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Senator Gene Yaw

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dear Friends,

Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!

This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Gene Yaw
State Senator

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
do more and become more, you are a leader.

An Easter Message


Easter Message

This Sunday, my family and I will join fellow Christians in celebrating the Easter holiday. This is a joyous time to share in all the miracles of life and enjoy the blessings of family and friends. The Easter holiday celebrates our salvation and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During this time, it is important that we remember those still struggling and lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need.

To all Pennsylvanians celebrating the Easter holiday and Passover, I offer my best wishes to you and your family.

Important Update

Birth Certificate & Death Certificate Requests

Due to peak volumes, the Department of Health is experiencing significant delays in fulfilling birth and death certificate requests.

Processing time for birth and death certificates through our legislative offices is averaging six to eight weeks.

There are three ways to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate. Be sure to complete all required information on the application form provided within each link:

  • Order Online thru VitalChek, the authorized service provider for the PA Department of Health.

  • Order Birth Certificates by mail.

  • Contact district office locations in Scranton and Harrisburg.

  • Please note: Processing times vary by site. You may select the links above for additional information on specific processing times in public offices.

    Satellite Office Hours

    District Outreach Events

    As a means to better serve the residents of the 23rd Senatorial District through increased outreach efforts, the added hours and locations below will provide better opportunities for area residents to meet directly with a member of my staff.

    April Satellite Hours and Locations:

    Thursday, April 13, 2017
    3 PM - 5 PM
    Wyalusing Library
    115 Church Street
    Wyalusing, PA 18853

    Thursday, April 13, 2017
    10:30 AM - Noon
    Lewisburg Borough Building
    55 South Fifth Street
    Lewisburg, PA 17837

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017
    10 AM - Noon
    Towanda Library
    104 Main Street
    Towanda, PA 18848

    Thursday, April 27, 2017
    3 PM - 5 PM
    Green Free Library
    38 North Center Street
    Canton, PA 17724

    Constituent services are always available at my Williamsport District Office, located at 175 Pine Street, Suite 105, from 9 AM - 5 PM, or by calling (800) 443-5772.

    Legislative ReCap

    Senate Committees to Examine Consolidation Proposal

    Joint Hearing on Department consolidation
    Secretaries representing the Pennsylvania Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Aging, Dept. of Human Services and Pennsylvania Physician General present testimony during the first state Senate joint committee hearing to examine the Governorís proposed merger.

    On April 13th, the Senate Aging & Youth, Health & Human Services, and Intergovernmental Operations Committees, as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee Ė Health and Human Services Subcommittee will hold the second in a series of public hearings examining the Wolf Administrationís proposal to consolidate the departments of Human Services, Health, Aging, and Drug and Alcohol Programs. The hearing will take place in at the Reading Hospital Conference Center, 420 South Fifth Avenue, Reading. (Click here for directions.)

    Beginning at 12:25 PM, I will be testifying before the Committees on the proposed merger.

    This is a major element of the proposed state budget, and will affect countless agencies and individuals across Pennsylvania.

    House of Representatives Proposed Budget

    The House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 218 providing for budget expenditures totalling $31.522 billion which is $815 million below the Governorís proposal and $245 million below the fiscal year 2016-17 budget.

    The proposal assumes the consolidation of several state agencies and eliminates funding for several legislative service agencies including the Local Government Commission, Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Commission on Sentencing, Center for Rural PA, and the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control Committee.

    Stay tuned as the Senate now takes up this measure.

    REAL ID Measure Passes Senate

    The full state Senate recently passed legislation to ensure that REAL ID issues donít prevent domestic air travel and access to federal buildings by Pennsylvania citizens. Senate Bill 133 repeals the Pennsylvania REAL ID Non-Participation Act of 2012 and directs PennDOT to request an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to comply with the provisions of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. Without action, state drivers' licenses and identification cards will no longer be accepted for access to federal buildings as of July 6, 2017, and will no longer be valid for domestic airline travel in January 2018.

    Education Panel Endorses Bills to End Practice of 'Ghost Teachers,'
    Require a Super Majority Vote for School Boards to Raise Taxes

    The Senate Education Committee recently approved two bills intended to protect taxpayers, control spending, and ensure that education dollars are spent wisely.

