Senator Culver E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Work Continues on a New State Budget
  • Local Eagle Scouts Recognized
  • Congratulations to My Friend Mark Lawrence on His Retirement
  • Two Local Courts of Common Pleas Judges’ Nominations Confirmed
  • Supporting Transportation Infrastructure
  • Preventing Overdoses and Easing Strain on EMS Providers
  • Senate Advances Bill to Combat Elder Abuse
  • Happy Independence Day

Work Continues on a New State Budget

This week, our work continues to complete a state budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Budget priorities include:

  • Supporting family-sustaining, good-paying jobs.
  • Lowering energy costs.
  • Avoiding tax increases.
  • Providing education opportunities to all children.
  • Helping seniors with rising costs.
  • Improving roads and bridges.

This effort requires a serious approach. We are focused on putting the right plan in place for PA families and taxpayers and ensuring that it is sustainable for this year and in the future.

Local Eagle Scouts Recognized

I had the honor this week to congratulate and present Senate citations to Adam Oakes and Camden Ulrich on attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Adam is a member of Troop 605 in Milton and Camden is a member of Troop 39 in Danville. I commend these two young men on their outstanding work and wish them both continued success in the future.  Congratulations Adam and Camden!

Congratulations to My Friend Mark Lawrence on His Retirement

Congratulations to my friend Mark Lawrence on his retirement from WKOK-AM 1070 after more than 40 years of service in radio!  In 1987, Mark accepted the position of News Director at the Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation for WKOK-AM 1070 and WQKX-FM 94.1.  Mark has worn many hats in the radio business but he is best known for anchoring the morning newscasts and reporting and hosting the “WKOK Sunrise” and “On the Mark” programs.  Mark has earned numerous awards, including awards for his live news reporting and for anchoring the “Morning News Roundup.”  Mark has always striven to adhere to the highest standards of service and has earned the respect and admiration of his many friends and colleagues.  Thank you Mark for your commitment to all your loyal listeners and best wishes for your continued success in the years to come.

Two Local Courts of Common Pleas Judges’ Nominations Confirmed

Judge Michael Piecuch
Snyder and Union Counties
Judge Michael P. Toomey
Northumberland County

The Senate this week unanimously voted to confirm the nominations of Magisterial District Judge Mike Toomey and Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch to the Courts of Common Pleas for Northumberland County, and Snyder and Union counties, respectively. Both judges were unopposed in the May Primary and won the Democratic and Republican nominations. I was pleased to work with the governor’s office and leaders in the Senate to make these early appointments.

Supporting Transportation Infrastructure

The Senate has been working on numerous transportation initiatives that would impact ALL areas of our state.

This week, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 136 to extend until Nov. 1 the emergency disaster proclamation issued in response to the collapse of the I-95 bridge in northeast Philadelphia.

Earlier this year, as people struggled with rising costs for all kinds of basic necessities, the Senate voted to protect Pennsylvanians’ wallets and stop the automatic gas tax increase for 2023. It would have been the second-highest gas tax in the nation, behind only California.

In another vote to bolster funding for Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure, the Senate passed Senate Bill 121 to restrict the diversion of transportation funding out of the Motor License Fund by the State Police for statewide highway patrol operations. The fund obtains revenue from transportation charges, including the gas tax, vehicle registration fees and driver license fees.

We also recently passed Senate Bill 656 to ensure owners of electric vehicles pay their fair share of road and bridge maintenance by enacting a flat annual fee of $290. Currently, they are required to remit the Alternative Fuels Tax based on the amount of electricity their vehicle uses, but most electric vehicle owners do not do this.

Preventing Overdoses and Easing Strain on EMS Providers

Legislation to allow Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers responding to drug overdoses to leave a life-saving drug with caregivers received Senate support.

Senate Bill 81 would permit EMS providers to leave a dose of life-saving naloxone, or Narcan, with the on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids and was revived by the emergency medical technician. It would ease the strain on EMS providers by limiting repeat visits.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved naloxone nasal spray for over-the-counter use, with the change going into effect later this summer. Senate Bill 81 would expedite the timeline within Pennsylvania. It would also allow other versions of naloxone, which are still under review for over-the-counter sales, to be distributed by EMS providers.

Another measure to ease the strain on EMS providers, Senate Resolution 120, calls for a study on the dollar amount EMS providers are losing when they aren’t paid for their services.

EMS providers are not reimbursed for the treatment they provide Medicaid patients unless the patient is transported to the hospital or treatment facilities. As a result, the increased number of overdose response calls without transport hurts our EMS providers, which are already struggling financially.

Senate Advances Bill to Combat Elder Abuse

The Senate passed legislation combatting elder abuse and strengthening guardianship laws in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 506 would require courts to automatically appoint counsel to individuals undergoing the guardianship process, consider other less restrictive alternatives before imposing a guardianship, and institute training and screening of professional guardians. The bill would also establish more robust review procedures for those currently in a guardianship.

Currently, when an adult of any age is deemed incapacitated by a court, a guardian may be appointed to become responsible for making certain decisions on their behalf, including for financial, medical and personal matters. Pennsylvania is one of only eight states in America that does not automatically appoint counsel to represent alleged incapacitated persons.

Happy Independence Day

Next week marks 247 years since the 13 American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia to break free from British rule. As we pause to celebrate the birth of our nation, let us take a moment to remember the men and women who sacrificed so much to create this country.

If you are traveling, check out, which is free and available 24 hours a day. The site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to traffic cameras.

PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Tuesday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!


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