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:

  • Bill to Punish Looters Wins Bipartisan Senate Approval
  • Bill to Improve Early Literacy in PA Receives Senate Hearing
  • Babies Receive Life-Saving Care with New Law
  • Touring Local Tiny Homes
  • Hoffer Farm to Become Manheim Community Hub
  • New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School
  • Hosting Local High School Junior at the State Capitol
  • Speaking to American Legion Members
  • High Schoolers: Can You Fix These Transportation Issues?
  • Remembering Pearl Harbor 

Bill to Punish Looters Wins Bipartisan Senate Approval

In the aftermath of widespread looting in Philadelphia and many other cities, the Senate approved legislation to prevent these crimes by a bipartisan vote.

According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, organized retail theft has resulted in the loss of almost 700,000 jobs nationwide due to more than $125 billion in economic losses. While large retail stores have been the primary target, 54% of the state’s small business owners said they have seen an increase in shoplifting in the past year. These hardworking Pennsylvanians who are trying to provide for themselves and their families rightly deserve our support.

Senate Bill 596 would create a first-degree felony offense, which can result in up to 20 years in prison, for thieves who steal $20,000 worth of goods and intend to resell them. The bill would also create the Office of Deputy Attorney General for Organized Retail Crime Theft to pursue the leaders of these criminal rings.

Bill to Improve Early Literacy in PA Receives Senate Hearing

The Senate Education Committee recently held a hearing focused on literacy. My thanks to Megan Gierka, Greg Kiehl, and Dr. Wendy Farone for their expertise and testimony in support of Senate Bill 801, a bill I sponsored that offers a three-stage approach to improve early literacy in Pennsylvania.

The bill would provide for evidence-based reading curricula, universal screening to identify struggling readers, and intervention plans to prevent children from falling behind.

For more photos from the hearing, check out my Instagram page here.

Babies Receive Life-Saving Care with New Law

Legislation approved by the Senate to provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies is now law.

In very low birth-weight babies and other medically compromised infants, human donor milk protects against serious health complications that can lead to longer hospital stays, multiple medical and surgical procedures, readmissions, lifelong disability or even death.

The law grants children who are less than a year old access to medically prescribed pasteurized human donor milk by requiring Medical Assistance coverage in inpatient and outpatient settings. To qualify for coverage, the child must meet medical necessity requirements or the child’s mother must be medically or physically unable to produce breast milk in an amount needed to meet the child’s needs.

Touring Local Tiny Homes

I enjoyed catching up with Daniel McPhillips, president and chief executive officer of ATOMIC Design, to learn more about their new tiny home manufacturing business in Elizabethtown.

ATOMIC partners with New York architectural company Liv-Connected, which designs the homes, and Abby and Ryan Shank of Tiny Estates to sell the homes.

I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the growing market for this quality affordable housing solution. To view more photos from my tour and see an example of these incredible tiny homes, check out my Instagram page here.

Hoffer Farm to Become Manheim Community Hub

I joined Rep. Mindy Fee (R-37) and Jonathan Hollinger, chief executive officer of Pleasant View Communities, for a groundbreaking ceremony in Manheim at Pleasant View Retirement Community.

Pleasant View is embarking on a major project in 2024 that is oriented toward the broader Manheim Community called Hoffer Farm. The Hoffer Farm Project aims to bring a community cultural center to an adjacent property and will serve as the new location for several Manheim organizations, including the Manheim Public Library. Learn more here.

New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Recently signed into law, Act 24 of 2023 makes it easier for an estimated 185,000 students of relocating military families to enroll in school.

Previously, students of military families that transferred on official military permanent change of station orders were not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or participate in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they were physically located within the district boundaries. The delay caused students to miss deadlines, requiring them to shift their planned courses of study, which forced some to take summer classes, or even graduate later than expected.

The new law allows such families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This enables them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.

Hosting Local High School Junior at the State Capitol

It was my pleasure to host Scott Creason, a high school junior in Elizabethtown Area School District, as my shadow at the state Capitol. Scott participates in marching band, the mountain biking team, men’s volleyball team, and both chamber and concert choir. He also has been a staff writer for the high school newspaper for three years.

Scott works as a cook’s helper at Masonic Villages and has volunteered with the Mary Mother of the Church Parish in Mount Joy.

I appreciate Scott’s interest in exploring state government and political career opportunities, and I’m pleased he joined me and my team at the Capitol for the day. There’s nothing quite like getting an up-close view of state government and how it works, and I hope the experience gives him a better understanding of what it means to be a public servant.

Speaking to American Legion Members

I enjoyed speaking with members of American Legion Post 429 in Ephrata. The American Legion has been helping veterans for more than a century. Today, membership stands at nearly two million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide.

High Schoolers: Can You Fix These Transportation Issues?

High school students are invited to participate in the seventh annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge. The statewide competition pushes teams of students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges.

Regional winners will be selected by PennDOT’s Engineering Districts. Those winners will move on to a statewide competition where an overall winner will be selected.

Students can find the details of the 2023-24 Challenge and project guidelines here. All submissions must be received by Jan. 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

“A date which will live in infamy…”  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Dec. 7 marks 82 years since the surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After a decade of strained relations between the United States and Japan, that act drew the United States into World War II. While thousands of lives were lost, they were not lost in vain. The gruesome and exhausting war ultimately ended in a victory of Allied powers around the globe.

As we enjoy our American ideals and freedoms because of battles fought and wars won, please thank a veteran for his or her service.


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