HARRISBURG – Five state Senate committees this week approved five bills introduced by Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) that would help dairy farmers, milk sellers and consumers; blind, amputee and disabled veterans; small clubs and their patrons; firefighters and the communities they serve.
“This week, several important bills of mine took their first step in the legislative process and passed out of their respective committees,” Ward said. “These bills all have the potential to make a huge impact in my district and across the commonwealth. Farmers, veterans, firefighters, and many others would see benefits from the different pieces of legislation, and I am hopeful that these bills will continue to advance to the full Senate for their consideration.”
The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 153, which would ensure milk haulers can travel on highways during a disaster emergency declaration. Trucks hauling milk have a limited window of up to 24 hours to deliver their product before it perishes. Ward introduced the bill after learning about milk haulers who were prevented from delivering their product during winter travel restrictions in 2019.
The Senate Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 360, which would allow establishments with club licenses to sell malt beverages for off-site consumption. The bill would limit any sale to no more than 192 fluid ounces, which is equivalent to a six-pack of alcohol.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 361, which would add five new judges to the judicial districts for the courts of common pleas in Chester, Huntingdon, Columbia/Montour, Northumberland, and Butler counties.
The Senate State Government Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 423, which would enable retired State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) participants to serve as part-time, state-certified fire instructors without stopping their pension benefits. Current law prohibits a SERS retiree from collecting a pension while working for a SERS employer. The retirees who return to work would not increase their pensions.
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 189, which would increase – from $150 to $200 – the monthly pension provided to blind, amputee and disabled veterans. As of Nov. 17, 2022, the Blind Veterans Pension Program benefited approximately 100 people and the Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension Program served more than 2,150 people. The two programs have not provided a pension increase since 1999.
Residents can follow Ward on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenJudyWard and Twitter @SenatorJWard for news about legislation and the 30th Senate District. Contact information for her district offices and other information can be found on her website at SenatorJudyWard.com, and constituents also can sign up for her e-newsletter at SenatorJudyWard.com/enewsletters.
Contact: Nathan Akers