Senator Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Sends Budget Bill to Governor’s Desk
  • Nine Indiana County Bridges Renamed to Honor Military Service Members
  • Share Your Opinion about Broadband in Pennsylvania
  • Report Abuse of Adults Living with a Disability
  • Recognizing National Farmers Market Week
  • Free Tool to Relate Military Experience to Civilian Job Requirements
  • Submit or Search for a Veteran Job
  • Improved Dashboard Better Tracks PA Homeowner Assistance Fund

Senate Sends Budget Bill to Governor’s Desk

The Senate reconvened this week to send the 2023-24 General Appropriations bill to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law. This action maintains our commitment to moving Pennsylvania forward and will prevent disruptions to the many critical services Pennsylvanians rely on every day. Advancing this legislation ensures funding can be released to schools, counties and non-profits without interruption as the final components of the budget are negotiated and completed.

The $45.45 billion budget spends approximately $400 million less than what Gov. Shapiro proposed in March. I am pleased we were able to pass a budget that holds the line on taxes, promotes job growth, continues historic support for schools and sets aside money to prevent future tax hikes.

It is important to note this step does not complete the budget process, as certain programs require implementation language before funding can be released. These include key priorities like mental health grants for schools, emergency relief for hospitals and increases to EMS reimbursement rates. We are continuing our work to negotiate these items to ensure a full budget is put in place to help all Pennsylvanians.

Nine Indiana County Bridges Renamed to Honor Military Service Members

Nine service members from Indiana County were honored on Saturday, July 29, with their names placed on county bridges and interchanges.

I’m pleased to have worked with state Rep. Brian Smith (R-66),  state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-62) and local leaders to honor these Indiana County residents and their families who have paid such a heavy price in defense of our freedoms. We are forever indebted to these brave heroes for their service to our country and community. 

Legislation was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law as Act 23 of 2022, containing the six state bridge and interchange designations:

  • Specialist Five Timothy Rice Memorial Bridge – The bridge, identified as Bridge Key 19033, located on northbound State Route 119 over State Route 286 in White Township, Indiana County.
  • Sergeant Charles R. Learn Memorial Bridge – The bridge, identified as Bridge Key 39537, located on that portion of State Route 1005 over a tributary of Crooked Creek, Rayne Township, Indiana County.
  • PVT William L. Hadden Memorial Bridge – The bridge, identified as Bridge Key 57053, located over Dixon Run at the intersection of State Route 1012 to Pennsylvania Route 403 in Green Township, Indiana County.
  • Carl E. Keith Memorial Bridge – The bridge, identified as Bridge Key 19231, located on State Route 1014 in Green Township, Indiana County, over the abandoned Conrail Railroad.
  • Sergeant First Class Randy McCaulley Memorial Bridge – The bridge, identified as Bridge Key 41272, located on Pennsylvania Route 286 over Crooked Creek in Rayne Township, Indiana County.
  • Lieutenant Colonel William A. Rush III Memorial Interchange – The interchange of U.S. Route 119 with U.S. Route 422 in White Township, Indiana County.

Three township bridge designations were also unveiled as part of Saturday’s event:

  • Tech 4 William Balogh Memorial Bridge
  • WWII POW Elmer E. Barr Specialist 4th Class Memorial Bridge
  • PFC Joseph Samuel Patterson Memorial Bridge

Share Your Opinion about Broadband in Pennsylvania

Rather than a luxury, high-speed internet is a necessity to participate in today’s economy. Access to high-speed internet helps to ensure public safety, benefits employers and Pennsylvania’s workforce, and provides an equal opportunity for students.

Pennsylvania has been awarded $1.16 billion in federal funding to expand internet access across the commonwealth. Community members – including residents, businesses and organizations – are invited to comment on the draft five-year implementation plan via an online survey available through Aug. 8.

Report Abuse of Adults Living with a Disability

Sadly, adults living with a disability are more likely to face abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.

Common signs of abuse include bruises or broken bones, weight loss, memory loss, personality changes, social isolation and changes in banking habits.

If you suspect abuse, report it by calling the Protective Services Hotline at 1-800-490-8505. A report can be made on behalf of the adult whether they live in their home or in a care facility such as a nursing facility, group home or hospital. Reporters can remain anonymous and have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination, and civil and criminal prosecution.

Recognizing National Farmers Market Week

Aug. 6-12 is National Farmers Market Week, and there are so many places to celebrate in Pennsylvania. With agriculture as the state’s top industry, farmers markets can be found all across the commonwealth.

Farmers markets offer more than the freshest produce. You can also find delicious baked goods, cheeses and craft coffees. Some even offer how-to classes and the opportunity to pick your own produce.

Find a farmers market to enjoy here.

Free Tool to Relate Military Experience to Civilian Job Requirements

The Department of State has an innovative tool to help veterans and service members translate their military experience into civilian career opportunities. The military occupational crosswalk is a series of charts for each occupation licensed by the department that compare licensing requirements with typical duties, training, qualifications and related credentials with military occupations.

Created after Act 35 of 2022 received unanimous support from the General Assembly, the crosswalk defines a military applicant as a service member, veteran or military spouse; provides initial licensure fee waivers for military spouses who must relocate because of a service member’s military orders; allows service members to reactivate an expired professional or occupational license without penalty if the reactivation coincides with a deployment and is completed within one month of returning from the deployment; and more.

Read more here about professional and occupational licensing in the commonwealth.

Submit or Search for a Veteran Job

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offers a job listing as a service to individuals and organizations to promote their veteran and military-oriented events being held in Pennsylvania. It is a comprehensive resource for the state’s more than 700,000 veterans as they consider new employment opportunities.

Submit a job or view the current listings – which include roles for nurses, police officers, recovery specialists and more – here.

Improved Dashboard Better Tracks PA Homeowner Assistance Fund

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) launched an updated program dashboard to track the status of the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, a pandemic-relief program that provides financial assistance to qualified homeowners for mortgage and housing-related expenses.

The new dashboard, which will be updated at least monthly, includes:

  • Total funds disbursed to Pennsylvania households
  • Total funds remaining for assistance to Pennsylvania homeowners
  • Total households that submitted applications
  • Total number of households that received assistance to date
  • A map identifying the amount of funds disbursed by Pennsylvania county

The initial dashboard presents the data in a static image format, but in the coming weeks, PHFA will introduce additional interactive capabilities including the ability to see more detailed information by county and details by the various assistance types. The changes will provide increased accountability and transparency in the program’s operations.

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