Senator Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 46th Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website for more information about your state government. You can also keep up to date through Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (


Camera Bartolotta


In this Update:

  • Low-Interest Loans Available for Flood Survivors
  • Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs 
  • We Must Improve Health Care Access, Affordability
  • Local State Champion Visits Harrisburg
  • Happenings in the 46th
  • Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work
  • Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law
  • Grants Available to Capitalize on Tourism
  • Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Low-Interest Loans Available for Flood Survivors

The commonwealth received approval from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to make financial aid available in Allegheny County and contiguous counties: Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland as a result of the flooding event that took place April 11 – 12, 2024.

The SBA’s Disaster Loan program provides low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, private non-profits, and businesses located in disaster declared counties who sustained damages from flooding. The SBA can provide up to $500,000 for homeowners to replace or repair their primary residences and up to $100,000 for homeowners and renters to replace or repair personal property. Businesses and most private non-profits may apply for up to $2 million to cover disaster losses not fully covered by insurance. Additionally, small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations located in the declared disaster area that have suffered substantial economic injury may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

The SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Allegheny County beginning Friday, May 3, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. to provide in-person assistance for those wishing to apply. Visiting the DLOC is not required to obtain assistance.

Allegheny County:
South Fayette Township Municipal Building
100 Township Drive
Bridgeville, PA 15017

DLOC Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Sunday the DLOC is closed

The DLOC permanently closes on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.

The deadline to return disaster loan applications for physical damages is June 28, 2024. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) applications is January 29, 2025.

You can view details about the SBA’s disaster declaration for the April 11-12, 2024, flooding here.

Affected homeowners and renters are strongly encouraged to complete the SBA disaster loan application, as those who do not qualify for an SBA loan may later be eligible for other assistance.

Senate Acts to Meet PA’s Power Needs

Acting to establish a sweeping, new energy framework for Pennsylvania, the Senate approved legislation this week creating the Independent Energy Office (IEO) and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity with Energy Reliability (POWER) Board. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under Senate Bill 832, the IEO will provide data-driven analysis and ensure lawmakers have the reliable information necessary to review and implement current energy strategies as well as be on the forefront of new innovative technologies. The POWER Board will be a public clearinghouse for energy development in Pennsylvania and allow residents to see public accountability on decisions that impact energy prices in Pennsylvania.

I believe that given the demand for energy we have in the commonwealth, we have to be strategic about how we meet the needs of Pennsylvanians. We cannot afford to abandon energy strategies that give us peace of mind and benefit our economy through family-sustaining jobs. This board will provide the nonbiased information legislators need to make the best decisions and the public needs to be aware of what drives their bills.

The federal government has passed legislation to provide funding for states to grow solar, wind, hydro and nuclear capacities. Pennsylvania must apply for these funds and provide a framework to distribute funding throughout the state. The General Assembly has not yet established this framework, and statutory authority is needed.

We Must Improve Health Care Access, Affordability

 This week I joined nurses from across Pennsylvania representing the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (PCNP) to discuss important legislation to increase health care access. My legislation, Senate Bill 25, would allow qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs) to practice independent of a physician after fulfilling a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician. Current law requires nurse practitioners to practice under a collaboration agreement at all times. My bill would improve access and affordability of health care services, especially in rural areas where the need is greatest. In fact, 3.4 million Pennsylvanians live in rural areas, where nurse practitioners are twice as likely – compared to physicians – to practice.

According to a recent study’s findings, the number of patients seen by nurse practitioners per week would increase by almost 1,800 if Pennsylvania adopted full practice authority. My bill focuses exclusively on patients and how we can connect them to the care they need. It would promote a stronger health care system, more access to critical services and better quality of care. Senate Bill 25 is before the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee for consideration.

You can watch my remarks by clicking the image.

Local State Champion Visits Harrisburg

It was a pleasure hosting Ryan Pajak, a 3-time consecutive WPIAL Class AA Boys’ Cross Country Champion and 2023 PIAA State Champion. He set a WPIAL District VII course record for the 2-mile and set a state Class AA course record. Ryan is a senior at Ringgold High School located in my and Representative Tim O’Neal’s district.

Before introducing this exceptional young athlete on the Senate floor, I presented Ryan with a Senate Citation of Congratulations for his commitment to personal and athletic success. Ryan’s incredibly supportive parents, Dan and Hollie, joined him on the trip to Harrisburg. Congratulations, Ryan!

