Senator Laughlin E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Presque Isle Spring Beach Walk
  • Erie’s Total Solar Eclipse
  • 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

Congressional Medal of Honor

Last week, I attended a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Soldiers & Sailors Home, where we remembered three recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Their names and titles are Captain Sylvester Hopkins Martin, Staff Sergeant John Gary Gertsch, and Private First-Class Ross A McGinnis. These men fought for their country and paid the ultimate price. Though they may not be here today, their memory serves us today as inspiration and a reminder of the immense bravery and sacrifice that define the highest ideals of military service. Like all recipients of the Medal of Honor, the three men we remember demonstrated heroism beyond measure, often facing overwhelming odds and making sacrifices that go beyond the call of duty. Their stories are not just military history but lessons in courage, determination, and the spirit of sacrifice. They teach us that valor knows no bounds and that the true measure of greatness is found not in personal glory, but in selfless action for a cause greater than oneself.

Presque Isle Spring Beach Walk

A member of my staff attended the Annual Spring Beach Walk at Presque Isle State Park. It is held to assess and enhance the park’s natural beauty and sustainability. This event highlights the ecosystem’s dynamics and underscores the importance of our conservation efforts, ensuring the park remains a cherished asset for future generations.

Erie’s Total Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, Erie is in the path of totality for a total solar eclipse! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you do not want to miss! My friends at VisitErie have done an amazing job preparing for the event and helping the entire community celebrate. Visit their website at learn about safety tips for viewing locations and to get some eclipse trip inspiration.

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.

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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