Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Recognizing IASD’s Swimming and Diving Teams
  • Putting Pennsylvania Taxpayers First
  • Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing
  • Meeting with Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
  • Stopping Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers
  • Free Hotline to Support New Parents
  • Honoring Law Enforcement Officers
  • Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

Recognizing IASD’s Swimming and Diving Teams

Indiana Area School District Swimming and Diving teams captured the PIAA Class 2A title for Swimming and Diving at the PIAA Championships held in March at Bucknell University. This was their school’s first PIAA Team Championship in any sport and I was thrilled to welcome them to Harrisburg and introduce them during Session last week.

These incredible young athletes include: Eli Aiken, Alex Bauer, Matthew Blystone, Kody Griffith, Joey Margita, Rey Nunez, Joshua Reed, Austin Schawl and Preston Kessler.

Preston Kessler also won his 5th individual state title. He won the 200-yard freestyle for the 3rd straight season, posting a time of 1 minute, 38.57 seconds. Preston and his fellow freestyle relay team members Rey Nunez, Joey Margits and Alex Bauer also claimed gold in the 200 freestyle relay.

This outstanding team was coached by Sarah Brown, Skip Griffith, Allison Brownlee and Luke Scoboria. Also cheering them on from the school’s administration were Rob Heinrich, Superintendent; Wade McElheny, Sr. High Principal and Dan Roan.

The state championship capped an outstanding season for Indiana, which included winning the West Allegheny Invitational, the Mark Hess Memorial Invitational and claiming the WPIAL Championship. Congratulations and well done!

Putting Pennsylvania Taxpayers First

Senate Republicans have fought for years to prevent unnecessary tax increases and new spending. As a result of our fiscal responsibility, today Pennsylvania is in its strongest financial position in a generation.

If the belief by Democrats is that we have too much money in Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund, then let’s give it back to the taxpayers who put it there in the first place.

Last week, a historic tax cut bill was passed by the Senate. Every Senate Republican voted for Senate Bill 269 and eight Democrats voted yes too. The legislation invests $3 billion into all Pennsylvanians by lowering their utility bills and adding more money to their paychecks – not by massive expansions of government programs.

Check out this video from abc27 News.

Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing

The Senate unanimously approved legislation to create a new license plate for Pennsylvania sportsmen with proceeds used to fund youth hunting and fishing education. 

The Pennsylvania Sportsman registration plate would celebrate those who hunt and fish. Under Senate Bill 916, the plate would be designed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Pennsylvania Sportsman plate would cost $40 plus the registration fee, of which $14 would be deposited into a Youth Hunting and Fishing Restricted Account to be allocated equally to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for the purpose of promoting youth hunting and fishing activities.

Meeting with Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a group from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) who travelled to the Capitol to advocate for the needs of the 10-county region they represent. We discussed SITES funding, broadband initiatives, infrastructure needs and several other issues of importance.

I greatly appreciate SPC Executive Director, Rich Fitzgerald and his delegation stopping by. The group included Armstrong County Commissioners, Pat Fabian & John Strate and Indiana County Commissioner, Robin Gorman from my district along with Butler County Commissioner, Leslie Osche and several other folks.

Stopping Major Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers

Pennsylvania reached a $10.25 million settlement with several major mobile device service carriers regarding deceptive advertising practices, including supposed “unlimited” data plans and “free” phones.

The settlement with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Cricket and T-Mobile requires the carriers to disclose all attached fees and agreements, train customer service staff accordingly, and be truthful in future advertising.

The terms of the settlements address misrepresentations in advertisements concerning “unlimited” data advertisements, “free” phone offers, monetary incentives to switch wireless networks and wireless carrier plan comparisons. They will be able to claim that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only when it’s reasonable based on comparisons with the prices of comparable goods and services of other providers.

Free Hotline to Support New Parents

While we celebrated mothers last week, they need our support more than simply on Mother’s Day – particularly when they recently had a baby and are much more prone to feeling depressed, anxious and overwhelmed.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is free, confidential and available 24/7. Trained counselors can listen to what callers and texters are going through, connect them with local support groups and organizations, and refer them to other health care professionals if they need more care.

Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). Partners and other family members may also use the hotline as pregnancy and the birth of a baby can affect the whole family.

Honoring Law Enforcement Officers

From May 12-18, we celebrate National Police Week by honoring fallen officers and recognizing the significant role law enforcement officers play in keeping our communities safe, a top priority for Senate Republicans.

In support of that initiative, we have recently passed multiple laws to aid the men and women who work so hard to protect us. Act 34 of 2023 funded an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer. Act 10 of 2023 gave municipal police the authority to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants to ensure we accept and train qualified individuals.

According to the Fraternal Order of Police, 25 officers were shot and five died in the line of duty in Pennsylvania in 2023.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is higher than 90%. Of course, a missed mammogram could mean the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.

If you are high risk, don’t let the cost of screening deter you. Through Act 1 of 2023, Senate Republicans eliminated costs for breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, and BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.

Women aged 40 and above who regularly get mammograms are in the best position to fight breast cancer. Remember, early detection saves lives.


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