To watch my introduction of Ryan and his parents on the Senate floor, click the image above.

Happenings in the 46th

There was reason to celebrate last month in Greene County when the RAMP (Rural Access Mobility Platform) research program was ceremoniously launched. The program officially began on May 1. This four month pilot program will identify viable and sustainable solutions for addressing transportation challenges in Greene County. The hope is to expand this program across the Commonwealth in rural areas.

The collaborative effort is led by Carnegie Mellon University, and partnering are Blueprints, Greene County Commissioners, and Waynesburg University. You can learn more visiting this link.

Last month the Harveys-Aleppo Grange #1444 held their annual awards recognition night. The evening kicked off with PA State Grange President, Matt Espenshade from Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. Members of the Harvey’s-Aleppo Grange that have reached a membership milestone were recognized for their years of service. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Community Citizen of the Year Award to Lew & Debbie Crouse of Sycamore, Greene County. Friends and family joined Mr. & Mrs. Crouse as they received this much deserved recognition. My office also presented them with an official Senate Certificate of Congratulations.

Recently there was a ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Char House in downtown Charleroi. The Washington County Redevelopment Authority completed a $4.5M renovation project on the 104-unit housing facility. This project included the replacement of the major electrical, plumbing and sanitary sewer systems. It also included a renovated common area and community room kitchen. The apartments also received a make-over with remodeled kitchens, bathrooms and new patio doors and windows.

The entire team at the Redevelopment Authority, as well as the contractors and staff at Char House should all be commended on an excellent project.

Thank you to the Washington County Commissioners office for providing the photograph.

Senate Approves Bill to Get Pennsylvanians Off UC and Back to Work

Unemployed Pennsylvanians who engage in job dodging by sabotaging their own efforts to get hired would jeopardize their Unemployment Compensation benefits under a bill approved by the Senate.

Job dodging is the process used by some Unemployment Compensation recipients to avoid obtaining a job and to continue to collect benefits. Job dodgers may skip a job interview or refuse employment or a referral for employment to continue receiving Unemployment Compensation benefits.

Senate Bill 1109 is intended to prevent Unemployment Compensation recipients who apply for a job from unreasonably discouraging their own hiring. It would require the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to create or update forms enabling employers to report Unemployment Compensation claimants who discourage their own hiring through job dodging. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Celebrating Historic Breast Cancer Screening Law

One year ago, a first-of-its-kind in the nation comprehensive breast cancer screening bill was signed into law as Act 1 of 2023. Senate Republicans supported the bill that eliminated out-of-pocket costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling as well as supplemental screening such as breast MRI and ultrasound for women at high risk.

High-risk conditions covered by the law include dense breast tissue, personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition and prior radiation therapy.

Act 1 covers individuals whose insurance is state-regulated, including plans purchased through the Pennie marketplace or employer-provided insurance. The law takes effect for many plans between 2024 and 2025. All state-regulated plans must be in place before the end of 2025. Learn more.

Grants Available to Capitalize on Tourism

To draw sporting events and the associated tourism to Pennsylvania, grants are available to municipalities, local authorities, nonprofit organizations and legal entities that meet specific criteria. Learn more and apply by June 30 using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application.

The Sports Marketing and Tourism Program was created to attract high-quality, amateur and professional sporting and e-sports events to Pennsylvania. Hosting a major event increases sales to small and large businesses in the area, which boosts the local economy.

The last round of grants benefited Philadelphia Soccer for the 2026 World Cup in Philadelphia, the United States Golf Association for the 2025 United States Men’s Open in Oakmont and the 2024 United States Women’s Open in Lancaster.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania leads the nation with the number of Lyme disease cases. While we are lucky to have access to the many outdoor recreational opportunities in the commonwealth, they come with the risks of tickborne diseases.

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn how to protect your family and pets against Lyme. Use insect repellent when spending time outdoors, treat your clothing and gear with permethrin and conduct a tick check when you come inside.

There are three stages of Lyme disease with distinct signs and symptoms occurring in each stage, including a bullseye rash, headaches, nerve pain, heart palpitations and fever. If you discover a tick, safely remove it, put it in a plastic bag and mail it to the Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab for free testing. Within three business days, you will know if the tick carried Lyme disease and other diseases – valuable information for you and your health care provider.


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