MONDAY: Mastriano to Lead Capitol Rally for Action on Pennsylvania’s Overdose Epidemic

HARRISBURG – State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) will lead a Capitol rally Monday to call for action to address Pennsylvania’s fentanyl and opioid overdose epidemic. 

The rally will be held Monday, June 27, at 10:30 a.m. on the front steps of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

Participants will include lawmakers, medical professionals, concerned parents and Pennsylvanians recovering from addiction.

Mastriano will also discuss his proposed Tyler’s Law as well as Senate Bill 1152, legislation he introduced to impose tougher penalties on fentanyl dealers and improve overdose mapping and response.

The rally will be livestreamed at Facebook.com/SenatorDougMastriano.

 

CONTACT: Josh Herman

Senate Committee Approves Mastriano Bill to Improve Drug Overdose Tracking and Response

HARRISBURG – The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee unanimously voted to approve legislation by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) that will drastically improve how the commonwealth tracks and responds to drug overdoses.

SB 1152 will require law enforcement and emergency medical services agencies to report all overdose incidents within 72 hours to the statewide Overdose Information Network (ODIN) or any other platform approved by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to capture real-time overdose reporting.

The PSP will be required to document the numbers, trends and patterns associated with known and suspected overdoses and issue an annual report available in an online format for reference by public officials and the general public.

Access to real time data will help public officials ensure that adequate overdose reversal drug supplies are available, substance use outreach efforts are enhanced and law enforcement investigations are undertaken to interrupt sources of deadly substances.   

There were over 100,000 fentanyl and opioid related deaths nationwide in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020. Pennsylvania now ranks third in the nation for overdose deaths. Heroin and opioid overdose are now the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania.  

“While real-time tracking of overdose data has improved over the years, there is still a significant gap between what is reported and the actual statewide total incidents of overdoses,” said Mastriano. “While real-time tracking of overdose data has improved over the years, there is still a significant gap between what’s reported and the actual statewide total incidents of overdoses. Pennsylvania currently lags behind other neighboring states in accurately capturing and mapping real-time data. SB 1152 will drastically improve how our commonwealth tracks, maps, and responds to overdose incidents. The enactment of this legislation will help save lives as we continue to combat the overdose epidemic.”

 

Contact: Josh Herman

Mastriano Supports Legislation to Empower Parents in Education

HARRISBURG – Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) voted on three bills today that prioritize parents’ role in fostering their children’s education.  

Mastriano joined six other members of the Senate Education Committee in approving the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 1277 requires districts to identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum and materials and notify parents that their child’s coursework includes such content.
  • Senate Bill 1278 would prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students, consistent with the timeline for when the existing academic standards on general sex education begins in sixth grade.
  • House Bill 2169 establishes the Lifeline Scholarship Program, which offers grants to students trapped in the bottom 15% of school districts to attend a different institution. The grant can cover tuition, curriculum, tutoring or services for special education students.   

“Both SB 1277 and SB 1278 empower parents to ensure their children are not exposed to sexually explicit materials and bizarre discussions about gender identity,” Mastriano said. “Just this week, I had a visitor to my office who showed me some of the explicit materials found in her child’s school library. It was shocking to say the least.  Schools need to be focused on educating – not indoctrinating – our students. The classroom needs to be a place for learning, not a place for gender theory lessons and grooming.”

On HB 2169, Mastriano stated that expanding school choice offers a pathway to success for children assigned to failing districts.

“Families shouldn’t have to sacrifice their children’s future simply because their zip code binds them to an untenable public school,” Mastriano said. “The money should follow the child, not a system. HB 2169 allows children to escape the worst performing public schools in our commonwealth.”

All three bills now move to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Mastriano has also introduced SB 996 which creates a parental right statute to ensure parents have the final say over directing the upbringing, education, care and welfare of their child.

 

Contact: Josh Herman

Mastriano calls for increased funding for school security and mental health resources

Harrisburg- Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) is calling for a funding stream in this year’s budget to go towards fortifying school security and additional mental health resources in schools.

“Nothing will replace the precious lives tragically lost in yesterday’s heinous attack at Robb Elementary School in Texas, but we can take steps to avoid these tragedies in the future by fortifying our schools and increasing mental health resources. We are facing a mental health crisis in our nation that continues to worsen. Unfortunately, these senseless acts will continue to occur regardless of the laws on the books or the weapon of choice.

“Pennsylvania has already proactively taken several steps through the Safe2Say program and the School Safety Grant Program to help keep our students and teachers safe, but in our current environment we need to do more.

