Senate Sends Constitutional Amendments to the House

HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) issued the following statement regarding Senate passage of Senate Bill 1:

“Today, with passage of Senate Bill 1, the Senate has fulfilled and completed our commitment to provide voters with a direct voice on voter identification, legislative review of regulations and opening the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors through constitutional amendments.  

“Advancing these three issues through constitutional amendments allows the matters to be put on the ballot and ultimately answered by the voters. The language approved in Senate Bill 1 is identical to the language that was passed during the 2021-22 legislative session and published in every corner of the Commonwealth for voters to read, review and provide feedback to their legislators.

“Passing multiple constitutional amendments in one bill, which are then presented to voters as separate questions, is not a new concept and has been utilized in prior sessions. Senate Bill 1 will be delivered to the House, and we look forward to their swift action to ensure the people of Pennsylvania will be presented with these questions in May.”

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Members of the Senate Republican Caucus have spoken about the importance of each of the three constitutional amendments that are included in Senate Bill 1.

 Video Remarks:

Senator Pittman Remarks

Senator Baker Remarks

Senator Argall Remarks

Senator Martin Remarks

Senator Laughlin Remarks

Senator Langerholc Remarks

Senator Mastriano Remarks

Senator Aument Remarks

Senator Phillips-Hill Remarks

Senator Regan Remarks

Senator Bartolotta Remarks

Senator Judy Ward Remarks

Senator Dush Remarks

 

CONTACTS:
Erica Clayton Wright (Senator Ward) ewright@pasen.gov
Kate Eckhart Flessner (Senator Pittman) kflessner@pasen.gov

Ward Announces Senate Standing Committee Chairs and Republican Committee Members for 2023-2024 Legislative Session

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) today announced the Republican Chairs and Republican members for each of the 22 Senate standing committees for the 2023-2024 legislative session.

“I am pleased to announce today the chairs and Republican members of each of the 22 Senate standing committees,” Ward said. “The Senate Republican Caucus is composed of members with extensive knowledge of various issue areas, many of whom will provide committee direction this session. I am confident the work done through the committee process will result in legislation that receives close examination and advance thoughtful policy that benefits all Pennsylvanians before consideration of the full Senate.”

Committees are essential to the effective operation of the Senate. Through hearings, committees gather information on pressing issues that affect the Commonwealth within their jurisdiction in order to draft, consider, and recommend legislation to the full membership of the Senate. As President Pro Tempore, Senator Kim Ward serves on all standing committees as an ex-officio member.

The Senate is currently home to 22 standing committees, and they are permanent bodies with specific responsibilities and jurisdictions that are defined in the Senate’s rules and provide oversight of related state agencies. The Senate periodically updates the names and jurisdictions of standing committees to address the issues evolving in the Commonwealth.

Click here for a complete list of Senate committees and their Republican membership for the 2023-24 Legislative Session.

 

CONTACT:  Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, 412-334-4856

Senate Leaders Respond to Governor Wolf’s Call for Special Session

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) issued the following statement:

“In August, the Senate reaffirmed with Gov. Wolf our commitment to take the next step in the constitutional amendment process for victims of childhood sexual abuse in this legislative session, just as we have in previous legislative sessions, and consistent with the multiple legislative actions already taken to protect children and families. Gov. Wolf’s call of a special session a week before his term ends is an attempt by him to prioritize one issue while there are equally important issues that deserve the same consideration among the voters.

“The Senate has fully organized our chamber for the 2023-2024 legislative session and have put in place a robust session schedule, during which we plan to consider several constitutional amendments in the normal course of legislative session. It is imperative that we work together to ensure constitutional amendments for voter identification, legislative review of regulations, election audits and statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors, can all be presented to voters. A special session is unnecessary to address constitutional amendments.”

 

CONTACTS:

Erica Clayton Wright (Senator Ward) ewright@pasen.gov

Kate Eckhart Flessner (Senator Pittman) kflessner@pasen.gov

Local Law Enforcement Support Grants Approved for Westmoreland County

(Greensburg, PA.) – Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli is elated to announce the Office of the District Attorney is a recipient of a significant Local Law Enforcement Support Grant. The District Attorney’s Office applied for the Local Law Enforcement Support Grant earlier this year.

We were informed by the offices of Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman that the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office was approved for the grant worth a total of $497,042. The Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program was established with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of Act 54 of 2022.

The purpose of this grant program is to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies to implement information technology improvements, hardware and software equipment, non-sworn personnel costs, non-reoccurring personnel costs for sworn officers, policy development, and evidence-based practices and training. This grant is meant to support local law enforcement and intended to reduce violent crime rates, increase clearance rates and improve manpower.

