Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • PA Chamber of Business & Industry Roundtable
  • Applewold Borough Celebrates 125th Anniversary
  • New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices
  • Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations
  • Senate Session Introduction of Indiana Intern
  • Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage
  • Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support
  • Senate Acts to Modernize Rules for Electronic Commerce
  • Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers

PA Chamber of Business & Industry Roundtable

I appreciated the opportunity to speak with business leaders from across the commonwealth at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s roundtable briefing.

As we continue working this month to address significant policy issues and the 2024-25 state budget, Pennsylvania Senate Republicans are committed to keeping our state on a path of fiscal responsibility.

Increasing access to maximum wage, family-sustaining jobs is key to creating greater growth and opportunities across Pennsylvania. Regulatory reform and higher education reform are also critical to preparing for current and future workforce needs.

Applewold Borough Celebrates 125th Anniversary

It was a great honor to be invited to serve as the keynote speaker for Applewold Borough’s 125th Anniversary celebration on Saturday!

I enjoyed taking part in the parade through town and presenting Mayor Gretchen Dosch with a Senate citation recognizing this momentous occasion.

The Borough of Applewold was founded by the Applewold Land Company and was initially settled by industrialists and merchants from across Armstrong County. Throughout its rich history, the borough has been blessed with dedicated civic leaders who have helped it to grow and flourish.

Best wishes for another 125 years and thank you for having me!

New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices

A new law prohibits the use of handheld cellular and other devices while operating a vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or traffic way. Drivers may still use their phone if they are using hands-free technology, such as a docking station, Bluetooth or speaker technology.

For the first year, only warnings will be issued for violations. After that, there will be a $50 fine.

Distracted driving fatalities in Pennsylvania surged to a decade high in 2022, claiming 80 lives. The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index found that the majority of drivers believe distracted driving has outpaced all other traffic-related issues as a growing safety concern. All of Pennsylvania’s border states and 28 others have enacted hands-free laws.

Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations

In Pennsylvania, the state budget is to be completed by June 30 of each year. As we work to reach consensus, Senate Republicans are continuing to fight for a budget that respects taxpayers and makes the best use of the state’s resources.

In February, Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a massive $3.2 billion increase in state spending. Last month, Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative approach that would reduce taxes by approximately $3 billion annually. Instead of growing government bureaucracy and picking winners and losers, our plan would allow Pennsylvanians to decide how their money should be spent. These historic tax cuts would provide relief to every Pennsylvanian who earns a paycheck by reducing the personal income tax rate from 3.07% to 2.8%, and every person paying an electric bill by eliminating the Gross Receipts Tax on energy.

Learn more about the process of enacting the 2024-25 state budget and watch the Senate in session here.

Senate Session Introduction of Indiana Intern

Please join me in welcoming Abbie Huey as an intern in my Indiana district office!

This week she came to Harrisburg to gain a better understanding of the legislative process and experience the Senate in session. Abbie’s future aspirations include working in government and potentially attending law school after she finishes college.

Abbie is a graduate of Indiana Area Senior High School and has been actively involved in her community, as a waitress, team captain and volunteer at the Chevy Chase Community Center.

She recently completed her freshmen year at Georgetown University where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in government, is a member of the Georgetown Track and Field team and has proven herself to be an accomplished sprinter, receiving all-conference honors.

Abbie is a great addition to our team, and we look forward to the contributions she will make in helping to serve constituents this summer!

Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage

With the number of older Pennsylvanians rising and nursing homes struggling to find qualified workers, the Senate passed two bills this week to reverse the worker shortage. Both bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 1102 would increase the number of nursing home workers by streamlining the training and certification process and removing barriers that prevent people from entering the health care workforce in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1104 would further increase the nursing home workforce by enabling high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two elective credits for working or volunteering at a nursing home, personal care home or assisted living facility. Schools would establish program guidelines and procedures to allow students to earn one elective credit for each 250 hours of paid or volunteer work at a qualifying facility.

Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support

To provide financial relief to more disabled veterans, the Senate passed Senate Bill 194 to exclude U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Attendance benefits as income when calculating eligibility for Pennsylvania’s 100% Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption.

Federal Aid and Attendance benefits provide monthly payments to disabled veterans who are housebound or need help with daily activities. Without the exclusion of this federal benefit, some disabled veterans are prevented from qualifying for property tax reductions.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Acts to Modernize Rules for Electronic Commerce

The Senate passed legislation to modernize the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), updating rules that govern digital asset transactions to ensure security, consistency and confidence. It now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The UCC has provided consistency for commercial law and interstate commerce since 1954, when Pennsylvania led the initiative to adopt it. Since then, it has been adopted by all states and gives Americans legal confidence when transacting business across state lines. The last major revisions to the UCC took effect in 2001. In the two decades since, electronic property, or digital assets, have become much more prevalent in commercial transactions.

Senate Bill 1084 would bring the law into the 21st century by establishing guidelines to cover digital asset transactions involving virtual currencies, non-fungible tokens, electronic accounts and other forms of electronic commerce. It would also make other needed technical updates to the UCC.

Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers

Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s top industry, and dairy products play a significant role by generating $11.8 billion in economic revenue and supporting 47,000 jobs statewide. Of the nearly 5,000 dairy farms in the state, 99% are family-owned with many being handed down generation after generation.

Our dairy farmers work tirelessly each day to provide families everywhere with nutrient-rich foods. Dairy products contain nine essential nutrients that help to manage weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. The nutrient powerhouse also helps build and repair muscle tissue and maintain healthy skin.

Celebrate National Dairy Month by raising a glass of milk or enjoying some delicious ice cream. Pennsylvania has an Ice Cream Trail that boasts great creameries all across the state.


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