Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Let the Sunshine in with Newspapers Reporting How Much $ Collected Through Mandated Advertising
  • Celebrating Alliance Fire and Rescue Service
  • March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
  • Southern Middle School Visits State Capitol
  • Students Benefit from New Exercise Science Lab
  • Talking Upcoming Senate Agenda on PCN This Week
  • Mobile Office Hours in Penn Township Next Week
  • Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon
  • Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
  • Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects
  • On Deck

Let the Sunshine in with Newspapers Reporting How Much $ Collected Through Mandated Advertising

Sunshine Week has been celebrated for nearly two decades to highlight the need for greater transparency in government at all levels. As your state senator, I have taken an initiative to publicly post expenses incurred by our senate offices to ensure maximum transparency. Prior to me doing this, the public and news outlets would have to file a Right-to-Know request to obtain this information. It’s your money – you should be able to see it without a formal request! There is now a call on House leaders to follow the Senate’s lead on this effort. (For the record: I do not take per diems or expense mileage to and from Harrisburg. I also do not participate in the Senate health care plan or pension plan. I drive my own vehicle and have rejected the automatic COLA provided to lawmakers. Learn more.)

To that end, one issue that has been a challenge to local municipalities and school districts across the state is mandated advertising in newspapers for public notices, including meetings and bids. The law has been around for a century when everyone received their news from a newspaper of general circulation. However, the way we receive our news today has evolved from 100 years ago. Newspaper circulation is a fraction of its peak in the early 2000s. However, local governments are forced to place advertisements in newspapers due to state law.  

Efforts in the past have sought to give local governments options to post this information elsewhere, like a publicly accessible website or in community papers, among other options. This legislation is always opposed by newspapers. Here is an example of an editorial board opposing the effort.

Newspapers during Sunshine Week renew their calls for government transparency, with the newspaper in Lancaster County – LNP – stating just yesterday, “The least we taxpayers could get in return would be a detailed, transparent and accessible accounting.”

I agree – mandated legal advertising is an expensive proposition for local taxpayers but not transparently shared by newspapers.

Sen. Ryan Aument and I are teaming up to change this by requiring these newspapers to post how much each legally required advertisement costs you – the taxpayer. Under our forthcoming bill, state law would require every legal advertisement in the newspaper to show the dollar amount the specific advertisement cost taxpayers.

You can read more about our effort here.

Celebrating Alliance Fire and Rescue Service 

Last weekend, I was honored to join Rep. Wendy Fink at the annual banquet for Alliance Fire and Rescue Services. I appreciated the opportunity to come together to celebrate the volunteers’ contributions to the Red Lion community. I also had the pleasure of recognizing some of their most dedicated and distinguished members on behalf of the Senate of Pennsylvania.

To all the officers and members of Alliance Fire and Rescue Services, I extend deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment and selfless dedication on behalf of the community. Your noble service and sacrifice are a testament to the strength of our community. You can find more photos from the event on my Facebook.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

March is recognized as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. I sat down with Liz Lanza, who serves as director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

On my latest podcast episode, we discuss signs to look for with someone who may have a gambling addiction and steps to take to help someone with a gambling addiction. We also cover legislation that would drive all new gaming revenue to school property tax relief and a measure to provide additional treatment to problem gamblers.

You can listen to my latest podcast episode on Apple and Spotify.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, please call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or visit People can also text 1-800-522-4700 or live chat.

Southern Middle School Visits State Capitol 

Southern Middle School’s student council gained invaluable insights into the inner workings of our state government this week during their tour of the state Capitol! It was a pleasure to accompany Rep. Kate Klunk in warmly welcoming these bright young minds, sharing with them the significance of our respective roles as a state senator and representative.

Thank you to the students for an enthusiastic conversation and the dedicated teachers and advisers who gave the students this opportunity to engage with their state government!

You can view more photos from the visit here.

Students Benefit from New Exercise Science Lab 

It was a pleasure to attend the grand opening of the new UPMC Exercise Science Lab, located within the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center at York College of Pennsylvania.

This cutting-edge facility will not only serve as a vital resource for students pursuing degrees in Exercise Science but also pave the way for future academic programs in Rehabilitation Science and other movement sciences. Additionally, the lab will play a pivotal role in supporting the training and development of York College’s NCAA Division III student athletes.

Congratulations to all involved in bringing this vision to life!

Talking Upcoming Senate Agenda on PCN This Week 

On Tuesday morning, I joined my colleague, Sen. Judy Schwank, on PCN’s Capitol Preview to discuss the Senate’s legislative agenda as well as recap the recently conducted Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings.

You can find the program here, with our conversation starting around the 6:30 mark.

Mobile Office Hours in Penn Township Next Week 

As a reminder, my team will be at the Penn Township Municipal Building next Thursday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for our mobile office hours.

A friendly face from my team will be waiting to assist you on any state-related matters. And do not forget, we are here to help with property tax and rent rebates, which was recently expanded due to a new state law I supported.

Protect Your Family from Dangerous Radon

Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that can enter your home from the ground through cracks in the foundation. It increases cancer risks and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the country. Approximately 40% of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline.

Find information how to test your home’s radon level and find certified radon mitigation contractors here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick, who lived in the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to the country.

The first Irish immigrants to Pennsylvania arrived in 1682, in the very first ship that brought William Penn’s Quakers to his new land. Today, almost 2 million Pennsylvanians claim Irish ancestry.  Even if you can’t claim an Irish ancestor, everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” – Irish blessing

Upcoming PennDOT Maintenance Projects 

Most weeks, PennDOT shares with me its maintenance schedule for the week ahead. When it becomes available, you can view the full list here to see if it will impact you and your family.

On Deck

The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes on Monday, March 18, at 1 p.m. You can watch all of the Senate votes and view our agenda here.   


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