Armstrong County Receives Nearly $3.7 Million in Grants

HARRISBURG – Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Reps. Abby Major (R-60) and Donna Oberlander (R-63) announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has awarded nearly $3.7 million of Local Share Account (LSA) grants to municipalities for projects in Armstrong County.

“At a time when many families and communities are feeling a strain from inflation, state investments play an even greater role in helping to strengthen our local region,” Pittman said. “I’m glad to have worked with my fellow elected officials to help secure this funding, which will ensure numerous municipalities are able to continue to advance projects for the benefit of area residents.”

“These projects will make a difference in our communities,” Major added. “Each addresses a critical need in order to protect citizens or provide important services. While these projects have been in the pipeline for a while, due to delays by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the money is just being released now.”

“These projects will be a great benefit to residents and include enhancements to our parks, waterways and infrastructure,” Oberlander said. “It is imperative that we invest in communities that make up the 63rd District because it will attract business growth and provide jobs. I support every effort possible to rejuvenate our area so it can be a place where people want to live, work, play and be educated.”

Kittanning Borough is receiving $577,223 for a riverbank stabilization project in the borough’s Riverfront Park.

A $460,000 grant was awarded to Wayne Township for the purchase a 24-acre parcel of land with two large equipment garages.

Perry Township will use a $400,000 grant for road resurfacing within the township, while Washington Township received a $276,400 grant to make improvements at its Washington Township Memorial Park.

The Mahoning Township Municipal Authority received two grants: $154,000 to replace the Route 66 water line, and $90,000 to replace the Beers Road water line.

Leechburg Borough was likewise awarded two grants: a $136,800 grant to rehabilitate its Campbell Avenue Park and Playground, and a $96,700 grant to make improvements to its Kiski Avenue Park.

A $139,005 grant will be used by Apollo Borough to purchase a dump truck and police vehicle, while Sugarcreek Township received a $110,000 grant for renovations to its Sugarcreek Community Park.

South Bethlehem Borough will use a $109,000 grant for a streetscape improvement project along Hamilton Street; West Franklin will make improvement to Valley View Road with an $85,000 grant; and a $41,650 grant will be used by Manor Township to rehabilitate the Hawk Hollow Bridge.

Westmoreland County Municipal Authority received the largest single amount of funding – $1,000,000 – for a lead service line replacement project that will take place within both Armstrong and Westmoreland Counties.

LSA funding was created by the PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Act 71 of 2004), which provides for the distribution of gaming revenues through the CFA to support projects in the public interest within Pennsylvania. The grants were approved at the March 16, 2023, meeting in Harrisburg.



Kate Flessner (Sen. Pittman)

Tracy Polovick (Rep. Major)

Rick Leiner (Rep. Oberlander)

Statement from Senate Republican Leaders on Workplace Harassment

HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39), Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41), Senate Majority Appropriations Chair Scott Martin (R-13), Senate Majority Whip Ryan Aument (R-36), Senate Majority Caucus Chair Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), Senate Majority Caucus Secretary Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Senate Majority Policy Chair Dan Laughlin (R-49) and Senate Majority Caucus Administrator Lisa Baker (R-20), today issued the following statement on workplace harassment:

“The Senate Republican Caucus is steadfast in our commitment to foster safe communities, including the institution of the Senate. Ensuring Senate employees and those who interact with the Senate are protected, has been, and will remain paramount to the effective functioning of our chamber. Whether internal or external, harassment complaints are all handled in the same manner.

“The Senate has a longstanding bi-partisan Senate Committee on Management Operations (COMO) policy in place, which provides for harassment complaints to be made. Every credible complaint is independently investigated before recommendations for action are received by both Republican and Democrat leaders.

“Today, we make it clear for our employees, and anyone who interacts with our chamber, that we understand the seriousness of harassment and respect those who voice complaints.”


Media Contact: Kate Flessner  

Senate Republican Caucus Announces Principles and Priorities for 2023-24 Session

HARRISBURG – Senate Republican leaders laid out an ambitious set of principles and priorities today to strengthen Pennsylvania by protecting jobs, empowering families and defending freedoms.

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39), Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) and Appropriations Committee Chair Scott Martin (R-13) spoke about building on the successful efforts of last session that included improving Pennsylvania’s tax structure; redesigning the state system of higher education to better align degree programs with marketplace needs; modernizing workforce development laws; creating new tax credits to generate jobs in key economic sectors, particularly manufacturing and agriculture; advancing broadband, water and transportation infrastructure; supporting mental health services; increasing quality educational opportunities for all children; reducing government regulation; and pushing for more integrity within Pennsylvania’s election processes.

“We want Pennsylvanians to know the Senate Republican Caucus has their backs and acknowledge that the economy and the pain of higher prices is the same for all Pennsylvanians,” Ward said. “We are focused on putting forward legislation and ideas that help families restore economic freedom while positioning communities to thrive. As we work to strengthen Pennsylvania and empower families, we would like to take the opportunity presented to us by the courts and work with the governor and House to establish a 21st century education framework that ensures every student in Pennsylvania is workforce-ready and has the opportunity to get a degree or obtain a skill to secure a job. We also hope to expand upon the childcare tax credit which we enacted last year and push for investments in behavioral and mental health.”

