DiSanto Announces Grants for Local Police Departments

Harrisburg – State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin) today announced the awarding of $5.3 million in state grants to help police departments in Dauphin County purchase new equipment and make other upgrades to better protect communities.

“Our local police face a wide range of challenges every day and deserve the latest equipment and resources to help them protect our communities,” DiSanto said. “I’m thankful to see this recently created supplemental law enforcement funding being used in the 15th Senate District.”

Grant recipients include:

Derry Township ($115,008) for automatic license plate readers, GrayKey digital forensics access tool, Axiom forensics analysis tool, and training to utilize the digital forensics equipment. 

Harrisburg City ($2.2 million) for body-worn cameras, license plate readers, laser scanner, community service aides, an evidence technician, retention bonuses and an officer wellness program.

Highspire Borough ($65,078) for portable radios and associated software, laptops and tablets and associated software.

Lower Paxton Township ($874,973) for records management system upgrade, license plate reader system, a co-responder position, a forensic staff position and interview room cameras.

Lower Swatara Township ($102,716) for retention bonuses, laptops, a mental health co-responder, partial police academy tuition fees and recruitment bonuses.

Middletown Borough ($41,562) for a stationary multi-camera license plate reader system and mobile data terminals for police vehicles.

Penbrook Borough ($210,238) for a part-time civilian accreditation manager, portable radios, mobile radios and associated installation and equipment costs.

Steelton Borough ($105,712) for office computers and monitors, software upgrades, in-car computers and associated costs, tablet, office laptops, a parking enforcement officer and an officer wellness program.

Susquehanna Township ($1 million) for the purchase and implementation of a new motor vehicle recorder and body-worn camera system, upgrade to the server/cloud retention systems, forensic cellular equipment, and the installation and implementation of license plate recognition devices.

Swatara Township ($549,016) for hard drive for data storage, drying cabinets, surveillance cameras, body-worn cameras, cellular phone analytical equipment, license plate readers, tablets, radios, a portable fingerprint scanner, an officer wellness program and additional training for officers.

The grants were awarded as part of the Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The commission serves as the state’s justice planning and policymaking agency.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov

Senator DiSanto Announces Additional, No-Cost-To-Taxpayers Outreach Offices

Harrisburg – State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin) today announced that, with legislative redistricting effective as of December 1, 2022 (see www.senatordisanto.com/district-map/ for new map), residents of the 15th senatorial district may access the following Outreach Offices for constituent and legislative services:

Middletown
Middletown Borough Hall
60 West Emaus Street, Middletown, Pa, 17057
First and Third Tuesday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Harrisburg
Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library
2410 North Third St., Harrisburg, PA 17110
First and Third Tuesday 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

Hummelstown
William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library
200 West Second Street, Hummelstown, PA 17036
Second and Fourth Thursday 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lower Paxton
East Shore Area Library
4501 Ethel Street, Harrisburg, PA 17109
Second and Fourth Thursday 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

In addition, Senator DiSanto maintains a full-time office at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Appointments can be made by calling 717-787-6801 or visiting www.SenatorDiSanto.com.

“I’m always looking for opportunities to save taxpayer dollars, so I decided not to incur the additional expense of renting a new district office when we can provide a full range of constituent service by phone, online, and in-person at the Capitol Office as well as local libraries and municipal facilities with free meeting rooms,” DiSanto said. “I don’t take the state pension benefits or seek reimbursement for mileage, and I employ the least staff of any state senator. All legislators and state agencies should seek to be as economical with taxpayer dollars while providing effective service.”

“My offices can help constituents in processing PennDOT material, getting copies of birth and death certificates, obtaining Property Tax and Rent Rebates, and more,” DiSanto said. “Residents are also welcome to stop by and share their views on legislation under consideration. These office locations and phone and online options will make it more convenient for constituents to obtain services and provide feedback.”

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801

Senate Committee Votes to Remove Out-of-Pocket Costs for Life-Saving Genetic Testing and Breast Cancer Screenings

HARRISBURG—Today Chairman John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) convened a meeting of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to consider three bills, two of which would remove out-of-pocket costs associated with genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome as well as supplemental breast screenings for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer.

Senate Bill 1330, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), requires health insurance policies to cover, without patient cost-sharing, genetic counseling and genetic testing for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations which are shown to increase a person’s chance of developing one of many hereditary cancers in his or her lifetime.

“Advancing this legislation from committee puts us one step closer to providing more resources for high-risk individuals to take proactive steps to monitor their potential for breast and ovarian cancer by removing the financial burden, said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward. “This legislation requires insurance coverage for genetic counseling and genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRACA 2 gene mutation if a person is diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer or had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.”

