Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Community Highlights
  • Robinson Companion Bill to Enhance Cancer Treatment Access Approved in Committee
  • Senate Approves Bill to Improve Workforce Development Programs
  • Bill to Improve Early Literacy Receives Senate Support
  • Senate Votes to Expand Access to Benefits for Disabled Veterans
  • Jumpstart Your Child’s Education Savings
  • June is Pet Preparedness Month

Community Highlights

As the nation celebrated the Juneteenth holiday, I was happy to attend the Coraopolis NAACP’s 3rd annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Montour Heights Country Club. Congratulations to the ACT-SO Gold Medal winners and all the honorees!

Every year my friend, George Reganick, hosts a Veterans recognition ceremony and softball game. He selects a few Veterans from the community to honor and invites their families to receive hand-made plaques from him.

George is a two-tour Vietnam Veteran and only wants to honor other Veterans for their service. Thank you, George, for everything you do, and thank you to all for your service.

Another great year at Bridgeville Day on the Avenue! The weather was perfect for this annual community celebration. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth and came out to celebrate!

In honor of Flag Day, I attended the Knights of Columbus Flag Day Ceremony. Bridgeville Mayor Betty Copeland gave some inspiring remarks, and several members of the local Boy Scout troop participated as well.

I had a fun time stopping by the Rennerdale Presbyterian Church’s annual Strawberry Festival.

I was honored to attend the 110th annual Allegheny County Volunteer Fire Fighter Association Memorial Service and award banquet at the Imperial Volunteer Fire Hall. We are so fortunate to have these brave men and women here in our communities working to respond to sudden emergencies. Thank you all for your commitment and dedication to public safety.

Lots of fun at the Sewa International USA Pittsburgh Women’s Cricket Tournament last weekend! Thank you to my friend Dr. Kiran Patil for the invite!

Perfect day on Sunday to stop out at the Settler’s Ridge Father’s Day Car Show and check out all the unique collectables.

At the latest meeting of the Veterans Breakfast Club, we listened to three WWII veterans tell their stories. Warren Gross recalled the D-Day landing and his return trip 80 years later.

Robinson Companion Bill to Enhance Cancer Treatment Access Approved in Committee

I was thrilled to see House Bill 1754 – the companion bill to my Senate Bill 954 – approved in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. This crucial legislation would provide Pennsylvanians with better access to personalized treatments following a diagnosis of cancer and other specific diseases through biomarker testing and precision medicine.

I am glad to see Pennsylvania is one step closer to expanding this treatment access, fittingly during Cancer Survivor Month. You can read more on this legislation here.

Senate Approves Bill to Improve Workforce Development Programs

The Senate passed legislation to make Pennsylvania more attractive to employers and improve workforce development programs.

Senate Bill 761 would require the Department of Labor and Industry and the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis to share data that is already collected with local workforce development boards in a timely fashion. Delayed information and data sharing limit these boards in efficiently analyzing programs and policy. Having access to workforce data on wages, new hires and unemployment claimants enables programs to be modified so Pennsylvanians can succeed professionally.

The bill also calls for technical assistance and support for the improved data sharing model so local workforce development boards can use the information. I was pleased to help shepherd this bill through the legislative process. The Labor and Industry Committee that I chair voted unanimously in favor of the bill in April.

Bill to Improve Early Literacy Receives Senate Support

To give students the best chance of success, the Senate passed a bill that would improve early literacy using a three-pronged approach.

Senate Bill 801 would:

  • Bolster reading instruction with evidence-based reading curricula,
  • Identify struggling readers via universal screening within the first 30 days of school and
  • Use screening data to implement intervention plans to prevent children from falling behind.

Half of Pennsylvania’s fourth grade students read below their grade level. Studies show that childhood reading difficulties can produce long-term effects and dramatically impact someone’s ability to succeed.

Senate Votes to Expand Access to Benefits for Disabled Veterans

It’s so important to support our disabled veterans in as many ways as possible. Legislation to exempt 100% of disabled veterans’ benefit payments from income calculations for any commonwealth programs or benefits received Senate support.

Senate Bill 126 would ensure veterans who receive disability compensation would not have those payments counted against them when applying to programs such as the Real Estate Property Tax Exemption, Education Gratuity Program, Veterans Temporary Assistance Program and Military Relief Assistance Program. The bill would also extend the exclusion of the veterans’ compensation benefits to their unmarried surviving spouses.

Additionally, my bill, Senate Bill 698, was recently unanimously approved in the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee. This bill would allow disabled veterans to participate in hunting events more easily; Purple Heart recipients and disabled veterans would be exempt from license and permit fee requirements while participating in events permitted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. I am so glad to see the Senate continuously supporting these heroes. Read more on this bill here.

Jumpstart Your Child’s Education Savings

Saving for your child’s education can be daunting, but Keystone Scholars can jumpstart education savings for Pennsylvania children.

The first program of its kind in the country, Keystone Scholars provides a $100 investment for post-high school education for every child born in Pennsylvania since Jan. 1, 2019. It can be used to pay for collegiate studies, technical school training and apprenticeship programs. Claim your child’s money, which is funded by surplus investment earnings from the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan.

Opening a companion PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account can also help to save for education-related expenses. PA 529 accounts have tax advantages and do not impact eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.

June is Pet Preparedness Month

Just as it’s important to have an emergency plan for our family, it’s also smart to think ahead for our pets so they can be safe even in unforeseen circumstances. Here are some steps to take:

  • Make a plan. Have an evacuation plan because many shelters and hotels do not allow pets. Have your pet microchipped, and make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date.
  • Build a pet emergency kit. Think about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Have two kits: one larger kit if you’re sheltering in place and a lightweight version if you need to evacuate.
  • Stay informed. Bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pay attention to wireless emergency alerts for local alerts and warnings. Evacuate or shelter in place when recommended.

Learn more about how to make sure your pets are prepared and protected.


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