In this Update:
High School Teams Visit Harrisburg
This week was action-filled in Harrisburg! I had the pleasure to welcome several visitors from the 37th district to the capitol this week, including three high school championship teams. The Moon Area High School Gymnastics Team, Moon Area High School Girls’ Soccer Team, and the South Fayette High School Hockey Team all won their respective PIAA State Championships.
I also had the opportunity to recognize Nino Bonaccorsi of Bethel Park for his NCAA Wrestling Title representing the University of Pittsburgh. Congratulations to all of these incredible young athletes! It was a privilege to recognize them on the Senate floor for their outstanding accomplishments.
Landmark Legislation for Early Breast Cancer Detection
Senate Bill 8 has now unanimously passed the entire state legislature. This historic bill allows for no-cost breast MRI/ultrasound and no-cost genetic testing/counseling for breast cancer. I am thrilled to see this pass and honored to be a joint prime sponsor along with Senator Kim Ward and Senator Tracy Pennycuick. The bill now heads to the Governor.
Senate Passes Bill to Protect Newborns
The Senate unanimously passed legislation to protect babies whose parents are unable to care for them. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 267 would expand Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law to allow parents to surrender their unharmed baby at participating urgent care centers. The urgent care centers will ensure the newborn is transported to a hospital and placed in the care of a health care provider.
Currently, people may bring their newborn (up to 28 days old) to any Pennsylvania hospital, to a police officer at a police station or to an emergency services provider at an EMS station. The Department of Health estimates that 50 babies have been saved by Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law since 2003.
Increasing Pension Payments for Disabled Veterans
I am proud to be a prime sponsor of Senate Bill 189, which would increase the monthly payment for the Blind Veterans Pension Program and the Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension Program from $150 to $200. Click here to view my press release.
Resolution for the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy’s 250th
Senate Resolution 82 was unanimously approved this week by the Senate’s Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. As a Marine veteran, I am thrilled to help plan this special anniversary and am pleased to joint co-sponsor this with my fellow Marine veteran, Senator Greg Rothman. Click here for more details.
Community College Advocacy Day
Monday was Community College Advocacy Day at the Capitol. It was great to see my alma mater, Community College of Allegheny County, so well-represented!
Senate Votes to Protect Seniors from Financial Exploitation
The Senate approved a bill to help protect Pennsylvania senior citizens from financial exploitation scams using information that is already available within state government.
Under Senate Bill 137, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General would notify the Department of Aging about any investigations or enforcement actions involving someone age 65 or older and related to the Pennsylvania Telemarketer Registration Act.
The improved information sharing would enable the Department of Aging to deliver warnings to local area agencies on aging in counties across the commonwealth while ensuring strict adherence to confidentiality rules.
Senate Bill 137 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Broadband Grant Program Opens May 10
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority recently approved the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program which will provide $200 million in funding to businesses, nonprofits, local governments and economic development organizations.
This program will fund line extension and development projects, as well as large-scale regional infrastructure projects. Upon completion, projects must deliver service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 Megabits per second, with prioritization being given to fiber-optic deployment.
The application period will begin May 10 and will close July 10. View program guidelines here.
Register to Vote by May 1
The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania’s May 16 primary election is Monday, May 1. Your county election board must receive your application for a mail-in or absentee ballot by Tuesday, May 9.
To legally register, individuals must be a citizen of the United States, reside in their local voting precincts at least 30 days prior to the election and be at least age 18 on Election Day, Tuesday, May 16. Once registered to vote, you are not required to register again unless you change your residence, name or political party affiliation.
Voter registration forms, mail-in ballot applications and absentee ballot applications are available here or from your local county’s Board of Elections. You can also use the site to check your registration status.
Steel Center Tech Visits Harrisburg
Steel Center is a public school that provides technical training to high school students from eleven school districts in the Mon Valley and South Hills areas of my district in Allegheny County. Steel Center boasts a wide range of career training options, including 18 state-approved programs of study for 871 students, and they maintain approximately 240 business, community, and educational partnerships. I was pleased to welcome faculty and students from Steel Center this week and had a great discussion about the importance of technical education.
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