Senator Robinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Robinson Hosts Wreaths Across America Ceremony
  • Corporal Harry Van Riper
  • Tourism Improvement Districts Approved in Committee
  • Modernizing Fundraising for Local Non-Profits
  • Robinson Body Camera Language Approved in Legislature
  • Senate Finalizes 2023-24 State Budget
  • Bill to Safeguard Transit Operators Passes Senate
  • Senate Votes to Preserve Prescription Benefits for Seniors
  • 2024 Fishing Licenses, Permits for Sale Now
  • Senior Connect Card Clinic

Robinson Hosts Wreaths Across America Ceremony

It was a beautiful and solemn ceremony this week to recognize our fallen veterans as Wreaths Across America Day approaches on Saturday, December 16. Wreaths Across America has done incredible work in making sure graves of service members are adorned with a wreath during the holidays, often a very difficult time for their families. With the laying of each wreath, the veteran’s name is spoken aloud, and his or her life and service is remembered and appreciated.

Thank you to all who participated: Senator Jay Costa, PA State Rep Mark Gillen, Blue Star Mothers, Senator Doug Mastriano, Purple Heart recipient Corporal Harry Van Riper, David Klimas – Wreaths Across America, Major General Mark J. Schindler – PA’s Adjutant General, Cumberland County Honor Guard, Alessia Iannuzzi – Carlisle High School student, and Connor Behr – Scout from Bethel Park.  

I also appreciate the support of my colleagues who attended the ceremony: Senator Pat Stefano, Senator Tracy Pennycuick, Senator Judy Ward, Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill, Senator John Kane, Senator Tom Kearney, Senator Jimmy Dillon, and Senator Scott Hutchinson. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event such a success and who took the time to remember our fallen veterans.

Corporal Harry Van Riper

It was a privilege to have Purple Heart recipient Corporal Harry Van Riper in the Capitol this week to open the Senate with prayer! I really enjoyed listening to his stories about his service in the Army and all the ways he has contributed to his community. Harry, a Vietnam War Veteran, also received the Presidential Unit Citation and the Martoni Veterans Service Ward. Thank you, Harry, and your lovely wife, Susan, for everything you do!

Tourism Improvement Districts Approved in Committee

Thank you to Senator Chris Gebhard and the Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee for approving my bill to authorize Tourism Improvement Districts in all 67 PA counties! I’m grateful for the widespread support and the possibility this bill provides!

Modernizing Fundraising for Local Non-Profits

Another one of my bills was approved in committee this week! So glad to see bipartisan support, and I appreciate my co-prime sponsor Sen. Fontana for his partnership. We are one step closer to helping our small local non-profits like VFWs and fire companies have an easier time fundraising! You can read more about the bills here.

Robinson Body Camera Language Approved in Legislature

I’m pleased to see the House version of my bill (Senate Bill 260) approved in both chambers this week! Upon the Governor’s signature, parole agents will be authorized to wear body cameras to provide transparency and protection for both the agent and parolee. Thank you to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, PA State Police, the many bipartisan co-sponsors, and Governor Josh Shapiro for your support of this important legislation!

Senate Finalizes 2023-24 State Budget

The Senate on Wednesday finalized the 2023-24 state budget by approving two major bipartisan budget implementation bills, which have now been enacted into law.

A large portion of the 2023-24 state budget was completed in August with enactment of the General Appropriations Act. However, several important components still required additional budget implementation language to be passed by both the Senate and House and signed by the governor.

House Bill 1300 (Fiscal Code amendments) and House Bill 301 (School Code amendments) make major investments in the future of Pennsylvania and achieve many of the principles and priorities identified by Senate Republicans as a focus in March.

House Bill 1300 includes several important and time-sensitive measures, including reauthorization of funding for county 911 systems, expansion of a tax credit helping parents seek and maintain employment and allocation of funding for an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer. House Bill 301 includes many provisions to expand education empowerment and access and increase school safety. Read more.

Bill to Safeguard Transit Operators Passes Senate

The Senate passed legislation to safeguard transit operators against assault.

Senate Bill 977 would make it a felony of the third degree to interfere with and cause bodily injury to an operator of any public transit vehicle. The offense would be steepened to a felony of the first degree if the intrusion causes serious bodily injury or death.

Passage of the legislation is part of Senate Republicans’ ongoing effort to invest in infrastructure and increase public safety.

Senate Votes to Preserve Prescription Benefits for Seniors

Legislation to preserve senior citizens’ access to the state’s PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefit plans passed the Senate and is set for enactment.

Senate Bill 607 would continue a law set to expire this year through Dec. 31, 2025 that prevents Social Security cost-of-living increases from making seniors ineligible for PACE and PACENET.

Current income eligibility levels for PACE are set at less than $14,500 for a single person and less than $17,700 for a couple. PACENET, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, is open to individuals earning between $14,500 and $33,500 and couples with incomes between $17,700 and $41,500. The minimum age to participate in the programs is 65, and they are funded from proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

2024 Fishing Licenses, Permits for Sale Now

Fishing licenses, permits and vouchers for 2024 purchased now are valid immediately through Dec. 31, 2024. The price of an annual resident fishing license is $27.97. Multi-year options are also available in increments of three years, five years or 10 years.

They can be purchased through the HuntFishPA online portal on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, via smartphone by using the FishBoatPA mobile app or by visiting a retail license issuing agent.

Vouchers that can be given as gifts and are redeemable by recipients are also available.

Senior Connect Card Clinic

Don’t forget! My office is hosting a Senior Connect Card Clinic with Rep. Natalie Mihalek on Monday at the Bethel Park Community Center. No registration required!


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