Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Behind The Headlines
  • Pennsylvania Energy Policy
  • Pittman Calls Local Hospital Partnership a ‘Win’ for the Region
  • Read Across America Week
  • Kittanning Borough Awarded $500,000 for Streetscape Project
  • Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review
  • Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • 2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
  • Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Behind The Headlines

Thank you to Susquehanna Valley Center for Public Policy for recently inviting me to sit down for a good conversation about significant issues impacting our commonwealth.

We covered many topics, including the 2024-25 state budget, the need for fiscal responsibility, economic growth and development, education empowerment for parents, higher education in Pennsylvania and protecting taxpayers.

You can watch the video of our discussion here.

Pennsylvania Energy Policy

I recently spoke with City and State PA about several energy-related issues facing Pennsylvania. You can read the complete Q&A here.

There’s got to be an all-of-the-above strategy to understand that the only way the grid maintains itself is by having all the sources that put electrons into the grid complement each other. Unfortunately, I think we’re stepping away from that approach with a lot of the energy policies currently being pursued.

Pittman Calls Local Hospital Partnership a ‘Win’ for the Region

I was very pleased to learn of ACMH Hospital’s plans to explore affiliation with the Pennsylvania Mountains Care Network (PMCN) last fall.

The now formalized partnership will solidify ACMH’s ongoing collaborative work with Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC) and Punxsutawney Area Hospital (PAH), as part of the PMCN. This long-term alliance is a win for local residents, a win for our region, and a win for the future of rural healthcare. PMCN will also serve as a significant employer and an economic engine for the region they serve. Thriving communities need a robust healthcare foundation in place to provide services and assistance to individuals throughout every stage of their lives.

I’m proud to represent the district encompassing all three of these hospitals and I look forward to continuing to work with their teams for the benefit of our region. I am fully committed to the success of PMCN and will do all I can to support their growth during my time in office.

Their partnership will strengthen access to health care services within our area, and greatly benefit our region now and for years to come.

Read Across America Week

To celebrate Read Across America Week, I had the pleasure of reading to elementary students at Mary Queen of Apostles Catholic School in New Kensington on Monday. I read the classic, ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish’ along with another Dr. Suess favorite, ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the MQA students and appreciated their thoughtful questions. You can check out the reel from my visit here

Kittanning Borough Awarded $500,000 for Streetscape Project

I am encouraged investments continue to be made throughout Kittanning to revitalize the community.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) funds will complement the recent $500,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP) funding my office helped secure for this important initiative.

These improvements will build upon the revitalization efforts that were made on Market Street during the last several years.

I look forward to continuing to support these efforts and working with the SPC, Armstrong County Commissioners, state Rep. Donna Oberlander and Kittanning Borough Council.

It is imperative we continue collaborating to revitalize the county seat.

Senate Defends Use of Taxpayer Dollars with Careful Budget Review

The Senate Appropriations Committee continues its review of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, which totals more than $48.3 billion. His plan would increase state spending by more than $3.2 billion, or about 7.1% above the current year’s budget. Projections indicate it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing focused on what the administration is doing to ensure the commonwealth’s power grid can handle increased demand for electricity. Members also had questions about why the current year’s budget for DEP included funding for 15 new positions specifically to reduce permitting delays but serious waits – a year and a half and longer – still exist.

At the Department of Human Services budget hearing, the committee sought an explanation about the Shapiro administration’s plans to spend billions of new taxpayer dollars to expand Medicaid to cover services that do not pertain to physical or behavioral health. Examples include moving expenses and household items like pots and pans, furniture and air conditioning units for eligible recipients, including recently released prison inmates.

The Department of Transportation hearing covered ongoing concerns about the sustainability of the Motor License Fund and commonwealth transportation funding. Replacing funds lost to electric vehicle use remains a challenge as the phasing-out of State Police from the Motor License Fund continues. The committee received a status update for the replacement of the six interstate bridges that were included a replacement program opposed by Senate Republicans.

At the Department of State budget hearing, the committee asked about the department’s requested $5.2 million increase for “Voter Registration and Education” activities throughout the commonwealth. Committee members sought assurances that the outreach would occur in rural areas as well as urban and suburban.

Thursday’s hearings include the Department of Health and the Governor’s Budget Office/Department of Revenue. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Help Available to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse

State assistance is available for nonprofit organizations, government entities, community groups and parent groups that work to prevent the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse from harming Pennsylvanians.

Funding can be used to reduce the demand for, or provide an alternative to, drug and alcohol abuse and the violence and other consequences these substances can cause. It can also be used to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and associated problems through educational programming.

Apply for the grant of up to $2,000 through the Office of Attorney General Community Drug Abuse Prevention Grant Program.

2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available

The 2024 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 695 streams and 128 lakes open to public angling. An additional 1.2 million trout will be stocked by cooperative nurseries.

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 6. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 30.

Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 702,000 Brown Trout, 132,000 Brook Trout and 14,000 Golden Rainbow Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments

Despite the perception that local governments are too small to be the target of bad actors online, Pennsylvania’s thousands of municipalities are at risk of cyberattack. In fact, 69% of state and local governments reported being hit in 2023 by ransomware – malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

To combat these attacks that often come with costly consequences, local governments should conduct a cyber assessment and make sure municipal employees understand the importance of using strong passwords and spotting suspicious emails. The initiative grew out of a January hearing held by the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee focusing on cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Funding opportunities exist to support cybersecurity efforts through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which administers a program that distributes federal funding. Local governments can learn more at the new Senate Republican Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments webpage.

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. While cell phone and computer clocks usually change automatically, most people move their standard clocks and appliances ahead one hour on Saturday night.

It’s also a good time to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If the devices are older than 10 years, experts suggest upgrading to 10-year, sealed battery alarms. They don’t require any battery replacement throughout their lifetime. However, it’s still a good idea to press the test button on the alarms at least once every month.


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