“The Senate Republican Caucus has been organized for the 2023-24 legislative session and is working to address issues that affect families across our commonwealth,” Pittman said. “While voters have spoken and sent a divided government to Harrisburg, this does not equate to a dysfunctional government. There is no doubt that inflation is an issue crippling working families, and access to reliable and affordable energy is key to keeping rising costs under control. Increasing energy independence, creating a strong workforce and investing in infrastructure are critical to moving Pennsylvania forward.”

“To build a stronger Pennsylvania and unleash our full potential, we need to return power to the people. That means reducing the tax burden and fighting back against the government overreach and bureaucracy that only drags our commonwealth down,” said Martin. “We have taken strong steps forward already this session by voting to cut the gas tax, eliminate expensive and onerous government regulations, and ensure our elections are secure. Now is the time to build on this momentum to ensure Pennsylvania remains prosperous and free.”


Erica Clayton Wright (Ward)
Kate Eckhart Flessner (Pittman)
Jason Thompson (Martin)

Special Session Remains Unnecessary

HARRISBURG – Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) today issued the following statement:

“The Senate has fulfilled and completed our commitment to address the issue of statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims and a special session remains unnecessary. The Senate swiftly passed Senate Bill 1 on January 11, yet nearly two months after swearing-in day we continue to see the inability of the House to function and begin the regular 2023-2024 legislative session.

“The unwillingness of the Speaker to convene until after the House special elections took place clearly shows he chose to set his priority concern aside for the political benefit of House Democrats. There is no valid justification for preventing voters from having a direct voice on voter identification, regulation reform and opening the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors through constitutional questions. The only reason these questions will not appear on the May ballot is because of the inaction of the Speaker of the House.

“We urge the House to organize their chamber and take action on Senate Bill 1, as presented, during regular session.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Eckhart Flessner,


Sen. Pittman Opens District Office in New Kensington Office Opens on Thursday, January 12, 2023

HARRISBURG – As a result of redistricting, Sen. Joe Pittman is opening a new district office in New Kensington (Westmoreland County).

Because of the redrawn 41st Senatorial District lines, Sen. Pittman’s office in Murrysville (Westmoreland County) was closed on Nov. 30, 2022.

With the opening of the office in New Kensington, assistance is available to residents of the 41st District, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the following locations:

  • New Kensington Office – 2400 Leechburg Road, Suite 102, New Kensington, PA 15068; Phone: 724-216-6165; Fax: 724-216-6076
  • Indiana Office – 618 Philadelphia Street, Indiana, PA 15701; Phone: 724-357-0151; FAX: 724-357-0148
  • Kittanning Office – 109 South Jefferson Street, Kittanning, PA 16201; Phone: 724-543-3026; FAX: 724-548-4856


Contact:          Kate Flessner 

Senate Sends Constitutional Amendments to the House

HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) issued the following statement regarding Senate passage of Senate Bill 1:

“Today, with passage of Senate Bill 1, the Senate has fulfilled and completed our commitment to provide voters with a direct voice on voter identification, legislative review of regulations and opening the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors through constitutional amendments.  

“Advancing these three issues through constitutional amendments allows the matters to be put on the ballot and ultimately answered by the voters. The language approved in Senate Bill 1 is identical to the language that was passed during the 2021-22 legislative session and published in every corner of the Commonwealth for voters to read, review and provide feedback to their legislators.

“Passing multiple constitutional amendments in one bill, which are then presented to voters as separate questions, is not a new concept and has been utilized in prior sessions. Senate Bill 1 will be delivered to the House, and we look forward to their swift action to ensure the people of Pennsylvania will be presented with these questions in May.”


Members of the Senate Republican Caucus have spoken about the importance of each of the three constitutional amendments that are included in Senate Bill 1.

 Video Remarks:

Senator Pittman Remarks

Senator Baker Remarks

Senator Argall Remarks

Senator Martin Remarks

Senator Laughlin Remarks

Senator Langerholc Remarks

Senator Mastriano Remarks

Senator Aument Remarks

Senator Phillips-Hill Remarks

Senator Regan Remarks

Senator Bartolotta Remarks

Senator Judy Ward Remarks

Senator Dush Remarks


Erica Clayton Wright (Senator Ward)
Kate Eckhart Flessner (Senator Pittman)

Senate Leaders Respond to Governor Wolf’s Call for Special Session

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) issued the following statement:

“In August, the Senate reaffirmed with Gov. Wolf our commitment to take the next step in the constitutional amendment process for victims of childhood sexual abuse in this legislative session, just as we have in previous legislative sessions, and consistent with the multiple legislative actions already taken to protect children and families. Gov. Wolf’s call of a special session a week before his term ends is an attempt by him to prioritize one issue while there are equally important issues that deserve the same consideration among the voters.