    The committee passed Senate Bill 494, which will bar public school teachers from working full-time for their collective bargaining agent while remaining on their districtís payroll. These teachers are commonly referred to as 'ghost teachers.' Under current law, a collective bargaining agreement between a union and a school district can require the district to allow work arrangements where school district employees work full-time for the union while remaining on the districtís payroll. This type of arrangement is often known as official time, release time or union leave. The teachers continue to receive their full salary and benefits Ė paid for by the district Ė and to accrue time towards their pension, even though they are not in a classroom.

    The committee also approved Senate Bill 406, which would require a 'super majority' vote for school boards to raise taxes. The bill would amend the Public School Code to require all millage property tax increases to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote by the members elected to the board of school directors.

    Talking Heroin/Opioid Abuse

    "Dreamland" Author Sam Quinones Visits Williamsport

    Sam Quinones, a former Los Angeles-based journalist, shared insights he gained while writing his book "Dreamland: The True Tale of Americaís Opiate Epidemic" during a presentation on April 3rd at at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. The presentation was free and open to the public.

    Quinones discussed the development and writing of his book, which traces the emergence and social impacts of the national crisis of opioid and heroin abuse. His stories center around the fall and rise of Portsmouth, Ohio, as the backdrop to weave together two riveting tales of capitalism run amok: the unfettered prescription of addictive pain medications during the 1990s and the influx of black tar heroin.

    Stay tuned for my interview with Mr. Quinones on the next A Conversation with Senator Gene Yaw television program.

    Senator Yaw with Sam Quinones and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour
    Pictured L to R: Sen. Yaw, Dreamland Author Sam Quinones and
    Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, President of the Pennsylvania College of Technology.


    Primary Election Day

    Voter Registration Closes on Monday, April 17

    As a reminder to the citizens of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties, Monday, April 17, 2017 is the last day to register to vote in the Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Municipal Primary Election.

    You may register to vote or update your name, address, and/or party affiliation on your existing registration record by one of the following methods:

  • Register to vote online; or

  • Download, print, and complete a voter registration application from the Office of Voter Services in your county.

  • To register to vote, a person must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the next election;

  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district for at least 30 days before the next election; and

  • Be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election.

  • Farm Bureau News

    Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union County Farmers
    Travel to Harrisburg; Discuss Priority Issues

    Last week, more than 350 farmers from across the Commonwealth converged on Harrisburg to participate in Pennsylvania Farm Bureauís State Legislative Conference and meet with members of the General Assembly and staff to discuss priority issues affecting farm families, including the importance of restoring funding in the state budget for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (PennVET).

    Bradford/Sullivan Farm Bureau with Nick Troutman
    Members of the Bradford/Sullivan Farm Bureau recently visited Harrisburg during their Spring Conference and met with Nick Troutman, a member of my staff.

    Stock Market Challenge

    Senator Yaw Welcomes '2016 Stock Market Game Challenge' Winners from Montgomery Area High School

    I recently welcomed students from Montgomery Area High School, Lycoming County, to the Pennsylvania Senate and recognized them on their 5th consecutive Stock Market Game Challenge statewide victory.

    The Stock Market Game Challenge is an award-winning educational program used in classrooms to help teach math, social studies, business, economics and language skills, while focusing on the importance of long term savings and investments. Teams trade common stocks and mutual funds from the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges, earn interest on cash balances, pay interest if buying on margin and pay a commission on all trades. Students compete regionally and statewide with other school students. Montgomery Area High School competed with over 1,000 teams across the state.

    Montgomery High School Stock Market Game Challenge Winners
    Those representing Montgomery High School at the State Capitol were Jason Hill, Bethanie Patterson, Arianna Fox, Madeline Wenner, Lucas Drick and Ryan Monoski, Advisor and Mathematics Teacher and Dr. Jeffrey Krug, Dean of Business at Bloomsburg University.

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    Harrisburg Office
    Senate Box 203023
    362 Main Capitol
    Harrisburg, PA 17120-3023
    FAX: 717-772-0575
    TTY: 800-364-1581

    Williamsport Office
    175 Pine Street
    Suite 105
    Williamsport, PA 17701
    FAX: 570-327-3703