Below are some important Harrisburg updates that may be helpful to you.
This week, the Senate and House were both in Session in Harrisburg. This marked the first 2021-22 Session Week where both Chambers were in session looking to pass meaningful legislation that matters to the citizens of Pennsylvania.
The Senate passed three noteworthy pieces of legislation, two dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and one establishing harsher penalties for child pornographers. The latter, somehow received two “No” votes from my colleagues, which was quite shocking, to say the least.
The most important bill was to drive out Federal Stimulus dollars to our citizens in need, including rental assistance, education funding and assistance to businesses and restaurants. The bill allocates $569.8 million for Rental and Utility Assistance, $197 million for education programs, and $145 million to support Pennsylvania’s struggling hospitality industry as it copes with the devastation created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s mandated closings and restrictions.
Secondly, for the second Consecutive Session the Senate passed a Constitutional Amendment to require the General Assembly to have a seat at the table for future emergency declarations after 21 days. If passed in the House, the amendment could be on the ballot in the spring Primary Election to be ratified by voters. Watch my remarks here: https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/w6rtx1qq9b.
I also circulated co-sponsorship memo on a piece of legislation that I am sponsoring that would further and explicitly criminalize the act of “upskirting” in Pennsylvania. The Senate Bill will mirror the House Bill that is being prime sponsored by State Representative Craig Staats (R-145) and State Representative Shelby Labs (R-143).
Also, sadly, we formally said goodbye to our colleague and friend, Senator Dave Arnold with a Condolence Resolution on Wednesday. His family was in attendance, and a moving tribute to his legacy and all that he has fought for was on display in the Senate Chamber. He will be missed, and I know his memory will be with us always.
If you’re interested, you can sign up to receive my newsletters that contain the most up to date information on statewide and local issues on my website, senatormensch.com. You can also keep an eye on my website for news releases, email me with questions or concerns, or find contact information for my district offices which you can get in touch with if you need anything.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 215-541-2388.
Senator Bob Mensch
24th Senatorial District