“For these reasons, I am calling for additional funds in this year’s state budget to be utilized by school districts to improve mental health resources including increasing the number of guidance counselors and improving training for teachers and administrators to help them identify potential warning signs and proper referral and intervention techniques. Additionally, the funds could be used for armed resource officers, arming teachers, metal detectors, door fortifications, emergency response training, and other mitigation measures.

“In Pennsylvania, we can increase funding to further ensure students are safe and have access to adequate mental health resources, but we must act now.” 

 

Media Contact: Josh Herman

Mastriano Introduces Legislation to Protect Farmland from overdevelopment and foreign takeover

HARRISBURG – Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) officially introduced legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s successful Agriculture Conservation Easement Purchase Program.

In recent years, more and more prime farmland has been lost to development. According to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the number of acres of farmland in Pennsylvania fell by 6% (7.3 million acres) between 2012 and 2017. The number of farms dropped by 10% (53,157) over that same period.

Pennsylvania’s successful Agriculture Conservation Easement Purchase Program has been a nationwide model for farmland preservation. Under the easement program, 58 participating county programs receive state funds for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements.  An agricultural conservation easement is a legal restriction that limits the use of the property to agricultural purposes and the landowner is financially compensated for the sale of the easement.

Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on 5,979 Pennsylvania farms, covering 606,215 acres in 58 counties.

Mastriano’s bill will increase annual funding to the program by earmarking 10% of PA’s realty transfer revenue to go towards the easement program. This will equate to an average infusion of over $80 million in additional annual funds for farmland preservation. The bill also expands the eligibility of farms by reducing the minimum subdivision size for preserved farmland from 50 acres to 25 acres and allows parcels less than 10 acres that are adjacent to preserved land or used to produce crops unique to the area to be eligible for the easement program.

“An abundance of agricultural land is crucial to maintaining food security and protecting against supply chain instability for the commonwealth and our nation,” said Senator Mastriano. “The agricultural industry provides a $135.7 billion annual economic impact and represents close to 18% of Pennsylvania’s gross state product. It also employs and supports nearly 580,000 people with combined wages of $27 billion. Pennsylvania’s agricultural land provides scenic images of rural life landscaped across fertile valleys of surrounding hills and mountains. These open spaces are a beautiful backdrop and draw thousands to our state to spend money in Pennsylvania’s growing agritourism business. We must act now to preserve these lands.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

 

Media Contact: Josh Herman

Senators Mastriano and Hutchinson Introduce the “PA Energy Independence Act”

Harrisburg- Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) and Senator Scott Hutchinson (PA-21) have officially introduced legislation to stabilize energy costs for Pennsylvanians, protect against market volatility in the long term, and utilize Pennsylvania’s unique natural resources to finally cement the commonwealth as a premier energy powerhouse.

SB 1219 will spur natural gas production and investment, reduce regulatory and permitting burdens, open new state lands for production, and withdraw Pennsylvania from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The PA Energy Independence Act will make significant reforms to costly regulations and expedite the permit process. It requires a report from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to the General Assembly on all current rules and regulations affecting the natural gas and coal industries and the respective economic impact of each regulation. It also requires legislative approval for any new regulations that affect the natural gas and coal industries.

SB 1219 increases transparency in the permit review process and expedites approvals by deeming applications “approved” if a decision is not made within 45 days.

The legislation also ends Governor Wolf’s ban on leases for natural gas and oil development in State-owned lands. This will create new opportunities for investment and extraction.

To save Pennsylvania’s remaining coal industry, the bill will establish an “Intrastate Coal/Natural Gas Use” provision to clearly state that any environmental regulation of coal that is extracted and used in Pennsylvania can only be exclusively regulated by the Commonwealth, not by the Federal government. To preserve coal-powered plants, the bill exempts Pennsylvania plants from the EPA’s Wastewater Rule and Cross State Air Pollution Rule.

Lastly, the PA Energy Independence Act ends Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI which is projected to raise energy consumer costs by at least $2 billion over nine years and lead to the closure of at least five power plants within a year of entry.

“With our abundant resources, Pennsylvania should be largely immune to energy cost volatility. Cumbersome regulations, permitting delays, and misguided restrictions are handicapping the potential of our energy sector.  Many companies simply choose to invest in states that are more energy friendly. Market volatility will not go away anytime soon. It’s time to take steps now to assert energy independence.”

“Here in Pennsylvania, we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources that can provide good paying jobs, reduce energy costs for households and businesses, and help improve our nation’s economic and national security outlook for generations to come,” said Senator Scott Hutchinson.  “We also know that these resources can be harnessed in ways that result in minimal impact to public health and the environment.  This is a responsible measure to keep our nation moving forward.”

