Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Senate Budget Hearing with the Department of Education
  • Payments In Lieu of Taxes
  • United Way of Indiana County
  • Responding to Gov. Shapiro’s Election Threats Task Force
  • Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals
  • Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts
  • Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry
  • Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Senate Budget Hearing with the Department of Education

The governor’s idea of merging the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the state’s community colleges was scrutinized during a budget hearing for the Department of Education this past Wednesday.

During the hearing held by the state Senate Appropriations Committee, Education Secretary Khalid Mumin acknowledged the concept was not bill-ready and characterized the plan as “wet cement.”

You can click this link to watch the full video of my questioning of the details and costs of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s higher education plans and my push to expand measures incentivizing students to come to Pennsylvania.

Payments In Lieu of Taxes

This past Tuesday, as part of the state Senate Appropriations Committee 2024-25 budget hearings, I questioned the Pennsylvania Game Commission about the last time the commission increased their Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT).

We find an increasing amount of acreage being utilized by the Game Commission and it’s time to look at possible changes to help local municipalities with PILT revenues.

United Way of Indiana County

Congratulations to the United Way of Indiana County for once again reaching their annual campaign goal: A total of $751,366.15 was raised for the 2023-24 Kindness Creates Hope Campaign!

They have over 90 years of dedication and service to the community in meeting critical needs and improving the quality of life throughout the county.

I am honored to have my entire Senate staff contribute to the important work of the United Way and I appreciate their generosity as well as the generosity of so many others.

Responding to Gov. Shapiro’s Election Threats Task Force

Gov. Josh Shapiro this week announced the establishment of a “Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force.”

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans have been and remain committed to strengthening election integrity in Pennsylvania because we believe that the foundation of a healthy and vigorous democracy requires free, fair and secure #elections.

Much like Shapiro’s decision last fall to implement automatic voter registration, this task force was crafted by a unilateral decision made by the Shapiro administration without any input from the General Assembly – the branch of government most representative of the will of the people of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvanians from both sides of the aisle have raised concerns regarding our elections in recent years, and Senate Republicans have led the fight to make critical reforms to restore faith in the voting process.

This session, the first piece of legislation advanced within the General Assembly was Senate passage of Senate Bill 1, which provided for a constitutional amendment on voter identification. Enhancing election integrity by adding another layer of security to our elections is something that would also increase voter confidence. We once again urge the House of Representatives and Gov. Shapiro to allow the people of Pennsylvania to have a voice on Voter ID.

Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals

To recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, a tuition assistance program offers up to $5,000 for reimbursement of EMS state certification training for permanent Pennsylvania residents.

Up to $300 is available for emergency medical responders, up to $800 for emergency medical technicians, up to $1,000 for advanced emergency medical technicians and up to $5,000 for paramedics.

Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive up to $1,250 of recruitment and retention expenses per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Learn more.

Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts

Individuals who believe they are beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a family member or friend can locate lost life insurance policies and annuity contracts through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

When a request is received, the NAIC will give participating companies that have policy information access to respond to you as the designated beneficiary or if you are authorized to receive information. It will also allow participating companies to search their records to determine whether they have a life insurance policy or annuity contract in the name of the deceased person.

Access NAIC’s life insurance policy locator.

Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry

To bolster agriculture – the state’s top industry – $500,000 in grants is available to help Pennsylvania farms pursue growth opportunities. Funding will be used to benefit economic development, job creation and innovation.

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program is designed to enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production and building a team of financial and technical experts as a resource for the state’s farmers.

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs. Learn more about guidelines and how to apply.

Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Sunday, March 3, is National Anthem Day. “The Star-Spangled Banner” shares a message of endurance and perseverance. Francis Scott Key originally wrote his poem during a naval attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. That battle was nearly lost.

It wasn’t until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem.

Rather than commemorating victory, our national anthem highlights our ability to withstand attack. Today, we continue to raise our flag and refuse to be defeated.


If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter please sign up here.

Facebook Twitter Instagram Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy