Senator Pennycuick E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School
  • Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 2023-2024 Young Ambassadors of PA
  • Ursinus College Takes First Place in Statewide Innovation Challenge
  • The 2023-2024 LIHEAP Season is Now Open
  • Statewide Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Period Open
  • Bill to Punish Looters Wins Bipartisan Senate Approval
  • Babies Receive Life-Saving Care with New Law
  • High Schoolers: Can You Fix These Transportation Issues?
  • Safely Discard Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs
  • Remembering Pearl Harbor 

New Law Makes It Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Recently signed into law, Act 24 of 2023 makes it easier for an estimated 185,000 students of relocating military families to enroll in school.

As a veteran and a mother, I understand the challenges military families face in balancing the demands of service and educating their children.

This new law allows such families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This enables them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.

I am proud to work with my colleagues in the House to advance this issue and make it easier for military children to stay on the path of academic success and, ultimately, graduation.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 2023-2024 Young Ambassadors of PA

Congratulations to EzaBella Piccione of Boyertown Area School District (pictured first) and Emelia Schwulst of Pottsgrove School District (pictured second) on being chosen as the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 2023-2024 Young Ambassadors of PA!

This program, administered by KPB, seeks to build community stewards and civic leaders by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to keep their communities beautiful and become ambassadors for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania.

Great job ladies! This recognition is well deserved.

Ursinus College Takes First Place in Statewide Innovation Challenge

Congratulations to Ursinus College on taking first place in America250PA’s statewide 2023 Direct Effect™ Innovation Challenge!

This multi-round competition challenges students from postsecondary institutions across the Commonwealth to design and develop integrated marketing campaigns that explore solutions to real-life challenges and questions.

Students included, Carlie Shiller ’25, Donald Lattanze ’26, Monica Herman’ 27, Mo Abdellaty ’27 and Student Project Manager, Tyler Griffith.

The 2023-2024 LIHEAP Season is Now Open

LIHEAP – the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – provides grants to eligible households to help pay their home energy bills. This program is for you and it’s quick and easy to apply. You don’t need a past due balance and the grant doesn’t need to be repaid. Last year, more than 26,000 of our customers received grants toward their electric bills because they applied for LIHEAP.

There is enough money in the program for all eligible customers to receive the help they need. Fill out the application and mail it along with your proof of income information to your local county assistance office. They’ll review your application, see if you qualify, and let you know how much you may receive toward your bill.

Once approved, the LIHEAP grant will automatically credit to your PPL Electric bill. You can also apply online. For more information about LIHEAP you can reach out to your county assistance office or call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095. You can also visit

Statewide Digital Equity Plan Public Comment Period Open

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) has drafted its Statewide Digital Equity Plan. This Plan outlines the disparities in digital equity across the commonwealth, existing assets that are in place to bridge the digital equity divide, how the PBDA engaged with a diverse set of stakeholders, industry leaders, and subject matter experts, and how the PBDA will implement this plan across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The draft Plan is now available for review and feedback.

Public Comment will close at 12PM EST on Monday January 8, 2024. The PBDA has identified 3 processes to submit comments, which are outlined on the PBDA Digital Equity Act website.

Bill to Punish Looters Wins Bipartisan Senate Approval

In the aftermath of widespread looting in Philadelphia and many other cities, the Senate approved legislation to prevent these crimes by a bipartisan vote.

According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, organized retail theft has resulted in the loss of almost 700,000 jobs nationwide due to more than $125 billion in economic losses. While large retail stores have been the primary target, 54% of the state’s small business owners said they have seen an increase in shoplifting in the past year. These hardworking Pennsylvanians who are trying to provide for themselves and their families rightly deserve our support.

Senate Bill 596 would create a first-degree felony offense, which can result in up to 20 years in prison, for thieves who steal $20,000 worth of goods and intend to resell them. The bill would also create the Office of Deputy Attorney General for Organized Retail Crime Theft to pursue the leaders of these criminal rings.

Babies Receive Life-Saving Care with New Law

Legislation approved by the Senate to provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies is now law.

In very low birth-weight babies and other medically compromised infants, human donor milk protects against serious health complications that can lead to longer hospital stays, multiple medical and surgical procedures, readmissions, lifelong disability or even death.

The law grants children who are less than a year old access to medically prescribed pasteurized human donor milk by requiring Medical Assistance coverage in inpatient and outpatient settings. To qualify for coverage, the child must meet medical necessity requirements or the child’s mother must be medically or physically unable to produce breast milk in an amount needed to meet the child’s needs.

High Schoolers: Can You Fix These Transportation Issues?

High school students are invited to participate in the seventh annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge. The statewide competition pushes teams of students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges.

Regional winners will be selected by PennDOT’s Engineering Districts. Those winners will move on to a statewide competition where an overall winner will be selected.

Students can find the details of the 2023-24 Challenge and project guidelines here. All submissions must be received by Jan. 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Safely Discard Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Help keep your loved ones and community safe by discarding old and unwanted prescription medications through Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program.

Items that can be accepted include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, prescription patches, prescription ointments, vitamins and pet medicines. Hydrogen peroxide, thermometers, iodine-containing medications, compressed cylinders or aerosols, alcohol and illicit drugs cannot be accepted.

There are nearly 900 locations statewide. Find one near you here.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

“A date which will live in infamy…”  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Dec. 7 marks 82 years since the surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After a decade of strained relations between the United States and Japan, that act drew the United States into World War II. While thousands of lives were lost, they were not lost in vain. The gruesome and exhausting war ultimately ended in a victory of Allied powers around the globe.

As we enjoy our American ideals and freedoms because of battles fought and wars won, please thank a veteran for his or her service.


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