Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Participate in April 30 Telephone Town Hall Meeting
  • School Safety Grants Awarded
  • Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions
  • Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania
  • Spring Gobbler Season Begins April 27
  • April is National Donate Life Month
  • Out and About in the 30th

Participate in April 30 Telephone Town Hall Meeting

I want to invite residents of the 30th Senate District to participate in a telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m.

I encourage district residents to join the phone call and participate in the discussion. I enjoy hearing from constituents about some of the most important issues they face.  I am looking forward to answering your questions and providing information about current state government-related topics.

I will provide updates about state government programs, policies and issues impacting families and communities in the district.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, and I will answer as many as possible during the event.

Residents in the 30th District can sign up to participate by visiting my website at

School Safety Grants Awarded

More than $150 million in School Safety Grants have been approved this week for students across the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s School Safety & Security Grant Program was originally established in 2018, providing for school entities to be safer places for students, staff and visitors. Most recently through Act 33 of 2023, changes were made to strengthen and expand the program, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, School Safety and Security Committee.

Meritorious Grants ranging from $30,000 to $45,000 were awarded to each of the 497 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. The award amount is based on the school size. Funding can be used to address safety and security through security assessments, violence prevention and all-hazards plans.

Mental Health Grants ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 were awarded to each of the 719 applicants from all 67 counties that applied. These applicants included school districts, area career and technical schools, intermediate units, charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools. School districts received a base of $100,000 plus a formula amount depending on their school size. The intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school applicants each received $70,000. The funding can be used for school mental health services, training and programs for students and staff.

Additionally, grants were approved through the Competitive School Safety and Security Grant Funding, and Targeted School Safety and Security Grant Programs. Learn more.

Training PA’s Workforce for Available Positions

Complementing Senate Republicans’ efforts to protect Pennsylvania jobs, support is available for community colleges, trade or tech schools, school districts and nonprofits through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant Program.

The program is designed to help companies identify and train a skilled workforce for existing positions or ones that will be open soon. It is also designed to advance capacity for local and regional manufacturers and increase awareness of manufacturing career opportunities for youth or those with barriers.

Grants may be used for professional services/consultants, internships, equipment purchases, shop modifications, program development, marketing, domestic travel and salaries. Learn more and apply online.

Increasing the Number of Firefighters in Pennsylvania

The Senate approved a bill aimed at increasing the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania by reforming the certification process without sacrificing quality or safety.

Current firefighter applicants must complete four training modules totaling 188 hours. They then must pass a cumulative test covering all four modules. Senate Bill 1101 would enable applicants to be tested following each of the four modules.

In the 1970s, the commonwealth had as many as 300,000 volunteer firefighters. There currently are fewer than 38,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania.

Spring Gobbler Season Begins April 27

On Saturday, April 27, spring gobbler season opens with a half-day hunt for junior hunters and mentored hunters 16 and under. All participants must be accompanied by adults, and hunting hours run from 30 minutes before sunrise until noon.

The regular season runs from May 4-31. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from May 4-18 and 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset from May 20-31.

Approximately 172,000 people hunt spring turkeys in Pennsylvania every year. Last season, hunters harvested about 39,500 gobblers – an increase from 35,700 in 2022 and 28,100 in 2021. Information about spring turkey hunting rules and regulations, for youth and regular hunts, is available here.

April is National Donate Life Month

Making a difference in the lives of others might be easier than you think. With nearly 7,000 Pennsylvanians awaiting organ transplants, donors can save up to eight lives. People donating tissue can enhance the lives of 75 others by helping them recover from trauma, spinal injuries, burns and vision loss.

If you aren’t an organ or tissue donor yet but would like to be, there’s no need to wait until you get or renew your driver’s license, learner’s permit or photo ID. It’s easy to register online to donate.

Misconceptions about organ and tissue donation can discourage people from taking the important step to save lives. Find myths and facts here.

Out and About in the 30th

I was extremely honored to participate in the dedication of a bridge in Dean Township, Cambria County, for T/Sgt. Joseph F. Johnston who served our country in the U.S. Army during WWII. T/Sgt. Johnson fought in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, France, Belgium, Germany, and the invasion of Normandy, France on June 8, 1944. In the absence of his platoon leader and sergeant, he led his platoon under heavy enemy shelling and machine gun fire through blackout conditions over difficult mountainous terrain to deliver supplies to those fighting on the front lines. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and earned a Bronze Star, Silver Star, and European African Middle Eastern Service Medal for his service to our country. In addition to being a patriot and war hero, dedicated husband and father, Joseph Johnston was my uncle and godfather. I was grateful for the opportunity to share some personal memories of my uncle and celebrate this honor with his family and friends.

Pictured with Senator Wayne Langerholc (Cambria, part of Centre, and Clearfield) and Rep. Jim Rigby (part of Cambria and part of Somerset).

I had a fun time reading to children this week at Summit Early Learning Center in Lewistown. This is a great school for families and children in Mifflin County!

This week’s Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast featured Eric Shields at the guest speaker. Eric has authored several books in a series called, They Came from Blair County, which spotlights local people and their achievements.

Burnham in Mifflin County had an exciting new business open this week; Starbucks! It is always exciting to see new businesses popping up in our communities.


If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter please sign up here.

Facebook Twitter Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy