Senator Aument E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Condemning Lancaster City Council Decision to Put People at Risk
  • Protecting Kids from the Harm of Social Media
  • Senate Continues Detailed Review of Shapiro’s Budget
  • Let’s Talk Over Pizza on April 2
  • Improving Internet Access for Pennsylvanians
  • Congratulations to Local Eagle Scout
  • Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals
  • Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts
  • Students Tour Our State Capitol
  • Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry
  • Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Condemning Lancaster City Council Decision to Put People at Risk

This week, Lancaster City Council unanimously passed the Lancaster Trust Act that officially terminated the city’s cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) other than when court orders or certain crimes are involved. I joined Sens. Scott Martin (R-13) and Chris Gebhard (R-48) in condemning this decision, which breaks the law and compromises the safety of Lancaster County residents.

It is appalling that they would make this decision just five days after an innocent 22-year-old student was murdered in Georgia at the hands of a violent illegal immigrant who was only allowed to be in this country due to dangerously lax immigration policies. Even worse, the murderer had already been arrested for another crime and was released by authorities in New York prior to killing his victim.

We also know weak border security makes it easy for cartels to force people into human trafficking. Just this week, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council union warned that human trafficking could become as big as fentanyl in the United States through increased illegal immigration.

The unprecedented increase in undocumented immigrants crossing our borders daily is not only problematic, but it puts a strain on all our community’s resources from public education to housing to food. There’s a difference between compassion and breaking the law to the detriment of Lancaster County residents. The council’s decision is tone deaf and dangerous.

Read our full statement here.

Protecting Kids from the Harm of Social Media

From lower academic performance to increased mental health challenges to a higher likelihood of encountering a pedophile, social media comes with all sorts of risks for our children. Of course, some of these possibilities are more common than others, but even the most typical issues can have lifelong consequences.

Kids who spend more than three hours a day on social media have twice the risk of poor mental health, including depression and anxiety. With a recent study stating up to 95% of youth ages 13-17 report using a social media platform and almost a third saying they use it “almost constantly,” there is good reason to be concerned.

To protect kids from the dangers of social media, I cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by two of my colleagues, Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and Vince Hughes (D-7). The bill would:

  1. Require consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 16 to open a social media account,
  2. Notify parents or legal guardians if a child under 16 opens a social media account without proper consent,
  3. Prohibit data mining for any user under 18,
  4. Allow individuals to request deletion of information collected or obtained while the individual was under 18.
  5. Create a course of action for parents or legal guardians of minors against social media companies for harm to their children.

Learn more about how this bill can help here.

Senate Continues Detailed Review of Shapiro’s Budget

WATCH: Sen. Ryan Aument questions Secretary Khalid Mumin during the Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing for the Department of Education.

Officials struggled to answer questions about Gov. Josh Shapiro’s broad higher education concepts and wide discrepancies in K-12 education funding during the Department of Education hearing with the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. He proposes increasing Basic Education spending by nearly $1.1 billion in his 2024-25 spending plan, but his proposed budget shows no increases in Basic Education funding after this year – raising concerns that the administration cannot pay for the billions of dollars in promised new education spending without raising taxes.

The hearing was one of a series held by the committee to analyze the governor’s proposed $48.3 billion 2024-25 state budget. His plan would boost state spending by more than $3.2 billion above the current year’s budget. It requires thoughtful consideration so tax dollars are spent wisely without eliminating the state’s Rainy Day Fund in five years as projections indicate would happen with Shapiro’s budget.

At the Department of Agriculture budget hearing, discussion included state efforts to combat avian influenza, farming education initiatives and the performance of tax credit programs for PA farmers. Concerns were also raised about Gov. Shapiro’s plan to legalize adult-use marijuana.

At the hearing for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), members discussed how to make the most efficient use of existing resources as both agencies have considerable reserves and the PGC’s budget increased from approximately $130 million in 2019-20 to approximately $350 million in 2024-25.

Additional hearings this week include the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps, and video from prior hearings at

Let’s Talk Over Pizza on April 2

Please join me for a pizza night and casual conversation on Tuesday, April 2, from 6-8 p.m. at Listrak, 100 W. Millport Road, Lititz. I will provide an update about what’s happening in Harrisburg and in the 36th District. We can also discuss any state-related questions or concerns attendees have.

While the event is free to attend, those interested in attending are asked to RSVP here.

Improving Internet Access for Pennsylvanians

Federal grants are available to improve the experiences Pennsylvanians have at medical care facilities, schools, and libraries. The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s Capital Projects Fund allows for investment in high-quality broadband infrastructure as well as other connectivity infrastructure, devices, and equipment.

The $45 million of competitive grants can be used for community projects to construct, acquire, or improve facilities that will enable work, education, and health monitoring.

Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Apply online through April 20. While the grant funding was awarded through a federal program, it supports Senate Republicans’ priority of infrastructure advancement.

Congratulations to Local Eagle Scout

Congrats to Landisville resident William Wharton who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank available in the Boy Scouts of America. For his Eagle Scout community service project, William built a little library for the playground at the East Fairview Church of the Brethren in Manheim.

William is a member of Troop 64 in Rohrerstown. He served his troop as senior patrol leader and is a member of the Order of the Arrow.

Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals

To recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, a tuition assistance program offers up to $5,000 for reimbursement of EMS state certification training for permanent Pennsylvania residents.

Up to $300 is available for emergency medical responders, up to $800 for emergency medical technicians, up to $1,000 for advanced emergency medical technicians, and up to $5,000 for paramedics.

Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive up to $1,250 of recruitment and retention expenses per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Learn more.

Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts

Individuals who believe they are beneficiaries, executors, or legal representatives of a family member or friend can locate lost life insurance policies and annuity contracts through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

When a request is received, the NAIC will give participating companies that have policy information access to respond to you as the designated beneficiary or if you are authorized to receive information. It will also allow participating companies to search their records to determine whether they have a life insurance policy or annuity contract in the name of the deceased person.

Access NAIC’s life insurance policy locator.

Students Tour Our State Capitol

Students from Bear Creek Elementary School in Elizabethtown Area School District, Saint Leo the Great Catholic School in Lancaster, and Ephrata Mennonite School recently visited the State Capitol to tour the historic building and learn more about their state government. If you’d like to schedule a tour of this national historic landmark, you can book your tour here: 

For photos of the tour groups from Bear Creek Elementary, check out my Instagram post here.

For photos of the tour groups from Ephrata Mennonite School, check out my Instagram post here.

Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry

To bolster agriculture – the state’s top industry – $500,000 in grants is available to help Pennsylvania farms pursue growth opportunities. Funding will be used to benefit economic development, job creation, and innovation.

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program is designed to enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and building a team of financial and technical experts as a resource for the state’s farmers.

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs. Learn more about guidelines and how to apply.

Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Sunday, March 3, is National Anthem Day. “The Star-Spangled Banner” shares a message of endurance and perseverance. Francis Scott Key originally wrote his poem during a naval attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. That battle was nearly lost.

It wasn’t until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem.

Rather than commemorating victory, our national anthem highlights our ability to withstand attack. Today, we continue to raise our flag and refuse to be defeated.


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