Senator Mario Scavello E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Bills to Limit Exposure of Sexually Explicit Content in PA Schools Approved by Senate Committee
  • Legislation Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs Approved by Senate
  • Senate Acts to Reduce PA Lyme Disease Cases
  • Electronic Collection Event for Monroe County Residents
  • Bill to Curb Welfare Abuse Passed by Senate
  • Regional Transportation Projects Open to Review
  • Preserving More Farmland in the 40th District
  • Older Mobile Phone Services Shutting Down
  • National Dairy Month and PA Dairy Farmers
  • Around the 40th District

Bills to Limit Exposure of Sexually Explicit Content in PA Schools Approved by Senate Committee

Two bills that would give parents a voice in discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in Pennsylvania schools advanced out of the Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 1277 would require districts to identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum and materials and notify parents that their child’s coursework includes such content. Senate Bill 1278 would prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students, consistent with the timeline for when the existing academic standards on general sex education begins in sixth grade.

The proposals are in response to concerns of parents that age-inappropriate conversations about these sensitive topics are occurring prematurely and without parental knowledge in elementary school classrooms around the state.

Information about what Senate Bill 1278 does and does not do, examples of situations that concerned parents have reported from classrooms around the state and other important information can be found here.

Legislation Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs Approved by Senate

The Senate approved legislation to improve workforce development initiatives and better prepare Pennsylvania students for jobs that will be in demand after they graduate.

House Bill 723 would bring state law in compliance with the federal requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by updating state and local workforce development board membership requirements and making other changes. The state and federal acts work in concert to help train individuals for family sustaining jobs.

This bill also requires the state Department of Labor and Industry to collect data on emerging and projected future employment sectors in Pennsylvania and send it to educational institutions. Schools would be required to use the information to develop career education programs and for providing career guidance to students. The amended bill will return to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Acts to Reduce PA Lyme Disease Cases

With Pennsylvania leading the nation in the incidence of Lyme disease, the Senate approved legislation to require insurance coverage for testing and treatment, and raise awareness of tickborne diseases.

Senate Bill 1188 also requires the Department of Health to work with the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University to develop an electronic database to better track possible cases and provide access to the latest research. The measure will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing the persistent symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Left untreated or improperly treated, Lyme disease can lead to debilitating symptoms, which include fevers, arthritis, joint aches and more. If treated within the first 30 days, 10% or fewer patients will progress to severe symptoms.

Electronic Collection Event for Monroe County Residents

This Saturday, the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Authority will be holding a collection event for unwanted electronics for Monroe County residents.

The free event will run from 9 am until 2 pm at the Military Road Recycling Site (1114 Military Road, Stroudsburg PA 18360). Proof of residency is required and there is a maximum of four devices per household. Please check their website for more information, including acceptable and unacceptable items.

Bill to Curb Welfare Abuse Passed by Senate

A bill to halt wasteful spending in the Medical Assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs was approved by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 1124 requires the Department of Human Services to check death certificates with the Bureau of Vital Statistics so that the payments can be halted immediately when a recipient’s death is recorded.

An audit by former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale found that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services paid benefits to 2,324 dead people. In one case, $800 in benefits intended for a woman who passed away was used by another individual for a shopping spree.

Regional Transportation Projects Open to Review

Pennsylvanians have until June 30 to participate in a comment period on the draft 2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The draft 2023 STIP reflects the first four years of the 12-Year Program. It lists prioritized projects identified for federal, state, local and private funding in each federal fiscal year between 2023 and 2027.

The draft 2023 STIP can be viewed on the Talk PA Transportation website. Citizens can view projects by county and comment by filling out the online comment form or emailing RA-PennDOTSTC@pa.gov. You can also call PennDOT at 717-783-2262 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Preserving More Farmland in the 40th District

I’m happy to announce that seven additional farms have been preserved through the PA Farmland Preservation Program in the 40th Senate District. By selling their land’s development rights, landowners preserve their farms, protecting land from future residential, commercial or industrial development. We know that once farmland goes out of production, it rarely comes back, which is why farmland preservation is so important.

Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms and acres permanently preserved for agricultural production. The program guarantees a future food supply and contributes to a healthier economy. It also assures a way of life Pennsylvanians cherish will continue for generations to come. The program is a partnership between all levels of government and non-profit organizations – with a common goal of saving prime farmland and preserving open space.

The following farms were preserved:

  • The Christopher Schmidt Farm #2, a 27-acre crop farm in Polk Township.
  • The Arnell D. and Gordon J. Mann, Sr. Farm, a 54.5-acre crop farm in Allen Township.
  • The Floyd G. and Doris J. Brewer Farm, a 53.9-acre crop farm in Lower Mt. Bethel Township.
  • The Jeffrey A. and Kevin M. Brewer Farm #3, a 44.9-acre crop farm in Lower Mt. Bethel Township.
  • The James Folk Farm, a 51.9-acre crop farm in Washington Township.
  • The Roger Marth Farm, a 29.2-acre crop farm in Allen Township.
  • The Alvin P. and Heidi Messinger Farm, a 26-acre crop farm in Upper Mt. Bethel Township.

Older Mobile Phone Services Shutting Down

Mobile carriers are shutting down 3G and other older services to make room for 5G and other more advanced network services. 

The Federal Communications Commission says T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS and Sprint 4G LTE services will be shut down by the end of June and Verizon’s 3G by Dec. 31.

If your device uses the 3G wireless spectrum, you will not be able to make 911 calls on the device after the 3G phase out occurs. In addition to older mobile devices, some home security systems, life/medical alert systems, vehicle SOS services, and other tablets that rely on 3G are also impacted. More information and help can be found here.

National Dairy Month and PA Dairy Farmers

Pennsylvania is second only to Wisconsin in the number of dairy farms in America, with 5,200 throughout the state.

The commonwealth’s 474,000 cows produce more than 10 billion pounds of milk annually. Pennsylvania dairy production is critical to our commonwealth and nation, and keeping it strong is a top priority.

Around the 40th District

6/22/22 - Introduction of Guests

On Wednesday, I welcomed Maya Palka and Natalia Juchnicki to the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Both Maya and Natalia will start attending Pocono Mountain West High School in the fall. They are both great students and very active in extracurricular activities including the school band, choir, and swim team. They were joined by Maya’s parents Igor and Margaret Palka.

My Chief of Staff, Kristine joined in the celebration for SERVPRO grand opening in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Monroe County is close by and ready to respond to your cleaning or restoration needs for any disaster. Thank you to the Pocono Chamber of Commerce for organizing and thank you to SERVPRO for you investment in our community.

Our office helped to welcome NorthBound & Co to the community on Saturday with a ribbon-cutting celebration. Located in Hamilton Township, the recovery center seeks to assist those struggling with addiction or “other maladies of the spirit.”

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