Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • State Budget Update
  • Keystone Boys State & Keystone Girls State Capitol Visit
  • Indiana County Veterans Honor Wall Extension Dedication
  • Pennsylvania Proud
  • Senate Approves Bill to Improve Workforce Development Programs
  • Bill to Improve Early Literacy Receives Senate Support
  • Senate Votes to Expand Access to Benefits for Disabled Veterans
  • Jumpstart Your Child’s Education Savings
  • Antlerless Deer Licenses for Sale Starting June 24
  • June is Pet Preparedness Month

State Budget Update

Earlier this week I visited the State Capitol Newsroom to brief the news media about the status of budget negotiations and answered questions they had about the progress of those negotiations – you can watch the full video of that conversation here. While the General Assembly was not in session this week, we have been working hard to complete the most important job of any Pennsylvania lawmaker: delivering a balanced annual budget. The Senate will return to session this coming Monday, June 24. You can watch session live and find out more about happenings in the Senate here.

Keystone Boys State and Keystone Girls State Capitol Visit

Students participating in the 2024 youth leadership programs Keystone Boys State, organized by the American Legion, and Pennsylvania Keystone Girls State, organized by the American Legion Auxiliary units, spent some time at the state Capitol this week.

Thank you to Mikayla Minetos, Avary Powell, Avery Donahoe, Elias Habura, Jacob Harvey and Rex Wu for stopping by my office on Tuesday!

These educational programs sponsored by the American Legion offer high school seniors from across Pennsylvania the opportunity to learn about leadership and civic engagement. At the end of the week, these young leaders are asked to return to their communities with what they learned and to be a force of good in their hometowns.

Indiana County Veterans Honor Wall Extension Dedication

On Flag Day, I had the honor to speak at the wall dedication ceremony for the recent extension of the Indiana County veteran’s honor wall.

I was joined in speaking at the event by Al Lockard, Director of Veterans Affairs for Indiana County, Pastor Oyango Burney, State Rep. Jim Struzzi and County Commissioners R. Michael Keith and Robin Gorman. We all honored the efficiency and dedication of the community members that made this project possible.

Community members gathered as we unveiled our Veterans Honor Wall—a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our service members.

Each name etched in stone represents a legacy of selflessness and dedication to our nation. Let us never forget their courage and commitment.

As we observe these names etched in stone, let us also remember the families who stood by their side, offering unwavering support, and enduring the hardships of separation. Their sacrifices, too, are woven into the fabric of our nation’s history.

Pennsylvania Proud

Here is my latest video update discussing our work in the Senate to strengthen our commonwealth. We believe in the promise of Pennsylvania and the agenda of Pennsylvania Senate Republicans is about unleashing that promise.

We continue our efforts to ensure a bright future for residents across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by:

  • Empowering PA Families
  • Defending Our Freedoms
  • Protecting PA Jobs
  • Keeping Our Communities Safe

Senate Approves Bill to Improve Workforce Development Programs

The Senate passed legislation to make Pennsylvania more attractive to employers and improve workforce development programs.

Senate Bill 761 would require the Department of Labor and Industry and the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis to share data that is already collected with local workforce development boards in a timely fashion. Delayed information and data sharing limit these boards in efficiently analyzing programs and policy. Having access to workforce data on wages, new hires and unemployment claimants enables programs to be modified so Pennsylvanians can succeed professionally.

The bill also calls for technical assistance and support for the improved data sharing model so local workforce development boards can use the information.

Bill to Improve Early Literacy Receives Senate Support

To give students the best chance of success, the Senate passed a bill that would improve early literacy using a three-pronged approach.

Senate Bill 801 would:

  • Bolster reading instruction with evidence-based reading curricula,
  • Identify struggling readers via universal screening within the first 30 days of school and
  • Use screening data to implement intervention plans to prevent children from falling behind.

Half of Pennsylvania’s fourth grade students read below their grade level. Studies show that childhood reading difficulties can produce long-term effects and dramatically impact someone’s ability to succeed.

Senate Votes to Expand Access to Benefits for Disabled Veterans

Legislation to exempt 100% of disabled veterans’ benefit payments from income calculations for any commonwealth programs or benefits received Senate support.

Senate Bill 126 would ensure veterans who receive disability compensation would not have those payments counted against them when applying to programs such as the Real Estate Property Tax Exemption, Education Gratuity Program, Veterans Temporary Assistance Program and Military Relief Assistance Program.

The bill would also extend the exclusion of the veterans’ compensation benefits to their unmarried surviving spouses.

Jumpstart Your Child’s Education Savings

Saving for your child’s education can be daunting, but Keystone Scholars can jumpstart education savings for Pennsylvania children.

The first program of its kind in the country, Keystone Scholars provides a $100 investment for post-high school education for every child born in Pennsylvania since Jan. 1, 2019. It can be used to pay for collegiate studies, technical school training and apprenticeship programs. Claim your child’s money, which is funded by surplus investment earnings from the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan.

Opening a companion PA 529 College and Career Savings Program account can also help to save for education-related expenses. PA 529 accounts have tax advantages and do not impact eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.

Antlerless Deer Licenses for Sale Starting June 24

For wildlife management units (WMUs) 1B, 2G and 3A, antlerless deer licenses go on sale for residents Monday, June 24, at 8 a.m. Licenses for residents of all other WMUs go on sale Thursday, June 27, at 8 a.m. They will be guaranteed until July 7. Unsold licenses will be available for nonresidents on July 8 at 8 a.m.

One tag will be available per hunter in the first round of sales. The second round of sales begins July 22 at 8 a.m. for residents and nonresidents alike on a first come, first served basis. Read more about all four rounds of license purchase.

Resident antlerless deer licenses cost $6.97, and nonresident antlerless deer licenses cost $26.97. Purchase a license online or in-store at a license issuing agent.

June is Pet Preparedness Month

Just as it’s important to have an emergency plan for our family, it’s also smart to think ahead for our pets so they can be safe even in unforeseen circumstances. Here are some steps to take:

  • Make a plan. Have an evacuation plan because many shelters and hotels do not allow pets. Have your pet microchipped, and make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date.
  • Build a pet emergency kit. Think about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Have two kits: one larger kit if you’re sheltering in place and a lightweight version if you need to evacuate.
  • Stay informed. Bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pay attention to wireless emergency alerts for local alerts and warnings. Evacuate or shelter in place when recommended.

Learn more about how to make sure your pets are prepared and protected.


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