In this Update:
Senate Approves Measure to Improve Personal Financial Literacy
This week, the full Senate passed my bill to improve personal financial literacy by requiring completion of a half-credit economics and personal finance course during high school.
Recent estimates calculate there are more than 350 million American-owned credit card accounts, and, on average, credit card owners have about four cards apiece. Families in the United States are approaching approximately $1 trillion dollars in credit card debt and more than $15 trillion dollars in debt overall.
Senate Bill 647 would give high school students the information they need on topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home, and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement. By teaching high school students the financial basics, they will be able to make better decisions to position themselves for a lifetime of success and financial independence.
The bill calls for the Department of Education to review and update its existing model curriculum materials and other available resources as necessary no later than the beginning of the 2026-27 school year.
It now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Acts to Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Taxpayers and Job Creators
The Senate approved a legislative package to reduce the burden of unchecked government regulations on taxpayers and job creators. The bills will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 188 requires regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million to go before the General Assembly for approval before taking effect. The Independent Fiscal Office, rather than the regulating agency, would be tasked with calculating the economic impact.
Senate Bill 190 requires an automatic review after three years of all regulations with an economic impact on taxpayers and employers exceeding $1 million. The regulating agency must report to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on the effectiveness of the regulation, whether current state laws require the regulation’s repeal or amendment, and more.
Senate Bill 350 requires state agencies to create an accessible website for permit applicants to check their application status. In addition, all the permits issued must be publicly accessible and if rejected, it must state the legal authority the agency relies on to reject the permit application. It also requires that a permit, license or certification is deemed approved by the state if the agency reviewing the application misses its statutory deadline.
Measure Boosting Support for PA Veterans Approved by Senate
The Senate passed bills to help veterans start or expand a business, access programs and services available to them, and make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a free lifetime fishing license. All three bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 248 would create the Veteran-owned Business Loan Guarantee Program, which would be funded with $5 million of existing dollars from another program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as one in which 51% or more of the organization is owned or controlled by one or more veterans. Veteran-owned businesses in America employ nearly four million workers and generate more than $175 billion in annual payroll.
Senate Bill 447 would establish in law the PA VETConnect program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and helps the commonwealth’s more than 700,000 veterans access programs and services tailored to their needs. The database of resources enables local veteran advocates – including staff at county veterans affairs offices – to point veterans to information, resources, programs and services in their area and across the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 411 would make it possible for disabled veterans with a 100% disability determination to obtain a free, lifetime fishing license. Free lifetime fishing licenses currently are available only to disabled veterans with a 100% permanent disability determination, and they must apply for a new free fishing license every year.
Legislation Expanding Access to Breast Cancer Screenings Signed Into Law
Recently signed into law, Act 1 of 2023 is a first-of-its-kind breast cancer screening measure that will save Pennsylvanians’ lives.
It eliminates all costs associated with genetic testing and counseling as well as breast MRI and ultrasounds for Pennsylvanians with high-risk conditions like dense breast tissue, a personal history of breast cancer, a family history, a genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Approximately one of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, but this law will ensure that high-risk individuals have affordable access to early detection.
Wernersville District Office Open House
I will be hosting an open house on Saturday, May 20, from noon to 2pm at my new district office location, 6 W. Penn Ave, Wernersville.
Please come out to meet me and my staff and learn more about the services available through the office. Hotdogs and light refreshments will be provided.
There is no need to RSVP for the open house, but if you have any questions, please contact the Wernersville office at 610-562-3411.
Aaron Seidel Wrestling State Champion Recognized
This week, I had the privilege of recognizing Aaron Seidel on the floor of the Senate while he visited Harrisburg.
Seidel is a sophomore at Northern Lebanon School District and recently won his second PIAA state wrestling title in the 106-pound division. With an incredible career record of 97-1, he is the first wrestler in Lebanon County history to win multiple state titles.
He also won a national title at the National High School Coaches Association Championship.
Congratulations and thank you for visiting the capitol.
Recognizing Police Officers’ Memorial Day
In recognition of Police Officers’ Memorial Day in Pennsylvania, as designated by Senate Resolution 111, the Fraternal Order of Police joined Senate Republicans to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year. The five officers were:
Like so many other members of law enforcement, these officers served and protected their fellow citizens – despite knowing the sacrifices they and their families would have to make. Thank you to each brave man and woman who defend the safety of our communities.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
To all the women who put their family first, thank you for being such a source of strength and support in our communities. Happy Mother’s Day!
Saturday, May 13, 9am-8pm, Lebanon Historic Preservation Sites Open House
Thursday, May 18, 3-5pm, Lebanon Lilly Birthday Party
Saturday, May 13, 9am-2pm, Helping Homeless Veterans
Thursday, May 11-13, Jonestown Carnival
Saturday, May 13, 11am-6pm, Central PA Food Truck & Art Fest
Thursday, May 11-13, Apple Dumpling Festival
Sunday, May 14, 2-4pm YMCA Family Fund Day
To subscribe to Senator Gebhard’s newsletter click here. Follow on him on Facebook, Twitter, or visit https://senatorgebhard48.com/
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.