“The Senate has fully organized our chamber for the 2023-2024 legislative session and have put in place a robust session schedule, during which we plan to consider several constitutional amendments in the normal course of legislative session. It is imperative that we work together to ensure constitutional amendments for voter identification, legislative review of regulations, election audits and statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors, can all be presented to voters. A special session is unnecessary to address constitutional amendments.”



Erica Clayton Wright (Senator Ward)

Kate Eckhart Flessner (Senator Pittman)

Keystone Communities Program Grants Awarded to Armstrong, Jefferson County Communities

HARRISBURG – Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-63) and Rep. Brian Smith (R-66) have announced two local communities will benefit from grants awarded through the Keystone Communities Program for development and revitalization efforts.

The program, which is overseen by the Department of Community and Economic Development, is a flexible tool for a variety of uses in community and economic development, including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and infrastructure development.

The two grant recipients in Armstrong and Jefferson counties are:

  • Kittanning Borough (Armstrong County), which received $50,000 for the Kittanning Borough Façade Grant Program that is focused on improving existing façades in the central business district.
  • Punxsutawney Borough (Jefferson County), which received $486,172 for road reconstruction and sewer improvement.

“A key part of fostering greater growth and long-term stability for our region is through ensuring state investments are made for important local projects,” Sen. Pittman said.  “This funding will help with ongoing efforts to revitalize the downtowns of our communities by improving both their infrastructure and overall physical appearance.  I commend our local leaders for seeking out support for these worthwhile projects in Kittanning and Punxsutawney.”

“I am pleased to see that the borough has been awarded this grant, which will continue existing efforts to breathe new life into the downtown area,” Rep. Oberlander said.  “Working together with Armstrong County over the years, the borough has taken on numerous revitalization projects in addition to improving roadway and aging infrastructure. These improvements are greatly needed for a successful revitalization, which will benefit the community and the county in countless ways.” 

“These grants will deliver a much-needed infusion of dollars into our local economy at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet,” Rep. Smith said.  “The funding will be used to invest in our communities and spur economic activity in Punxsutawney Borough and throughout Jefferson County.  As always, I am proud to support these worthwhile projects that will result in revitalization, infrastructure improvements and family-sustaining job creation.” 



Senator Pittman – Kate Flessner 717-787-8724
Representative Oberlander – Jennifer Keaton 717-705-2094
Representative Smith – Ty McCauslin 717-772-9979

Local Law Enforcement Support Grants Approved for Westmoreland County

(Greensburg, PA.) – Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli is elated to announce the Office of the District Attorney is a recipient of a significant Local Law Enforcement Support Grant. The District Attorney’s Office applied for the Local Law Enforcement Support Grant earlier this year.

We were informed by the offices of Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman that the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office was approved for the grant worth a total of $497,042. The Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program was established with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of Act 54 of 2022.

The purpose of this grant program is to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies to implement information technology improvements, hardware and software equipment, non-sworn personnel costs, non-reoccurring personnel costs for sworn officers, policy development, and evidence-based practices and training. This grant is meant to support local law enforcement and intended to reduce violent crime rates, increase clearance rates and improve manpower.

The District Attorney’s Office intends to use this funding toward a self-sufficient digital forensic lab, which will provide us the capabilities to analyze all digital evidence, including computers, and cell phones, etc. The digital forensic lab will be operated by a civilian forensic analyst and will be available to all law enforcement agencies throughout Westmoreland County.

The demand for forensics examination of these devices is at an all-time high, and wait times for retrieval are ever increasing. District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said some of this funding will also be used to upgrade our reporting management system for the county Detective Bureau. A total of $135 million in federal COVID relief under the American Rescue Plan Act was allocated through the state budget to support this initiative.

In addition to our office receiving this sizable grant, local police departments throughout the county were also awarded funding: $478,043 to Jeannette Police, $268,570 to Monessen Police, $152,378 to Latrobe Police and $106,928 to Ligonier Valley Police.

“I want to personally thank Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman and the Pennsylvania Senate for approving this grant funding,” District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said. “Through their vision and leadership, Westmoreland County is well on its way to having the most elite and fully funded law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth.”

“The more than $1.5 million in law enforcement grants for Westmoreland County will position our local law enforcement to better protect and serve our communities through better equipment, information technology improvement, and training to name a few,” said Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “With the rise in crime across the Commonwealth, it is critical that we work with local law enforcement to help provide them with the tools and resources needed to ensure Pennsylvanians feel safe in their homes and in the communities where they live and work.”

“As we look at ways to strengthen communities throughout Pennsylvania, investing in public safety measures is of the utmost importance,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman. “I commend Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli and local law enforcement leaders, for their unwavering determination and dedication to protecting our communities. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that these grants will have throughout the county.”


Kate Eckhart Flessner
Communications Director
Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman
Office: 717-787-8724
Cell: 717-576-2046