Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

Dear Friends,

This week in Harrisburg, I’ve been focused on several important issues. We’ve made progress on advancing school safety grants and increasing the number of firefighters in Pennsylvania. I also had the opportunity to participate in an event with the Humane Society to stop puppy mills.

On a different note, I was joined by over 40 inspiring cadets from the Valley Forge Military Academy and College. They are a truly impressive group of young people, and I’m confident they will be America’s future leaders!


In this Update:

  • OPINION: We Must Do More to Prepare for Artificial Intelligence Advances
  • National Small Business Week
  • Valley Forge Military Academy & College Visit
  • Humane Society of the United States and Animal Legal Defense Fund Lobby Day
  • Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Legislative Breakfast
  • Annual Youth Fishing Derby
  • FREE Replacement License Plate Event
  • School Safety Grants Awarded
  • Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions
  • Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania

OPINION: We Must Do More to Prepare for Artificial Intelligence Advances

In light of the significant advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) witnessed in 2024, Senator Jimmy Dillon and I, as Chair and Co-chair of the Senate Communication and Technology Committee, co-authored an OP-ED to explore the potential impact of AI and outline our proposed course of action. Read here.

National Small Business Week

Celebrate National Small Business Week with me! I recently stopped by Blossom Cafe in Skippack. They’re a fantastic example of the amazing small businesses that are the backbone of our community. This week let’s support the amazing small businesses that keep our community vibrant.

Valley Forge Military Academy & College Visit

Thrilled to welcome the impressive young men and women from Valley Forge Military Academy & College, Pennsylvania’s designated Military College, to the State Capitol! Founded in 1928, Valley Forge has a long tradition of developing future leaders who serve our nation with honor. I was truly inspired by their dedication and potential.

Opening Remarks.

Humane Society of the United States and Animal Legal Defense Fund Lobby Day

I was so pleased to have joined the Humane Society’s Lobby Day to advocate for greater protections for animals. The documentary ‘Dogspiracy’ in which I am featured, was screened at the event. It serves as a powerful call to action, exposing the harsh realities of puppy mills and emphasizing the critical need to promote rescue pet adoption. Through this powerful film, we aim to inform and mobilize the public, galvanizing a movement to support the passage of legislation, like Victoria’s Law, and stop puppy mills once and for all.

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Legislative Breakfast

Recently, I had a great conversation at the annual Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Legislative Breakfast! This annual event is a crucial forum for Montgomery County legislators and educational leaders to discuss the pressing issues impacting public education in our community.

Annual Youth Fishing Derby

This past Saturday, I was thrilled to host my 3rd Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Bergey Park in Schwenksville! We had a fantastic turnout, and it was so rewarding to see the kids’ enthusiasm for fishing. It’s an event I look forward to every year!

FREE Replacement License Plate Event

Attention Drivers! I will be hosting a FREE License Plate Replacement Event on May 15, 2024 at Topton Borough. Is your license plate:

  • Faded or peeling paint?
  • Cracked or damaged material?
  • Reduced reflectivity?

An unreadable plate can be a safety hazard and lead to citations. This event provides a convenient opportunity to replace your plate at no cost. Register NOW!

School Safety Grants Awarded

More than $150 million in School Safety Grants have been approved this week for students across the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s School Safety & Security Grant Program was originally established in 2018, providing for school entities to be safer places for students, staff and visitors. Most recently through Act 33 of 2023, changes were made to strengthen and expand the program, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, School Safety and Security Committee.

Meritorious Grants ranging from $30,000 to $45,000 were awarded to each of the 497 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. The award amount is based on the school size. Funding can be used to address safety and security through security assessments, violence prevention and all-hazards plans.

Mental Health Grants ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 were awarded to each of the 719 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. These applicants included school districts, area career and technical schools, intermediate units, charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools. School districts received a base of $100,000 plus a formula amount depending on their school size. The intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school applicants each received $70,000. The funding can be used for school mental health services, training and programs for students and staff.

Additionally, grants were approved through the Competitive School Safety and Security Grant Funding, and Targeted School Safety and Security Grant Programs. Learn more.

Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions

Complementing Senate Republicans’ efforts to protect Pennsylvania jobs, support is available for community colleges, trade or tech schools, school districts and nonprofits through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant Program.

The program is designed to help companies identify and train a skilled workforce for existing positions or ones that will be open soon. It is also designed to advance capacity for local and regional manufacturers and increase awareness of manufacturing career opportunities for youth or those with barriers.

Grants may be used for professional services/consultants, internships, equipment purchases, shop modifications, program development, marketing, domestic travel and salaries. Learn more and apply online.

Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania

The Senate approved a bill aimed at increasing the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania by reforming the certification process without sacrificing quality or safety.

Current firefighter applicants must complete four training modules totaling 188 hours. They then must pass a cumulative test covering all four modules. Senate Bill 1101 would enable applicants to be tested following each of the four modules.

In the 1970s, the commonwealth had as many as 300,000 volunteer firefighters. There currently are fewer than 38,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania.


If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter please sign up here.

Facebook Twitter/X Instagram LinkdedIn Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy