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Senator Gene Yaw

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

"Give yourself the gift of your next goal.”

Under the Dome

State Senate Convenes on Monday, January 22 at 1PM

Senate Committee Schedule
(Subject to Change)

January 22, 2018
Room 8E-A East Wing, 12PM

January 24, 2018
Room 14 East Wing, 08:45AM

Senate Majority Caucus Room, 9AM

Senate Majority Caucus Room, 10AM

Legislative ReCap

Senate Bill Would Protect Responsible Gun Owners During Disaster Declarations

As the debate rages over whether Governor Wolf’s opioid disaster declaration could infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of Pennsylvania citizens, a bill introduced in the state Senate could ensure responsible gun owners are protected against having their firearms confiscated during future emergency situations.

Current law allows the Governor and municipal officials to ban the legal carrying of a firearm on any public street or piece of public property during a disaster declaration. The Governor also has the ability to limit or suspend the sale of firearms during an emergency.

Senate Bill 36, which was introduced in January of last year, would amend current law to preserve the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners by preventing state and local governments from banning the sale of firearms and the right to legally carry firearms in a public place during an emergency.

With Legal Costs Topping $1 Million, Senate Republicans Urge League of Women Voters to Drop Redistricting Case, Allow for Progress in Real Reforms

As the legal costs to taxpayers surpasses the $1 million mark, Senate Republicans have called on the League of Women Voters to withdraw its redistricting case, which would allow the Senate’s ongoing examination of reforms to move forward.

In Pennsylvania, a lawsuit was filed by Washington, D.C.-based attorneys on behalf of the League of Women voters and 18 Pennsylvania petitioners, all of whom are registered as Democrats. The petitioners object to the bi-partisan redistricting plan passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor in 2011. The lawsuit was filed almost 6 years after the plan became law and after three Congressional elections had been held.

Members of the Senate Republican Caucus have introduced and supported redistricting reform proposals in the current Legislative Session, and the Senate State Government Committee had scheduled a hearing to examine election reform and will look at redistricting reforms in the near future – all of which have been put on hold due to the pending litigation.  Senate Leaders urge that federal cases regarding this matter should cease as well.

Veterans Organizations Now Exempt from Realty Transfer Tax

Nationally recognized veterans organizations are now exempt from the Realty Transfer Tax, under a new law.

The change was made necessary as the result of a 1998 state Supreme Court ruling that prompted American Legion home associations which did not have a liquor license but wished to obtain one to apply as an incorporated unit of a national veteran’s organization. The associations were advised to transfer all other realty and assets to the post to insulate the post and its assets from liability while still affording them the opportunity to have social or associate members who can contribute to the post’s financial success.

The new law exempts veteran’s organizations from the 2 percent Realty Transfer Tax during such necessary transactions.

Despite the change in tax status, the home association is still dependent on the national veteran’s organization post, and the post continues to have the authority to disband the home association at any time.

PA Farm Show Concludes

Local Participants Honored During 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show

Despite single-digit temperatures early in the week, crowds of visitors and exhibitors came out to experience the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event during the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show, where they learned about the diversity that makes the industry so strong.

The 2018 show, themed “Strength in Our Diversity,” highlighted the breadth and diversity of Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food industry, the people who make it thrive, and investments the commonwealth has made to support the industry’s long-term prosperity. Nearly 14,000 competitive exhibits including 3,327 competitive exhibitors and 232 commercial exhibitors were on display within the 24 acres spread throughout the complex’s 11 halls and three arenas.

During the event, Farm Show scholarships of $3,500 were awarded to 28 young exhibitors from across the state.  The young people who have been awarded these scholarships, recognize the importance of farming and agribusiness to PA communities and economy, and more importantly, agriculture’s positive impact on the recipients’ lives.  I was pleased to recognize two recipients from the 23rd District.

Michala Kuhlman, Rome, Bradford County

Michala, 22, is the daughter of Mark and Connie Kuhlman, is a PSU Senior in Agriculture and Extension Education.  Active in the Udder Bunch 4-H Club and the Northeast Bradford FFA Chapter, she ultimately served as PA State FFA Chaplain for 2013-14.  In high school, Michala earned academic honors and competed with five different sports.  She is a Lion Ambassador and active in collegiate ag clubs.  Michala has exhibited dairy cattle for five PA Farm Shows, competing each year in showmanship.  She has also served as local and state dairy royalty and assists with the Troy Fair.  She hopes to return to Bradford County to serve as an agricultural education teacher.

Zebulun Swartley, Friendsville, Susquehanna County

Zeb, 17, is the son of Michael and Jill Swartley.  He is a freshman at Penn State majoring in chemical engineering.  He has served in multiple roles with the Borderline 4-H Club and as a camp counselor for his regional 4-H camps, along the way earning awards and scholarships in his county, including the Project Diversity Award, given to the member with the most 4-H projects completed in the county – an honor he won four times consecutively.    Zeb has exhibited more than 35 items in the PA Farm Show’s Family Living sections over his eight years in 4-H and looks forward to exhibiting dairy goats at the 2018 show.  He hopes to become a chemical engineer. 

Protecting Your Pets

Libre’s Law in Effect; Reminding Pet Owners of Temperature Restrictions

Pennsylvania’s recently enacted anti-cruelty law covers dogs who are tethered outside enduring harsh wintry conditions. Under Act 10 of 2017, dogs cannot be tethered outside longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees.

District Outreach Hours

January Satellite Office Hours in Bradford County

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

January Satellite Hours and Locations:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Towanda Library
104 Main Street
Towanda, PA  18848

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Green Free Library
38 North Center St.
Canton, PA  17724

Satellite hours and locations will be announced monthly and can be viewed by visiting the Senator’s website at  Constituents are encouraged to visit any of the satellite locations during scheduled office hours.  Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended.

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

Funding Opportunities

Department of Agriculture Encourages Specialty Crop Producers to Apply for Grants to Improve Market Visibility, Competitive Advantage

Concept proposals due Thursday, January 25, 2018.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will accept concept proposals through January 25, 2018, for projects that increase the visibility and competitiveness of the state’s fruit and vegetable, nursery, horticultural, and nut products in the marketplace.

The proposals are part of a two-phase competitive process for the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

Concept proposals should be approximately three pages long and should cover project purpose; estimated timeline; goals, objectives and expected measurable outcomes; work plan; and budget. Requests may be made for a minimum of $20,000, as long as the amount reasonably aligns with the cost of the proposed project. Completed applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

For more information, click here.

Opening of New Grant Round for Recycling Program Development and Implementation Grants under Section 902 of Act 101

Projects eligible for grant funding are those that divert the following recyclable materials from municipal solid waste: source separated recyclable materials (clear glass, colored glass, aluminum, steel and bimetallic cans, highgrade office paper, newsprint, corrugated paper, plastics and other marketable grades of paper), source separated food scraps and leaf waste.

For more information, click here.

REAL ID Update

State Urges Residents to Gather Documents Now for REAL ID Process 

Federally mandated REAL ID cards won’t be available in Pennsylvania for another 15 months, but the state Department of Transportation is encouraging residents to begin preparing for the process as soon as possible. 

PennDOT is reminding customers that there are proactive steps that they can take now to help prepare for when REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards are available to customers who want them in spring 2019. 

A federally accepted form of identification (whether it's the forthcoming Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020. 

For more information, click here.

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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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