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:

  • Free Barbecue Picnic for Veterans and Service Members on July 12
  • New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices
  • Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations
  • My Bill Would Allow Year-round Motorcycle Inspections
  • Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage
  • Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support
  • 100-year-old World War II Veteran Visits Capitol
  • Recognizing Pennsylvania’s Friendship with Taiwan
  • Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers
  • Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Free Barbecue Picnic for Veterans and Service Members on July 12

I invite veterans, active duty service members, and their families of the 46th District to attend a veterans appreciation barbecue picnic on Friday, July 12, from 5-7 p.m. at the Stone Pavilion in Washington Park.

This picnic is an opportunity to thank the men and women who have sacrificed their time and put their lives on hold to defend our great country. Of course, it is also about their families, who lived without their loved ones, often in fear for their safety when they were gone. I encourage all veterans and active duty members of the 46th District and their spouses to attend.

Space is limited for the picnic, so veterans and their families are asked to RSVP by Friday, July 5, online by clicking this link. Call my district office for more information at 724-225-4380.

New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices

A new law prohibits the use of handheld cellular and other devices while operating a vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or traffic way. Drivers may still use their phone if they are using hands-free technology, such as a docking station, Bluetooth or speaker technology.

For the first year, only warnings will be issued for violations. After that, there will be a $50 fine.

Distracted driving fatalities in Pennsylvania surged to a decade high in 2022, claiming 80 lives. The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index found that the majority of drivers believe distracted driving has outpaced all other traffic-related issues as a growing safety concern. All of Pennsylvania’s border states and 28 others have enacted hands-free laws.

Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations

In Pennsylvania, the state budget is to be completed by June 30 of each year. As we work to reach consensus, Senate Republicans are continuing to fight for a budget that respects taxpayers and makes the best use of the state’s resources.

In February, Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a massive $3.2 billion increase in state spending. Last month, Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative approach that would reduce taxes by approximately $3 billion annually. Instead of growing government bureaucracy and picking winners and losers, our plan would allow Pennsylvanians to decide how their money should be spent. These historic tax cuts would provide relief to every Pennsylvanian who earns a paycheck by reducing the personal income tax rate from 3.07% to 2.8%, and every person paying an electric bill by eliminating the Gross Receipts Tax on energy.

Learn more about the process of enacting the 2024-25 state budget and watch the Senate in session here.

My Bill Would Allow Year-round Motorcycle Inspections

I have sponsored legislation to allow safety inspections to be performed on motorcycles registered in Pennsylvania year-round. This bill received support from the Senate Transportation Committee this week.

Even though motorcycles can be purchased and operated in Pennsylvania roadways throughout the year, the state’s Vehicle Code currently mandates safety inspections can only be performed from March to October.

Senate Bill 1147 would eliminate that restriction so motorcycle operators can enjoy uniformity and consistency. Motorcycle registration with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation would continue to be tied to the month the vehicle is to be inspected. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage

With the number of older Pennsylvanians rising and nursing homes struggling to find qualified workers, the Senate passed two bills this week to reverse the worker shortage. Both bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 1102 would increase the number of nursing home workers by streamlining the training and certification process and removing barriers that prevent people from entering the health care workforce in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1104 would further increase the nursing home workforce by enabling high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two elective credits for working or volunteering at a nursing home, personal care home or assisted living facility. Schools would establish program guidelines and procedures to allow students to earn one elective credit for each 250 hours of paid or volunteer work at a qualifying facility.

Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support

To provide financial relief to more disabled veterans, the Senate passed Senate Bill 194 to exclude U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Attendance benefits as income when calculating eligibility for Pennsylvania’s 100% Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption.

Federal Aid and Attendance benefits provide monthly payments to disabled veterans who are housebound or need help with daily activities. Without the exclusion of this federal benefit, some disabled veterans are prevented from qualifying for property tax reductions. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

My legislation, Senate Bill 177, would extend the exemption to the unmarried surviving spouse upon the death of an eligible veteran, provided that the State Veterans’ Commission determines such person is in need of the exemption.  It would also expand the number of covered veterans and ease the calculations of income.

Extending property tax exemptions to more disabled veterans and spouses of military members killed in action is an acknowledgement that their sacrifices on behalf of our nation are respected and appreciated. Senate Bill 177 is currently before the Senate State Government Committee for consideration.

100-year-old World War II Veteran Visits Capitol

It was an honor to meet 100-year-old World War II Veteran, Benjamin Melvin Berry (Quartermaster Corps 3rd US Army), during Guard-Veterans Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg. Mr. Berry fought in the Battle of the Bulge nearly 80 years ago, which was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. Thank you for your bravery and service.

Mr. Berry was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Recognizing Pennsylvania’s Friendship with Taiwan

Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), chair of the Senate Friends of Taiwan Caucus, joined members of the bicameral caucus to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and the adoption of House Resolution 439 with Ambassador James K.J. Lee of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) in the state Capitol this week. House Resolution 439 recognizes the long-standing friendship between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Taiwan.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Lee as he visited both chambers and discussed Pennsylvania’s importance as a trading partner to Taiwan and the significance of cultural and educational exchanges and technological collaboration between Taiwan and the U.S.

Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers

Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s top industry, and dairy products play a significant role by generating $11.8 billion in economic revenue and supporting 47,000 jobs statewide. Of the nearly 5,000 dairy farms in the state, 99% are family-owned with many being handed down generation after generation.

Our dairy farmers work tirelessly each day to provide families everywhere with nutrient-rich foods. Dairy products contain nine essential nutrients that help to manage weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. The nutrient powerhouse also helps build and repair muscle tissue and maintain healthy skin.

Celebrate National Dairy Month by raising a glass of milk or enjoying some delicious ice cream. Pennsylvania has an Ice Cream Trail that boasts great creameries all across the state.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

46th Senatorial District resident, Fredric Bender, was kind enough to send my office photos of a recent grave ceremony that honored his second great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran. Fredric is a member of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War local Washington Camp #120 and every year they honor a different Civil War veteran at various cemeteries throughout the district.

Interesting fact that the national headquarters for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is located at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. Fredric tells me that the local chapter is always looking for new members. If you’re interested in joining a camp near you or the Washington Camp #120, you can visit this website for contact information. Thank you so much, Fredric!


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