Senator Mastriano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Approves Mastriano Bill to Expand Parents Access to What Students are Learning
  • For Israel, ‘Never Again’ Means Never Again
  • Mastriano Military Medal Legislation Signed into Law
  • Senate Passes Bills Empowering Parents
  • Senate Votes to Extend and Improve Program to Protect Students
  • Grants Available for Organizations Helping Veterans
  • Apply to Vote by Mail by Oct. 31 for the November Election
  • Recognizing Pennsylvania’s First Responders

Senate Approves Mastriano Bill to Expand Parents Access to What Students are Learning

Pennsylvania parents are a step closer to being better able to determine what students are taught, after the state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill introduced by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) to enhance curriculum transparency in the commonwealth.

“Parents can better stand up for our students when they know what is being taught in Pennsylvania classrooms,” Mastriano said. “The tools our teachers are using to instruct our students should not be hidden. Parents have the right to know what their students are learning when they go to school.”

Mastriano’s Senate Bill 340 would require schools to post on a publicly accessible website an internet link or title for every textbook and course syllabus used for each class. The bill also would require the state academic standards to be posted on the same website.

Schools would have 30 days to update the website any time a textbook, syllabus or the state academic standards are changed.

Mastriano’s bill comes as many parents are raising concerns about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender theory being taught in Pennsylvania classrooms.

“Parents will be better equipped to oppose any indoctrination of their children if my bill is signed into law,” Mastriano said.

Mastriano’s bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

10/24/23 – Senate Bill 340 (

Constituents of the 33rd District can learn more about Mastriano by visiting his website at or following him on Facebook at

For Israel, ‘Never Again’ Means Never Again

The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 185, which I introduced to unambiguously stand with Israel against the terrorists who killed 1,400 of her citizens.

At a time when Republicans and Democrats rarely agree on anything in Harrisburg, we agreed about this. On one of the most controversial issues in one of the most dangerous parts of the world, Pennsylvania supports its friends in Israel.

My own family has been blessed to visit Israel. I’ve been to the wailing wall and prayed there several times. We stood in the valley of Elah where David slayed Goliath. I walked where Jesus walked and surveyed the Golan and stood by IDF soldiers on the Jordan border. The People of Israel are truly special, blessed by God.

As Deuteronomy 11:12 says, “It is a land that the Lord your God seeks out; the eyes of the Lord your God, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

Most of us have seen the video and read the news about what happened Oct. 7. Peaceful Israeli citizens were enjoying a music festival when the unthinkable occurred. Hamas terrorists invaded the area, stormed the festival and slaughtered innocent civilians. Those who were not murdered were taken hostage.

The road outside the festival looked like a scene from an apocalyptic horror film. Dead bodies littered the ground between abandoned cars, many of which were charred after being set on fire.

Many Israelis live in small communal towns, known as a kibbutz. On the morning of Oct. 7, many of them were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

The celebrations were interrupted when armed bands of Hamas terrorists stormed the kibbutz, brutally killing innocent men, women, and children. They even murdered helpless babies.

There can be no equivocating on the fact that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Pennsylvania, like the United States, has a special relationship with Israel. The Pennsylvania National Guard has deployed troops to the Sinai Peninsula since 2007 as part of an ongoing international peacekeeping mission. They stand watch to ensure the 1978 Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel is upheld.

The old axiom tells us those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. We must remember our history. The nation of Israel was created in the aftermath of World War II as a safe haven for Jewish refugees from across the world. The rebirth of the Jewish nation in 1948 marked a new chapter of hope in human history. Jews for centuries had been persecuted and uprooted wherever they went. After thousands of years of tragedy and turmoil, many Jews finally returned home to the Promised Land.

The establishment of a Jewish state was a historical achievement in the wake of the Holocaust. Millions had been rounded up, shipped off to concentration camps and never seen again. Those fortunate enough to survive described the experience as hell on earth.

The world together in unison cried, “Never again!”

More than 75 years later, the people of Israel are being targeted for slaughter. The fact that it’s happening in the nation formed to protect them makes it even more heinous.

The state Senate unanimously approved my resolution pledging Pennsylvania’s support for the people of Israel.

We know we cannot allow history to repeat itself.

For Israel, “Never again” means “Never again.”

Mastriano Military Medal Legislation Signed into Law

Legislation championed by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) was signed into law today.

Senate Bill 141, which would permit the adjutant general to award certain Pennsylvania medals to members of strategic allies, like the Republic of Lithuania, is now Act 16 of 2023.

