In this Update:
School Safety and Mental Health Grants Available, Webinars Next Week
For schools and law enforcement agencies, all grant applications for school safety and mental health grant funding through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) are due by Feb. 29.
PCCD is also holding webinars next week on each of the programs.
The Competitive School Safety Grant Program is a combination of the original School Safety and Security Grant Program under PCCD and the Targeted School Safety Grant Program, which was transferred to PCCD’s oversight from the Department of Education through the passage of Act 33 of 2023.
School districts, charter schools, area career and technical centers, intermediate units, nonpublic schools, approved private schools, PRRIs, chartered schools for the deaf and the blind, as well as municipalities, law enforcement agencies, and approved vendors – use this link to learn which grant programs you are eligible for.
Protecting PA’s Local Governments from Cyberattacks
The Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee, of which I am a member, held a joint hearing this week to examine cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.
Recent cyberattacks targeting the Bucks County emergency dispatch system and the Aliquippa Water Authority highlight the vulnerability of Pennsylvania’s more than 2,500 local governments and authorities.
While exposure of residents’ personal information is a serious concern, these attacks can also interfere with ways people satisfy basic needs, such as the delivery of clean drinking water to their homes and being able to call for help in the case of an emergency.
Click to watch the hearing and read written testimony from the local government officials and cybersecurity experts who participated.
2023 Accomplishments: Supporting PA Seniors
As part of Senate Republicans’ commitment to healthy and safe communities, we are focused on supporting Pennsylvania seniors. This means making sure they have access to the health care they need and preventing their exploitation.
One new law adjusts Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes so the facilities can continue to meet the needs of vulnerable patients. Another law ensures seniors do not lose access to Pennsylvania’s prescription drug programs due to an increase in their Social Security payments.
A third piece of legislation recently signed into law aims to prevent elder abuse by strengthening guardianship laws. It protects vulnerable adults within the guardianship system from fraud, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Broadband Access Funding for Community Projects Available
Federal grants are available through the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s Capital Projects Fund to improve Pennsylvanians’ access to broadband at places such as libraries, schools, and medical care facilities.
A total of $45 million in competitive grants through the Multi-Purpose Community Facilities Program is available for community projects to construct, acquire or improve facilities and will allow for investment in high-quality broadband infrastructure as well as other connectivity infrastructure, devices and equipment.
Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Apply online through April 20.
PA VETConnect Helps Veterans Access Programs and Services
Because of legislation supported by Senate Republicans, PA VETConnect makes it easier for Pennsylvania’s 700,000 veterans to access the programs and services available to help them.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA VETConnect benefits service members, veterans and their families. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Resource areas include benefits, employment, financial assistance, post-traumatic stress, mental wellness and substance use.
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