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:
Senate Advances Major Bipartisan Investments in Emergency Responders, Schools, Nursing Homes, & More
The Senate on Wednesday passed two bills that make major investments in the future of Pennsylvania and achieve many of the principles and priorities identified by Senate Republicans as a focus in March.
The first, House Bill 1300, includes funding for county 911 systems, employed parents in need of childcare, nursing homes, and an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer.
The second, House Bill 301, includes funding to ensure Pennsylvania families have access to high quality education and safe schools.
Read more about these bills and their impact on Pennsylvanians here.
Last Chance! Student Cellphone Use Survey Closes on Dec. 18
As policies limiting or even banning cellphone use during classroom instruction are becoming increasingly popular in the United States and around the world, I am interested in how you feel about such policies.
Those in support of limiting cellphone use in schools highlight how it can increase classroom engagement and discussion and decrease bullying and the resulting anxiety and depression kids experience. People who oppose limitations say the policies make emergency communication with parents more challenging and unnecessarily increase disciplinary measures for students who break the rules.
Please fill out my one-question survey about your interest in legislation restricting student cellphone use in PA schools here before the survey closes on Monday, Dec. 18, at 9 a.m.
Senate Votes to Preserve Prescription Benefits for Seniors
Legislation to preserve senior citizens’ access to the state’s PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefit plans passed the Senate and is set for enactment.
Senate Bill 607 would continue a law set to expire this year through Dec. 31, 2025 that prevents Social Security cost-of-living increases from making seniors ineligible for PACE and PACENET.
Current income eligibility levels for PACE are set at less than $14,500 for a single person and less than $17,700 for a couple. PACENET, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, is open to individuals earning between $14,500 and $33,500 and couples with incomes between $17,700 and $41,500. The minimum age to participate in the programs is 65, and they are funded from proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery.
Recognizing the Sacrifice of Our Veterans
Many thanks to retired SMA Dan Dailey, Jess Zimmerman Band, Lancaster County Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, and the staff of the Eden Resort for helping honor our veterans last month at my annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast.
To view more photos from this event, please visit my Instagram page here.
Thanking Local Police Officer for Her Service
Congratulations to Officer Paula Bright on her retirement from the Ephrata Police Department after a more than 27-year career in law enforcement!
She spent 25 years with Ephrata PD serving as a patrol officer, bicycle officer, SHARP instructor, first aid instructor, and Field Training Officer, and she was instrumental in establishing the department’s Cops-for-Tots program. She was also named the 2006 Outstanding Police Officer of the Year by the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association.
Thank you, Officer Bright, for your dedicated service to the Ephrata community and best wishes to you in your well-deserved retirement!
Bill to Safeguard Transit Operators Passes Senate
The Senate passed legislation to safeguard transit operators against assault.
Senate Bill 977 would make it a felony of the third degree to interfere with and cause bodily injury to an operator of any public transit vehicle. The offense would be steepened to a felony of the first degree if the intrusion causes serious bodily injury or death.
Talking with Students About Modernizing Our Education System
I visited Millersville University to speak to student teachers participating in a seven-week course on Issues in Secondary Education. I asked students to reflect on what they believe our education system would look like if we had the opportunity to modernize and redesign our education system to best meet the needs of Pennsylvania students.
More photos from my visit to Millersville are on my Instagram page here.
Neighbors Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversaries
Sen. Chris Gebhard and I honored neighbors celebrating their 70th wedding anniversaries. Art and Mary Belle Graybill and Amos and Arlene Good both celebrated 70th wedding anniversaries on Nov. 21. They live just a few houses apart on the same road in Stevens.
To view more photos from my visit with these wonderful couples, check out my Instagram page here.
Don’t Get Scammed This Holiday Season
Sadly, just as the holiday season is often a charitable time, there are people hoping to take advantage by scamming others.
From email and text phishing to delivery stealing to credit card skimming and more, there are so many ways to fall prey. Learn more about the common scams criminals use.
Protect yourself and your family by setting up alerts with your credit card company so you know when purchases are made and avoid paying with a prepaid gift card, CashApp or Venmo to buy a gift online. Never use Alexa to find a customer support number and dial for you or click on a hyperlink in an email, social media ad or text message to make a purchase. Instead, go directly to the store’s website.
2024 Fishing Licenses, Permits for Sale Now
Fishing licenses, permits and vouchers for 2024 purchased now are valid immediately through Dec. 31, 2024. The price of an annual resident fishing license is $27.97. Multi-year options are also available in increments of three years, five years or 10 years.
They can be purchased through the HuntFishPA online portal on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, via smartphone by using the FishBoatPA mobile app or by visiting a retail license issuing agent.
Vouchers that can be given as gifts and are redeemable by recipients are also available.
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