Senator Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Happenings in the 46th
  • Senate Continues Detailed Review of Shapiro’s Budget
  • Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals
  • Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts
  • Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry
  • Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Happenings in the 46th

This week I helped to cut the ribbon on The Club House at the Greene County CTC (Career & Technology Center) in Waynesburg. Mr. Krupa and his entire team along with the students who designed and created this great facility should all take great pride in what they have built. The sales from this student-run convenience store will support club trips and activities for years to come. Congratulations to the entire CTC team on another innovative and successful program.

Additionally, I would like to personally thank Melody and Sarah from the Greene County Pa Chamber of Commerce for organizing the ribbon cutting. They always do a fantastic job making these moments a seamless success.

How sweet it is! Hundreds of folks flocked to the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg this week to partake of the 30th anniversary of the Sweet Sunday Dessert Festival. This incredibly fun event supports the Washington City Mission.

It was a pleasure meeting with Marine combat veteran Staff Sergeant Joseph Chenelly (left) and Army veteran Paul Shipley (right) in my Washington district office this week. Joseph currently serves as National Executive Director at AMVETS National Headquarters and Paul serves as National Second Vice Commander.

AMVETS is a wonderful Congressionally-chartered service that exists to enhance the quality of life for all veterans, their families and survivors. Learn more about them here:

I have been a longtime supporter of CASA for Kids Washington County, and was thrilled to have Executive Director Kelley Swift (left) and Board Member Nancy Moore (right) stop by my district office to discuss CASA’s impact on our community. They also updated me on their progress serving children who have experienced abuse and trauma.

Thank you so much ladies!

I would also like to thank Sam Hanna (right) and Joshua Will (left) of Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) for meeting with me this week. CEO is a national non-profit that provides job placement services to people returning home after a period of incarceration. They have offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.

You can learn more about their organization here:

Senate Continues Detailed Review of Shapiro’s Budget

Officials struggled to answer questions about Gov. Josh Shapiro’s broad higher education concepts and wide discrepancies in K-12 education funding during the Department of Education hearing with the Senate Appropriations Committee this week. He proposes increasing Basic Education spending by nearly $1.1 billion in his 2024-25 spending plan, but his proposed budget shows no increases in Basic Education funding after this year – raising concerns that the administration cannot pay for the billions of dollars in promised new education spending without raising taxes.

The hearing was one of a series held by the committee to analyze the governor’s proposed $48.3 billion 2024-25 state budget. His plan would boost state spending by more than $3.3 billion above the current year’s budget. It requires thoughtful consideration so tax dollars are spent wisely without eliminating the state’s Rainy Day Fund in five years as projections indicate would happen with Shapiro’s budget.

At the Department of Agriculture budget hearing, discussion included state efforts to combat avian influenza, farming education initiatives and the performance of tax credit programs for PA farmers. Concerns were also raised about Gov. Shapiro’s plan to legalize adult-use marijuana.

At the hearing for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), members discussed how to make the most efficient use of existing resources as both agencies have considerable reserves and the PGC’s budget increased from approximately $130 million in 2019-20 to approximately $350 million in 2024-25.

Thursday’s hearings include the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals

To recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, a tuition assistance program offers up to $5,000 for reimbursement of EMS state certification training for permanent Pennsylvania residents.

Up to $300 is available for emergency medical responders, up to $800 for emergency medical technicians, up to $1,000 for advanced emergency medical technicians and up to $5,000 for paramedics.

Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive up to $1,250 of recruitment and retention expenses per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Learn more.

Find Lost Life Insurance Policies and Annuity Contracts

Individuals who believe they are beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a family member or friend can locate lost life insurance policies and annuity contracts through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

When a request is received, the NAIC will give participating companies that have policy information access to respond to you as the designated beneficiary or if you are authorized to receive information. It will also allow participating companies to search their records to determine whether they have a life insurance policy or annuity contract in the name of the deceased person.

Access NAIC’s life insurance policy locator.

Supporting Agriculture, PA’s Top Industry

To bolster agriculture – the state’s top industry – $500,000 in grants is available to help Pennsylvania farms pursue growth opportunities. Funding will be used to benefit economic development, job creation and innovation.

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program is designed to enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania’s farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production and building a team of financial and technical experts as a resource for the state’s farmers.

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs. Learn more about guidelines and how to apply.

Celebrating “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Sunday, March 3, is National Anthem Day. “The Star-Spangled Banner” shares a message of endurance and perseverance. Francis Scott Key originally wrote his poem during a naval attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. That battle was nearly lost.

It wasn’t until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem.

Rather than commemorating victory, our national anthem highlights our ability to withstand attack. Today, we continue to raise our flag and refuse to be defeated.


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