In this update:
Senate approves anti-human trafficking measure
The Senate took an important step earlier this week to be a leader on the national stage to end the demand for human trafficking.
Legislation I am sponsoring, Senate Bill 60, received the unanimous support of the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill would increase penalties on those who traffic victims or solicit the services of human trafficking victims. The bill also makes it a super felony – punishable by up to 40 years in prison – for offenders if the victim is a minor.
The legislation, titled the “Buyer Beware Act,” targets the demand for human trafficking victims. I am proud to join Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) to spearhead this initiative to end human trafficking in Pennsylvania.
You can watch the remarks I delivered to my colleagues earlier this week below.
You can learn more about this measure here.
Measure to protect health care workers receives Senate support
The Senate unanimously supported a measure I am sponsoring to eliminate a state mandate that requires health care employees to have their last name on ID badges.
Serious workplace violence is four times more likely to occur in a health care setting than in private industry. This legislation will provide better safeguards and protections for men and women who work in the health care industry. I am thankful to the many men and women who work in our health care industry throughout York County for contacting me about this key issue.
You can learn more about this bill here.
Recognizing State Champion Carson Bacha during Senate session
On Monday, I was privileged to host Central York High School senior Carson Bacha and his family at the state Capitol. Carson is the 2019 PIAA Class 3A Boys Golf State Champion. Carson’s state championship adds to his impressive trophy collection.
As part of his visit to Harrisburg, I introduced him during Senate session, which you can watch below.
Here I am pictured with Carson’s family before session on Monday.
Small Business Saturday is almost a week away – check out Mi Caldero in York
The latest stop in our ongoing series “Spotlight on the 28th” takes us to York City for a sit-down interview with Oz Bones, owner of Mi Caldero.
This restaurant, which features Puerto Rican cuisine, has been a staple to our downtown for the last 11 years.
Not only is this place a great option for those looking to make Thanksgiving extremely easy, it is also a top choice for our district office staff lunch orders.
I hope you take a few minutes and watch this feature of a great local business. YCEA’s Kevin Schreiber and Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D-York) join me for this interview.
Don’t forget: Small business Saturday is next Saturday, November 30.
If you missed our previous stops on the Small Business Saturday tour, you can watch them below.
Online training may soon be an option for local firefighters
With my support, the Senate of Pennsylvania gave final approval to a measure that will make firefighter training more accessible and affordable through online courses.
Senate Bill 146 ensures that online training would be voluntary and free to both career and volunteer firefighters. All available courses would be listed online, and developed under the leadership of the state Fire Commissioner.
You can learn more about this possible new option that will help our men and women who serve in our local volunteer fire companies here.
Bill consolidating state’s $1 billion IT program passes out of committee
If IT was a standalone state agency, it would be one of the largest in state government.
Senate Bill 810, legislation I am sponsoring with Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), would establish a standalone Office of Information Technology (OIT) under the Office of Administration. The OIT would establish a strategic plan for future IT projects, manage and maintain all procurement of IT for state agencies, establish cybersecurity standards for all of state government and make recommendations for future consolidation, integration and investment.
This bill starts the conversation about how we should prioritize and streamline IT operations to ensure taxpayers are protected and the data is secure.
I was pleased to advance this measure out of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, which I chair, earlier this week.
You can read more about this bill here.
York Township Elementary visits Capitol
In between meetings and voting session on Thursday, Rep. Mike Jones (R-York) and I had a great time speaking with students and teachers visiting Harrisburg from York Township Elementary, part of the Dallastown Area School District.
We had a great time with the students and enjoyed showing them our beautiful state Capitol.
A Life with Down Syndrome is a Life Worth Living
The Senate voted to approve legislation sponsored by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York) that would prohibit an abortion of a baby if the sole reason behind the termination is a Down syndrome diagnosis. This legislation, known as the Down Syndrome Protection Act, protects our most vulnerable citizens.
Unfortunately, the governor opted to veto this legislation almost as soon as it reached his desk.
During the debate, I rose in support of the legislation and offered a few remarks explaining why I believe the legislation is important. I hope you take a few moments to watch the video below.
Legislative fix to address election issues on governor’s desk
As the acting chair of the Senate State Government Committee, I was able to amend a bill to include two major fixes to address the issues York County voters faced on Election Day earlier this month: jammed scanners and lack of privacy when submitting your vote.
The legislation will remove the unnecessary perforated edges on the paper ballots, which caused the scanners to jam. We also were successful in ensuring that better privacy measures will be in place when you scan your ballot into the automated tabulating machine. This will include a screen or some other form of protection.
You can watch my remarks below about this issue as I explained my amendment to my colleagues.
This bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature. Should he sign it, it will take effect immediately, so these changes will be in effect for the 2020 elections.
Learn more about my efforts here.
Senate State Government Committee votes to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round
What would you think if you never had to set your clocks back or forward ever again?
That is what my colleague, Senator Scott Martin (R-York), is attempting to do by urging Congress to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. This was one of the five measures the Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, approved earlier this week.
We also passed legislation to address write-in votes that do not reach the threshold of petition signatures required to get on the ballot for various elected offices and three other measures. If you are interested to see all that the Senate State Government Committee did this week, you can read about it here.
We also held a hearing on the nomination of Kathy Boockvar to serve as the next Secretary of the Commonwealth. Cabinet-level secretaries need to be confirmed by the Senate. She was later confirmed by the Senate this past week. You can watch our committee meeting and hearing in its entirety here.
Join us for our office open house tomorrow!
Tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 23), our office will participate in Christmastime in Loganville by holding an open house from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
I hope you can stop by for activities for children, a model train display and more! I hope you and your family can make it. We will have light refreshments as well.
You can RSVP on Facebook – click here.
Fighting to eliminate school property taxes
Based on the calls, emails, letters and meetings I have had since taking office in January, school property tax elimination continues to be the number one issue I hear about all across the 28th Senatorial District.
On Thursday, I called on my colleagues to take up this critical issue for so many homeowners all across York County and Pennsylvania.
You can watch my remarks below.
Next week, I will be sharing the results of my recently concluded survey on the issue; however, I did reference some of the results during my speech as I wanted to inform my colleagues of what you – the residents of the 28th District – have told me.
Spending time with Dallastown Elementary earlier today
Thank you to all of the girls and boys in Mr. Jones’ kindergarten class at Dallastown Elementary School, part of the Dallastown Area School District, for the warm welcome this morning!
I was honored to be the guest reader and share one of my favorite books with the students entitled Grace Goes to Washington. We talked about the three branches of government and how people with different ideas can work together.
A special thank you to the Center for American Women and Politics for donating the book to the school so future students can enjoy it!
Upcoming PennDOT projects
You can see PennDOT’s maintenance projects planned for next week below.
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