Senator Aument E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Votes to Stand with Israel
  • Senate Republicans Continue Negotiations for Pro-Growth, Responsible State Budget
  • Set for Enactment: Senate Bill Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services
  • Bill Giving Parents Flexibility with Their Children’s Education Passes Senate
  • Set for Enactment: Bill Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Data Breach Victims
  • Congrats to Six Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients
  • Honoring Lancaster Catholic Track Champion
  • Learning about Workforce Training Provided by Tec Centro
  • Celebrating Miss Lancaster County
  • June is National Fireworks Safety Month

Senate Votes to Stand with Israel

The Senate of Pennsylvania approved legislation with strong bipartisan support that would prohibit the PA Treasury’s Office, the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System from boycotting or divesting from Israel. The measure, which passed by a vote of 41-7, would also cut off state tax dollars from going to higher education institutions that boycott or divest from Israel.

Senate Bill 1260 sends a loud message that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stands with its top ally in the Middle East – Israel. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists waged the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust, with the murder of more than 1,000 innocent Israelis. In this brutal attack, terrorists slaughtered babies, raped women, burned whole families alive, and took innocent civilians – including children – hostage. One hundred and thirty-two hostages are still held captive today.

In the days and months that followed this vicious attack, U.S. college campuses were taken over by pro-Palestinian (and in some cases, pro-Hamas) protesters. Many of these protests were blatantly antisemitic and included calls for the complete destruction and elimination of Israel. Jewish students were required to shelter in place in their dorm rooms out of fear for their lives. Unfortunately, protesters were successful in getting some colleges to consider divesting from Israel, as well as companies that do business with the Israeli government.

In the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Pennsylvania’s Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who supports the legislation, invested an additional $20 million in Israel bonds, bringing the Treasury’s total investment in Israel to more than $56 million.

Read my full statement in support of Senate Bill 1260 here.

Senate Republicans Continue Negotiations for Pro-Growth, Responsible State Budget

State budget negotiations are ongoing in Harrisburg, and we are encouraged by the dialogue between the Senate, House, and governor. While it appears clear at this point that we will not have a full budget agreement which could be implemented by June 30, we are hopeful to reach a consensus very soon and avoid any negative impacts on the people of Pennsylvania. The Senate will return to session on Monday, July 1.

Senate Republicans continue to push for a spending plan that respects taxpayers, ensures existing resources are used wisely, and leads to economic and demographic growth in Pennsylvania. Since Gov. Josh Shapiro presented a budget plan in February that would increase overall spending by $3.2 billion, we have voiced the amount he wanted to spend is much higher than Senate Republicans believe is fiscally responsible.

Learn more about the process of enacting the 2024-25 state budget and watch the Senate in session here.

Set for Enactment: Senate Bill Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services

Legislation expanding access to telemedicine in Pennsylvania received final Senate approval and will be sent to the governor for enactment.

Telemedicine allows individuals to access health care services online using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It allows medical services to be provided to some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians who otherwise would not be able to receive them due to location or other circumstances.

Senate Bill 739 sets a base for how telemedicine will be covered by insurance companies and medical providers in Pennsylvania. The legislation requires:

  • Health insurance policies to provide coverage for covered health care services delivered through telemedicine consistent with the insurer’s medical policies,
  • Insurers to pay providers for covered health care services delivered through telemedicine consistent with the terms of the contract between the insurer and participating network provider, and
  • Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs to pay for covered health care services consistent with federal and state law.

Bill Giving Parents Flexibility with Their Children’s Education Passes Senate

To ensure children with autism, developmental delays or intellectual disabilities are better prepared to enter the classroom, the Senate passed a bill allowing parents or guardians to delay their children attending school for as long as one year.

Senate Bill 1157 would allow them to request a waiver from the Department of Education to delay compulsory attendance when their child reaches the age of six if:

  • The child has been diagnosed by a qualified health professional with autism spectrum disorder or has been identified by the state as having developmental delays or intellectual disabilities.
  • The child has been evaluated by a qualified health professional in the last six months and has been recommended for continued intensive early intervention services.
  • The parent or guardian provides evidence of alternative services being provided or documentation of their efforts to obtain such services.

