Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Community Highlights
  • Senate Continues Detailed Budget Review
  • Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals
  • Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts
  • Supporting Agriculture
  • American Legion Appointments Available in My Office
  • Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Community Highlights

Congratulations are in order for West Allegheny School District! Donaldson Elementary School recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and West Allegheny High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School. I was glad to recognize both schools for their incredible milestones!

I helped kick off the Reading with the Stars Read-A-Thon event with students at Bethel Park School District last week.

Last weekend I took a swim in the 32 degree weather! I was glad to participate in the polar plunge for Special Olympics and I am thrilled to see them reach their goal of raising $1,000,000 this year.

I am always glad to spend time with our local fire departments and enjoyed stopping by the Broughton Volunteer Fire Department for their event. Thank you to our firefighters and first responders for everything you do.

Senate Continues Detailed Budget Review

Officials struggled to answer questions about Gov. Josh Shapiro’s broad higher education concepts and wide discrepancies in K-12 education funding during the Department of Education hearing with the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. The Governor proposes increasing Basic Education spending by nearly $1.1 billion in his 2024-25 spending plan, but his proposed budget shows no increases in Basic Education funding after this year – raising concerns that the administration cannot pay for the billions of dollars in promised new education spending without raising taxes.

During this hearing, I asked officials from the Department of Education about the utilization of the $225 million designated for the Public School Environmental Repairs Program and how many schools would benefit from it. I also asked how this may work with my bill, cosponsored by Senator John Kane and Senator Art Haywood, to remove lead from school drinking water.

At the Department of Agriculture budget hearing, discussion included state efforts to combat avian influenza, farming education initiatives and the performance of tax credit programs for PA farmers. Concerns were also raised about Gov. Shapiro’s plan to legalize adult-use marijuana.

At the hearing for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), members discussed how to make the most efficient use of existing resources as both agencies have considerable reserves and the PGC’s budget increased from approximately $130 million in 2019-20 to approximately $350 million in 2024-25. I was pleased to hear positive feedback from Executive Director Timothy Schaeffer on my bill to align the PA boat registration period with the calendar year, which was one of my first bills signed into law. I am so glad to see boaters positively benefiting from this legislation.

Hearings will continue next week on Tuesday with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals

To recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, a tuition assistance program offers up to $5,000 for reimbursement of EMS state certification training for permanent Pennsylvania residents.

Up to $300 is available for emergency medical responders, up to $800 for emergency medical technicians, up to $1,000 for advanced emergency medical technicians and up to $5,000 for paramedics.

Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive up to $1,250 of recruitment and retention expenses per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Learn more.

Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts

Individuals who believe they are beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a family member or friend can locate lost life insurance policies and annuity contracts through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

When a request is received, the NAIC will give participating companies that have policy information access to respond to you as the designated beneficiary or if you are authorized to receive information. It will also allow participating companies to search their records to determine whether they have a life insurance policy or annuity contract in the name of the deceased person.

Access NAIC’s life insurance policy locator.

Supporting Agriculture

To bolster agriculture production, $500,000 in grants is available to help Pennsylvania farms pursue growth opportunities. Funding will be used to benefit economic development, job creation and innovation.

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program is designed to enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production and building a team of financial and technical experts as a resource for the state’s farmers.

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs. Learn more about guidelines and how to apply.

American Legion Appointments Available in My Office

My office offers appointments with a representative from the American Legion on the second Tuesday of every month. If you are a family member needs assistance with any type of veteran and service-related issue, please contact my office to make an appointment.

Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Sunday, March 3, is National Anthem Day. “The Star-Spangled Banner” shares a message of endurance and perseverance. Francis Scott Key originally wrote his poem during a naval attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. That battle was nearly lost.

It wasn’t until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem.

Rather than commemorating victory, our national anthem highlights our ability to withstand attack. Today, we continue to raise our flag and refuse to be defeated.


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