 

Media Contact: Josh Herman (Mastriano)

                            Justin Leventry (Hutchinson)

Op-ED: “Trust the Science” and Protect Women’s Sports

By Senator Doug Mastriano

Over the past few decades, it has been amazing to observe the growth of female participation in sports.

Once off limits for females, they are now able to gain the same benefits from athletic competition that males have always been afforded. Self-discipline and sportsmanship are just some of the skills that are developed from participation in sports activities.

Since the passage of Title IX, female participation has skyrocketed. College women’s athletic participation has increased from 15% in 1972 to 43% in 2001. High school girl’s athletic participation increased from 295,000 in 1971 to 2.8 million in 2002-2003, an increase of more than 840%.

In 2004, the average number of teams offered for females per college/university was 8.32, up from 2.50 per school in 1972 (Carpenter & Acosta, 2005). In 1981-82, women’s championships became a part of the NCAA program. Today, the NCAA sponsors 40 women’s championships, 38 men’s championships, and three combined championships in all three of its divisions.

Among the 66 medals earned by American female Olympians in the 2022 Tokyo Summer Olympics were gold-medal performances by the U.S. basketball, volleyball, water polo and beach volleyball teams. Eighteen medals were earned by the U.S. women swimmers, 15 by female track and field athletes, and the U.S. women’s softball and soccer teams won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In the past 30 years of the Olympic Games, the United States has dominated the women’s team sports of basketball (nine golds), soccer (four golds, one silver, one bronze) and softball (three golds, two silvers)—not to mention the untold number of medals in track and field.

But imagine if those female athletes never got that chance to compete for their nation in the Olympics? What if they fell short in a qualifying trial and instead lost their slot to a biological male? Or what if they never even get a scholarship to compete in college because the final spot on the roster was given to a biological male? Sadly, what was once lunacy is now a realistic possibility.

Over the past two years, those of us who questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns and mandates were told to shut up and “follow the science.” But that empty platitude is quickly forgotten when there is a discussion about the biological differences between men and women.

Men produce 570% more testosterone than women do, leading to major differences between the sexes in muscle complexion, bone thickness, skeletal muscle mass, and red blood cell count.

Men produce more Type Two muscle fibers (which are fast-twitch muscles) than they do Type One muscle fibers (which are slow-twitch). This gives men more power than women and helps make men stronger and faster.

There is a myth perpetuated by opponents of this bill who say that transgender male athletes lose any physical advantages after female hormone injections. This is simply not true.

The Journal of Medical Ethics published a study concluding that transgender athletes born male have an “intolerable,” or overwhelming, advantage over biological women in athletic competition. The paper stated healthy male test subjects “did not lose significant muscle mass (or power)” when their testosterone levels were suppressed below the International Olympic Committee guidelines for transgender athletes. Further, it found these biological males could retain their muscle mass through training and that because of muscle memory, their mass and strength could be “rebuilt” through training. The study also found that giving opposite-sex hormones to transgender people post-puberty did not alter the athletic-enhancing effects of testosterone on the male body.

These biological facts are indisputable, and the discrepancies between the two sexes has been very apparent in athletic completion.

Of course, in our own state, we have a Penn swimmer who went from 467th competing against males to first place when competing against females in the 500-yard freestyle NCAA Championships.

Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with Lia Thomas for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle NCAA swimming championships recently stated that: “The majority of us female athletes, or females in general, really, are not okay with this, and they’re not okay with the trajectory of this and how this is going and how it could end up in a few years,” referring to the NCAA’s unwillingness to change the rules in an effort to protect female competitive sports.

There are many other female athletes who are “not okay with this.” Many are afraid to speak out because they will inevitably be targeted by a woke mob.  

Here are some other examples of the lunacy:

  • Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand powerlifter who used to compete poorly in the men’s division, took first place at the 2019 Pacific Games, beating the female Commonwealth Games champion in both categories.
  • Two biological males recently finished first and second in the 55-meter dash at the Connecticut high school girls’ indoor track championships.
  • A biological man, Craig Telfer, completely dominated the NCAA Division II Women’s Track National Championship in the 400-meter hurdles. Telfer beat the second-place runner by two seconds. The second-place runner bested third place by 0.28 seconds. The year before, Craig had been competing for Franklin Pierce University’s male track team. His ranking that year was 200th out of 390 among the men’s 400-meter hurdles.

It simply defies all logic and reason to infer that a biological male competing in female sports doesn’t have a clear and distinct athletic advantage. A strong majority of Americans understand that this is an unfair advantage.

A March 2022 Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found that 63% of Americans were against gender-transitioning athletes competing in opposite-sex sporting events.  

As a member of the Senate Education committee, it was a no brainer for me to vote YES on the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” (Senate Bill 1191), which will prohibit male students from participating in athletic teams or sports that are designed for women or girls.