The District Attorney’s Office intends to use this funding toward a self-sufficient digital forensic lab, which will provide us the capabilities to analyze all digital evidence, including computers, and cell phones, etc. The digital forensic lab will be operated by a civilian forensic analyst and will be available to all law enforcement agencies throughout Westmoreland County.

The demand for forensics examination of these devices is at an all-time high, and wait times for retrieval are ever increasing. District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said some of this funding will also be used to upgrade our reporting management system for the county Detective Bureau. A total of $135 million in federal COVID relief under the American Rescue Plan Act was allocated through the state budget to support this initiative.

In addition to our office receiving this sizable grant, local police departments throughout the county were also awarded funding: $478,043 to Jeannette Police, $268,570 to Monessen Police, $152,378 to Latrobe Police and $106,928 to Ligonier Valley Police.

“I want to personally thank Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman and the Pennsylvania Senate for approving this grant funding,” District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said. “Through their vision and leadership, Westmoreland County is well on its way to having the most elite and fully funded law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth.”

“The more than $1.5 million in law enforcement grants for Westmoreland County will position our local law enforcement to better protect and serve our communities through better equipment, information technology improvement, and training to name a few,” said Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “With the rise in crime across the Commonwealth, it is critical that we work with local law enforcement to help provide them with the tools and resources needed to ensure Pennsylvanians feel safe in their homes and in the communities where they live and work.”

“As we look at ways to strengthen communities throughout Pennsylvania, investing in public safety measures is of the utmost importance,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman. “I commend Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli and local law enforcement leaders, for their unwavering determination and dedication to protecting our communities. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that these grants will have throughout the county.”

 

Kate Eckhart Flessner
Communications Director
Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman
Office: 717-787-8724
Cell: 717-576-2046
kflessner@pasen.gov
www.senatorpittman.com

Senator Kim Ward Announces Staff for the Office of Interim Senate President Pro Tempore

GREENSBURG – The interim Senate President Pro Tempore is shaping her office staff in preparation for the new legislative session to begin in January 2023.

Interim President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) announced that her team assumed their roles today, Dec. 5.

“Pennsylvanians should have great confidence that this talented group of individuals will join our caucus in helping to put Pennsylvania on a path to prosperity,” said Senator Kim Ward. “Each member of the team brings invaluable experience and expertise to the office and have made a commitment to put Pennsylvania first when advising and making decisions.”

This staff list reflects members of the team located in the Capitol office in Harrisburg, Pa. and serving the 39th District office located in Greensburg, Pa.

Harrisburg/Capitol Staff

Rob Ritson, Chief of Staff
Ashley Albert, Legislative Coordinator
Morgan Bowers, Executive Assistant/Scheduler
Shelly Brown, Majority Staff Administrator
John Gordner, Counsel to President Pro Tempore
Greg Mahon, Deputy Chief of Staff Budget/Finance
Lisvette Quinones, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
Katrina Weisman, Executive Assistant to Majority Staff Administrator
Adam Pankake, Director of Legislative Development
Erica Clayton Wright, Communications Director

39th District Staff

Rob Ritson, Chief of Staff
Dorothy Staffen, District Director
JoAnn Galbraith, Administrative Assistant
Rachel Moreland, Constituent Outreach Specialist
Lois D’Orazio, Constituent Service Specialist
Regina Scheller, Constituent Outreach Specialist

 

Contact: Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, (412) 334-4856.

Senators Kim Ward and Joe Pittman Announce $1.5 Million for Ligonier YMCA

GREENSBURG – Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) and Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) today announced the approval of $1.5 million to support the Ligonier Valley YMCA as part of an economic development and revitalization project in Westmoreland County.

“Community and economic development go hand-in-hand,” said Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “The funding announced today for this project will strengthen our local economy through job creation, advance our regional efforts to attract and grow businesses, while also improving the quality of life for our residents.”

Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), the funding will support critical expansion projects, providing opportunities for additional employment training, job creation and community services.

“This funding will help to address much needed improvements and renovations,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman. “These maintenance upgrades will ensure that the facility will continue to serve the community for years to come.”

The projects announced today are in addition to the RACP funds announced earlier in October of 2022.

Westmoreland County

Utilizing Our Past for the Future – Ligonier Valley YMCA – $1.5 million
The Ligonier Valley YMCA is the largest child care provider in our area. We desperately need to expand our child care program. We also need to renovate our current classrooms, improve security for our children interacting with members and provide dedicated training space for our staff. We also need to relocate our men’s locker room to first floor, add sprinkler system to entire building, replace drafty windows, upgrade HVAC to improve air flow, and renovate gross motor space for the children. We are also planning to build a kitchen area in order to serve meals and snacks.

