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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.
Click here to find the latest information on coronavirus from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What We’re Watching…
The state Senate will formally begin the 2023-24 Legislative Session on Tuesday, Jan. 3, with members taking the oath of office. The ceremony is set to begin at noon.
Sen. Yaw reminds area veteran organizations of grant opportunities through Veterans’ Trust Fund.
The Lycoming County Board of Elections has changed the polling place for Pine Township, effective immediately. The new polling place for Pine Township is the Pine Township Building, located at 825 Oregon Hill Rd, Waterville.
PennDOT driver license, photo centers closed for New Year’s holiday.
Sen. Yaw, Rep. Owlett Tour Tioga County Flood-Prone Areas, Discuss Stream Maintenance Efforts
Rep. Clint Owlett and I recently toured several sites in Tioga County this week where streambeds have migrated, creating gravel bars prohibiting their return to the original streambed. Flooding now threatens to undermine many new bridge abutments in the county. This issue is not one that is site-specific to Tioga County. Over the years, we have toured flood-prone areas in Bradford, Lycoming and Sullivan counties with the Secretaries of DEP and Agriculture and have had many discussions with local leaders on addressing this important issue.
As someone who has lived here my entire life, I have been an advocate for changes to current state regulations for stream maintenance. We need to find a better way to manage our waterways from a practical and monetary standpoint.
A long-term view and consideration of short-term vs. long-term costs needs to become part of the equation for doing work proactively to ensure the integrity of these improvements, rather than just addressing damage after it occurs. While in Tioga County, we also met with area farmers, who are similarly concerned about damage, washing away their fields, as well as permit delays with various state agencies.
Join Me for my Next Town Hall Discussion
I invite you to join me for a Telephone Town Hall event beginning at 6:30PM on Tuesday, January 10th, to discuss a number of important state-related issues. The tele-town hall format allows you to participate in a discussion on state issues without the need to travel throughout the region. You may ask questions or simply remain on the phone line to listen to the conversation. You can sign up for the event in advance by visiting my website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com.
Reflecting Upon Legislative
Accomplishments in 2022
As 2022 nears its end, I am reminded upon our collective legislative accomplishments from the last year that advanced Pennsylvania’s energy and environmental goals, while laying the groundwork for more progress ahead.
I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken forward this year to better align our vast energy resources with our economic longevity, though there is much more to be done in 2023 and beyond. I’m grateful for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who supported my legislation on these priorities and made them a reality for Pennsylvania.
Some legislative highlights include the adoption of the following bills:
- Senate Bill 832 (Act 54 – Fiscal Code): The Clean Streams Fund, which I prime sponsored jointly with Senator Scott Martin and Senator Dan Laughlin, invested $220 million to clean up rivers and streams damaged by decades of non-point source pollution, including agricultural runoff, abandoned mine drainage and stormwater management in developed areas.
- Senate Bill 465 (Act 54 – Fiscal Code): I sponsored this bill to establish an Agricultural Conservation Grant Assistance Program to help farmers overcome barriers to reducing pollution of nearby streams and waterways.
- Senate Bill 251 (Act 83): I sponsored this bill to set clear standards for fertilizer application to turf and modernizes the state’s existing program to ensure proper testing and labeling of fertilizer products. It also directs the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to establish a new agricultural and homeowner education program to inform the public about best practices for the application of fertilizer.
- Senate Bill 806 (Act 153): This bill I sponsored ensures landowners are afforded a clear and distinct assessment of royalties paid to them through lease agreements with oil and natural gas operators. The new law will also provide for summary statements, should a landowner choose to receive one, as well as timely payment requirements.
- Senate Bill 420 (Act 88): The District Attorney Modernization Act, which I sponsored, clarifies procedures for when a district attorney’s law license is suspended or they are disbarred.
The Pennsylvania Senate: Looking Ahead
The end of the year brings a final look back on the 2021-22 legislative session, when Senate Republicans led the effort to transition Pennsylvania from COVID-19 pandemic response to helping residents and employers get back to normal, productive lives.
On the economic front, Senate-passed budgets not only shielded Pennsylvanians from tax increases, they cut the Corporate Net Income Tax to attract employers to Pennsylvania, modernized expense deductions allowing small business owners more flexibility and tax planning opportunities, and provided tax incentives for small businesses to grow and invest in Pennsylvania.
Recognizing that economic prosperity is threatened in unsafe communities, we held public hearings over the summer of 2022 examining rising crime rates and hearing from law enforcement officers on ways to restore order.
Our schools were greatly impacted by the pandemic and lengthy closures, and some of the more important education measures we passed were those that got students back into the classroom after the pandemic, expanded educational opportunity and better prepared students for success. Read more of the 2021-22 recap here.
It’s the duty of legislators to stand between Pennsylvania families and an overreaching, overtaxing executive branch. I will proudly take up that responsibility in the new session and offer our fellow citizens an alternative vision of freedom and prosperity.
Older Drivers and Safe Driving
Nearly a quarter of Pennsylvania’s licensed drivers are 65 years of age or older, and resources are available to help with the unique challenges faced by older drivers.
Signs that can indicate it may be time to limit or stop driving altogether include:
- Feeling uncomfortable, fearful or nervous when driving.
- Unexplained dents/scrapes on the car, fences, mailboxes or garage doors.
- Frequently getting lost and frequent “close calls” (i.e. almost crashing).
- Slower response times, particularly to unexpected situations.
- Difficulty paying attention to signs or staying in the lane of traffic.
- Trouble judging gaps at intersections or highway entrance/exit ramps.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Seniors Driving Safely publications help older drivers assess their abilities and offer guidance on next steps if their medical condition is reported to PennDOT. The series also includes a publication designed to guide family and friends of older drivers in what can sometimes be difficult conversations about deciding to stop driving, as well as information for health care providers on PennDOT’s medical reporting program.
Friday Deadline for Communities to Apply for Boating Facility Grants
Friday is the deadline for communities to apply for state grants to help realize the positive social and economic impacts of providing convenient boating access along their local waterways.
The Boating Facility Grant program provides grants for planning, acquisition, development, expansion and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission encourages townships, boroughs, and municipal and county governments to apply. Nonprofit groups – including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations – are also eligible to apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible for direct funding but are encouraged to partner with their local county or municipality.
Happy New Year
As we conclude another eventful year filled with challenges and accomplishments, we look ahead to 2023 with renewed hope and excitement. I wish you and your loved ones the best in the new year.