In this Update:
Senate Votes to Extend and Improve Program to Protect Students
The Senate approved my legislation extending and improving the school bus stop-arm automated enforcement program. The measure was signed into law as Act 19 of 2023.
The program was first authorized in 2018 and includes nearly 40 participating school districts that equipped 2,500 school buses with cameras to record vehicles that don’t stop for school buses. More than 4,000 violations have been recorded.
The program was set to expire this week. Senate Bill 851 makes the program permanent, improves interaction with law enforcement and streamlines the appeals process. If a driver illegally passes a stopped school bus, the school district will send the car owner a police-vetted violation in the mail. The owner must pay the $300 fine or make an appeal for a virtual or in-person hearing overseen by a PennDOT official. The driver may petition a magisterial district judge after PennDOT’s decision.
I will be hosting a second Veteran Appreciation Breakfast on November 1, 2023, at the Young Peoples Community Center, 300 Prave Street, Ebensburg. Please use this link or call my office at 814-266-2277 to register.
I will be hosting an Alternatives to College Expo on November 16, 2023, at the Hope Fire Company Social Hall, 1023 Philadelphia Avenue, Northern Cambria. Please use this link or call my office at 814-266-2277 to register.
Halloween Havoc in DuBois
It was great to attend this event presented by TURNaBOUT Boxing which was founded by now 16 year local boxer Aviana Gillaugh when she was 13. TURNaBOUT Boxing offers programs for the areas youth, teens, adults, seniors, those having movement impairing conditions, and we will soon be launching, with support from the VA, a veteran/military program!
Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County 2023 Annual Celebration
A member of my staff attended the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County 2023 Annual Celebration and Chamber Awards.
Grants Available for Organizations Helping Veterans
The Veterans’ Trust Fund is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. Nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs may apply by Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m.
Find more information about the grant opportunity and how to apply here.
The trust fund is supported by Pennsylvanians who donate when applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses, photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchase veteran-specific license plates; or make private donations. Tax-deductible donations can be made online.
Recognizing Pennsylvania’s First Responders
Saturday, Oct. 28, is National First Responders Day. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians care for us during some of life’s worst moments. They are true heroes, and I am proud to honor their brave and selfless efforts.
My Senate colleagues and I have passed legislation to address the serious shortage of volunteer firefighters in the commonwealth. The number dropped from about 300,000 in the 1980s to less than 38,000 today, so they need our support. Without enough volunteers, communities across Pennsylvania face longer wait times when minutes make the difference between life and death.
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