Senator Baker E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • New Law Supports Pennsylvania’s Military Families
  • Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania
  • Tuesday is the General Election
  • Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies
  • The Hand House Opening
  • Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

New Law Supports Pennsylvania’s Military Families

Deployments present military families with a number of challenges, however, a loophole preventing spouses from collecting unemployment is no longer one of them.  Act 156 of 2022 was legislation that I introduced, and was signed into law earlier this week by Governor Tom Wolf. The measure clarifies that a spouse’s move to follow their active duty husband or wife will not be considered voluntary if it is determined that continued employment would be impractical or unreasonably difficult. Previously, the resignation could have been considered voluntary, and they may not have qualified for benefits.  Pennsylvania was one of only four states without a specific military spouse clause.

This needed change will help to ensure that Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law is fair to military spouses, who must relinquish their job to follow their spouse to a new duty station.  While the cost is not high, this meaningful change is an important way in which we acknowledge the sacrifices of those who defend our freedom.  I’m pleased that Pennsylvania now joins the vast majority of other states by enacting this sensible protection.  Supporting the brave men and women in uniform who serve our country must also include addressing the issues that arise for their families.  Learn more here.

Senate Passes PA Edge Program to Bring Jobs to Pennsylvania

New jobs and more investment will be coming to northeastern Pennsylvania, after the Senate voted to create and expand tax credit programs to support targeted investments in key industries.

House Bill 1059 was signed into law yesterday as Act 108 of 2022 and will make new resources available for job growth, under the newly established Pennsylvania Economic Development for a Growing Economy (PA EDGE) tax credit program.

This tax credit program is an exciting initiative that represents a tremendous opportunity for continued economic advancement and job expansion across northeastern Pennsylvania. We must ensure good, family-sustaining jobs are accessible throughout our region, while pursuing new ways to foster greater workforce development.  Senator John Yudichak and I share more details about this innovative new program here.

Tuesday is the General Election

The General Election will be held Tuesday, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who are voting for the first time in their election district will be required to show an ID. Acceptable IDs for first-time voters:

  • Driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • Military, student or employee ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
  • Any ID issued by the Commonwealth or federal government

If you are unsure where to vote, you can find your polling place here. You can learn about the voting system your county uses here.

Senate Votes to Provide Critical Aid to Fire & EMS Companies

In the latest effort to help Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services, the Senate passed a comprehensive measure that would provide essential funding and support for these critical first responders.

The assistance is especially vital for volunteer fire companies struggling to recruit members and cover rising costs. As amended by the Senate, the measure would:

  • Put in place a Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program.
  • Establish recruitment, training and retention initiatives – including higher and secondary education partnerships for EMS.
  • Provide financial assistance for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities
  • Increase the maximum amount of fire and EMS grants and allow merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.
  • Provide funding for online fire training.
  • Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online registry of firefighters’ courses. 
  • Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.

The measure was sent to the governor for enactment.

The Hand House Opening

I was pleased to join Wayne County Commissioners Brian Smith, Joe Adams, Jocelyn Cramer and Wayne County Children & Youth Services for the opening of ‘The Hand House’. This historic home at 1100 Church Street in Honesdale, is now a dedicated place for helping children, families and foster youth. The space available at this new location will certainly help to provide a safe and comforting atmosphere for independent living and visitation services.

Risk of Hitting a Deer Increases in Fall

With deer becoming more active during the fall breeding season, and the end of daylight saving time putting more vehicles on the road during dusk and dawn when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking motorists to stay alert.

According to insurance statistics, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-58 chance of a vehicular accident involving a big game animal – one of the highest rates nationwide. Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Just paying attention while driving on stretches marked with “Deer Crossing” signs can make a difference.

You can find out more about avoiding collisions with deer and how to report a collision here.


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