Senator Ryan Aument E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • General Assembly Terminates Emergency Declaration, Ensures Key Waivers Remain
  • Aument Cosponsors Bill to Amend the PA Constitution Providing for Voter ID
  • Senate Votes to Rein in Health Secretary’s Power, Ban Vaccine Passports
  • Aument Distributes Certificates of Appreciation to EMS Agencies in 36th Senatorial District for Their Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Increasing Community-Based Services in Schools
  • Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended
  • Something to Celebrate this Flag Day
  • U.S. Army Marks 246 Years of Defending America

General Assembly Terminates Emergency Declaration, Ensures Key Waivers Remain

Pennsylvania voters spoke loud and clear on May 18 when they approved the two constitutional amendments limiting a governor’s power during emergencies. We in the Senate heard them, and we acted to end the Governor’s unchecked power and give Pennsylvanians the freedom they’ve been demanding for months.

The Senate voted to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration while also ensuring Pennsylvania can take the steps necessary to recover, who supported the measures.

House Resolution 106 terminates the pandemic emergency declaration and ends the governor’s power to close employers, limit occupancy, suspend state statutes, or issue stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.

The Senate also approved House Bill 854, which will ensure all waivers that were previously effective under the COVID-19 emergency will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, unless sooner terminated by the authority which initially authorized the waiver. This protects access to critical federal funding and waivers that benefit health and safety, such as the emergency authorization of telemedicine, temporary staffing at nursing homes and personal care homes, and other staffing issues in health care facilities.

Read my full press release here.

Aument Cosponsors Bill to Amend the PA Constitution Providing for Voter ID

I recently signed on as a proud cosponsor of legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution providing for voter ID.

Election integrity and security is a top priority of mine, and Voter ID is one way that we can ensure that every legal voter has the opportunity to cast their ballot with confidence in the security of our election system.

Since this legislation proposes implementing voter ID via Constitutional amendment, Pennsylvania voters will ultimately decide at the ballot box if they want voter ID in this Commonwealth.

I have also cosponsored a number of other bills intended to restore election integrity in this Commonwealth, including mandated audits, mail-in ballot reforms, a strengthened complaint process, and more. Learn more about these bills here.

Finally, I have sponsored my own bills promoting election integrity:

  1. Legislation to Suspend & Fix No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Pennsylvania
  2. Legislation to Ensure Accuracy of Voter Registration Records

Senate Votes to Rein in Health Secretary’s Power, Ban Vaccine Passports

Legislation to prevent the excess use of power by the state Secretary of Health and prohibit vaccine passport requirements was approved by the Senate.

The bill prohibits the Secretary of Health from using the 66-year-old Disease Prevention and Control Act to mandate those who have not been exposed or in close contact with the exposed to wear a mask, stay at home or be socially distant. It also prevents the secretary from using the same laws to force business closures.

It also prohibits the state – as well as counties, municipalities, school districts and colleges that are subsidized by state taxpayers – from requiring proof of vaccination. The measure was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Aument Distributes Certificates of Appreciation to EMS Agencies in 36th Senatorial District for Their Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It was my pleasure to present certificates to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies throughout northern Lancaster County as a small token of appreciation for their service to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The certificates read:

The development of a strong Commonwealth of Pennsylvania depends upon the contributions of individual citizens, working to build better communities. EMS professionals provide critical, life-saving care to others, often in stressful and even traumatizing circumstances. In a normal year, you serve heroically.

But the pandemic made your jobs even more challenging, as you faced the threat of COVID-19 exposure while caring for patients. Especially in the beginning, personal protective equipment was scarce – which required its reuse – but the service you provide never faltered.

This certificate is a testament to your enduring dedication and selflessness. May this certificate, offered with the best wishes of the Senate of Pennsylvania, serve as a lasting reminder of my appreciation of your service to Lancaster County.

Increasing Community-Based Services in Schools

The Senate voted to establish the Community Engaged Schools for Success Pilot Program to encourage community partners to work with schools to provide student support services.

Designated schools that qualify would be eligible for grants from the Department of Education to appoint a manager and a coordinator to implement community engagement plans. Physical and behavioral health resources, as well as basic needs such as food and clothing, can be provided to students more quickly if they are available at the school.

The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended

The deadline for older and disabled Pennsylvanians to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2020 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2021.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

Applications can be submitted online with the Department of Revenue’s myPATH system. Filing online leads to fast processing, easy direct deposit options and automatic calculators that help with the process.

Something to Celebrate this Flag Day

June 14, Flag Day, commemorates the 1777 adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. It has grown to mean more than simply the celebration of a banner.

This spring, as we head back outside and reconnect with neighbors, the flag symbolizes what unites us. Despite our differences, we share the unbreakable bond of citizenship in the greatest nation on earth. Fly our flag with pride, gratitude and love of neighbor.

U.S. Army Marks 246 Years of Defending America

“Resolved, That six companies of expert riflemen [sic], be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia; … [and] that each company, as soon as completed [sic], shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under the command of the chief Officer in that army.”  – Continental Congress resolution, June 14, 1775

For 246 years, the U.S. Army has defended the nation and the free world as a fierce fighting force noted for its power and bravery. It’s an honor to recognize the Army’s June 14 birthday, as well as the dedicated men and women who give it its strength all year round.

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