Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • 1st Round Resident Antlerless License Changes for 2024-25
  • New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices
  • Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations
  • Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage
  • Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support
  • Senate Acts to Modernize Rules for Electronic Commerce
  • Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers
  • Out and About

1st Round Resident Antlerless License Changes for 2024-25

Pennsylvanians, are you counting down the days?

With the 2024-25 license year and antlerless license sales kicking off later this month, we want to make sure you are prepared to take advantage of ALL the opportunities with our easy checklist.

You can find more details on the New License Year Checklist at:


Monday, June 24, at 8 a.m. for RESIDENT Antlerless licenses for WMUs 1B, 2G, and 3A go on sale on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, June 27, at 8 a.m. for RESIDENT antlerless licenses for all remaining WMUs go on sale, guaranteed through Sunday, July 7, 2024.

Monday, July 8, at 8 a.m. for NONRESIDENT unsold antlerless licenses available on a first come, first served basis.

General Reminder: One antlerless deer license can be purchased per round in the first three rounds.

More information on antlerless license rounds:

Hunters can update account information and purchase licenses at or at any license issuing agent. Find one near you:

Have additional questions? Contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or

New Distracted Driving Law Bans Use of Handheld Devices

A new law prohibits the use of handheld cellular and other devices while operating a vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or traffic way. Drivers may still use their phone if they are using hands-free technology, such as a docking station, Bluetooth or speaker technology.

For the first year, only warnings will be issued for violations. After that, there will be a $50 fine.

Distracted driving fatalities in Pennsylvania surged to a decade high in 2022, claiming 80 lives. The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index found that the majority of drivers believe distracted driving has outpaced all other traffic-related issues as a growing safety concern. All of Pennsylvania’s border states and 28 others have enacted hands-free laws.

Respecting Taxpayers Remains a Top Priority in State Budget Negotiations

In Pennsylvania, the state budget is to be completed by June 30 of each year. As we work to reach consensus, Senate Republicans are continuing to fight for a budget that respects taxpayers and makes the best use of the state’s resources.

In February, Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a massive $3.2 billion increase in state spending. Last month, Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative approach that would reduce taxes by approximately $3 billion annually. Instead of growing government bureaucracy and picking winners and losers, our plan would allow Pennsylvanians to decide how their money should be spent. These historic tax cuts would provide relief to every Pennsylvanian who earns a paycheck by reducing the personal income tax rate from 3.07% to 2.8%, and every person paying an electric bill by eliminating the Gross Receipts Tax on energy.

Learn more about the process of enacting the 2024-25 state budget and watch the Senate in session here.

Senate Approves Bills to Reverse Nursing Home Worker Shortage

With the number of older Pennsylvanians rising and nursing homes struggling to find qualified workers, the Senate passed two bills this week to reverse the worker shortage. Both bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 1102 would increase the number of nursing home workers by streamlining the training and certification process and removing barriers that prevent people from entering the health care workforce in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 1104 would further increase the nursing home workforce by enabling high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two elective credits for working or volunteering at a nursing home, personal care home or assisted living facility. Schools would establish program guidelines and procedures to allow students to earn one elective credit for each 250 hours of paid or volunteer work at a qualifying facility.

Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support

To provide financial relief to more disabled veterans, the Senate passed Senate Bill 194 to exclude U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Attendance benefits as income when calculating eligibility for Pennsylvania’s 100% Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption.

Federal Aid and Attendance benefits provide monthly payments to disabled veterans who are housebound or need help with daily activities. Without the exclusion of this federal benefit, some disabled veterans are prevented from qualifying for property tax reductions.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Acts to Modernize Rules for Electronic Commerce

The Senate passed legislation to modernize the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), updating rules that govern digital asset transactions to ensure security, consistency and confidence. It now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The UCC has provided consistency for commercial law and interstate commerce since 1954, when Pennsylvania led the initiative to adopt it. Since then, it has been adopted by all states and gives Americans legal confidence when transacting business across state lines. The last major revisions to the UCC took effect in 2001. In the two decades since, electronic property, or digital assets, have become much more prevalent in commercial transactions.

Senate Bill 1084 would bring the law into the 21st century by establishing guidelines to cover digital asset transactions involving virtual currencies, non-fungible tokens, electronic accounts and other forms of electronic commerce. It would also make other needed technical updates to the UCC.

Celebrating the Contributions of PA Dairy Farmers

Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s top industry, and dairy products play a significant role by generating $11.8 billion in economic revenue and supporting 47,000 jobs statewide. Of the nearly 5,000 dairy farms in the state, 99% are family-owned with many being handed down generation after generation.

Our dairy farmers work tirelessly each day to provide families everywhere with nutrient-rich foods. Dairy products contain nine essential nutrients that help to manage weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. The nutrient powerhouse also helps build and repair muscle tissue and maintain healthy skin.

Celebrate National Dairy Month by raising a glass of milk or enjoying some delicious ice cream. Pennsylvania has an Ice Cream Trail that boasts great creameries all across the state.

Out and About

Thank you to the Pennsylvania Family Institute for hosting Riley Gaines as their keynote speaker at their recent “Friends of the Family Banquet” held in Cranberry Township. I am grateful for young women like Riley, who has taken a stand and is fighting for fairness in women’s sports. Riley is a true inspiration to females, young and old, and her message is strong and courageous!

What a pleasure meeting with folks from LeadingAge PA and Heather Loucks from the Village at Morrison Cove and hearing what issues are most important to them as we enter budget season. 

It was so wonderful to meet with Cpl. Benjamin Berry, a 100-year-old World War II Veteran, who bravely fought at the Battle of the Bulge, which was the deadliest battle of the war.

The annual Seersucker Caucus photo not only highlights this one-of-a-kind textile fabric but also supports the Dress for Success non-profit organization. This is also a fun way to kickoff our Summer Session season, each and every year with members and staff of both chambers.

It was great to see Sam Wiley, the assistant manager of Blue Knob All Seasons Resort, here in Blair County, who was in town for the PA Ski Areas Association meeting. As a member of the Ski Caucus, it is important to meet with and discuss issues impacting the industry.

This week, I stood with LeadingAge PA in support of long-term care across our Commonwealth. As we seek to assist the needs of those who are dependent upon enhanced care in our aging community, we must also support those most appropriately positioned to care for them. With a deep appreciation for our seniors and the services provided by long-term care facilities throughout Pennsylvania, I will continue to do all I can to ensure that this vital network is reliable, impactful and accessible to those who need it.

Congratulations to Chevron Xpress Lube and Car Wash on your ribbon cutting and new location in Granville Township, Lewistown!

The Raystown Dam 50th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recognized the anniversary of the dedication of the dam by Vice President Gerald Ford on June 6, 1974. Raystown Lake, the largest lake located entirely in Pennsylvania, was constructed for flood risk management and hydroelectric power, but also offers recreational opportunities and fish and wildlife conservation. The lake attracts more than one million visitors per year, generating tourism and economic benefits for the region. We are blessed to have this amazing gem in our area and appreciate the continued efforts by the USACE to preserve this resource for generations to come.

I enjoyed stopping by to see the progress on the stream cleaning project. A special thanks to Mayor Matt Pacifico and Altoona City Councilman Dave Ellis and the volunteers who helped with stream clean up in the Pleasant Valley area of Altoona. Great job!!

It was great to spend time with the members and families of the Shade Gap Fire Company (Huntingdon County). Many thanks for the service you provide to the residents of Shade Gap and surrounding areas. Thanks also for the invitation to join you. It was delicious!


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