The bill would offer individualized learning and specialized approaches so children are able to develop the social and emotional skills necessary for future success.

Set for Enactment: Bill Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Data Breach Victims

Bipartisan legislation to strengthen notification requirements for data breaches and provide affected citizens with free credit monitoring for a year and a credit report is set to be signed into law. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives this week, following Senate passage last year.

Senate Bill 824 would cover instances in which an individual’s first and last name or first initial and last name have been accessed in combination with any of the following information: Social Security number, bank account number, driver’s license or state ID number. The bill also strengthens state notification requirements and mandates Attorney General notification if a data breach occurs in the commonwealth.

A record 3,122 data breaches occurred nationally in 2023, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and costing billions of dollars, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. It marked a 72% increase in data compromises from the previous all-time high in 2021.

Congrats to Six Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients

Congratulations to the six Girl Scouts in northern Lancaster County who earned their Gold Award this year! The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, requiring a minimum of 80 hours to plan and execute a project that will have a lasting impact. The 2024 Gold Award Girl Scout class featured 70 girls from 21 counties.

This year’s honorees from the 36th district were Catherine Datorre, Emily Fasig, Sarah Hamm, Olivia Nilsen, Elizabeth Matthews, and Sarah Miller. Well done, ladies!

Catherine Datorre’s project, “Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development Rubber Duckie Festival Games,” focused on addressing the wear and tear on games used at the center’s annual event, while also making the games accessible to more children. She created games that children of all abilities could enjoy.

Emily Fasig’s project, “Milanof-Schock Library Project,” focused on addressing accessibility and seating in an outdoor space at the library. Fasig built two tables for the space and ensured the tables had wheelchair and stroller access. She partnered with members of the library staff to complete the project.

Sarah Hamm’s project, “Mount Joy VFW Outdoor Restoration,” focused on sprucing up the exterior of a local veterans’ hall. She made the space more welcoming by planting flowers, cleaning the area, and replacing or refinishing worn-out items.

Olivia Nilsen’s project, “The Pollinator Garden Project,” focused on addressing support for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Nilsen recruited volunteers to help create and plant a pollinator garden at a local retirement community.

Elizabeth Matthews’ project, “Ferris Wheel Clothing Bank Library,” focused on addressing access to free books at a local clothing bank. Matthews constructed a Little Free Library to organize donations of books to the clothing bank, providing an additional resource for people who use the facility.

Sarah Miller’s project, “Awareness and Advocacy for Aaron’s Acres Buddy and Angel Programs,” focused on addressing the need for buddies for campers and people with special needs. Miller recruited middle- and high-school volunteers to assist with programs at a nonprofit organization, where they will work one-on-one with participants. Her project’s mission will continue as local schools partner with the organization in future years.

Honoring Lancaster Catholic Track Champion

The Pennsylvania Senate honored Lancaster Catholic High School junior Margaret Bila for earning the gold at the PIAA Track and Field Championships. Not only did Margaret win, but she also hit a new personal record on each of her three consecutive discus attempts, ultimately securing the Class 2A gold. Congratulations, Margaret!

Learning about Workforce Training Provided by Tec Centro

Last month, my staff attended an event hosted by Tec Centro in Lancaster where they highlighted funding they received from the state to continue to provide bilingual workforce training in third-class cities. The Tec Centro Regional Network includes Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, Harrisburg, and York. The centers provide skill training, resume building, and career counseling to empower individuals to pursue meaningful careers.

Celebrating Miss Lancaster County

Lancaster County is so proud of Noelle Schneider, our local contestant for Miss Pennsylvania! All of the contestants from across Pennsylvania visited the state Capitol ahead of the competition held in York at the end of June.

June is National Fireworks Safety Month

Independence Day is right around the corner, which means many of us will enjoy celebrations that include an American tradition: fireworks. Being aware of restrictions on consumer fireworks can help prevent injuries and property damage.

They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of a building or vehicle, regardless of whether the building or vehicle is owned by the user of the consumer fireworks. Fireworks cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug.

Read more about state restrictions, and check with your local municipality for applicable local ordinances.


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