Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Speaking to the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce
  • Jefferson County Highway Renamed to Honor Military Service Member
  • Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans
  • Armstrong County Playground Dedication
  • Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board
  • Fish for Free on Sunday, May 26
  • Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers
  • Win Money for Your Child’s Education

Speaking to the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce

I was honored to be invited to speak at the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber member luncheon in Kittanning.

My thanks to Executive Director Lynda Pozzuto and the Chamber for hosting me.

We discussed many legislative topics including the upcoming 2024-25 state budget, the importance of ensuring Pennsylvania’s energy independence, the need for robust transportation infrastructure, and other economic issues impacting the region. Always a wonderful event!

Jefferson County Highway Renamed to Honor Military Service Member

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Bernard M. Himes was honored over the weekend with a section of State Route 310 officially renamed in his memory. SR 310 runs through Anita, PA where LC Himes had lived his entire life before joining the Marines.

I was pleased to have worked with state Rep. Brian Smith and local leaders to honor LC Himes who was killed in action in Vietnam on May 17, 1968, making the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. We are forever indebted to him and his family for his service and sacrifice for our great country.

Legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law as Act 17 of 2023 contained this highway dedication.

Thank you to McCalmont Township Firehall for hosting the dedication ceremonies.

Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans

On Memorial Day – which is Monday, May 27 – we will pay tribute to the fallen warriors who fought to preserve our American ideals. Let us say a prayer in gratitude and remembrance. The Senate has also focused on helping living veterans by passing bills to award them with new benefits and make sure their families are aware of benefits that have already been granted. Both bills await consideration from the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 973 would provide Korean Americans who served in the Vietnam War with the same state veterans benefits as their U.S. counterparts. There are more than 3,000 naturalized Korean American citizens who served in the Vietnam War as a part of the Korean Armed Forces, including hundreds who now call Pennsylvania home.

Senate Bill 1139 would help grieving families of deceased U.S. military veterans access their federal Department of Veterans Affairs burial benefits. Funeral directors, funeral parlors or cemetery companies would be required to notify the director of the county veterans assistance office when a veteran living in the county passes. They would also have to provide the deceased veteran’s family with contact information for the county director.

Armstrong County Playground Dedication

I recently had the honor of attending a dedication ceremony for a new playground area at Lenape Elementary School in Ford City. The playground recognizes the ‘Drugs Kill Dreams’ program that has been in place for the last 24 years in Armstrong County.

This wonderful program was the vision of Magisterial District Judge J. Gary DeComo to promote prevention and distribute educational materials to schools and community organizations to stop drug and alcohol addiction and abuse while encouraging our youth to live healthy, respectful and responsible lives.

I applaud Judge DeComo’s commitment and tireless efforts over the years in service to the community and the many folks who collaborated to bring this playground project to fruition – well done!

Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board

Veterans, National Guard members and military family members can use a free job board that has nearly 10,000 employment and internship postings. While it is Pennsylvania-centric, there are listings in dozens of other states.

It’s easy to manage your job search process with application history and saved jobs. The system even allows applicants to store multiple versions of their resume for flexibility when applying to different jobs. The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations’ job board also offers employers the opportunity to post jobs, search the resume database and create resume alerts.

‘Fish for Free’ on Sunday, May 26

On Sunday, May 26, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a “Fish for Free” day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations will still apply.

This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.

This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors.

Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers

It continues to be challenging to find bus drivers so children can safely and reliably travel between home and school each day. When the problem is bad enough, it can even shorten the school day and limit the learning students can accomplish.

To avoid impacts to students’ education, it’s important to retain as many bus drivers as possible. Of course, they are not needed in the summer and aren’t able to collect a paycheck during that time. Unemployment compensation (UC) helps to bridge the gap until the school year begins so bus drivers aren’t forced to abandon their critical roles to pay their bills.

Information is available to help school bus drivers who will be laid off during the summer successfully claim their unemployment compensation. First, it’s crucial to claim during the correct week: the first week in which they are actually unemployed. Second, understand that UC and workers’ compensation are different when filling out the UC claim form. Please reach out to my office if you still have issues with your claim.

Win Money for Your Child’s Education

In honor of PA 529 Day on May 29, new PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) accounts opened between May 1 and May 31 with at least $10 in contributions are eligible for a chance to win $5,529 or $2,529. Current PA 529 GSP account owners are also eligible to win $5,529 if they had a balance of at least $10 as of April 30 and receive a contribution of at least $10 in May.

The PA 529 GSP helps families save for future college and career education expenses by keeping pace with rising college tuition. They offer tax-advantaged savings and the flexibility to pay for a wide variety of education expenses, including at any qualified educational institution, from K-12 to college and career training programs. Funds can also be used for room and board, tuition and books.

Anyone – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends – can contribute to a PA 529 plan. Saving with a PA 529 plan does not impact a student’s eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.


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