Senator Mastriano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • New Hospital Drug-Testing Law will Save Lives in Pennsylvania
  • William Penn Cancelled and Restored
  • The 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show
  • 2023 Review: Empowering Parents with Their Children’s Education
  • 2023 Review: Supporting Pennsylvania Veterans
  • Check Out My New Website
  • PA Youth: Become a Litter Hawk
  • Helping First Responders Access Federal Dollars
  • Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day

New Hospital Drug-Testing Law will Save Lives in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania now faces a new No. 1 killer of those in the prime of their lives: accidental drug overdoses fueled by the prevalence of fentanyl.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, almost 177,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses from 2018-2022.

Pennsylvania has become an epicenter for this terrible crisis with one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation.

The crisis hasn’t been limited to one geographical area or segment of the population. For example, Philadelphia had 1,411 deaths, Allegheny County had 707 deaths, York County had 146, Schuylkill County had 67, and Franklin County had 27 from May 2022 to April 2023.

In addition to fentanyl flooding communities in Pennsylvania, we are now forced to confront the rise of a new deadly threat. Xylazine, a lethal tranquilizer, is being mixed with other drugs and leading to even more overdose deaths. Between 2019 and 2022, our commonwealth was home to the highest number of xylazine-related deaths in the country, according to recent CDC data.

While the prevalence of fentanyl – and now Xylazine – has ravaged communities across Pennsylvania, our hospital emergency rooms have struggled to adapt to this new epidemic.

A new law I championed aims to enhance testing for the presence of fentanyl and xylazine in emergency room patients. Learn more about the law and how it will help fight this epidemic by reading the rest of this column on my website.

William Penn Cancelled and Restored

The National Park Service (NPS) in early January announced plans to rehabilitate Welcome Park in Philadelphia to “provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors.”

The rehabilitation project called for the removal of the historic William Penn statue.

I sent a column to the media arguing against this effort to CANCEL William Penn, who played an important role in the establishment of religious liberty in our commonwealth and country. I argued against the removal of the William Penn statue and detailed his historic legacy and importance in the formation of our republic. I encourage you to read my full column here.

Shortly after my column was release, NPS announced it reversed its decision and no longer plans to remove the William Penn statue.

This is an example of the importance of standing up against woke political correctness and for the defense of traditional American values. We cannot allow out-of-touch and extreme ideologues to redefine our history in an effort to reshape our country.

William Penn played an integral role in the early development of our nation and his contributions deserve to be recognized and remembered.

The 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show

I had a wonderful day visiting the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Visit for information.

2023 Review: Empowering Parents with Their Children’s Education

Just as Senate Republicans led efforts to help students, we also focused on increasing parents’ involvement in the education of their children. After all, the people who know their child best and love them most should not be barred from playing an active role in their lives in any environment.

We passed a bill to empower parents to protect their own child from accessing sexually explicit content at school, without impacting the books available to other students. Schools should not have the ability to show our children content adults are barred from viewing at their jobs if their parents don’t support it. Another bill would expand parents’ access to what students are learning.

A new law makes it easier for parents to enroll their children in school when they move because of the family’s involvement in the military. It would help students avoid delays that can require them to take summer classes or graduate later than expected.

2023 Review: Supporting Pennsylvania Veterans

Our military members and veterans made the selfless decision to serve our country and preserve the American way of life we hold so dear. The Senate passed several measures in 2023 to support military families and veterans.

Act 13 of 2023 ensures Pennsylvanians entering military service can retain professional licenses and certifications. Previously, veterans had a much more challenging transition from military life to civilian life because certain skills they obtained during the service were not recognized. Now, veterans don’t have to waste time duplicating the training they already received.

Senate Resolution 46 establishes the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care, which will study the unique health care and access issues facing female veterans and make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly for action.

Other measures we passed exempt disabled veterans’ benefit payments from income eligibility calculations for government programs, provide educational support for children of National Guard and Reserves members, establish the Veteran-Owned Business Loan Guarantee Program and more.

Check Out My New Website

I recently redesigned my website to improve its speed, make it more user-friendly – particularly on mobile devices – and give it a fresh look so it is easier for you to get the state-related information you need. My goal is always to make your experience dealing with your government as positive as possible, whether you prefer to interact online or in person.

My offices are available to serve you with all sorts of things, including status reports on legislation, applications for Pennsylvania birth and death certificates, state tax forms, PACE/PACENET applications, voter registration forms and more.

PA Youth: Become a Litter Hawk

Kids in grades kindergarten through sixth grade who want clean places to live and play are invited to become litter hawks to help people see how litter and trash hurt the environment through art, words or video.

Individuals, school classrooms, homeschoolers, scout groups, clubs and other organized groups are all welcome to participate. Prizes will be awarded to two entries per grade. Categories are poster (K-4), essay (5) and video (6). Apply online by Jan. 31, and winners will be announced in May.

Helping First Responders Access Federal Dollars

Federal assistance grants are available to support firefighter and emergency medical service organizations, but only a fraction of the first responders who apply do so successfully.

Giving organizations the information they need to access this critical funding for vehicles, gear and more will help local governments avoid raising taxes to cover the costs associated with keeping our communities safe.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers free webinars about how to apply for funding under the Assistance to Firefighters grant program and workshops covering the Assistance to Firefighters grant program, Fire Prevention and Safety grant program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants. Learn more.

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for reflection on his peaceful contributions to the civil rights movement. Many people also spend time honoring Dr. King’s legacy by participating in community service to better their neighborhoods. No matter how we spend the day, let us remember his desire to unify our country as he shared in his historic speech in Washington, D.C. more than 60 years ago.


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