In this update:
Protecting PA’s cybersecurity, TikTok ban on state networks and devices
To protect Pennsylvania’s cybersecurity and its digital assets, I have introduced a bill to ban TikTok on all state-owned networks and devices.
Central Intelligence Agency director Bill Burns shared his concerns with the application, citing that TikTok’s parent company is China-based. This leaves the door open for the Chinese government to extract the private data of TikTok users.
My proposal would mandate that all state agencies, departments and commissions remove the application from state networks. The measure would also require that policies are put in place to prevent application installation, as well as network-based restrictions to prevent the use and access.
New law targets growing number of fentanyl overdose deaths
Fentanyl-laced heroin and counterfeit pills are killing an increasing number of Pennsylvanians. Legislation enacted by the General Assembly is now in effect to prevent overdose deaths by legalizing fentanyl test strips for personal use.
Effective Jan. 1, Act 111 of 2022 amended the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act of 1972 to no longer define fentanyl test strips (FTS) as drug paraphernalia in Pennsylvania, making them a legal, low-cost method to prevent drug overdoses.
The Pennsylvania departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services, along with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, created a survey for substance use disorder stakeholders to gauge demand for FTS while work is underway to make them available across the commonwealth. The survey contains questions on currently available trainings and materials, preferred brands and current distribution methods.
You can provide input on traffic safety with online survey
Motorists have until Feb. 28 to provide input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through an online survey by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
In 2021, 1,230 people died on Pennsylvania roadways. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by safer driving. PennDOT works with educational and enforcement grantees to deliver programming each year to help prevent crashes, fatalities and injuries on our roadways. This survey seeks information on motorists’ behavior behind the wheel to help inform program planning.
The voluntary questionnaire covers several topics including seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving, as well as bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety. It should take about five minutes to complete and all responses are completely anonymous. You can find information on safe driving here.
Tour of York State Police barracks
I was delighted to tour the PA State Police Barracks in York. I appreciate Captain Robert Wagner and Lieutenant Joseph Spingler for taking time out of their busy day to show me around.
Thank you to all of the troopers who work days, nights, birthdays, anniversaries, weekends and holidays to keep our Commonwealth and its citizens safe!
Help available to boost security at nonprofits and religious institutions
Applications are being accepted for state Nonprofit Security Grants for nonprofit organizations and religious institutions.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the program provides grants to nonprofit organizations that principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication.
Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including:
The application period closes March 2.
Legislative update at East York Rotary
This week, I gave a legislative update at the East York Rotary club. I had a great discussion with members about various state related issues including reapportionment of York County, proposed constitutional amendments, and regulatory and permitting reform.
Thank you to the East York Rotary Club for having me!
Veteran discounts are available all year
Some businesses offer discounted prices for military service members and veterans on special days, but many others feature them all year.
A list of veteran discounts offered year-round by national businesses is maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Check local businesses for their participation.
It’s a small way to show appreciation for the men and women who served our country, as well as the families they support.
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving monthly emails on veteran-specific issues and updates, please sign up here.
New to the 28th District: Jackson Township
It was great to stop in at the Jackson Township Board of Supervisors meeting this week and formally introduce myself as their new senator as part of the reapportionment process. Jackson Township may be new to the 28th Senatorial District through reappointment, however, the community is certainly not new to me!
Thank you to the township supervisors, who allowed me to say a few words at the meeting. I look forward to continuing the work with local stakeholders, community partners and citizens across the township to address and resolve local and state issues!
Extra SNAP payments set to end
During the COVID-19 emergency, the federal government allowed states to issue additional SNAP food assistance payments that increased the maximum available for households by at least $95 each month.
These extra payments will be ending after February and SNAP recipients will only receive one regular SNAP payment starting in March.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are food assistance programs available in your community. Visit the Department of Human Services or Department of Agriculture for information on food assistance programs and where to find local resources. Additionally, if recipients currently have extra funds on their cards, they will still be available. SNAP benefits only expire if cards are not used for nine months.
To ensure households are receiving the maximum SNAP benefit based on their individual circumstances, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to report changes to their household size, income or expenses online at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS via the myCOMPASS PA mobile app or by calling 877-395-8930.
Senator for a Day essay winner: Alexander Johnson
This past fall, I held a Senator for a Day seminar in the Capitol for more than 150 students from nine different schools. The event involved students being sworn in to serve as “senators” where they debated legislation in a committee setting and then before the full “Senate” later in the day.
As another part of the event, I held an essay contest for the students challenging them to recommend a bill they would like to see in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, I was honored to host essay winner, Alexander Johnson, from Susquehannock High School to the Capitol for a tour!
It was great spending the afternoon with Alexander and his parents, Melissa and Joshua. Congratulations to Alexander for the superb essay!
Visiting YWCA Hanover
Thank you to the leadership at YWCA Hanover for hosting Rep. Kate Klunk and me for an informative meeting and tour of your facilities. We have heard from numerous employers in the greater Hanover area that child care remains a priority for working families.
I was impressed by the YWCA’s vision for the future to empower families and be a strong community partner in western York County and eastern Adams County.
2023 adult trout stocking schedule available
The 2023 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling.
The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 1. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 25.
Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 707,000 Brown Trout and 168,000 Brook Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length with an average weight of .58 pounds.
Upcoming PennDOT maintenance projects
You can view PennDOT’s list of scheduled maintenance projects for next week below. Have trouble viewing the list of projects? View it here.
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