Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Robinson Bill Approved in Committee
  • Legislation to Establish an Ireland Trade Commission in PA
  • Tour of District Manufacturing Facilities
  • Union Railroad Company Opens Railcar Repair Facility
  • Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking
  • Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance
  • Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers
  • Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Robinson Bill Approved in Committee

I was thrilled to see my new legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc and Senator Tracy Pennycuick, approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Senate Bill 1120 would ensure common-sense procedures are followed during the bail determination process for repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl, and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot.

The legislation would specifically bar non-monetary forms of bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety and now heads to the full Senate for consideration. You can read my full press release here.

Legislation to Establish an Ireland Trade Commission in PA

I’m glad to work with my fellow Irish-American colleagues on bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish an Ireland Trade Commission in Pennsylvania. Thank you to Senator Flynn, Senator Kearney, Representative Daley, and Representative O’Neal for your collaboration to strengthen our wonderful relationship with our friends in Ireland! We had a great time discussing our legislation, Senate Bill 1121, and exchanging stories on our shared heritage at the Irish-American Legislative Caucus Breakfast at the State Capitol.

Tour of District Manufacturing Facilities

I enjoyed a great tour of Niagara Bottling’s manufacturing facility at the Findlay Industrial Park. This family-owned business is one of many that calls the industrial park home and contributes to our region’s tax base and job opportunities.

I also visited Universal Stainless in Bridgeville, where I enjoyed an action-packed tour of their facility that produces stainless, tool, and aircraft quality low alloy steels. It was great to see these facilities in action, and I will continue to advocate for policies that support job growth and economic opportunity for residents in the 37th district and across our Commonwealth.

Union Railroad Company Opens Railcar Repair Facility

Congratulations to Union Railroad Company on the grand opening of their world-class railcar repair facility! The facility was constructed in conjunction with the PA Turnpike Commission as a result of the new Mon Fayette Expressway expansion. It provides full-service freight car repair to multiple regional and national carriers. I’m pleased to see Union Railroad able to provide top-notch rail car repair services to improve freight transportation in our region.

Senate Passes Public Safety Bills Targeting Opioid Overdoses, Human Trafficking

The Pennsylvania Senate approved two measures this week boosting community safety by targeting opioid overdoses and human trafficking. Both bills, which head to the House of Representatives for consideration, are part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1054 strengthens the Overdose Information Network (ODIN) law, which requires all law enforcement in Pennsylvania to input reports of an overdose within 72 hours of the incident into the ODIN system. The ODIN database enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze and share information concerning fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses and naloxone administrations. The bill would ensure overdose reporting by EMS providers is incorporated into the statewide mapping system. EMS providers are responsible for handling more than 80% of overdoses annually in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1111 would ensure that individuals who are convicted of certain human trafficking offenses – as well as attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit those offenses – are subject to the same Megan’s Law reporting and evaluation requirements as other sexual offenders.

Struggling Homeowners Can Apply for Assistance

To help homeowners struggling as a result of pandemic-related financial hardships, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) reopened a program that had been paused to address a backlog of applicants.

The majority of pending applications has been processed and an assessment of remaining American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds has been made, so PHFA is accepting additional applicants until the remaining monies are exhausted.

New applicants can use the funds for pandemic-related mortgage reinstatement, forward mortgage assistance, tax assistance and delinquent utility bills. Interested Pennsylvania homeowners can find more information, eligibility requirements and instructions about how to submit an application here.

Help Available for High-Priority Specialty Crop Farmers

To stimulate market growth or boost the competitive position for high-priority crops, grants are available for projects that benefit Pennsylvania’s growers as a whole, rather than an individual grower.

Specialty crops eligible for Pennsylvania’s grant program and deemed high priority include hardwoods; honey; hemp and flax for fiber; and hops, barley, rye and wheat for brewing, distilling and malting.

Proposals must be submitted through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application by Friday, April 19, at 5 p.m. Full grant guidelines are available here.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

I always enjoy celebrating my Irish-American heritage at the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade! It was great to walk through the parade and to see so many people celebrating the cultural ties between our two countries.


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