Current Pennsylvania law only allows civilians, veterans, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, or the armed forces of the United States and their reserve components to be presented with the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal and the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal.

“As military tensions arise across the globe, it’s important for us to be able to recognize strategic allies, like Lithuania, which has had a formal relationship with the Pennsylvania National Guard through the State Partnership Program for 30 years,” said Mastriano, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.  “This legislation allows us to additionally honor the brave Korean soldiers who fought alongside American service members in Vietnam. 

“I served with many of our international partners in Afghanistan, to include leading 80 men and women from 18 different countries on my last deployment to Afghanistan. It is right and fitting to recognize our allies and coalition partners when they are serving with our Pennsylvania National Guard,” said Mastriano. 

This legislation was supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania National Guard Association.

“Thirty years ago, the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Lithuanian Armed Forces were brought together as part of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program. Since then, we have fostered a friendship and important working relationship that Senate Bill 141 ensures we can properly recognize,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Our men and women in uniform have deployed together, trained together, and worked closely with each other on countless important missions.  We are thrilled to be able to recognize our Lithuanian counterparts with meaningful honors from our Commonwealth.”

Senate Passes Bills Empowering Parents

The Senate approved legislation that would empower parents to protect their own child from accessing sexually explicit content at school, without impacting the books available to other students. Senate Bill 7 would require schools to:

  • Identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum, materials and books.
  • Create an opt-in policy that would:
    • Notify parents of the sexually explicit content by including a list of the book titles on the form.
    • Give parents the opportunity to review the materials.
    • Require parents to give direct consent for their children to be provided or have access to sexually explicit content.
  • Provide children with non-explicit alternatives if their parents do not opt in.

Senate Bill 7 was crafted after a non-partisan, thorough two-year process – including conversations with parents, school administrators, teachers and librarians. It would not ban any books from Pennsylvania school curriculum or libraries, but rather empower parents to control only what their own children have access to in school. 

The Senate also approved legislation requiring schools to make public curriculum information available online, including a link or title for every textbook and course syllabus used for classes. Other measures passed this week would require schools to display the United States Constitution and display the Pennsylvania Constitution. Empowering parents and families is a priority of Pennsylvania Senate Republicans.

Senate Votes to Extend and Improve Program to Protect Students

Building on recent legislation to improve school bus safety, the Senate approved legislation extending and improving the school bus stop-arm automated enforcement program. The measure is set for enactment into law.

The program was first authorized in 2018 and includes nearly 40 participating school districts that equipped 2,500 school buses with cameras to record vehicles that don’t stop for school buses. More than 4,000 violations have been recorded.

The program was set to expire this week. Senate Bill 851 makes the program permanent, improves interaction with law enforcement and streamlines the appeals process. If a driver illegally passes a stopped school bus, the school district will send the car owner a police-vetted violation in the mail. The owner must pay the $300 fine or make an appeal for a virtual or in-person hearing overseen by a PennDOT official. The driver may petition a magisterial district judge after PennDOT’s decision.

Grants Available for Organizations Helping Veterans

The Veterans’ Trust Fund is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. Nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs may apply by Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m.

Find more information about the grant opportunity and how to apply here.

The trust fund is supported by Pennsylvanians who donate when applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses, photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchase veteran-specific license plates; or make private donations. Tax-deductible donations can be made online.

Apply to Vote by Mail by Oct. 31 for the November Election

The deadline is approaching for anyone who would like to vote by mail for the Nov. 7 election. Your county election board must receive your application for a mail-in or absentee ballot no later than Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m.

Any registered voter may request a mail-in ballot. Absentee ballots can be requested by voters with disabilities or an illness that prevents them from going to their polling place on Election Day, or those who will be absent from their municipality on Election Day.

You can apply for a mail-in ballot online, by mail or in person at your county election board’s office or other designated locations. Learn more here.

Recognizing Pennsylvania’s First Responders

Saturday, Oct. 28, is National First Responders Day. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians care for us during some of life’s worst moments. They are true heroes, and I am proud to honor their brave and selfless efforts.

My Senate colleagues and I have passed legislation to address the serious shortage of volunteer firefighters in the commonwealth. The number dropped from about 300,000 in the 1980s to less than 38,000 today, so they need our support. Without enough volunteers, communities across Pennsylvania face longer wait times when minutes make the difference between life and death.


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