Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Stand Your Ground Against Gun Control
  • Senate Republican Job Fair
  • Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate
  • Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety
  • Beware of SNAP Scam
  • Beware of E-ZPass Scam
  • Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee
  • April is National Financial Literacy Month
  • Out and About in the 30th

Stand Your Ground Against Gun Control

Senate Republican Job Fair

Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate

The Senate approved legislation that would require prosecutors across the state to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) whenever illegal migrants are charged with violating state law. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Currently in Pennsylvania, violations of state law by illegal migrants are not required to be reported to ICE, but Senate Bill 1127 would ensure illegal migrants who violate our laws are held accountable. The change will better safeguard our communities and protect Pennsylvania’s law-abiding citizens.

Earlier this year, two NYPD officers were assaulted in broad daylight by illegal migrants. Several of the offenders had been previously arrested but not reported to ICE and were released back on the streets. The shocking crime prompted New York City Mayor Eric Adams to call for ICE to be informed when illegal migrants have been charged with violations of state law.  

Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety

The Senate passed legislation this week to strengthen the bail determination process for dangerous individuals: repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot.

Senate Bill 1120 would only allow cash bail to be used and ban release on own recognizance or unsecured bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety while they await trial. The bill is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania as an average of 14 Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and approximately 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl – the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill an average person.

Beware of SNAP Scam

The PA Department of Human Services is warning individuals that there are ongoing attempts to scam those who are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through text messaging. The scam text messages claim that the SNAP beneficiaries’ respective EBT cards have been locked and they must contact a fraudulent email or phone number for it to be unlocked. The Department advises anyone who believes they received calls or texts about DHS benefits to call the Department’s fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).

Beware of E-ZPass Scam

A new phishing scam is targeting E-ZPass account holders requesting information to settle outstanding toll amounts. The texts claim to be from “Pa Turnpike Toll Services” and center around urgent requests with your account that would result in a late fee if the balance does not get settled. Similar scams have been reported by toll agencies across the country in the past several days.

Customers who receive an unsolicited text, email or similar message suggesting it is from E-ZPass or another toll agency should not click the link. E-ZPass account holders can use approved safe methods to check their accounts such as the PA Turnpike E-ZPass website or the PA Toll Pay app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Those who receive a fraudulent text can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at The site is dedicated to sharing information on internet crimes across law enforcement agencies.

Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee

As a result of action taken by Senate Republicans, students will be safer on their journey to and from school. Because of legislation now in effect, school districts may install and operate automated camera systems on school buses to capture violations committed by motorists.

Violations identified by the camera system will be reviewed by police under agreement with the school district. After that review, the school district may issue a violation and a $300 fine to the vehicle owner. These violations are civil penalties only and no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Vehicle owners may request a hearing before a PennDOT hearing office, at no cost to the vehicle owner, if they feel they are innocent. Before the passage of the legislation, the vehicle owner was responsible for paying applicable civil filing fees.

April is National Financial Literacy Month

In April, we recognize National Financial Literacy Month, a time to celebrate work being done to improve the knowledge that helps people achieve their money-focused goals.

Senate Republicans recognized that young adults face financial decisions that can come with long-term consequences and passed legislation to arm high school students with money management skills. The new law requires completion of a half-credit personal finance course to graduate high school.

The course will give high school students the understanding they need about topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.

Out and About in the 30th

Huntingdon County held a Child Abuse Awareness Ceremony and Flag Planting at the Huntingdon County Courthouse to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Huntingdon County CYS Director, Huntingdon Borough Police Chief, representative from the Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) of Pennsylvania offered remarks, and Huntingdon County Commissioners presented a proclamation. Thank you to all of the organizations and dedicated staff who work every day to keep children safe.

It was great sitting down with students from Juniata College to discuss government and how they can become more active in their communities. 

This week I met with the PA Health Funders Collaborative (PHFC) to discuss health care policies including workforce initiatives, nursing homes, behavioral and mental health.

I had the opportunity to meet with folks from Value Drug and pharmacy students to discuss the importance of pharmacists in our communities. Additionally, we spoke about the importance of Senate Bill 1000, legislation I introduced to reform PBMs in our Commonwealth.

I was honored to speak at a recent Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Our Lady of the Alleghenies #1755 meeting in Blair county. I gave an update on legislation pertaining to the committee I chair, Aging and Youth.

It was Technical School Education Day at the State Capitol this past week. It was nice visiting constituents from Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center. It is exciting to see the capabilities of their students, who will go on to benefit our communities.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry held a Bipartisan Legislative Leaders Breakfast in Harrisburg. Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward shared her support for policies to benefit the Commonwealth’s businesses.


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