Senator Mastriano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Mastriano Announces $780,000 in Grants for Transportation Projects in Metal Township  and Shippensburg Borough
  • It’s time for PA to send National Guard Troops to the Border
  • Public hearing on the February 2023 Norfolk Southern train derailment near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border
  • Senate Votes for Athletic Trainers to Provide Important Care
  • Supporting Firefighters, Community Safety
  • Voter Registration Deadline is April 8
  • Free Tax Resource for Pennsylvanians
  • Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8
  • Happy Easter to You and Your Family

Mastriano Announces $780,000 in Grants for Transportation Projects in Metal Township and Shippensburg Borough

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) today announced $780,000 in state grants have been awarded for transportation projects in Metal Township and Shippensburg Borough, Franklin County.

The grants were awarded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

Metal Township was awarded a $330,000 grant to repair and repave Creek Road.

“Much-needed upgrades to Creek Road in Metal Township have been long overdue,” Mastriano said. “I supported the township’s grant application and am pleased to see the township has been awarded $330,000 to repair and repave this high-traffic roadway.”

Shippensburg Area School District was awarded a $450,000 grant to construct a new access road at the middle school.

“After seeing the dangerous traffic issue with my own eyes while on a visit to Shippensburg Middle School, I was very happy to throw my support behind this grant award,” Mastriano said. “The grant will help Shippensburg School District construct a new access road to alleviate traffic concerns and facilitate the safe travel of students and pedestrians between the high school and middle school.”

The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to administer the commonwealth’s economic stimulus packages.

Funding for these projects is being delivered through the DCED Multimodal Transportation Fund grant program, which provides financial support for projects to encourage economic development and ensure a safe and reliable transportation system for commonwealth residents.

It’s time for PA to send National Guard Troops to the Border

In the midst of the southern border crisis, the Pennsylvania State Senate took action by passing a Senate Resolution 251, calling for the PA National Guard to deploy to Texas to help secure the border.

One would think that securing our border and protecting Pennsylvanians from human trafficking, crime, and fentanyl would be bipartisan priority. Sadly, Governor Josh Shapiro and Senate Democrats referred to it as “political theater and grandstanding.”

Facts are stubborn things. 

According to U.S Customs and Border Protection data, over 7 million illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border since January 2021, with the majority entering through Texas.

To put this in perspective, the total number of illegal aliens who have entered now is greater than the individual population of at least 22 states!

In the face of federal inaction, Texas Governor Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, deploying the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to the southern border in 2021.

Operation Lone Star personnel are working around-the-clock to detect and repel illegal crossings, arrest human smugglers and cartel gang members, and stop the flow of deadly drugs like fentanyl into our nation.

The operation has produced significant results. More than 500,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, more than 40,000 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 468 million lethal doses of fentanyl so far.

In May 2023, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent letters to ALL governors in the United States requesting support for Operation Lone Star through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which enables states to help and share resources with another state in response to a disaster or emergency.

So far, 14 states – Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming – have responded to the border crisis and deployed their national guard to help secure the border as part of “Operation Lone Star”. An additional two states (Missouri and Louisiana) announced they will deploy troops this year as well. 

Every state is now a border state and its clear that Pennsylvania has a compelling interest to help secure the southern border of the United States.

Fentanyl trafficked through the southern border has flooded communities throughout our commonwealth.  Last year, we lost over 5,000 Pennsylvania lives to fentanyl poisonings. 

An unsecure border also presents a significant cost to PA taxpayers.

According to 2023 report from the non-partisan Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) at least 251,000 illegal immigrants reside in Pennsylvania with an annual burden of more than $1.6 billion on taxpayers. That equates to a burden of $318 per Pennsylvania household

We also cannot ignore both the local and national security risks that an unsecure border brings to communities in Pennsylvania.  According to DHS, over 15,000 illegal immigrants in the US were convicted of committing at least one crime in 2023. Over 3,000 committed violent crimes and almost 300 committed sex crimes.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in front of the U.S Senate Intelligence Committee on March 11 that he is “very concerned” that a human smuggling network with ties to ISIS terrorists is crossing undetected into the country at the southern border. Way later testified that an attack on the scale of 9/11 could emanate from an illegal border crosser.

More than 276 years ago, Benjamin Franklin founded what is now our PA National Guard to provide a common defense of Pennsylvania in times of crisis. The lawlessness on the U.S. southern border, and its impacts upon the people of Pennsylvania, constitutes a crisis that calls for deployment of National Guard resources.

