Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Women Veterans Appreciation Day
  • Alicia’s Law
  • Robinson Scholarship Expansion Bill Passes Senate
  • Robinson Bill to Create Paid Family Leave Program Passes Committee
  • Robinson Bill to Reduce Community Bank Tax Rate Approved in Committee
  • Robinson Bill Supporting Disabled Veterans Approved in Committee
  • Bill to Extend Grant Program for Fire, EMS and Rescue Organizations Passes Senate
  • Don’t Abandon Your Boat!
  • U.S. Army Birthday
  • Happy Father’s Day

Women Veterans Appreciation Day

I was so honored to host an event for Women Veterans Appreciation Day at my alma mater, Robert Morris University. We had the privilege to hear from our featured speaker and my friend, Jessica Lynch former POW. Jessica was captured and held prisoner by Iraqi forces after her unit was ambushed in An Nasiriyah, and my Marine unit aided in her successful rescue. It was incredible to hear her tell her story and to discuss our shared experiences in Iraq.

We also heard from two WWII Veterans: Julia Parsons and Betty Digby. These two remarkable women served as Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during the war. They both served in Washington D.C. during their tenure, and Julia worked as a Navy Lieutenant codebreaker.

Thank you to everyone who made this event a great success! My friend Todd DePastino from the Veterans Breakfast Club was a wonderful emcee for our discussions with Julia, Betty, and Jessica, and Dr. Michelle Patrick’s team at Robert Morris made things run seamlessly. And thank you to all the Veterans and Service Members who attended; I am deeply grateful for your service.

View the full video of the event here.

Alicia’s Law

This week I was pleased to welcome Alicia Kozak to the Capitol. Alicia was abducted as a young teenager by an online predator, and she now shares her story of survival and is a fierce advocate for children who are victims of internet crimes and sexual exploitation. 

Two bills have been announced to combat these crimes: House Bill 2199 and Senate Bill 1233. These bills would create a process to establish state and local task forces across the Commonwealth to fight internet crimes against children, and I am proud to sponsor Senate Bill 1233.

The Senate also approved Senate Bill 1213, which would combat “deepfake” images of minors and child sexual abuse materials generated by artificial intelligence (AI) as a part of this effort. The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. I am pleased to see such bipartisan, bicameral effort to move these bills, and I look forward to continuing working with my colleagues to ensure a safer future for our children.

You can view our press conference here.

Robinson Scholarship Expansion Bill Passes Senate

Tens of thousands of students would have more opportunities to pursue affordable post-secondary education and career preparations programs under a package of bills approved with bipartisan support in the Senate. I’m thrilled to see my legislation included in this package – Senate Bill 1152 – pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

This bill would expand the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to good students to cover the cost of post-secondary education. The bill would increase household income limits from $126,000 to $175,000 and allow students with at least a 2.5 GPA to qualify, making more students eligible for assistance.

The Grow PA initiative includes six other programs that would create and expand opportunities to connect students to high-demand careers in Pennsylvania. The bills would not only make education and career training more affordable, but also provide strong incentives for students to stay and work in the state after completing their degrees and certifications. View the full list of bills here and read more on Senate Bill 1152 here.

Robinson Bill to Create Paid Family Leave Program Passes Committee

At some point in everyone’s life, they are going to have to care for a sick parent or spouse, welcome the birth or adoption of a child, or deal with their own personal health challenges. That is why I introduced legislation – Senate Bill 580 – to establish the Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Program.

The legislation would create a fund to pay benefits to workers when they take leave for major life events. The bill establishes criteria for leave, sets a formula to determine wage replacement benefits, and provides a framework for program administration.

I was pleased to receive bipartisan support in passing the bill out of the Labor and Industry Committee this week.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Robinson Bill to Reduce Community Bank Tax Rate Approved in Committee

It was wonderful to see my legislation to provide relief to our local community banks approved in the Senate Finance Committee. I appreciate Senator Scott Hutchinson’s committee leadership and his support in ensuring these important community institutions can continue to thrive.

My legislation, Senate Bill 858, proposes reducing the Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax (MTIT) for mutual banks, similar to the widely supported reduction schedule of the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax. Upon enactment, the MTIT rate would drop to 8.99% followed by a scaled reduction every year until it reaches 4.99%. Read more on this bill here.

Robinson Bill Supporting Disabled Veterans Unanimously Approved in Committee

Soon, veterans will have an easier time obtaining hunting event permits under my legislation, Senate Bill 698. This bill would require the Pennsylvania Game Commission to issue military event license exemptions and permits for disabled veteran’s rehabilitation and enjoyment.

Thank you to the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee for unanimously approving this bill to support our veterans. I appreciate the support of Chairman Greg Rothman and the entire committee.

Bill to Extend Grant Program for Fire, EMS and Rescue Organizations Passes Senate

The Senate approved Senate Bill 1099 to extend the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program for an additional five years. The program is scheduled to expire June 30.

Grants are provided through the program to help volunteer and professional fire companies, emergency medical services (EMS) organizations and volunteer rescue squads construct or renovate facilities, purchase or repair equipment, reduce debt and provide training.

The grant program allocates up to $30 million, with fire companies eligible for grants of up to $20,000 and EMS companies eligible for grants of up to $15,000.

Don’t Abandon Your Boat!

As we are approaching the summer season, boating provides many great opportunities to be outside enjoying the water. In the 37th Legislative District, there are a few boat access points including:

In recent years, abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV) have drawn increasing attention. Boats are considered abandoned or derelict when the owner fails to maintain it, properly secure it, or remove the vessel in a timely manner. Boats at risk of becoming abandoned are often left unattended or in significant disrepair. Boats in poor condition can become a liability to other boaters and the environment.

Boat owners have a responsibility to maintain and tend to their vessels. Boat owners should keep their vessel in good working condition, check their vessel’s mooring or docking site regularly, and promptly act in the event of weather-related hazards or equipment failure. In addition, boat owners are required to notify the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) of any transfer, sale, destruction, or abandonment of their registered boat within 15 days of such action.

If you have any questions about Boat Registrations or Titling, please contact the PFBC at 866-262-8734.

U.S. Army Birthday

Friday, June 14 marked the 249th Birthday of the United States Army and is also the day we celebrate and honor our American Flag. Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army, and thank you to all of our soldiers, past and present, for your service to our country.

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a time to reflect on the amazing men in our lives and let them know how much their dedication means to us. They show their love and guidance in so many ways, big and small, that make our lives better. Wishing all of the dads a wonderful day with their families!


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