Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

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Dear Friends,

This week, I had the honor of hosting an event for women veterans from all branches of the military and all ranks. As a U.S. Army veteran myself, I was incredibly proud to connect with these amazing women. There are more than 71,000 female veterans residing in our great Commonwealth today, and that number is only expected to grow. By 2040, it’s estimated that women will comprise roughly 17 percent of the total veteran population.

Thank you to all the women who served our country and to their families for their unwavering support.


In this Update:

  • Women Veterans Day Ceremony & Exhibit
  • Senate Approves “Grow PA” Bills to Support Affordable Pathways to Higher Ed, Career Prep
  • Senate Passes Legislation to Combat AI-Generated Deepfake Images of Minors
  • Scam Jam – July 11, 2024
  • Awarding North Penn & Souderton Schools with Safety Grants
  • Berks County VA Tour
  • Property Tax/Rent Rebates: June Outreach Locations
  • Bill to Protect Property Owners from Squatters Receives Senate Support
  • Bill to Extend Grant Program for Fire, EMS and Rescue Organizations Passes Senate
  • Free Webinars Provide Helpful Financial Aid Info
  • Happy Father’s Day

Women Veterans Day Ceremony & Exhibit

In honor of Women Veterans Day, I joined my fellow women veterans, and hosted a Women Veterans Day ceremony at the state Capitol to kick off an exhibit celebrating Pennsylvania women who proudly served the commonwealth and nation. As a U.S. Army combat veteran, I authored legislation establishing June 12 as Women Veterans Day in Pennsylvania. This is the second year the day has been observed in the commonwealth. It is an honor to celebrate the many women veterans for their courage to step up and serve their country when the job options were sometimes limited, in a male-dominated career field. Let’s continue to celebrate their legacy and ensure all who wish to serve our nation have the chance to do so.

Video of the Women Veterans Day ceremony can be viewed here and photographs can be viewed here.

Senate Approves “Grow PA” Bills to Support Affordable Pathways to Higher Ed, Career Prep

Tens of thousands of students would have more opportunities to pursue affordable post-secondary education and career preparation programs under a package of bills approved with bipartisan support by the Pennsylvania Senate this week.

The Grow PA package creates and expands programs to connect students to high-demand careers in Pennsylvania. The bills not only make education and career training more affordable, but also provide strong incentives for students to stay and work in Pennsylvania for a period of time after completing their degrees and certifications.

Read full release here.

Senate Passes Legislation to Combat AI-Generated Deepfake Images of Minors

The Pennsylvania Senate approved Senate Bill 1213, legislation sponsored by myself, Senator Jimmy Dillon (D-5), and Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18), to combat “deepfake” images of minors and child porn generated by artificial intelligence (AI). This crucial legislation passed unanimously.

The bill addresses the alarming rise in AI-generated sexual images of non-consenting adults and children. Currently, Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to share intimate images without consent but does not clearly address the use of AI deepfake technology for this purpose. This gap in our law leaves many vulnerable to a new form of digital abuse.

It shocks the conscience what some people will do with the latest technology, including creating sexual images of people who did not give their consent and outright child porn. We need to do everything we can to prevent individuals from using AI for these insidious purposes. By working in a bipartisan manner, the General Assembly is making it clear that Pennsylvania is not the place for this depraved activity.

Scam Jam – July 11, 2024

Learn to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft by joining me and Lower Salford Township Police Department, PA Banking and Securities, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and AARP Pennsylvania Office for our Scam Jam event on July 11 at 9:30 AM.

Hear from experts on how to protect your finances and personal information. Plus, there will be games, prizes, and refreshments!

This is a free event, but space is limited, so register now!

Awarding North Penn & Souderton Schools with Safety Grants

Recently, alongside fellow legislators, I had the privilege of presenting North Penn School District with a $305,659 grant and Souderton Area School District with a $479,398 grant to enhance school safety.

These grants are a crucial investment in our children’s futures. The funding will directly support increased security measures across both districts, including additional security personnel, a new police vehicle, and upgraded fire alarm systems. 

In addition, the grants will provide valuable resources to increase mental health services for students, fostering a safe and supportive learning environment.

