Senator Aument E-Newsletter

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Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout  Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.


In this Update:

  • Cash Alone Won’t Teach Our Kids to Read
  • Thanks for a Successful Telephone Town Hall
  • Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review
  • Discussing Health Care Bill with Constituent
  • Celebrating 75 Years of Service to the Community
  • Sharing Info at the Elizabethtown Chamber Lunch & Learn
  • Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • 2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
  • Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Cash Alone Won’t Teach Our Kids to Read

Real issues arise when leaders think that simply throwing money at a problem will fix it. This is what we’re experiencing at the state level with education funding in this year’s budget. Some legislators would prefer you believe any challenges Pennsylvania schools face in educating students would be eliminated if only the state could write a check big enough.

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal includes an additional $1.5 billion for K-12 education. We cannot pay that much more without tax increases on hardworking Pennsylvanians. What’s worse, just dedicating more dollars without making any improvements won’t better position kids for success throughout their lives.

Instead, we need to talk about how to invest taxpayer dollars strategically to more effectively prepare students. Sadly, almost half of fourth graders across the commonwealth are reading below grade level. Literacy is a great equalizer and must be something public schools deliver to all students, regardless of the demographic or socioeconomic status.

I drafted legislation the Senate Education Committee recently passed to make that happen by implementing an evidence-based program to improve literacy with a three-state approach. It calls for evidence-based reading curricula, universal screening, and using the screening data to implement intervention plans. Learn more here.

Thanks for a Successful Telephone Town Hall

Special thanks to the nearly 900 district residents who joined my telephone town hall meeting last week! We had an engaging conversation about a variety of topics, including cell phone use by students in school, legislation to improve early literacy, Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed state budget, and an imbalance of supply and demand for our electric grid. You can find the survey results and audio recording of the full event here.

If you are interested in participating in a similar call, please click here to sign up. 

Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review

The Senate Appropriations Committee continues its review of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, which totals more than $48.3 billion. His plan would increase state spending by more than $3.2 billion, or about 7.1% above the current year’s budget. Projections indicate it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing focused on what the administration is doing to ensure the commonwealth’s power grid can handle increased demand for electricity – an issue I’ve been working on with our counterparts in Ohio to ensure regional stability of our grid. Members also had questions about why the current year’s budget for DEP included funding for 15 new positions specifically to reduce permitting delays but serious waits – a year and a half and longer – still exist.

At the Department of Human Services budget hearing, the committee sought an explanation about the Shapiro administration’s plans to spend billions of new taxpayer dollars to expand Medicaid to cover services that do not pertain to physical or behavioral health. Examples include moving expenses and household items like pots and pans, furniture, and air conditioning units for eligible recipients, including recently released prison inmates.

The Department of Transportation hearing covered ongoing concerns about the sustainability of the Motor License Fund and commonwealth transportation funding. Replacing funds lost to electric vehicle use remains a challenge as the phasing-out of State Police from the Motor License Fund continues. The committee received a status update for the replacement of the six interstate bridges that were included in a replacement program opposed by Senate Republicans.

At the Department of State budget hearing, the committee asked about the department’s requested $5.2 million increase for “Voter Registration and Education” activities throughout the commonwealth. Committee members sought assurances that the outreach would occur in rural areas as well as urban and suburban.

Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps, and video from prior hearings at

Discussing Health Care Bill with Constituent

It was a pleasure to meet with Kerri Myer at my district office in Lititz. Kerri lives in Mount Joy and is a nurse practitioner graduate student at Millersville University. We discussed a bill that advocates argue would increase health care access and reduce associated costs. Specifically, proponents of Senate Bill 25 say it would expand access to high-quality health care by allowing qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNP) to practice independent of a physician after fulfilling a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician.

Celebrating 75 Years of Service to the Community

Congrats to the Occupational Development Center (ODC) in Lancaster upon celebrating its 75th anniversary at the beginning of February. Founded in 1949, the center works with local businesses to provide adults with developmental disabilities with training programs to become more independent, develop job and social skills, and foster self-esteem. ODC is a critical member of our community, and I am proud of the staff’s work to make Lancaster County a better place.

For more photos from the Founders Day celebration, check out my Instagram post here.

Sharing Info at the Elizabethtown Chamber Lunch & Learn

I enjoyed speaking to members of the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce. During the conversation, I shared a few of my legislative priorities for 2024: accelerating Corporate Net Income Tax reduction, net operating loss reform, literacy, and an energy plan for Pennsylvania that prioritizes reliability and affordability.

Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse

State assistance is available for nonprofit organizations, government entities, community groups, and parent groups that work to prevent the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse from harming Pennsylvanians.

Funding can be used to reduce the demand for, or provide an alternative to, drug and alcohol abuse and the violence and other consequences these substances can cause. It can also be used to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and associated problems through educational programming.

Apply for the grant of up to $2,000 through the Office of Attorney General Community Drug Abuse Prevention Grant Program.

2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available

The 2024 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 695 streams and 128 lakes open to public angling. An additional 1.2 million trout will be stocked by cooperative nurseries.

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 6. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 30.

Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 702,000 Brown Trout, 132,000 Brook Trout, and 14,000 Golden Rainbow Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments

Despite the perception that local governments are too small to be the target of bad actors online, Pennsylvania’s thousands of municipalities are at risk of cyberattack. In fact, 69% of state and local governments reported being hit in 2023 by ransomware – malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

To combat these attacks that often come with costly consequences, local governments should conduct a cyber assessment and make sure municipal employees understand the importance of using strong passwords and spotting suspicious emails. The initiative grew out of a January hearing held by the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee focusing on cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Funding opportunities exist to support cybersecurity efforts through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which administers a program that distributes federal funding. Local governments can learn more at the new Senate Republican Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments webpage.

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. While cell phone and computer clocks usually change automatically, most people move their standard clocks and appliances ahead one hour on Saturday night.

It’s also a good time to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If the devices are older than 10 years, experts suggest upgrading to 10-year, sealed battery alarms. They don’t require any battery replacement throughout their lifetime. However, it’s still a good idea to press the test button on the alarms at least once every month.

he test button on the alarms at least once every month.


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