As John Adams once said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

While it may be inconvenient to acknowledge, it is a FACT that biological males have a clear unfair advantage over females in athletic competition.

Mastriano: Seven farms in the 33rd District receive preservation funds to protect from development

Senator Doug Mastriano is pleased to announce that seven farms in the 33rd District have received a significant investment as part of Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

These farmlands will now be protected from any future residential, commercial, industrial, or solar development.

Pennsylvania’s successful Agriculture Conservation Easement Purchase Program has been a nationwide model for farmland preservation. Under the easement program, 58 participating county programs receive state funds for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements.  An agricultural conservation easement is a legal restriction that limits the use of the property to agricultural purposes and the landowner is financially compensated for the sale of the easement.

Since 1988, the program has purchased permanent conservation easements on over 6,000 Pennsylvania farms, covering 606,215 acres in 58 counties.

Senator Mastriano recently announced plans to introduce legislation that will expand the Conservation Easement Program to preserve even more farmland around the state in the future. 

Senator Mastriano congratulates the following farms in the 33rd District for receiving the investment:

  • Hanover Shoe Farm #28, a 213.60 acre crop and livestock operation in Conewago Township;
  • The Doyle and Jennifer Waybright Farm, a 123.57 acre crop operation in Cumberland Township;
  • The Andrew Brick Farm, a 164.64 acre crop operation in Southampton Township;
  • The Eileen M. Lesher Farm #1, a 99.03 acre crop and livestock operation in Guilford Township;
  • The Eileen M. Lesher Farm #2, a 146.63 acre crop and livestock operation in Guilford Township;
  • The Ricerest Farm #4, a 116.25 acre crop and livestock operation in Guildford Township; and
  • The Wayne H. Mummert Farm, a 110.83 acre crop operation in Reading Township.

 

Media Contact: Josh Herman

Mastriano Votes to Ban “Zuck Bucks” and Ballot Drop Boxes

HARRISBURG – In a significant victory for election integrity, two bills co-sponsored by Senator Doug Mastriano passed the full Senate today.

The first bill, SB 982, prohibits the use of private funds for the administration of elections. During the 2020 election, partisan liberal groups funded by Mark Zuckerberg disproportionally awarded grants to influence turnout in left-leaning counties.

The second bill, SB 1200, bans the use of drop boxes and clarifies that ballots may only be dropped off to an employee at a county board of elections office. Collecting and dropping off ballots on behalf of others is illegal in Pennsylvania. This violation, known as ballot harvesting, was proven to be prevalent in the 2020 and 2021 general elections.

“We still have much work to do to restore trust in the electoral process in Pennsylvania, but the passage of this legislation is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Mastriano. “Right to Know” documents and video evidence has proven why these bills are necessary.”

“Mark Zuckerberg and his liberal front groups claimed their grants were awarded equally for the “safe administration of elections” during COVID. But most of those funds went to things like drop boxes and satellite offices, not PPE. When adjusted for population, Democrat counties received more grant money from Zuckerberg to influence voter turnout than Republican counties received in the 2020 election. There are no public records showing the amounts that all counties requested and any conditions that Zuckerberg’s groups placed on the grants. It’s also important to note that the use of private funds for elections was never approved by the General Assembly.”

“When it comes to drop boxes, there is now documented evidence that ballot harvesting occurred at drop box locations in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Lehigh, Luzerne, and Lackawanna counties. Like private funds, drop boxes were never approved by the General Assembly in the first place. They were unconstitutionally created by the State Supreme Court.”

Mastriano has introduced a comprehensive package of election integrity bills this session. This package includes bills that would eliminate mass mail-in voting (SB 884), mandate voter ID for all forms of voting (SB 735), and expand and empower poll watchers (SB 573).

Media: Josh Herman

Mastriano and Robinson Announced Legislation for Establishment of the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program”

HARRISBURG – A joint press event was held on Tuesday to announce police funding legislation, Senate Bill 1193, that will allocate $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to create the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program.”

Who: Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) and Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37), Chief Robert Glenny (Gettysburg Police Department), Lieutenant Jon Greenawalt (Chambersburg Police Department), Alfe Goodwin (Retired Officer of the Philadelphia Police Department)

What: Announcement of legislation allocating $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to create the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program.”

When: Tuesday, April 12th at 11:30 a.m.

Where: Soldier’s Grove across from the Capitol fountain, Harrisburg. Livestream will be available on https://senatormastriano.com/ and https://senatordevlinrobinsonpa.com/.

 

Contact:

Elizabeth Weitzel (Robinson)

Josh Herman (Mastriano)