Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • “We must never forget the willingness of Corporal Michael Cohen to lay down his life so that others could live a better life.”
  • Locally owned restaurant closes after House Democrats fail to override governor’s veto
  • Getting firsthand experience with York City Department of Fire and Rescue Services
  • Legislation will help consumers when deciding on electric, natural gas suppliers
  • Senate votes to protect insurance coverage for mental health issues, substance use disorder
  • Your Vote Matters: several York County polling locations changed – know where you vote!
  • Celebrating National Cat Day with the 28th Senatorial District Team
  • Don’t forget to “fall back” this Saturday night!
  • Upcoming office closure

“We must never forget the willingness of Corporal Michael Cohen to lay down his life so that others could live a better life.”

Nearly 16 years ago, one of our own from York County paid the ultimate sacrifice while fighting in Falluja in what has been deemed the bloodiest battle for American servicemembers since Vietnam. Corporal Michael Cohen’s life and legacy is one that should never be forgotten.

When family and friends of this local fallen hero reached out to me to dedicate a bridge in his honor near where he and his family used to hike before he enlisted in the Marine Corps, I was humbled to sponsor this legislation.

This past weekend, with family and friends of Corporal Cohen, we formally unveiled the Corporal Michael Cohen Memorial Bridge. In July, Governor Wolf signed the legislation into law dedicating the bridge carrying Iron Stone Hill Road over Inners Creek, near Lake Redman in York Township, in his memory.

The ceremony included a heartfelt tribute from Michael’s sister, Michelle, as well as why Michael’s ultimate sacrifice is so important to each and every American. I encourage you to watch the ceremony, which can be accessed below.

10/24/20 - Corporal Michael Cohen Memorial Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Next time you drive on Iron Stone Hill Road and cross over the bridge named in Corporal Cohen’s memory, please remember that our freedoms are not free and that it is because people like Michael paid the ultimate sacrifice for each and every one of us. We are forever grateful.

Locally owned restaurant closes after House Democrats fail to override governor’s veto

It is the end of a nearly six decade run for a locally owned restaurant. Earlier this week, the Spagnola family announced they would be closing their doors to Vito’s Pizza and Beer forever.

In their Facebook post announcing the closure, they said, “This year, however, has proven to be the most difficult year of all. We’ve endured the ever-changing regulations and occupancy restrictions and the continued targeted assault on our industry.”

The restaurant is an unfortunate casualty of unilateral policies by the governor that target these locally owned establishments while favoring corporate-owned big box stores.

When my children swam for Dallastown High School, a tradition was to head to Vito’s after swim meets. My fond memories of this local restaurant are not unique; many throughout our community have similar stories.

A family and their employees are now without a job. The Spagnola family said that their decision was based on the governor’s veto of House Bill 2513, which passed both the Senate and House with strong bipartisan support, and the subsequent failure of a dozen House Democrats who changed their vote from a month ago to sustain that veto.

House Bill 2513 is a life raft for our locally owned bars, restaurants, taverns and private clubs. As I said in my last email to you, the data show that these establishments are not the cause for the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania. (Keep in mind that some of the statewide data being reported over the last few days are positive COVID-19 tests from 40+ days ago just now being reported!)

The governor is now waiving liquor license fees. As one restaurant owner said, they have lost close to three-quarters of a million dollars this year, so the $900 in savings will not make a dent to help them recoup or reopen. Furthermore, this policy by the governor does nothing to help those restaurants that do not have a liquor license.

That’s why several York County legislators, including myself, told the governor that his money is no good here.

Getting firsthand experience with York City Department of Fire and Rescue Services

This past weekend, I joined Chief Chad Deardorff and the York City Department of Fire and Rescue Services for training exercises at the York County Fire School. It afforded me the opportunity to see firsthand what our firefighters do at the scene of a structural fire.

Thank you to the Chief, the fire fighters and the hardworking men and women who keep our communities safe! 

Legislation will help consumers when deciding on electric, natural gas suppliers

I have recently introduced legislation that would provide consumers with more transparency on costs among electric and natural gas providers, while also making it easier for consumers to switch service providers.

We’ve all seen the mailers that make it seem like our utility is about to shut off if we do not call some “help line.” These scare tactics need to end. My legislation will remove these unscrupulous actors from our state’s energy markets. More importantly, it will help families make better decisions when it comes to shopping for natural gas and electricity in our state. You can read more about my legislation here.

Senate votes to protect insurance coverage for mental health issues, substance use disorder

Millions of Pennsylvanians struggle with mental health issues and substance use disorder, and many state residents report challenges in receiving the care they need. The Senate approved two bills last week to ensure mental health and substance use disorder receive the same level of insurance coverage as other health issues.

The bills will strengthen enforcement of a federal law that mandates equal access to care and coverage for these health issues. House Bill 1696 and House Bill 1439 would require insurers to annually attest the steps they have taken to comply with this law.

Your Vote Matters: several York County polling locations changed – know where you vote!

If you have a question regarding the status of your mail-in or absentee ballot, please contact the county elections office at (717) 771-9604.

Since the Primary Election, York County has changed several polling locations, which you can see below.

All information pertaining to the upcoming Election can be found on my website at SenatorKristin.com. 

Celebrating National Cat Day with the 28th Senatorial District Team

The 28th District and Capitol office team celebrated National Cat Day on October 29. National Cat day was created, in part, to celebrate cats and help spread awareness to assist cats find their forever homes.

Don’t forget to “fall back” this Saturday night!

While your smartphone and other “smart” devices may automatically “fall back” one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, your clocks, watch and appliances may not.

Before you go to bed on Saturday night, please remember to set your clocks back one-hour as Sunday, November 1 at 2 a.m. marks the end to Daylight Saving Time.

I know… I know… Why do we do this twice every year? I am cosponsoring a resolution by Senator Scott Martin calling on Congress to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

While we get an extra hour of sleep Saturday night, I do not think anyone wants 2020 to drag on any longer!

PS: You should also spend a few minutes on Sunday replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors. York City’s Chief Deardorff could not stress this enough when I saw him last weekend!

Upcoming office closure

Please be advised that on Election Day — Tuesday, November 3 — my offices will be closed. We will reopen on Wednesday, November 4 at 9 a.m.

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