Senator Regan E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Regan Welcomes Central Boys’ Basketball State Champs to Capitol
  • Regan Supports Former US Marshal’s Nomination to Parole Board
  • Grant Funding for Public Safety and Hospitals Coming to 31st District
  • Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs 
  • Bill to Improve Safety, Combat Illegal Street Racing Passes Senate
  • Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work
  • Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law
  • Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Regan Welcomes Central Boys’ Basketball State Champs to Capitol

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of welcoming players and coaches from Central York’s Boys’ Basketball team to the Capitol and introducing them during Senate session.

This outstanding team brought home the school’s first ever state title with a 53-51 win over Parkland High School.  Not only did they have to dig deep to pull out a win during the championship game, they also did so to earn their place in the tournament after losing in the quarterfinals to Red Lion.

The Panthers are the first YAIAA basketball team to win a state title in 6A, the largest and most competitive classification in the PIAA, and Central is the first non-private school in the YAIAA to win a state basketball title.

Click here to watch my floor introduction of the team and coaches during Tuesday’s Senate session.

Regan Supports Former US Marshal’s Nomination to Parole Board

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which I serve on, held a hearing and voting meeting on Tuesday to consider three nominations for appointment to the Parole Board.

Of the three nominees is one of my former colleagues, retired US Marshal Marty Payne. I had the pleasure of first meeting Marty when we were going through basic training at the US Marshals Service Academy, and later in our careers we both ended up serving as Deputy Marshals in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

During my tenure as US Marshal, I had the honor of promoting Marty several times, and upon my retirement, he was then appointed US Marshal in 2008.

Along with Marty, who received a unanimous favorable vote for his nomination, the Committee also advanced the nominations of Elizabeth Bolton Penna and Renee Cardwell Hughes.

Click here to watch the full committee meeting.

Grant Funding for Public Safety and Hospitals Coming to 31st District

Late last week, funding awards were announced for both public safety projects and hospital systems. Several entities in the 31st District were among the recipients.

York City, through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program, will be receiving $1,500,000 for ensuring safe routes to 12 schools. This includes upgrading and installing new 15mph school zone signage with flashing signals and pavement markings, remarking school crosswalks, constructing missing sidewalk gaps, and constructing/installing a new traffic signal with pedestrian/school crossing amenities at the North Beaver Street/West North Street all-way stop controlled intersection.

Additionally, Wellspan York and UPMC Memorial will receive $190,000 and $248,000, respectively, from the Hospital and Health System Emergency Relief Program. As part of the finalized 2023-2024 state budget, the legislature appropriated $50 million for this program, which aims to provide critical working capital to help stabilize hospitals across the Commonwealth, as they continue to recover from lasting pandemic-era disruptions and are being adversely impacted by financial constraints, well-documented workforce shortages and dual mental health and opioid crises.

Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs

Acting to establish a sweeping, new energy framework for Pennsylvania, the Senate approved legislation this week creating the Independent Energy Office (IEO) and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity with Energy Reliability (POWER) Board. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under Senate Bill 832, the IEO will provide data-driven analysis and ensure lawmakers have the reliable information necessary to review and implement current energy strategies as well as be on the forefront of new innovative technologies. The POWER Board will be a public clearinghouse for energy development in Pennsylvania and allow residents to see public accountability on decisions that impact energy prices in Pennsylvania.

The federal government has passed legislation to provide funding for states to grow solar, wind, hydro and nuclear capacities. Pennsylvania must apply for these funds and provide a framework to distribute funding throughout the state. The General Assembly has not yet established this framework, and statutory authority is needed.

Bill to Improve Safety, Combat Illegal Street Racing Passes Senate

To address how the erratic driving of illegal street racers endangers the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, the Senate passed legislation that would increase street racing fines for first offenses to $500 and all additional infractions to $2,000. Senate Bill 998 also calls for impoundment orders for vehicles used in the offense and would hold event organizers accountable using fines, suspension of driving privileges, classification as habitual offenders, impoundment of vehicles and imprisonment.

Additionally, the bill would impose penalties for drifting on highways or trafficways and for organizing street racing or drifting events. Drifting is a driving technique that involves steering a car to make a controlled skid sideways through a turn.

Senate Bill 998 is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work

Unemployed Pennsylvanians who engage in job dodging by sabotaging their own efforts to get hired would jeopardize their Unemployment Compensation benefits under a bill approved by the Senate.

Job dodging is the process used by some Unemployment Compensation recipients to avoid obtaining a job and to continue to collect benefits. Job dodgers may skip a job interview or refuse employment or a referral for employment to continue receiving Unemployment Compensation benefits.

Senate Bill 1109 is intended to prevent Unemployment Compensation recipients who apply for a job from unreasonably discouraging their own hiring. It would require the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to create or update forms enabling employers to report Unemployment Compensation claimants who discourage their own hiring through job dodging. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law

One year ago, a first-of-its-kind in the nation comprehensive breast cancer screening bill was signed into law as Act 1 of 2023. Senate Republicans supported the bill that eliminated out-of-pocket costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling as well as supplemental screening such as breast MRI and ultrasound for women at high risk.

High-risk conditions covered by the law include dense breast tissue, personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition and prior radiation therapy.

Act 1 covers individuals whose insurance is state-regulated, including plans purchased through the Pennie marketplace or employer-provided insurance. The law takes effect for many plans between 2024 and 2025. All state-regulated plans must be in place before the end of 2025. Learn more.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania leads the nation with the number of Lyme disease cases. While we are lucky to have access to the many outdoor recreational opportunities in the commonwealth, they come with the risks of tickborne diseases.

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn how to protect your family and pets against Lyme. Use insect repellent when spending time outdoors, treat your clothing and gear with permethrin and conduct a tick check when you come inside.

There are three stages of Lyme disease with distinct signs and symptoms occurring in each stage, including a bullseye rash, headaches, nerve pain, heart palpitations and fever. If you discover a tick, safely remove it, put it in a plastic bag and mail it to the Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab for free testing. Within three business days, you will know if the tick carried Lyme disease and other diseases – valuable information for you and your health care provider.


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