 

Contact: Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, (412) 334-4856

TUESDAY: News Conference with New PA Senate Republican Leadership Team

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Senate Republicans will hold a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 15 to announce their new leadership team for the 2023-24 legislative session.

The news conference will be held on the second-floor balcony outside the Lieutenant Governor’s office shortly after Tuesday’s session. Session is scheduled to convene at 1 p.m. and will feature the election of an interim President Pro Tempore.

The news conference will be streamed live at PASenateGOP.com and the Senate Republican Caucus Facebook page.

 

CONTACT: Erica Clayton Wright ewright@pasen.gov

Senator Kim Ward Announces $7.1 Million for Three Community Development Projects in Westmoreland County

HARRISBURG – Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39) today announced the approval of $7.1 million to support three community, economic development, and revitalization projects in Westmoreland County.

“Community and economic development go hand-in-hand,” said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward.  “The funding announced today for these projects will strengthen our local economy through job creation, advance our regional efforts to attract and grow businesses, while also improving the quality of life for our residents.”

Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), the funding will support critical expansion projects, providing opportunities for additional employment training, job creation and community services.

The following projects that were approved across Westmoreland County include:

Renovate Sullivan Hall – Seton Hill University Campus – $4.0 million
This project will renovation Sullivan Hall, a cherished SHU campus landmark. Construction includes: selective building demolition, site preparation, site improvements, site mechanical and electrical utilities, foundation, superstructure, exterior enclosure, roofing, interior construction, finishes, specialties, HVAC, fire protection, plumbing and electrical. The design incorporates energy conservation techniques such as the use of energy efficient lighting, heating/air conditioning equipment, ample glass openings, and modern control systems. Exterior walls and the roof will be insulated to reduce energy consumption.

Hempfield Township Municipal Complex Phase 1 – $2.1 million
This project will prepare the entire site for development. It will consist of clearing and grubbing the entire site, performing earthwork and grading to final grades, preparing the pad foundations for all of the future buildings and roadways, and construction/extending all on-site utilities and necessary infrastructure to serve each of the future developments. It will also include construction of all of the proposed stormwater facilities, construction of a new road, construction of the interconnecting walking/biking trail system, and installation of site lighting and landscaping along the new roadway and walking/biking trail.

Laurel Highlands Workforce and Opportunity Centers Expansion – $1.0 million
This project will prepare the entire site for development. It will consist of clearing and grubbing the entire site, performing earthwork and grading to final grades, preparing the pad foundations for all of the future buildings and roadways, and construction/extending all on-site utilities and necessary infrastructure to serve each of the future developments. It will also include construction of all of the proposed stormwater facilities, construction of a new road, construction of the interconnecting walking/biking trail system, and installation of site lighting and landscaping along the new roadway and walking/biking trail.

The projects announced today are in addition to the RACP funds announced in April of 2022.

 

Contact: Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, (412) 334-4856

Majority Leader Kim Ward’s Statement on Fourth Anniversary of Tree of Life

GREENSBURG – Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) issued the following statement today on the fourth anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.

“Four years ago today, we all watched in horror as the lives of eleven souls in prayer were taken by a lone gunman at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

“This assault on the members of the Tree of Life, New Light, and Dor Hadash congregations had rippling effects throughout the American Jewish community, our Commonwealth, and our nation.

“But out of this tragic act, resilience was born. Acts of love and kindness – all of which rang across our southwestern Pennsylvania neighborhoods, Commonwealth, nation, and world – conquered the hate that was acted on that day.

“From the first responders who came to the rescue, to the residents of all ages from the Squirrel Hill community who held vigils, to the outpouring of compassion that was defined by a few words that personify our steel city community – Stronger Than Hate

“Let’s never forget those words for they not only ring loudly today in the City of Pittsburgh, but also in the towns and communities across Pennsylvania. We are stronger than hate. We are stronger together.”

 

CONTACT:    Erica Clayton Wright

                        412-334-4856

** Statement** Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward Issues Statement on PA EDGE Tax Credit Program

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) today offered the following statement regarding passage of the HB 1059 – The Economic Development for Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program.

“Steadfast in our position to put Pennsylvania on a path towards prosperity, the General Assembly today took another major step forward in setting up our state’s economy for long-term success with the passage of HB 1059 – The PA Economic Development for Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program. PA EDGE is another investment in Pennsylvania that signals to the businesses community that Pennsylvania is open for business. Such an investment will have a multiplier effect in revenue generation and job creation with regional outcomes across the Commonwealth and consists of $141.6 million in tax credits annually targeting various industries across the Commonwealth including hydrogen production, milk processing, and biomedical research.”

 

Contact: Erica Clayton Wright, ewright@pasen.gov, (412) 334-4856.