Senator Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate
  • Improving Workforce Development Programs
  • Some Very Special Guests Visited the Capitol This Week
  • Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety
  • Beware of E-ZPass Scam
  • Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee
  • April is National Financial Literacy Month

Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate

The Senate approved legislation that would require prosecutors across the state to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) whenever illegal migrants are charged with violating state law. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Currently in Pennsylvania, violations of state law by illegal migrants are not required to be reported to ICE, but Senate Bill 1127 would ensure illegal migrants who violate our laws are held accountable. The change will better safeguard our communities and protect Pennsylvania’s law-abiding citizens.

Earlier this year, two NYPD officers were assaulted in broad daylight by illegal migrants. Several of the offenders had been previously arrested but not reported to ICE and were released back on the streets. The shocking crime prompted New York City Mayor Eric Adams to call for ICE to be informed when illegal migrants have been charged with violations of state law.  

Improving Workforce Development Programs

My legislation to make Pennsylvanians more attractive to employers and improve workforce development programs passed the Senate Labor and Industry Committee unanimously this week. Senate Bill 761 would utilize data that already exists but is not shared with local development boards in a timely fashion. Delayed information and data sharing impacts the ability of these boards to efficiently analyze programs and policy.

The Department of Labor and Industry and the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis would be required to share already collected workforce data on wages, new hires and unemployment claimants with local workforce development boards.

Sharing data more efficiently will give Pennsylvania’s 22 local workforce development boards the opportunity to measure the success and shortcomings of specific programs. This will ultimately enable them to adjust programs so they more effectively connect people with family sustaining jobs while promoting the responsible use of tax dollars.

The bill also calls for technical assistance and support for the improved data sharing model so local workforce development boards can use the information. Having received committee support, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Some Very Special Guests Visited the Capitol This Week

Abby Ray was crowned Miss Rain Day 2023 during the 45th annual scholarship pageant last summer in Waynesburg. Her brother Owen and parents, Jason and Natalie, joined Abby for a wonderful day touring the Capitol, meeting Lt. Governor Austin Davis, being recognized on the Senate floor, and visiting my office and meeting my staff. I also had the pleasure of presenting Abby with a Senate Citation of Congratulations before session began. You’re a wonderful young lady and thank you for your dedication to your community. A big thank you to pageant representative Jeanine Henry for accompanying the Tedrow family and for your efforts continuing the wonderful Rain Day tradition.

Rain Day’s history can be traced back to the late 1800s, when a local farmer began keeping a written record of the fact that it always rained on July 29th. Thus in 1979, the first annual Miss Rain Day Pageant was held to celebrate this occurrence. This event has the bragging distinction of being the only pageant in the world where it is considered a success if it rains!

You can watch my introduction of Abby and her family on the Senate floor by clicking the picture.

The Greene County Human Services (GCHS) / Food Security Partnership recently received the 2024 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence in the category of Health & Wellness Initiatives.

The award recognizes their “Thanks for Giving Community Day” at the Greene County Fairgrounds last year. This collaborative task force helped address food insecurity issues for veterans and the aging population. Food Security Partnership joined SWPA Area Agency on Aging and Greene County Veterans, offering residents information on healthy nutritional eating, exercise, access to different health care information, and personal care screenings.

Tammy Henderson from GCHS took the lead and was integral in organizing the “Thanks for Giving Community Day.” It was a whirlwind couple of days for Tammy and Marcy Maletta, GCHS Chief Operating Officer, who accompanied Tammy as they visited Harrisburg to attend the awards ceremony, meet with me, and then race back to Greene County to meet with the Greene County Commissioners to be recognized for their hard work! My sincerest congratulations to you both!

Pictured with me on the left is Tammy and on the right is Marcy.

In the second picture from left to right is Commissioner Betsy McClure, Tammy, Marcy, Eric Cowden [Senator Bartolotta Staff], Commissioner Blair Zimmerman, and Commissioner Jared Edgreen.

This week also featured the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP)’s “Day on the Hill” advocacy day in Harrisburg and a group from Waynesburg University stopped by my office to discuss the impact their school and other independent, nonprofit higher education schools make in the Commonwealth.

Thank you (left to right) Isaiah Skeete [Associate Director of Admissions], Clara Paige Miller [Student], and Macee Cree [Student] for meeting with me!

Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety

The Senate passed legislation this week to strengthen the bail determination process for dangerous individuals: repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot.

Senate Bill 1120 would only allow cash bail to be used and ban release on own recognizance or unsecured bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety while they await trial. The bill is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania as an average of 14 Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and approximately 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl – the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill an average person.

Beware of E-ZPass Scam

A new phishing scam is targeting E-ZPass account holders requesting information to settle outstanding toll amounts. The texts claim to be from “Pa Turnpike Toll Services” and center around urgent requests with your account that would result in a late fee if the balance does not get settled. Similar scams have been reported by toll agencies across the country in the past several days.

Customers who receive an unsolicited text, email or similar message suggesting it is from E-ZPass or another toll agency should not click the link. E-ZPass account holders can use approved safe methods to check their accounts such as the PA Turnpike E-ZPass website or the PA Toll Pay app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Those who receive a fraudulent text can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at The site is dedicated to sharing information on internet crimes across law enforcement agencies.

Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee

As a result of action taken by Senate Republicans, students will be safer on their journey to and from school. Because of legislation now in effect, school districts may install and operate automated camera systems on school buses to capture violations committed by motorists.

Violations identified by the camera system will be reviewed by police under agreement with the school district. After that review, the school district may issue a violation and a $300 fine to the vehicle owner. These violations are civil penalties only and no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Vehicle owners may request a hearing before a PennDOT hearing office, at no cost to the vehicle owner, if they feel they are innocent. Before the passage of the legislation, the vehicle owner was responsible for paying applicable civil filing fees.

April is National Financial Literacy Month

In April, we recognize National Financial Literacy Month, a time to celebrate work being done to improve the knowledge that helps people achieve their money-focused goals.

Senate Republicans recognized that young adults face financial decisions that can come with long-term consequences and passed legislation to arm high school students with money management skills. The new law requires completion of a half-credit personal finance course to graduate high school.

The course will give high school students the understanding they need about topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.

Free Wellness Event on Thursday

I am hosting a free 10,000 Step Challenge Wellness Event  along with Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-40), in partnership with Highmark Wholecare, on Thursday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Peters Township Community Recreation Center (multi-purpose room), 700 Meredith Drive, Venetia.

Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with exhibitors about active living and improving their health. Highmark Wholecare will host interactive demonstrations on healthy food choices and blood pressure screening. Following the event, the 10,000 step challenge will kick off on the trail outside the recreation center.

It is not necessary to RSVP for the event, but residents are encouraged to call my office at 724-225-4380 with any questions.


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