In this Update:
Protecting PA’s Local Governments from Cyberattacks
Recognizing the urgent need to protect our communities, Senator Rosemary Brown and I, chairs of the Senate Local Government and Communications & Technology Committees, convened a public hearing to investigate the cybersecurity risks facing local governments.
Recent cyberattacks targeting the Bucks County emergency dispatch system and the Aliquippa Water Authority highlighted the vulnerability of Pennsylvania’s more than 2,500 local governments and authorities.
Full press release here.
Supporting Texas Governor Abbott’s Defense of the Southern Border
The crisis at our southern border isn’t just a Texas issue, it’s a national problem. That’s why I stand with my fellow PA Senate Republicans in full support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts to secure the border and protect American citizens.
More information here.
Tour of U.S. Axle
Recently, I had the honor of touring U.S. Axle, a manufacture company that produces heavy equipment axles, shafts, and cylinders here in Pottstown. Through my visit I was able to gain valuable insight into their impressive manufacturing operation.
Special thanks to Johnny Corson for introducing me to Mr. Ken Harrison, President/CEO of U.S. Axle, Inc. And thank you Mr. Harrison for your generous hospitality and willingness to share your expertise!
(Photographed from left to right: Myself, Larry Cohen, Johnny Corson (President Pottstown NAACP #2288), Rep. Joe Ciresi, Ken Harrison (President/CEO of U.S. Axle, Inc.)
Daily Bread Community Food Pantry Visit
Recently, I visited the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry in Collegeville. Witnessing their dedication to fighting hunger in our community was truly inspiring.
Hearing from volunteers about the pantry’s impact was a humbling reminder of the challenges many face in accessing nutritious food.
Daily Bread provided vital support to over 380 families last month. Their work is essential to keeping our community strong.
Want to help? You can donate or volunteer – every contribution makes a difference!
Making Healthcare a Reality for All
As your Senator, I’m committed to understanding the diverse needs of our community. That’s why I was so grateful to visit Community Health & Dental Care to learn about their incredible work.
This non-profit health center provides critical primary care and dental services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Their mission is to identify and fill gaps in healthcare.
From dedicated doctors and nurses to compassionate administrative staff, the team at Community Health and Dental Care is making a real difference.
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.
Improving Pennsylvanians’ Experiences by Increasing Broadband Access
Federal grants are available to improve the experiences Pennsylvanians have at medical care facilities, schools and libraries. The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s Capital Projects Fund allows for investment in high-quality broadband infrastructure as well as other connectivity infrastructure, devices and equipment.
The $45 million of competitive grants can be used for community projects to construct, acquire or improve facilities that will enable work, education and health monitoring.
Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Apply online through April 20. While the grant funding was awarded through a federal program, it supports Senate Republicans’ priority of infrastructure advancement.
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.
Grants Available to Support Student Safety, Behavioral Health Needs
Grants are available through a few different state programs to support the physical security and behavioral health needs of students in the commonwealth. All grant applications must be received by Feb. 29.
School Mental Health Grants make $90 million available for school districts, intermediate units, area career and technical schools, charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools.
Approximately $32 million is available through Competitive School Safety Grants for school resource officers, security-related technology and violence prevention programs that address safety and security. As part of Senate Republican efforts to ensure safe schools and communities, a budget measure passed in December included provisions to consolidate and streamline school safety and security programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The School District Meritorious Grant Program is specifically for school districts and approximately $18.6 million is available. Individual awards to address physical safety and security range from $30,000 to $45,000.
Preventing Cancer by Increasing Access to Screenings
The federal government estimated that nearly two million Americans would be diagnosed with cancer and that more than 600,000 would die from their disease in 2023. Research shows that more than 40% of those cases can be attributed to preventable causes such as smoking, physical inactivity, excessive exposure to the sun and excess body weight.
Making healthier choices can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. Learn how you can put yourself on a better path and test your cancer prevention knowledge here.
Senate Republicans passed legislation that is now law to help Pennsylvanians get the preventative cancer testing they need. Specifically, it eliminates out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing of hereditary cancer syndromes and supplemental breast screenings for women at high risk of developing breast cancer.
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