Senator Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Help Close Pennsylvania’s Digital Divide
  • Continuing to Prepare for Real ID
  • Cutting the Ribbon on Pre-K Education
  • Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies
  • Tuesday is the General Election
  • How Are Invasive Species Affecting You?
  • Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night
  • Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

Help Close Pennsylvania’s Digital Divide

As part of my ongoing effort to take our local challenges to Harrisburg, I am asking any resident or business to share with our office difficulties with internet connectivity.

I supported a law last year that created the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which is the state’s single point-of contact for the Commonwealth to drive out taxpayer dollars to eligible projects to improve access to high-speed internet in unserved and underserved communities. This authority wants to collect the most accurate data to help fulfil its mission of closing the state’s digital divide.

If you or someone you know lack access to high-speed internet, please let me know by calling one of my offices listed below.  This information will be shared with the authority so resources can be deployed to address this problem.

Continuing to Prepare for Real ID

Thank you to everyone who attended my Real ID Seminar in Canonsburg. We covered requirements, how and where to apply, the documents needed to apply, and whether or not it is necessary to acquire a Real ID. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) partnered with us for the event and held a presentation virtually. My staff and I were on hand as well to answer questions and help eliminate confusion anyone had with the Real ID process.

A reminder that you will need a Real ID by May 3, 2023 to board an airplane. If you don’t have one, you will be required to have a passport in order to fly within the United States.

Cutting the Ribbon on Pre-K Education

As a passionate supporter of early childhood development in Pennsylvania, I was pleased to attend the ribbon cutting for a new Pre-K Counts classroom being opened through the nonprofit organization, Blueprints, at the Frank Sarris Public Library in Canonsburg.

A partnership between Blueprints, the library, and a community-resource organization, Trying Together, helped make this a reality because of increased investments in the state budget for the Pre-K Counts and Head Start programs.

Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies

In the latest effort to help Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services, the Senate passed a comprehensive measure that would provide essential funding and support for these critical first responders.

The assistance is especially vital for volunteer fire companies struggling to recruit members and cover rising costs. As amended by the Senate, the measure would:

  • Put in place a Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program.
  • Establish recruitment, training and retention initiatives – including higher and secondary education partnerships for EMS.
  • Provide financial assistance for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities
  • Increase the maximum amount of fire and EMS grants and allow merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.
  • Provide funding for online fire training.
  • Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online registry of firefighters’ courses. 
  • Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.

The measure was sent to the governor for enactment.

Tuesday is the General Election

The General Election will be held Tuesday, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who are voting for the first time in their election district will be required to show an ID. Acceptable IDs for first-time voters:

  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • Military, student or employee ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
  • Any ID issued by the Commonwealth or federal government

If you are unsure where to vote, you can find your polling place here. You can learn about the voting system your county uses here.

How Are Invasive Species Affecting You?

The impact of invasive species on Pennsylvania citizens, local governments, businesses and others is the focus of a survey being conducted by the Governor’s Invasive Species Council.

The Invasive Species Impacts Survey will be used to chronicle the effects invasive plants, insects, animals and pathogens are having on land and waterways.

Invasive species include more than 140 invasive plant types, 25 plant diseases, 18 insects, 60 aquatic animals, five bird and mammal species, and more. The survey takes a few minutes to complete and is open through Nov. 13.

Reminder: Turn Clocks Back Saturday Night

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

With deer becoming more active during the fall breeding season, and the end of daylight saving time putting more vehicles on the road during dusk and dawn when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking motorists to stay alert.

According to insurance statistics, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-58 chance of a vehicular accident involving a big game animal – one of the highest rates nationwide. Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can make a difference.

You can find out more about avoiding collisions with deer and how to report a collision here.

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