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Sen Gene Yaw

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The State Senate Will Be Closed on Monday, February 16th
in Honor of President's Day

The Senate Convenes Tuesday, February 17th at 1 PM
Watch Live

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-------------------------------News for the 23rd-------------------------------

Latest on the State’s New Child Protection Law…

During the 2013-14 Legislative Session, 23 pieces of legislation were enacted changing how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse. My office has received numerous inquiries from volunteer organizations and school districts discussing how the recent changes will impact them. The new law is the result of a special task force created more than two years ago following the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault scandal that examined current child abuse laws in Pennsylvania.

In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with Senate staff to bring to light many of the concerns expressed to me and my office.

For information on changes to the law, click here.

------------------------------Legislative Update-------------------------------

Medical Cannabis Legislation Re-Introduced

Senators Mike Folmer (R-48) and Daylin Leach (D-17) have reintroduced legislation to allow physicians to provide medical cannabis to patients in Pennsylvania. Previously Senate Bill 1182, the medical cannabis legislation is Senate Bill 3 for the 2015-16 legislative session. I voted to support this legislation last session, and I am a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3 this session.

Senate Bill 3 would allow patients who have a recommendation from their doctor to purchase and use medical cannabis from centers licensed by a to-be-created State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing. The entire process would be regulated by licensing: medical cannabis growers, processors and dispensers. Smoking is prohibited.

Purely Public Charities and Senate Bill 4

On February 4th, the Senate Finance Committee examined a proposal that would allow the legislature to clearly define the parameters for an organization to qualify as a purely public charity.

The bill was introduced in response to a controversial 2012 court ruling, which created a great deal of confusion among charities and led many municipalities to examine whether they could begin levying real estate taxes on charitable organizations who had previously been deemed exempt.

For a recap of the public hearing, click here.

Senate Coal Caucus Reorganizes

Recently, I joined Senators from across the Commonwealth for the reorganization meeting of the bipartisan Senate ‘Coal Caucus’, a legislative committee emphasizing the continued importance of coal and coal-driven technologies in the state.

Senate Coal Caucus

The Coal Caucus will serve as a forum through which legislators and industry representatives can collaborate on the needs of the coal industry, focus on the utilization and consumption of coal to significantly reduce consumer demands on foreign fuels and highlight new coal technologies within the industry.

 --------------------------------PCN Interview----------------------------------

On the Issues: Natural Gas Royalties

Senator Gene Yaw PCN Interview

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) to discuss a number of important issues such as natural gas royalty payments, possible implementation of a severance tax and more. To watch the interview, click here.

 ---------------------------------In the News-----------------------------------

Op-Ed: Rural Municipal Pension Plans Faring Well Statewide

February 6, 2015
By: Senator Gene Yaw

In a recent Williamsport Sun-Gazette Op-Ed (“Municipal Pensions: The rest of the (untold) story...”), David M. Sanko, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, accurately outlined Pennsylvania’s pension crisis. He noted that while municipal pension plans in larger cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton are distressed, many of the state’s smaller municipal pension plans are doing just fine. A 2013 study of Pennsylvania municipal pensions, sponsored by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, dug even deeper and found that many of Pennsylvania’s rural communities are doing it right when it comes to their municipal pension obligations.

To read more, click here.

----------------------------Just in from the PFBC------------------------------

2015 PFBC Trout Stocking Guides Now Available

In-Season Trout Stocking Schedule

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently announced that the 2015 adult trout stocking schedules are available online at

Anglers can easily search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of interest. To view the list, simply go to, click on the link for Trout Stocking Schedules, select a county and enter start and end dates from the calendars at the top of the page. Then press “Go.”

-----------------------------District Outreaches-------------------------------

Do You Need Assistance With State Forms?

Do you need assistance completing birth certificates, death certificates, PennDOT or other related applications and forms? My staff stands ready to assist you. The following district outreaches have been scheduled, and are updated frequently on my website.

February 17, 2015

Canton Library
14 North Center Street
Canton, PA 17724
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 Allen F. Pierce Library
115 Center Street
Troy, PA 16947
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.


 February 19, 2015

Sayre Library
122 South Elmer Avenue
Sayre, PA 18840
10:30 a.m. – noon

 Spaulding Memorial Library
714 South Main Street
Athens, PA 18810
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.


 February 24, 2015

Susquehanna County Conservation
88 Chenango Street
Montrose, PA  18801
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


 February 26, 2015

Wyalusing Borough Hall
102 Senate Street
Wyalusing, PA 18853
10:30 a.m. – noon

Wyalusing Public Library
202 Church Street
Wyalusing, PA 18853
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


-----------------------------Student Opportunities-----------------------------

DCNR Invites Students to Apply for
Summer Environmental Careers Camp

Young Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing environmental careers are invited to apply by April 15th for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' summer residential camp.

The free camp will introduce 20 students in grades 10-12 to conservation and environmental careers. From wildlife conservation projects and stream sampling of aquatic life, to forestry skills, daily activities will offer students a hands-on, team-building learning experience in an outdoor setting.

To read more, click here.

----------------------------Belated Congratulations----------------------------

Mifflinburg FFA Recognized

Congratulations to the Mifflinburg FFA who this year bested their Farm Safety Quiz Bowl competitors, having demonstrated knowledge on farm safety, health hazards and recommended practices during the 99th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

During the event, participants not only learn about farm safety and health, they also increase their leadership and public speaking skills and learn how to promote agricultural safety and health through their organizations.

Congratulations to all the participants.

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