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.
Life is like the ocean.
Senior Expo Set for September 12
Lawmakers, Advocates Outline PA’s New DUI Ignition Interlock Law
Last week, at a news conference in Harrisburg, lawmakers, law enforcement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Parents Against Impaired Driving, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and other advocacy groups discussed the impact and implementation of Pennsylvania’s new ignition interlock law to further strengthen Pennsylvania’s Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws.
The new law, Act 33 of 2016, became effective on August 25, 2017, and requires first-time DUI offenders with an illegal Blood Alcohol Content of .10 percent or higher to use ignition interlocks for at least 12 months.
There were 10,256 alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania that unfortunately resulted in 297 deaths in 2016. With Act 33, Pennsylvania joins 48 other states across the nation in expanding ignition interlock to most first-time DUI offenders with the premise of reducing alcohol-related crashes and deaths.
Senate Law & Justice Committee to Hold Hearings on Legal Gaming Devices, VGTs
The Senate Law & Justice Committee, of which I serve as a member, will be holding hearings on the issue of legal gambling devices, as well as Liquor Control enforcement of “Stop-and-Go’s.”
Hearings are scheduled for September 19, 2017 starting at 11:00AM in Senate Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.
We will be holding hearings on the issue of legal gaming machines and, as part of that process, will focus significant energy on addressing and ending this scourge of illegal video gaming terminals (VGT’s) across the Commonwealth.
Work Progressing on the Northern Section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation (CSVT) Project
On August 29th, I had the opportunity to tour the ongoing construction of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation (CSVT) Project in Union County.
Once completed, the thruway will provide for a safer interstate system by relieving traffic congestion, improving the flow of goods and services throughout the region, and benefiting the environment by reducing auto emissions.
Construction of the river bridge piers on the west side of the river continues.
A long-term lane restriction is in place on Route 15 south of Winfield near County Line Road. A 13-foot width restriction is in place. The lane restrictions are needed to reconstruct sections of existing Route 15. The contractor is installing erosion and sediment controls and performing earthwork and drainage work on either side of Route 15.
After forty years of false starts, the CSVT will soon become a reality. For more information on the CSVT project, please visit www.csvt.com.
ICYMI: Epilepsy Medications Should Not Fall Under Same Scrutiny as Opioids
My recent Op-Ed piece appeared in the Towanda Daily Review, Sunbury Daily Item and PennLive
No one can dispute that prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest public health issues currently facing our society. In 2016, more than 4,600 people in Pennsylvania died from a drug overdose. That’s more than the number of people who died in car crashes that same year. And this number continues to climb, putting us in the midst of a full-fledged epidemic.
While we need to do everything we can to stop prescription drug abuse, we must also be cautious not to create unnecessary hurdles for patients to receive appropriate, prescribed, and often lifesaving medications.
In Pennsylvania, the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) Act allows the state to monitor prescription drugs in Schedule II, which are the most addictive, through Schedule V, which have significantly lower potential for abuse.
To read more, click here.
Japan Region Wins Little League Baseball® World Series Championship
Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
On August 27th, Japan defeated Southwest, 12-2, to win the 2017 Little League Baseball World Series.
The 71st Little League Baseball® World Series begins on Thursday, Aug. 17, in South Williamsport. There were 16 teams, eight U.S. Region teams and eight teams from International Regions, competing for this year’s Little League Baseball World Series Championship.
Williamsport Welcomes the 2017 MLB Little League Classic
On August 20, Major League Baseball came to the home of the Little League World Series.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates met at the renovated BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field for the first ever MLB Little League Classic.
Little Leaguers and fans alike had the opportunity to meet with some of their favorite MLB players ahead of Sunday night's game. For the Little Leaguers, it was a “dream come true.” For the major leaguers, they say it was a “humbling experience.”
Over the last several months, BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field has been renovated to conform to MLB's standards.
Multi-Agency Campaign Against Card Skimmers Announced
Incidents Have Increased Across North Central PA
To combat the use of illegal credit and debit card “skimmers” at gas stations and ATMs in Pennsylvania, four state government agencies have teamed up to raise awareness on the use of these devices. Skimmers are malicious card readers often attached to an actual payment terminal that can gather data from a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe when inserted or swiped.
The Department of Banking and Securities, State Police, Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Attorney General are working to educate consumers, business owners, law enforcement, and gas pump inspectors statewide on the dangers of card skimmers.
To date, there have been many incidents reported across the 23rd Senate District.
Raise the Alarm
PHEAA is reminding students and families to be extremely cautious if solicited by any company offering FAFSA assistance, scholarship searches or student loan debt relief, such as through loan consolidation, loan cancellation, loan forgiveness, or defaulted loan assistance. These companies typically charge significant upfront fees for services - sometimes through non-existing programs - that are readily available for free from the federal government.
Research FREE sites such as EducationPlanner.org, MySmartBorrowing.org, StudentAid.ed.gov, and StudentLoans.gov. In addition, NerdWallet’s Watch List names companies that charge for fraudulent or questionable debt relief services.
Students and families who believe they have been targeted or victimized by a scam should contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Upcoming Satellite Hours and Locations
As a means to better serve area residents through increased outreach efforts, the below hours and locations have been added to provide better opportunities for area residents to meet directly with a member of my staff.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Satellite Office hours provide area residents with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the senator’s staff to address state-related problems they may be encountering. A staff member will be able to offer assistance with driver license and vehicle registration applications, and help in filling out applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE prescription drug assistance programs.
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.
Union County’s ‘Justice Bridge Housing Program’ Wins National Award
Union County’s ‘Justice Bridge Housing Program’ received the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Award of Merit in Indianapolis recently.
The Justice Bridge Housing Program serves non-violent offenders from Union County who are at high risk of recidivism and unable to develop a suitable home plan. Participants receive monthly rental subsidies for up to 12 months or until they transition to permanent housing.
The NAHRO Award of Merit recognizes achievement, innovation and the best practices in housing and community development. The Justice Bridge Housing Program will enter NAHRO’s national resource bank of model programs administered by housing and redevelopment agencies and community development departments.
“We are excited to receive this award,” said Bruce Quigley, Executive Director of the Housing Authority. “Having national recognition for the county’s foresight in developing Justice Bridge is encouraging,” he added.
Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department Celebrates 125 years
Founded in 1892, the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department in Lycoming County celebrated its 125th Anniversary last week.
The celebrations included three days of activities with a parade of vehicles and tractors through the Borough, as well as a fireworks display on Saturday evening.
Congratulations and thank you on 125 years of service!
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Pennsylvania’s first volunteer fire company, the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia, was founded in 1736 – four decades prior to the American Revolution. Today, the vast majority acreage in Pennsylvania is served by volunteer fire companies.
Our region, Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties, ranks 9th statewide with 84 volunteer departments.