Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing
  • FAFSA Assistance
  • Stopping Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers
  • Free Hotline to Support New Parents
  • Honoring Law Enforcement Officers
  • Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives
  • Out and About in the 30th

Senate Approves Bill to Boost PA Youth Hunting and Fishing

The Senate unanimously approved legislation to create a new license plate for Pennsylvania sportsmen with proceeds used to fund youth hunting and fishing education. 

The Pennsylvania Sportsman registration plate would celebrate those who hunt and fish. Under Senate Bill 916, the plate would be designed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Pennsylvania Sportsman plate would cost $40 plus the registration fee, of which $14 would be deposited into a Youth Hunting and Fishing Restricted Account to be allocated equally to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for the purpose of promoting youth hunting and fishing activities.

FAFSA Assistance

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency will be offering three 2024-25 Line by Line webinars on the following dates:

Wednesday, May 22 at 6 PM

Tuesday, May 28 at Noon

Tuesday, July 9 at 6 PM

Registration can be found at

Stopping Major Mobile Device Carriers from Misleading Consumers

Pennsylvania reached a $10.25 million settlement with several major mobile device service carriers regarding deceptive advertising practices, including supposed “unlimited” data plans and “free” phones.

The settlement with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Cricket and T-Mobile requires the carriers to disclose all attached fees and agreements, train customer service staff accordingly, and be truthful in future advertising.

The terms of the settlements address misrepresentations in advertisements concerning “unlimited” data advertisements, “free” phone offers, monetary incentives to switch wireless networks and wireless carrier plan comparisons. They will be able to claim that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only when it’s reasonable based on comparisons with the prices of comparable goods and services of other providers.

Free Hotline to Support New Parents

While we celebrated mothers last week, they need our support more than simply on Mother’s Day – particularly when they recently had a baby and are much more prone to feeling depressed, anxious and overwhelmed.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is free, confidential and available 24/7. Trained counselors can listen to what callers and texters are going through, connect them with local support groups and organizations, and refer them to other health care professionals if they need more care.

Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). Partners and other family members may also use the hotline as pregnancy and the birth of a baby can affect the whole family.

Honoring Law Enforcement Officers

From May 12-18, we celebrate National Police Week by honoring fallen officers and recognizing the significant role law enforcement officers play in keeping our communities safe, a top priority for Senate Republicans.

In support of that initiative, we have recently passed multiple laws to aid the men and women who work so hard to protect us. Act 34 of 2023 funded an additional 100 Pennsylvania State Police troopers to help make our communities safer. Act 10 of 2023 gave municipal police the authority to conduct fingerprint-based criminal history checks on police applicants to ensure we accept and train qualified individuals.

According to the Fraternal Order of Police, 25 officers were shot and five died in the line of duty in Pennsylvania in 2023.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

When diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is higher than 90%. Of course, a missed mammogram could mean the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.

If you are high risk, don’t let the cost of screening deter you. Through Act 1 of 2023, Senate Republicans eliminated costs for breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, and BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.

Women aged 40 and above who regularly get mammograms are in the best position to fight breast cancer. Remember, early detection saves lives.

Out and About in the 30th

Stacy Garrity, our Commonwealth Treasurer made a stop in my district this week at Renaissance Nutrition in Martinsburg. FFA students, farmers, and other agricultural industry stakeholders were present for Stacy’s discussion on a variety of state financial topics that pertained to rural Pennsylvania and agriculture. Pictured with Stacy and me is former Secretary of Agriculture, Sam Hayes, and former State Representative Jerry Stern.  

The Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards ceremony recently. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

I was given the opportunity to view a pre-released film, Possum Trot, which will be in theaters this July. Ron and Jill Conzo, of Keystone Family Alliance, received a special license to show the film to community leaders. As Senate Chair of Aging and Youth, the Conzo’s wanted to include me in the showing of the film, which is the true story of a community that adopted 77 children out of the foster system and forever changed the lives of many children. Possum Trot was produced by Angel Studios, the producers of the film, Sound of Freedom. If you are interested in getting tickets reserved for the limited showing in July, visit

To learn more about Keystone Family Alliance, visit their website at

What an honor it was to be a part of the Private William E. Green Memorial Bridge dedication ceremony in Blair County. Family and friends of Pvt. Green, who was killed while serving in North Korea in 1952, gathered to commemorate his life through stories and memorabilia that portrayed the life of a patriot and hero. You can view the bridge sign on Route 36 between East Freedom and Roaring Spring.

Thank you to AlphaCare in Philadelphia for allowing the Maternal and Infant Health Caucus to tour your facility and hear about what you do.  AlphaCare and their licensed medical staff offer medical, social service, mental health services and referrals, and material assistance for pregnant women looking for support in their pregnancy.  Pictured with me are staff from Speaker McClinton’s office, staff from AlphaCare, and their clients who shared their success stories with us.  Keep up the amazing work!

This week I partnered with UPMC Health Plan to provide a “health van” at the Heritage Plaza Altoona, which provided free health screenings. An on-site nurse performed blood pressure checks, cholesterol and sugar tests, bone density scans, and provided overall wellness counsel.

Thank you to the 4-H students who attended this year’s AB Ross Agricultural Youth Leadership event held at the Warrior’s Mark Alpaca Farm. Attendees engaged in sheep/alpaca sheering, large animal veterinarian care, hoof trimming with a farrier, a demonstration on wool weaving, and a clean water education exhibit. There was quite a cast of characters on the farm; from alpacas to pigs, to peacocks and emus! I value the partnership I have with representatives from Penn State Ag Extension who help make each year a successful event!

Abram Bunn “A.B.” Ross was Pennsylvania’s first agricultural Extension agent. He was assigned by the United States Department of Agriculture to work in Schellsburg, Bedford County in 1910. Pennsylvania has a proud agricultural tradition that includes the sharing of information to enhance and extend the use of best practices among farmers, and A.B. Ross was a pioneer in this field. To view full photo gallery click here.

It was nice to see Josh Baker, CEO of Amtran in Altoona, at the recent PPTA legislative breakfast in Harrisburg. Josh plays an important rule in providing safe, valuable public transportation in our community.

The Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast provided a great opportunity for lawmakers to set politics aside, come together, and connect over their shared faith and values.  Alessandro DiSanto, the co-founder of Hallow, the most used Catholic prayer app in the world, gave the keynote speech.  Senator John DiSanto also gave a few remarks. 

The Fraternal Order of Police held a memorial service for fallen heroes. Six officers were honored, including a constituent of mine, the late Trooper Jacques Rougeau Jr. My deepest thanks to these officers for their service and sacrifice.


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