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Senator Gene Yaw

Monday, May 22, 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

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work."

Under the Dome

Senate Reconvenes This Week

Committee Activity

Committee Meetings/Hearings

To watch Session LIVE, click here.

Monday – 9:30 a.m. – Hearing Room One North Office Building
Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice and Judiciary Committee
A joint public hearing on mandatory minimum sentencing.

Monday – Off the Floor
Appropriations Committee Meeting

  • SB 144 (Yaw) – Revises the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act to allow the use of “alternative systems.”
  • SB 592 (Stefano) – Amends the Public School Code to require the posting of certain employment offers.
  • SB 651 (Browne) – Capital Budget Project Itemization Act of FY 2017-18.
  • HB 23 (Mackenzie) - Updates Pennsylvania’s stroke center designation law.
  • HB 151 (Cutler) - Amends Title 12 to add the definition of “agent” and establishes the Entertainment Economic Enhancement Program.

Monday – Off the Floor
Environmental Resources & Energy Committee Meeting

  • SB 624 (Scarnati) – Amends the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act to make a clarification regarding planned subsidence.
  • SB 649 (Yudichak) – Amends the Storage Tank Spill and Prevention Act to extend sunset dates and update annual transfers.

Monday – Off the Floor
Rules & Executive Nominations Committee Meeting

  • SB 133 (Ward) - Repeal of the REAL ID Nonparticipation Act.

Certain Executive Nominations

Tuesday – 10:00 a.m. – Room 461 Main Capitol Building
Education Committee Meeting

  • SB 53 (Greenleaf) - Permanently allows for distance education inclusion in the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) State Grant Program.

To view additional committee meetings/hearings, click here.

Heroin / Opioids Impacting Children, Grandparents

Sen. Yaw and Board Members of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania chair a hearing of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania examining the challenges faced by Pennsylvania grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren because of the heroin and opioid epidemic. 

On Wednesday, May 10, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania continued a series of hearings related to heroin and opioid abuse throughout the Commonwealth, focusing on the challenges facing grandparents who are caring for grandchildren because of a parent's opioid abuse issues. 

The hearing focused on the legal, financial and personal issues that grandparents may encounter as they become the primary caregivers for grandchildren whose biological parents can no longer care for them because of a substance use disorder.  

For a recap of the hearing and testimony, click here.

Rally for Lyme Disease Treatment Access
SB 100 & HB 174

Sen. Yaw met with Lyme Disease treatment advocates, Jack Ryan and Jean Ann Redman of Bradford County, at the State Capitol on May 9 

Recently, I met with Bradford County residents Jack Ryan and Jean Ann Redman to discuss Senate Bill 100 & House Bill 174, legislation focused on ensuring patients have access to Lyme Disease treatment options through insurance coverage.  Jack and Jean Ann were in Harrisburg to rally for support of these measures, which I support. 

Pennsylvania has been #1 in the country in reported cases of Lyme Disease which have increased each year - and 20-40% of cases will become chronic/persistent severely impacting quality of life and functionality. The diseases are complex, and much is being learned through science each year.  While noted in my previous E-newsletter as an incurable disease, if diagnosed in the early stages, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics.

Legislative ReCap

Police Worn Body Camera Legislation Clears Senate

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate approved Senate Bill 560 clearing the way for the use of police body-worn cameras.

The bill not only allows the police to gather evidence of incidents as they unfold, but also allows public access to recordings.  Members of the public and the news media will be able to submit a request for recordings to the police department, which must produce the recording unless it relates to a pending criminal matter.  Appeals can be taken to the county court of common pleas, where the judge will consider the needs of law enforcement, the interest of the public in holding police accountable, and the privacy interests of crime victims and citizens inside their homes.

Bipartisan Municipal Debt Reform Package

Last week, legislators introduced a bipartisan municipal debt reform package to address financial transactions that led to the fiscal distress of Harrisburg and other municipalities.

Senate Bills 490-493 are currently in the Senate Local Government Committee.  Senate Bills 694-696 will be introduced shortly.  To preview the legislation, click here.

Senate Panel Approves Tierne’s Law to Protect Domestic Violence Victims

The Senate Judiciary Committee took an important step toward protecting victims of domestic violence last week.

Senate Bill 449, which I supported, clarifies that judges can use risk assessment tools to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when setting bail in domestic violence cases. Risk assessment tools have proven to be effective in predicting an offender’s odds of re-offending and creating a dangerous circumstance for victims.

