Senator Michele Brooks E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Rally Against Tolling Interstate Bridges Set for June 8
  • Senate Committee Acts to Protect Women’s Sport
  • Legislation of Note Approved by Senate Committees
  • Preparing for America’s Semiquincentennial
  • Scammers are Targeting Student Loan Borrowers
  • June 6 is the Anniversary of D-Day

Rally Against Tolling Interstate Bridges Set for June 8

I will be among the lawmakers and representatives of local communities who will take part in a June 8 Capitol rally against the Wolf administration’s plan to toll nine interstate bridges.

The bridge tolling initiative will cost the average commuter an additional $1,000 per year and was moved through the process without legislative input or approval. Commonwealth Court recently halted the plan, siding with a county and several municipalities that challenged the plan as unconstitutional. The administration has appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

The administration’s plan would add tolls to the following bridges:

The Senate approved Senate Bill 382 with my support to halt the tolling and require more transparency in the Public-Private Partnership process, which produced the tolling plan. Gov. Tom Wolf has threatened to veto the measure. The rally will be held June 8 at 10 a.m. and streamed live at PASenateGOP.com and Facebook.com/PASenateGOP.

Senate Committee Acts to Protect Women’s Sports

Legislation to protect women’s sports in Pennsylvania was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the full Senate for consideration.

Under House Bill 972, an athletic team or sport designated for females, women or girls may not be open to biological males. In addition, a student deprived of an athletic opportunity would be able to file a lawsuit against the offending college or high school.

More than a dozen states passed similar legislation after women’s sports organizations were pressured to allow biological males to compete on their teams. Female athletes across the Commonwealth and the country have spoken up about the unfairness of biological males competing in their sport.

Legislation of Note Approved by Senate Committees

Other bills approved by Senate committees include:

Senate Bill 1147, approved by the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, increases penalties on construction companies that fail to use the federal E-Verify system to verify the legal employment eligibility of new hires. E-Verify was authorized to address illegal immigration and those working in the U.S. illegally. 

Senate Bill 1159, which I introduced and which was approved by the Senate Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee, would help American Legions, VFWs, Moose Lodges, and other clubs.   Act 118 allows clubs to use the 60% of Small Games of Chance money to cover the general operating expenses of the club, including rent, payroll and utilities, during a disaster emergency.

Under Act 118, clubs will be able to use the 60% until June 19, 2022.  My legislation will extend this deadline to December 31, 2022 in order to give these vital service organizations more time to recover and keep their doors open to remain an integral part of our communities.

Preparing for America’s Semiquincentennial

Planning for America’s 250th birthday in 2026 would be aided by legislation approved by the Senate to help fund Pennsylvania’s celebratory efforts.

Senate Bill 1186 would allocate a portion of the fee from the sale of the special USA semiquincentennial registration plate to the Pennsylvania Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial.
  
America250 is the largest celebration in our nation’s history. Congress established the nonpartisan U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which has been working with state affiliates to engage public and private entities across the country to make America250 a momentous event. Tim Wachter of northwestern Pennsylvania is of of those leading the America250 PA Commission. 

Scammers are Targeting Student Loan Borrowers

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency warns that recent reports about potential broad-based federal loan forgiveness and other changes to student loan programs are creating opportunities for scammers to target student loan borrowers.

One of the recent scams attempts to convince borrowers that there are new student loan rules in place that require immediate action. Scammers typically promise unrealistic amounts of loan forgiveness, offer short cuts to loan forgiveness, or try to get a borrower’s Federal Student Aid ID or other personal information and then rush them into paying immediately.  

Scammers will often use the U.S. Department of Education’s name and seal to give it legitimacy.

Here are some tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Don’t pay upfront fees for free programs or services.
  • Don’t feel pressured to decide quickly.
  • Never share personal information.
  • Don’t cut off communication with your loan provider/servicer.
  • Keep track of your loans.

More from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

June 6 is the Anniversary of D-Day 

“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely … I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”  —General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a message before Normandy

More than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.

More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 soldiers to begin the slow, hard march across Europe, to defeat occupying German troops. We must never forget the brave, young men who confronted a danger few can imagine in the name of liberty.

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