Berks County VA Tour

Recently, I had the honor of touring the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs. I was incredibly impressed by the dedication of the staff to serving our veterans and their families.

They connect our heroes and families with the benefits and care they’ve earned, while promoting a community that honors their service and supports their optimal wellbeing.

Thank you to the Berks County VA for your service to our veterans!

Property Tax/Rent Rebates: June Outreach Locations

My office will be hosting outreach locations in June to provide assistance to residents applying for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and urges interested area seniors to make an appointment.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is open to residents age 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, or anyone age 18 and older who is 100% disabled, with a household income of $45,000 or less, counting only half of Social Security. Rebate amounts are calculated based on 2023 income and the amount of property tax or rent paid in 2023, with rebates ranging from $380 to $1,000.

Residents can call my office at 215-541-2388 or visit online to schedule an appointment for one of the following dates:

June 17, 24, 26, 9 a.m. to noon
Montgomery County Community College-Pottstown
101 College Drive, North Hall, Room 224, Pottstown

June 18, 9 a.m. to noon
Longswamp Township Building, 1112 State St., Mertztown

June 24, 1-4 p.m.
Trappe Borough Hall Building, 525 W. Main St., Trappe

June 25, 9 a.m. to noon
Towamencin Township Building, 1090 Troxel Road, Lansdale

June 25, 1-4 p.m.
North Wales Borough Hall, 300 School St., North Wales

June 26, 9 a.m. to noon
Amity Township Building, 2004 Weavertown Road, Douglasville

June 26, 1-4 p.m.
Bally Borough Hall, 425 Chestnut St., Bally

The following documents are required to complete the process:

  • Total Social Security/Railroad Retirement
  • Proof of SSI or Disability
  • Proof of Age/First Time Filer Driver’s License or Photo ID
  • 1099 Pension Statement
  • 1099 Interest Statement
  • 1099 Dividend Statement
  • Proof of W-2 or other income
  • Voided check showing routing number & account number if you wish to have payment received by direct deposit.

Property owners will need proof of taxes paid, either stamped or signed by their local tax collector. Renters need a rent certificate filled out and signed by their landlord.

More information on the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program can be found at

Bill to Protect Property Owners from Squatters Receives Senate Support

The Senate approved legislation to establish more certainty for homeowners, landlords and law enforcement who encounter squatters. It respects the rights of all parties involved, ensuring legitimate tenants are protected while closing the door to those who exploit our system to occupy homes illegally.

Under current Pennsylvania law, squatters are considered trespassers after the property owner warns them they are not welcome and instructs them to vacate the property. Should the squatters remain where they are not licensed or privileged to be, they commit the offense of defiant trespass. However, reclaiming property from squatters requires a “notice to quit” be issued to individuals who have no legal right to the property. It imposes financial burdens and significant emotional strain on property owners.

Given the inconsistencies and lack of clarity in how states address squatter concerns, Pennsylvania must establish clear, uniform guidelines. Senate Bill 1236 defines what constitutes a “tenant,” simplifies the reclamation process – by eliminating the need for a “notice to quit” to be provided to a non-tenant – and offers a practical solution to a deeply distressing problem.

Bill to Extend Grant Program for Fire, EMS and Rescue Organizations Passes Senate

The Senate approved Senate Bill 1099 to extend the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program for an additional five years. The program is scheduled to expire June 30.

Grants are provided through the program to help volunteer and professional fire companies, emergency medical services (EMS) organizations and volunteer rescue squads construct or renovate facilities, purchase or repair equipment, reduce debt and provide training.

The grant program allocates up to $30 million, with fire companies eligible for grants of up to $20,000 and EMS companies eligible for grants of up to $15,000.

Free Webinars Provide Helpful Financial Aid Info

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding free webinars to assist college-bound students and their families with navigating the financial aid process.

On Tuesday, June 25, at noon, speakers will discuss how to cover the gap between awarded loans and the actual amount due. On Thursday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m., speakers will focus on how to compare financial aid offers to choose the right loan for the borrower.

Register to attend the one-hour webinars.

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a time to reflect on the amazing men in our lives and let them know how much their dedication means to us. They show their love and guidance in so many ways, big and small, that make our lives better. Wishing all of the dads a wonderful day with their families!


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