PA National Guard deployment to assist another state during a border crisis would certainly not be unprecedented.

The first deployment of the PA National guard to the southern border was in 1916 in response to cross-border raids from Pancho Vills. I`m proud to say that my Great-Grandfather served in this campaign.

In 2007, President Bush and a bi-partisan group of border governors from four states launched “Operation Jump Start” and solicited help from all 50 states. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat,  put politics aside and authorized the deployment of up to 500 PA National Guard troops to help secure the border from 2007-2008.

Securing our border does NOT need to be a partisan issue.

Governor Shapiro, a mission to intercept deadly drugs and criminals before they enter PA is not “political theater and grandstanding.”

That is a direct insult to families who have lost loved ones to fentanyl poisonings and to Pennsylvania taxpayers who continue to bear the economic burden of having to support an influx of illegal immigrants.

It’s time for Governor Shapiro to show leadership and help secure our border.

Public hearing on the February 2023 Norfolk Southern train derailment near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border

This week, I hosted a Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee hearing in Beaver County to hear from residents affected by the Feb. 3, 2023 Norfolk Southern train wreck near the Pennsylvania border with Ohio.

Residents discussed the impact the train wreck continues to have on their lives one year after toxic chemicals from the railroad cars leaked onto nearby soil and into local waterways. They told powerful stories about the effects on their physical and mental health, financial losses and other negative consequences from the train wreck. Link: Public hearing on the February 2023 Norfolk Southern train derailment near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border – Senator Mastriano

To watch the recording of the hearing, click here, 3/27/24 – Feb. 2023 Norfolk Southern train derailment near the OH/PA border (

Senate Votes for Athletic Trainers to Provide Important Care

Two bills modernizing the capabilities of athletic trainers in Pennsylvania were passed by the Senate and moved to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 559 and Senate Bill 560 would allow athletic trainers to deliver a wider scope of health care services to more individuals.

The bills would permit athletic trainers to practice specific invasive procedures under a written protocol with a licensed physician. Some of the procedures include medication injections, blister and nail care, administration of Naloxone and any other procedures authorized by the State Board of Medicine.

Supporting Firefighters, Community Safety

Applications for the federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs will be accepted until Friday, April 12. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering webinars to assist in the process.

The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations.

SAFER Grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters available in their communities. SAFER’s goal is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards.

Voter Registration Deadline is April 8

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary election is Monday, April 8. Your county election board must receive your application for a mail-in or absentee ballot by Tuesday, April 16, at 5 p.m.

To legally register, individuals must be a citizen of the United States, reside in their local voting precincts at least 30 days prior to the election and be at least age 18 on Election Day, Tuesday, April 23. Once registered to vote, you are not required to register again unless you change your residence, name or political party affiliation.

Voter registration forms, mail-in ballot applications and absentee ballot applications are available here or from your local county’s Board of Elections. You can also use the site to check your registration status.

Free Tax Resource for Pennsylvanians

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue myPATH site is a free resource all Pennsylvanians can use.

Using the website, residents can file their PA personal income taxes, make a payment and check the status of their refund. There is also an option to verify your tax refund to expedite processing.

Anyone who needs some extra help using myPATH can access video tutorials explaining how to create a profile, file a personal income tax return and use a smart device to access myPATH.

Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8

On Monday, April 8, the continental United States will experience its last total solar eclipse until 2044. As it travels from the southwest to the northeast, the eclipse will cross through a portion of northwest Pennsylvania, including Erie, Crawford, Warren and Mercer counties. For nearly four minutes around 2:30 p.m., the afternoon sky will go dark. The sun will slowly reemerge, and by 4:30 p.m., it will be as if nothing happened.

You must be in the path to see the sun totally eclipsed by the moon. Most of Pennsylvania lies within the 90% coverage range, so there will be excellent viewing across the state, weather permitting, even outside the path of totality. Before the total solar eclipse, many state parks have free eclipse educational programs.

To safely view the eclipse, do not look directly at the sun with the naked eye, through an unfiltered camera lens or with any kind of standard sunglasses. Find more information about safety and what to expect here.

Happy Easter to You and Your Family

Warmest wishes for you and your family as we prepare to celebrate the holy holiday of Easter. While we reflect on the hope and love the day symbolizes, may you enjoy time surrounded by loved ones. Happy Easter!


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