Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Robinson Legislation Becomes Law: Act 3 of 2023
  • Doorless Driving Bill Unanimously Passes House Transportation Committee
  • Body Cameras for Parole Agents Approved by the Senate
  • Recycled Material in Stuffed Toys Approved by the Senate
  • Senate Works to Reunite Missing Children with Their Families
  • Work Continues on a New State Budget
  • Preventing Overdoses and Easing Strain on EMS Providers
  • Senate Advances Bill to Combat Elder Abuse
  • Bill to Expand College, Job Training Opportunities Passes Senate
  • Capitol Visits: 911 Memorial Trail Cyclists
  • Capitol Visits: Rocky Bleier and Roberto Clemente, Jr!
  • Happy Independence Day

Robinson Legislation Becomes Law: Act 3 of 2023

It’s been another action-packed week in Harrisburg. One highlight from session this week was seeing my legislation signed into law! Senate Bill 226 corrects the effective date of Act 42 of 2022, which requires interconnected smoke alarms in family childcare homes. I was pleased to see this move quickly through the legislature and receive Governor Shapiro’s signature to become the third bill Gov. Shapiro has signed since taking office.

Doorless Driving Unanimously Passes House Transportation Committee

Thank you to the PA House Transportation Committee for unanimously passing Senate Bill 298! My bill would allow doorless driving for vehicles such as Jeeps and Broncos in Pennsylvania. It adheres to logistical and safety standards, including side view mirrors when doors are removed and upholding seatbelt protections in place for minors. You can read my full press release here.

Body Cameras for Parole Agents Approved by Senate

I appreciate the bipartisan support of my Senate colleagues for Senate Bill 260, which would allow parole agents to use body cameras. Currently, state parole agents are not authorized to wear body cameras, unlike other members of law enforcement. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Parole Board expressed how helpful body cameras would be to carry out their responsibilities and job duties.

I enjoyed collaborating with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania State Police to craft a responsible bill that will ensure the safety of both parole agents and parolees. You can view my remarks here.  

Recycled Material in Stuffed Toys Approved by Senate

Thanks to my colleagues for supporting SB 756, legislation I sponsored to allow recycled materials to be used in stuffed toys manufactured and sold in Pennsylvania. You can view my remarks on the Senate floor here.

Senate Works to Reunite Missing Children with Their Families

The Senate approved the Child Reunification Act to provide parents and law enforcement with a new tool to help identify and return missing children.

Senate Bill 460 would provide parents and guardians with free identification kits that include fingerprinting materials, DNA collection swabs and other information to help identify the child in case of an emergency.

The bill would require school districts to distribute the kits to all first graders at no cost to parents. To protect the personal information of children and families, the information would be stored securely by parents and would not be entered into any state or national database.

Work Continues on a New State Budget

This week, our work continues to complete a state budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Budget priorities include:

  • Supporting family-sustaining, good-paying jobs.
  • Lowering energy costs.
  • Avoiding tax increases.
  • Providing education opportunities to all children.
  • Helping seniors with rising costs.
  • Improving roads and bridges.

This effort requires a serious approach. We are focused on putting the right plan in place for PA families and taxpayers and ensuring that it is sustainable for this year and in the future.

Preventing Overdoses and Easing Strain on EMS Providers

Legislation to allow Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers responding to drug overdoses to leave a life-saving drug with caregivers received Senate support.

Senate Bill 81 would permit EMS providers to leave a dose of life-saving naloxone, or Narcan, with the on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids and was revived by the emergency medical technician. It would ease the strain on EMS providers by limiting repeat visits.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved naloxone nasal spray for over-the-counter use, with the change going into effect later this summer. Senate Bill 81 would expedite the timeline within Pennsylvania. It would also allow other versions of naloxone, which are still under review for over-the-counter sales, to be distributed by EMS providers.

Another measure to ease the strain on EMS providers, Senate Resolution 120, calls for a study on the dollar amount EMS providers are losing when they aren’t paid for their services.

EMS providers are not reimbursed for the treatment they provide Medicaid patients unless the patient is transported to the hospital or treatment facilities. As a result, the increased number of overdose response calls without transport hurts our EMS providers, which are already struggling financially.

Senate Advances Bill to Combat Elder Abuse

The Senate passed legislation combatting elder abuse and strengthening guardianship laws in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 506 would require courts to automatically appoint counsel to individuals undergoing the guardianship process, consider other less restrictive alternatives before imposing a guardianship, and institute training and screening of professional guardians. The bill would also establish more robust review procedures for those currently in a guardianship.

Currently, when an adult of any age is deemed incapacitated by a court, a guardian may be appointed to become responsible for making certain decisions on their behalf, including for financial, medical and personal matters. Pennsylvania is one of only eight states in America that does not automatically appoint counsel to represent alleged incapacitated persons.

Bill to Expand College, Job Training Opportunities Passes Senate

Each year, billions in available student financial aid goes unclaimed. This week, the Senate approved a bill to help more state residents make informed decisions about pursuing college and job training programs.

Senate Bill 750 would require high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines eligibility for federal, state and school financial aid programs. Families who choose not to complete the application could opt out on a form provided to parents or guardians.

This important measure will help to train more young Pennsylvanians for family-sustaining careers that will anchor them in the commonwealth. When they put their roots down here, our state will benefit economically and attract more employers drawn by the skilled workforce. It furthers the Senate Republican priority of empowering Pennsylvania families through education empowerment and access.

Capitol Visits: 9/11 Memorial Trail Cyclists

Cyclists from the 9/11 Memorial Trail stopped by the Capitol this week during their statewide, 700-mile bike tour to raise awareness and bring honor to our nation’s heroes from September 11, 2001. I am proud to co-chair the 9/11 Trail Caucus in the Senate with my colleague Senator Boscola. Thank you, cyclists, for visiting and for your dedication to this important cause.

Capitol Visits: Rocky Bleier and Roberto Clemente, Jr!

I recently had the pleasure to welcome a few notable Pittsburghers to the Capitol, including Steelers legend Rocky Bleier! Rocky is also a U.S. Army Veteran who earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. I had a great visit with him, my colleague Senator Brewster, and our former Governor’s son, David Thornburgh.

I also welcomed my constituent Roberto Clemente Jr. and his wonderful family! He established the Roberto Clemente Foundation, which promotes positive change and community engagement through the example of his father. It was wonderful to visit with some hometown friends who have given back so much to our community and country!

Happy Independence Day

Next week marks 247 years since the 13 American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia to break free from British rule. As we pause to celebrate the birth of our nation, let us take a moment to remember the men and women who sacrificed so much to create this country.

If you are traveling, check out, which is free and available 24 hours a day. The site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to traffic cameras.

PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Tuesday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!


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