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:

  • Work Continues on the 2024-25 State Budget
  • Increasing Health Care Access in Rural Counties
  • Senate Advances Bill to Allow Year-round Motorcycle Inspections
  • Bill Limiting Smartphone Use in Schools Passes Senate
  • Bill Expanding First Responder Service Dog Fee Exemptions Receives Senate Approval
  • Senate Passes Bill Discounting Hunting and Fishing Licenses to Volunteer Firefighters
  • Canonsburg Fourth of July Parade

Work Continues on the 2024-25 State Budget

Our Senate Republican Caucus remains committed to producing a pro-growth budget which will empower Pennsylvanians and is equally honest with taxpayers about our state’s fiscal health both now and in the future. We have been diligently working to come to consensus on a final product. Additional session days will be added as needed to complete the budget as quickly as possible.

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

Increasing Health Care Access in Rural Counties

My legislation to increase access to health care was passed by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee this week.

Senate Bill 25, as amended, would allow qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs) to practice primary health care in rural counties 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.

In rural counties, people must travel significantly farther to access care and there is rarely public transportation. It can be very difficult and even impossible for people to access the health care they need, particularly as people age and tend to need care more often.

The bill uses the Center for Rural PA’s definition of rural, which is when the total population of a county divided by the total number of square land miles yields a population density fewer than 291 people per square mile.

More than 3.4 million Pennsylvanians live in rural areas, where nurse practitioners are twice as likely – compared to physicians – to practice. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate Advances Bill to Allow Year-round Motorcycle Inspections

The Senate unanimously passed my legislation to allow safety inspections to be performed on motorcycles registered in Pennsylvania year-round.

Even though motorcycles can be purchased and driven on Pennsylvania roadways throughout the year, the state Vehicle Code currently only allows safety inspections to be performed from March to October.

Senate Bill 1147 would eliminate that restriction so motorcycle operators have more opportunities to complete required inspections. Motorcycle registration with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation would continue to be tied to the month the vehicle is to be inspected.

My bill maintains the safety we expect on our roads while offering owners more convenience regarding when they would like to have their motorcycles inspected. It would also help to even out the demand auto mechanics face, making it easier for everyone – including those who aren’t motorcycle owners – to access important services. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Bill Limiting Smartphone Use in Schools Passes Senate

The Senate this week approved legislation to improve students’ mental health and academic performance by limiting their use of smartphones in school.

Since the early 2010s, there has been a steep decline in mental health in children, and their academic performance is suffering. Children’s compromised mental health, social skills and academic performance directly correlates to the rise of smartphones and social media apps.

Senate Bill 1207 would establish the Cell Phone Lockable Bag Pilot Program until Dec. 1, 2026. The School Safety and Security Committee would award grants to purchase secure, lockable smartphone bags in which students would deposit their mobile devices until the end of the school day.

The bill would also require schools participating in the program to create and post online a policy prohibiting the use of smartphones during school time. It must include exemptions for students who have a documented medical condition – such as diabetes – that requires the use of a phone.

Bill Expanding First Responder Service Dog Fee Exemptions Receives Senate Approval

The Senate approved Senate Bill 82 to extend license fee exemptions to service dogs integral to fire departments, sheriff’s offices and rescue services. This exemption currently applies only to municipal and state police departments. The bill was sent to the governor to be signed into law.

Service dogs detect threats, aid in search and rescue missions, and provide critical support during medical emergencies. The exemption from licensing fees aims to minimize financial barriers for agencies relying on these highly trained animals.

Additionally, the measure addresses challenges created by a revision to the state’s dog law that prohibited out-of-state residents from boarding their dogs in Pennsylvania-based kennels.

Senate Passes Bill Discounting Hunting and Fishing Licenses to Volunteer Firefighters

The Senate approved a bill that would enable volunteer firefighters to obtain discounted hunting licenses and fishing licenses in Pennsylvania.

Resident adult hunting licenses cost $20.97 and fishing licenses cost $27.97. The legislation would reduce the cost of each to $1 for volunteer firefighters who served at least the previous 12 months in the commonwealth.

Pennsylvania in the 1970s had as many as 300,000 volunteer firefighters. There currently are approximately 38,000 volunteer firefighters in the commonwealth.

Canonsburg Fourth of July Parade

 I hope everyone reading this had a safe and wonderful Independence Day celebration. My staff and I always have an incredible time attending the Greater Canonsburg Fourth of July Celebration Parade. This long-standing tradition in the community marked it’s 61st year which is quite an accomplishment. The thousands of people that attend make this the second-largest Fourth of July parade in Pennsylvania.


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