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.
"Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional."
Real ID Bill Signed by Governor
On May 26, 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 133 (Act 3 of 2017), which will allow Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards, which can be used to access airports and federal facilities.
Pennsylvania had been granted an extension until June 6, 2017 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and with the passage of SB 133, it will seek an additional extension.
Under the federal REAL ID Act, beginning January 22, 2018, residents in states which have not come into compliance with federal requirements or obtained an extension will need to show an alternative form of identification such as a passport at airports and when accessing federal buildings and military bases.
PennDOT anticipates the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will continue to issue extensions to Pennsylvania until REAL ID products are available for residents.
Under SB 133, no Pennsylvania resident will be required to get a REAL ID-compliant driver license or identification card, but residents who choose to do so will be able to use those forms of identification when the new federal requirements go into effect.
Senate Panel Approves Measure To Provide Financial Assistance To Volunteer Firefighters, EMTs
The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved legislation that would provide financial assistance to volunteer firefighters and EMTs.
Senate Bill 594 would exempt firefighters from paying the sales and use tax when purchasing protective equipment and accessory communications equipment using their own personal funds.
The legislation now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.
Legislation Exempts Realty Transfer Tax for Veterans’ Organizations
The Senate Finance Committee recently moved legislation, Senate Bill 430, to exempt nationally recognized veterans’ organizations from the Realty Transfer Tax.
Currently, veterans’ organizations wishing to transfer property from the local home association to the post are not excluded from the 2 percent realty transfer tax despite their tax exempt status.
The legislation now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.
Senate Advances Gambling Expansion Bill
The Senate advanced a major gambling expansion bill, House Bill 271, through two committees last week that legalizes internet gambling run by casinos, bets on daily fantasy sports games and gives the Pennsylvania Lottery authority to sell products on-line.
The legislation would also reinstate the local share assessment on slot machine revenue.
The legislation moves back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
Pension Bill Introduced
Last week, the Senate Finance Committee also voted along party lines to approve legislation, Senate Bill 1, reforming Pennsylvania’s current pension system. Currently, an amendment is being drafted and an actuarial analysis is anticipated from the Independent Fiscal Office of changes to SB 1.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to convene next week to consider the bill.
Lycoming County Association of Township Officials Hold Annual Spring Meeting
Sen. Yaw pictured with Joe Reighard, Gamble Twp. Supervisor & President of Lycoming County Association of Township Officials
On May 24th, I provided a legislative update during the annual meeting of the Lycoming County Association of Township Officials at the Loyalsock Township Fire Company Social Hall.
Jersey Shore Chamber FBLA Scholarship Recipient Named
On May 2th, I joined the Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce, PA State Rep. Garth Everett, Vince Matteo, President & CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and Tim Keohane of the LHU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to recognize Ezekiel Miller as the 2017 Jersey Shore Area Chamber of Commerce Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Scholarship recipient.
Ezekiel is a resident of South Williamsport and has spent four years involved with FBLA at Jersey Shore High School, where he holds a 4.07 GPA. He plans to major in Software Engineering and minor in Networking Administration at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
Best of Luck Ezekiel!
School Superintendents Visit the State Capitol
Photo L to R: Jason Fink, Executive Vice-President, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce; Patricia Cross, Superintendent, Sullivan County School District; Timothy Bowers, Superintendent, Williamsport Area School District; Craig Skaluba, Superintendent, Muncy School District; Daphne Bowers, Superintendent, Montgomery Area School District; Gerald McLaughlin, Superintendent, Loyalsock Township School District; Senator Gene Yaw; Pedro Rivera, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education; Jill Wenrich, Superintendent, Jersey Shore Area School District and Steven Keen, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Instructor, Jersey Shore Area School District
On May 24th, Superintendents from across Lycoming and Sullivan counties traveled to Harrisburg to meet with state leaders on education funding and other issues impacting local school districts.
While at the state Capitol, they met with myself, Senator John Eichelberger (R-30), Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Pedro Rivera, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education.
PIPE Grant Approved for Natural Gas Line in Susquehanna County
I recently joined with Representative Jonathan Fritz to announce a $442,274 grant to be awarded to Leatherstocking Gas Company for the installation of a natural gas line in Bridgewater Township, Susquehanna County. The grant is awarded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Pipeline Investment Program.
The proposed project will extend the existing natural gas line an additional 7,300 linear feet along Route 29 serving the borough of Montrose and the township of Bridgewater. The project will provide low-cost natural gas to homes and will service 130 acres of commercial/industrial property, as well as create 100 jobs and retain 80 jobs.
Improving the accessibility and availability of natural gas service throughout our region will give more residents the opportunity to benefit from this low-cost, more environmentally friendly fuel. As sponsor of legislation establishing the Pipeline Investment Program, my colleagues and I continue working to ensure that locally produced natural gas stays local for the benefit of area residents, businesses, hospitals and schools. I congratulate Leatherstocking on receiving this state investment and it will serve as a benefit to the entire county.
$25,000 in Cultural, Historical Support Grants Approved in Region
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has awarded over $25,000 in grants to six eligible museums and official county historical societies in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties.
This is the fifth year that the PHMC has provided funding for museums through the grant program.
The goal of this program is to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.
Bradford County Historical Society - $4,000
Elementary Students Visit the State Capitol
5/24/2017 Ashkar Elementary School
Students and teachers from the Ashkar Elementary School, Lycoming County & Elk Lake Elementary, located in Susquehanna County, visited and toured the State Capitol Building.
5/25/2017 Elk Lake Elementary