted state budget for programs created by the General Assembly in recent years to support the agriculture industry.

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