PA Royalty

Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Queen Visits Harrisburg

Sen. Yaw pictured with Coal Queen Morgan Voithofer

I was pleased to meet up with Morgan Voithofer of Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, during a recent event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance in Harrisburg.  Morgan was crowned the Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Queen at a pageant in August of last year.  

She is currently a senior and participates in the National Honor Society, SADD, drama club, chorus, cheerleading, yearbook, Spanish Club and student council.   

Morgan replaces 2015 Coal Queen, Katlyn Allison, also of Carmichaels.

EITC & OSTC Programs Held

Scholarships Presented to West Branch School & St. John Neumann Regional Academy

Last week, Rep. Wheeland and I joined UGI Energy Services LLC, the midstream and energy marketing subsidiary of UGI Corporation, and UGI Storage Company to announce local scholarships at West Branch School in Williamsport.  

The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program is a great way for businesses to invest in our youth. Students and schools throughout the Commonwealth rely on the EITC and OSTC programs to provide a safe teaching environment and quality education. These programs have seen strong bipartisan support and have helped countless children and families along the way. 

Additionally, on Thursday I also joined students from St. John Neumann Regional Academy who were awarded $21,000, through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, thanks to M&T Bank and Waste Management. 

Around the District

Annual Student Government Day Held

Students representing 18 school districts from across Bradford, Lycoming and Union counties converged on the campus of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Thursday for the annual Sen. Yaw Student Government Seminar. 

Over 300 participants’, including students, advisors, local, state and federal government officials, lobbyists, special interests and members of the media took part in the full day event in Williamsport.  The event is the largest Senate organized Student Government Seminar in Pennsylvania. 

Susquehanna County Conservation District Recognized

On Friday, May 12, I joined with members of the Susquehanna County Conservation District to celebrate their 70 year legacy of preservation during the SCCD Legislative Breakfast in Montrose.

Funding Opportunities

Funding Grants and Opportunities


USDA is offering funding through the Food Safety Outreach Program. This Program will build upon the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program national infrastructure, with a sustained focus on delivery of customized training to members of the target audiences. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities - to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups. Deadline: 6/6/2017. Click here for more information and to apply.


The Ford Family Foundation provides Technical Assistance Grants to assist organizations and communities in their efforts to develop leadership expertise, engage in planning efforts or advance collaborations in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000. This concept is the core of "capacity building." Types of grants include Leadership Development Technical Assistance, Effective Organizations Technical Assistance, and Community Collaborations Technical Assistance. Typical grant sizes range from $1,000 to $5,000. A minimum 20% cash match towards the project is required and demonstrates board/leadership commitment. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here

CRP Resource

Data, Research Available

If you haven’t visited the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s website recently, I encourage you to take a tour at The data, research, and other information available on the website will quickly demonstrate why the Center is often referred to as a “one-stop-shop” for fact-based and balanced research and data on rural trends and conditions.  

The Center’s data and research are regularly used and referenced by a wide variety of individuals and organizations, including members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, state and local municipal officials in Pennsylvania and across the nation, the media, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and educators.

Local Grants Announced

“Green Light-Go” program grants announced

Ninety-Four municipalities in Pennsylvania will receive $33 million to support the costs of upgrading traffic signals under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Green Light-Go” program

This is the third round of funding disbursed to support increased safety and mobility across more Pennsylvania towns.  

These reimbursement grant awards can be used on existing traffic signals to installing light-emitting diode (LED) technology, performing regional operations such as retiming, developing special event plans and monitoring traffic signals, as well as upgrading traffic signals to the latest technologies. 

Following is a list of funding recipients (ONLY) from the 23rd Senatorial District, the amount of state funding, and a brief description of the projects. *State funding represents only part of the total project funding: 

Lycoming County:
Loyalsock Township -- $129,500 for Traffic Signal Replacement along Northway Road at Sheridan

Union County:
Mifflinburg Borough -- $53,331 for Traffic Signal Retiming along Chestnut Street at Third Street and Fourth Street.
Union County -- $53,331 for Traffic Signal Equipment Upgrades at the Intersection of East Chestnut Street at Mabel Street.

Local Schools Visit

Elementary Students Visit State Capitol

Carl G. Renn Elementary School

Students and teachers from the Carl G. Renn Elementary School, Lycoming County & Wyalusing Elementary, Bradford County, visited and toured the State Capitol Building.

Wyalusing Elementary

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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


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