Senator Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Honoring the Sacrifice of Our Fallen Heroes
  • Happenings in the 46th
  • Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans
  • Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board
  • Fish for Free on Sunday, May 26
  • Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers
  • Win Money for Your Child’s Education

Honoring the Sacrifice of Our Fallen Heroes

Monday marks the solemn occasion of Memorial Day, when we honor the men and women who gave their lives serving our nation with dignity, bravery and distinction.

Today and every day, remember the valuable contributions and tremendous sacrifices members of our Armed Forces have made on behalf of our country and the freedoms we so deeply cherish. The legacy of the veteran cannot be lost.

Happenings in the 46th

It was wonderful to participate in the Washington City Mission’s groundbreaking for the newly named “Sally’s Sanctuary.” The announcement of the name was made during the ceremony and is in honor of Dr. Sally Mounts, Chief Development Officer for City Mission. Sally’s Sanctuary will be a shelter for homeless women. I have supported this project every step of the way and was absolutely thrilled to present a check for a $500,000 grant to Diana Irey Vaughan [President/CEO] and Dean Gartland [President Emeritus] to help get the shelter closer to the financial finish line.

This week I had a chance to sit down with the leadership team of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 12. They shared updates on construction projects that are in progress, as well as upcoming projects in both Washington and Greene Counties. In addition, we reviewed maintenance activity around the 46th Senatorial District – including emergency slides, as well as permit updates and outreach efforts across the region.

I am always appreciative of the open dialogue with the District 12 team and look forward to their continued success.

Recently I had a spectacular time at the “Roaring 20s” themed grand opening event for the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. The trolley museum has always been one of my very favorite spots in Washington County and it has grown tremendously over the last 10 years. It now hosts thousands of school children as they come in from all around the area to learn about the history and beauty of these magnificent machines.

I was immeasurably overwhelmed with emotion when Tom Rooney, Scott Becker and Ed Morascyzk presented me with an incredibly beautiful, first edition depiction of the “Steelers Trolley“ as a thank you for my years of support for this jewel of Washington County.

I was honored to deliver the commencement speech at the Washington County Christian Homeschoolers Co-op (WCCHC) Graduation Ceremony. I would like to say congratulations Amanda, Luke, and Meredith on all of your hard work. The three of you and your families have demonstrated how homeschooling can cultivate not only academic excellence but also the character and values that will serve as your foundation.

Thank you Kristine Allen, WCCHC Leadership, for inviting me to speak at the wonderful commencement ceremony.

 It was a great turnout for the annual Career Kick-Start development course. Thank you so much to my staff and Pennsylvania Women Work’s absolutely incredible staff for putting this third annual event together. It’s been a pleasure partnering with Kristin Ioannou, Executive Director [pictured with me on the right], Liz Gryger, Associate Director of Programs [pictured with me on the left], and Abby Swalga, Director of Communications [not pictured].

I would also like to thank Frank Sarris Public Library for being so accommodating and providing a great space to host. The attendees left with new tips and critical professional skills to use as they take the next steps in their careers. Thank you all for coming!

Please join me on Saturday, June 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crossroads Center Building for a drive through identity theft prevention event. We will be located in a small parking lot on the corner of 95 West Beau Street & North Franklin Street.

Identity theft prevention information will be provided and an industrial shredder truck will be on site. A maximum of two boxes or bags per vehicle will be shredded. Phone books, newspapers and bound books cannot be accepted. Please remove any binder or paper clips.

This event is for individuals only – no businesses, please. For additional information, call 724-225-4380.

Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans

On Memorial Day – which is Monday, May 27 – we will pay tribute to the fallen warriors who fought to preserve our American ideals. Let us say a prayer in gratitude and remembrance. The Senate has also focused on helping living veterans by passing bills to award them with new benefits and make sure their families are aware of benefits that have already been granted. Both bills await consideration from the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 973 would provide Korean Americans who served in the Vietnam War with the same state veterans benefits as their U.S. counterparts. There are more than 3,000 naturalized Korean American citizens who served in the Vietnam War as a part of the Korean Armed Forces, including hundreds who now call Pennsylvania home.

Senate Bill 1139 would help grieving families of deceased U.S. military veterans access their federal Department of Veterans Affairs burial benefits. Funeral directors, funeral parlors or cemetery companies would be required to notify the director of the county veterans assistance office when a veteran living in the county passes. They would also have to provide the deceased veteran’s family with contact information for the county director.

Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board

Veterans, National Guard members and military family members can use a free job board that has nearly 10,000 employment and internship postings. While it is Pennsylvania-centric, there are listings in dozens of other states.

It’s easy to manage your job search process with application history and saved jobs. The system even allows applicants to store multiple versions of their resume for flexibility when applying to different jobs. The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations’ job board also offers employers the opportunity to post jobs, search the resume database and create resume alerts.

‘Fish for Free’ on Sunday, May 26

On Sunday, May 26, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a “Fish for Free” day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations will still apply.

This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.

This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors.

Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers

It continues to be challenging to find bus drivers so children can safely and reliably travel between home and school each day. When the problem is bad enough, it can even shorten the school day and limit the learning students can accomplish.

To avoid impacts to students’ education, it’s important to retain as many bus drivers as possible. Of course, they are not needed in the summer and aren’t able to collect a paycheck during that time. Unemployment compensation (UC) helps to bridge the gap until the school year begins so bus drivers aren’t forced to abandon their critical roles to pay their bills.

Information is available to help school bus drivers who will be laid off during the summer successfully claim their unemployment compensation. First, it’s crucial to claim during the correct week: the first week in which they are actually unemployed. Second, understand that UC and workers’ compensation are different when filling out the UC claim form. Please reach out to my office if you still have issues with your claim.

Win Money for Your Child’s Education

In honor of PA 529 Day on May 29, new PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) accounts opened between May 1 and May 31 with at least $10 in contributions are eligible for a chance to win $5,529 or $2,529. Current PA 529 GSP account owners are also eligible to win $5,529 if they had a balance of at least $10 as of April 30 and receive a contribution of at least $10 in May.

The PA 529 GSP helps families save for future college and career education expenses by keeping pace with rising college tuition. They offer tax-advantaged savings and the flexibility to pay for a wide variety of education expenses, including at any qualified educational institution, from K-12 to college and career training programs. Funds can also be used for room and board, tuition and books.

Anyone – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends – can contribute to a PA 529 plan. Saving with a PA 529 plan does not impact a student’s eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.


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