In this update:
Honored to serve as Senate Majority Caucus Chair in 2023-24 session
This week, my colleagues unanimously elected me to serve as the Senate Majority Caucus Chair for the 2023-24 session.
The Chair plays a pivotal part in determining the agenda for the Senate of Pennsylvania. In this position, I will preside over Senate Republican Caucus meetings to review legislation and amendments. I will also work with newly elected Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-Indiana) and Senate Majority Whip Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) on the Senate’s voting calendar.
This position is also near and dear to York County as Sen. Mike Waugh also held this same position as the Senator for the 28th District from 2006 to 2014.
You can read more about this position here.
I will be joining the leadership team consisting of:
Sen. Kim Ward – Interim President Pro Tempore
She becomes the first woman to hold the position, the third highest post in Pennsylvania government.
Sen. Joe Pittman – Majority Leader
Sen. Ryan Aument – Majority Whip
Sen. Scott Martin – Majority Appropriations Chair
Sen. Camera Bartolotta – Majority Caucus Secretary
You can learn more about the Senate Majority Leadership Team here.
Governor holds bill signing ceremony for significant overhaul to health care delivery in PA
It started with a constituent: Dr. Suzette Song of OSS Health who shared her frustration with the prior authorization process leading to poor patient outcomes.
Over the last two years, my team and I led countless stakeholder meetings and discussions with patient advocacy groups, health care providers, insurers and the governor’s administration to resolve an issue that has plagued health care delivery in Pennsylvania for decades.
This week was the culmination of due diligence, compromise, and a willingness to work together – Republicans and Democrats – to improve health care outcomes in the Commonwealth as the governor held a ceremonial bill signing of legislation that I authored.
You can learn more about my legislation here.
Celebrating Veterans in York County
This past weekend, I joined several events honoring our Veterans who served our nation.
The Victorian Villa & Dallastown Nursing Facility in Dallastown hosted a memorable Veterans Day ceremony. I was humbled to present American flags and pins to our local heroes who served our nation.
It was also an honor to share remarks at the Annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at the American Legion Dallastown Post 605.
Thank you to the New Freedom Recreation Council for hosting this year’s dinner to honor our local Veterans! It was an honor to join Rep. Kate Klunk to share remarks and express gratitude to all our veterans for their service and sacrifice. It was great to see so many young people helping out!
Special thanks to all of the veterans who shared their stories.
And last, but certainly not least, it was with great respect for his work for Veterans all across York County that Rep. Seth Grove and I were able to surprise Sgt. Harold Redding of Spring Grove with a framed copy of a bill he wrote, I sponsored, and Gov. Wolf signed that designates March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and Oct. 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day in the Commonwealth. The governor signed his bill into law last year.
Please know that no taxpayer dollars were used to pay for the framing of this bill as I paid for it out of my own pocket.
Thank you, Sgt. Redding, for your tireless efforts to honor Veterans!
Cub Scout Pack 156 in Stewartstown holds flag retirement ceremony
I applaud Cub Scout Pack 156 in Stewartstown for its flag retirement ceremony. The reverent respect the Scouts showed to our nation’s flag was impressive. Thank you for the invitation to join you for this event. You can view more pictures from the event here.
Touring the state Capitol with local students
In between meetings at the state Capitol on Thursday, I met with students and teachers from Susquehannock High School and Dallastown Elementary School for their tours of the “handsomest” building in the nation.
We visited the Senate floor, and I shared some history of the Senate Chamber with them during their visit. If you or your family are interested in touring the Capitol, please let me know!
Senate accomplishments: Helping crime victims
As lawmakers, we work to implement legislation to help communities prevent crime. But when crime does occur, we need to make sure the laws stand behind victims.
Three bills recently signed into law will help protect crime victims from being targeted again, give them a greater say in criminal proceedings and help them recover restitution from offenders.
Act 50 of 2022 extends the Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act to give victims of child abduction and human trafficking access to substitute mailing addresses. This approach has been successful in preventing assailants from using such information to locate victims. The new law also allows requests for address confidentiality to be submitted electronically. Previously, requests had to be made in writing, impeding access and slowing the process.
Act 71 of 2022 requires that a victim of a violent crime be notified of any proceeding in which conditions for bail can be modified. This affords the victim the right to offer comment regarding a defendant’s bail conditions when they’re imposed or later modified.
Act 134 of 2022 makes it easier for crime victims to obtain relevant information learned by law enforcement during the investigation of the crime. Crime victims can then use that information in civil legal actions to recover damages for their injuries. The meager restitution obtained through criminal cases often does not fully compensate victims.
I look forward to continuing to work in the next legislative session to reduce crime and support those impacted by offenders.
Utilities set to adjust seasonal energy supply Prices Dec. 1
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reports that Pennsylvania electric and natural gas utilities will adjust their prices on Dec. 1 for customers who do not shop around for energy suppliers.
All regulated utility companies will adjust their “price to compare” (PTC) rates in the coming weeks, but Pennsylvania’s electricity marketplace gives consumers the option to select a different supplier to find the most competitive pricing.
The two major parts of monthly electric or natural gas bills are the delivery/distribution charge and the generation/supply charge. Consumers can shop for and contract with a competitive supplier or for consumers who do not shop, the utility provides energy supply at the PTC. The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill and will be adjusted at the end of this month.
The PUC urges consumers currently struggling to pay monthly bills to act now and seek assistance by contacting their utilities. State assistance is also available. You can see what price increases utilities are reporting, and how to reduce energy costs, here.
National Guard Academy for At-Risk Youth taking applications
Applications are being accepted for youth to take part in the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy class beginning in January 2023. If selected, students will attend the 22-week residential phase at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Lebanon County.
The academy provides a positive learning environment designed to guide at-risk teenagers in furthering their education and setting a path to a brighter future. Cadets will experience a structured and disciplined residential program built upon a military-based training model.
There is no tuition cost to attend. Meals, housing, uniforms and school supplies are provided at no charge. There is no military obligation requirement after completing the program. Find out more and apply here.
Help for Pennsylvanians dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
There are an estimated 280,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s disease. This type of dementia is the seventh leading cause of death among all adults.
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month is a reminder that while there is no cure for this disease, there is a wide range of support available for patients and families.
Christmastime in Loganville is tomorrow – open house from
Tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 19) I will host an open house at our district office located at 6872 Susquehanna Trail South in Springfield Township. Our office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you are in the area, please stop by for some light refreshments, view a train display that will delight children of all ages, and enter into a giveaway for this year’s state Capitol Christmas tree ornament.
Our open house is part of Christmastime in Loganville. Several local businesses and nonprofits are also hosting events in our area. You can learn more here.
Tune in to Face the State this Sunday on CBS-21
If you are up on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 8:30 a.m., you can watch my interview with Joel D. Smith on Face the State, which airs on CBS-21.
I will be discussing my role as Caucus Chair and the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
Upcoming Thanksgiving holiday office hours
Please be advised of our office hours next week for the Thanksgiving holiday:
Monday, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 22: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24: Closed – Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, Nov. 25: Closed
Saturday, Nov. 26: Shop Your Local Small Businesses!
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