Approximately 13% of all women will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives while up to 75% of women who inherit a BRCA gene mutation will develop breast cancer according to Penn Medicine’s Basser Center for BRCA. Men with BRCA mutations are also at increased risk of hereditary cancers, as nearly 25% will develop prostate cancer.

“Early Detection Save Lives, added Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward. “As an individual who benefited from genetic testing, I can say this legislation will go a long way in helping individuals to remain vigilant about getting regular testing or help best determine treatment.”

Genetic testing is an important life-saving tool that often allows for earlier cancer screenings and preventive treatments and procedures. Senator Ward’s legislation removes any out-of-pocket cost barriers for individuals at increased risk of BRCA mutations based on clinical risk assessment tools as well as a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Senate Bill 1225, sponsored by Senator Mensch (R-Montgomery), requires health insurance policies to cover, without patient cost-sharing, an annual supplemental breast screening for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. The legislation builds upon Act 52 of 2020 which had secured coverage for breast MRIs by eliminating patient copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for this preventive screening. This supplemental screening is necessary because of failed early detection by screening mammography among women with dense breasts and those at high lifetime risk of breast cancer.

“All of us know someone whose life has been negatively impacted by breast cancer,” said Senator Mensch. “Research and experience tell us that the best way to have a fighting chance at beating this deadly disease is knowing the risk factors and early detection. Both bills remove barriers to early detection experienced by thousands of Pennsylvanians, and today’s vote signals another monumental step taken by this Legislature to fight, and hopefully eventually eliminate, breast cancer.”

“Identifying those susceptible to hereditary cancers and routine screening of all those at increased risk will help beat cancer early and before symptoms develop,” said Chairman DiSanto. “By removing out-of-pocket costs for preventive healthcare services such as genetic testing and breast MRIs, we ensure all have affordable access to this lifesaving care.”

Senate Bill 1330 and Senate Bill 1225 now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

 

CONTACT:

For Senator DiSanto, Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801

For Senator Ward, Erica Clayton-Wright ewright@pasen.gov (717) 787-6063

For Senator Mensch, Lisa Walter lwalter@pasen.gov (215) 541-2388

Meeting to consider SB 1225, SB 1330 and HB 2499

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Tuesday, September 20 | Off the floor

Senate Rules Committee Conference Room


Agenda

Consideration of SB 1225, SB 1330, and HB 2499

SCHEDULE

SB 1225 Mensch: Requires insurance coverage for breast imaging of women with heterogeneously dense breasts without an accompanying risk factor and removes the provision preserving insurer application of patient cost-sharing.

  • A05514 DiSanto: Requires insurance coverage for all costs associated with an annual supplemental breast screening for women at increased risk of breast cancer.

SB 1330 K. Ward: Requires insurance coverage for all costs associated with genetic counseling and genetic testing for BRCA gene mutations based on a clinical risk assessment tool and a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

HB 2499 Pickett: Adopts the NAIC model establishing data security standards for protecting nonpublic information and standards for investigation of and notification to the Commissioner of cybersecurity events.

DiSanto Opposes Massive Spending Increase in State Budget

HARRISBURG—Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) said today that he opposes the massive spending increases in the proposed 2022-23 state budget and that he voted against the General Appropriations Bill (Senate Bill 1100) in order to protect taxpayers.

“While the Governor and many legislators are trying to portray this budget proposal as a modest increase, in fact spending is up nearly 11% to $45.2 billion, and the recurring demands mean in a few short years the state, when the federal pandemic money has run out, will be facing multi-billion dollar deficits that require big expenditure cuts or tax increases. The legislature should have passed a budget that provided appropriate support for education and human services while being sustainable over the long term,” DiSanto said.

While the overall growth of the budget is a concern, DiSanto pointed to a new program that is a particularly egregious example of excessive government spending – the $125 million Whole Home Repairs Program that was designed by an avowed Democratic Socialist legislator from Philadelphia. If it ends up like the original bill, this program will give grants of up to $50,000 to certain homeowners and landlords for property improvements, creating more bureaucracy and market inefficiency.

DiSanto said of this program, “It’s an insult to the low-income homeowner who has worked and saved for years to maintain their home and to the tax-paying family that won’t qualify because they just miss the income cutoff. Rather than creating new welfare programs, we should be using our one-time federal pandemic funds for existing public infrastructure needs, like roads and bridges, for which the Governor is pushing new taxes and tolls.”

As part of the budget package, DiSanto did support the School Code (House Bill 1642), State-Related Universities Appropriations (Senate Bill 1284), Human Services Code (House Bill 1420), and amendments to the Tax Reform Code (House Bill 1342). “All of the public schools in my district will be receiving significant funding increases intended to help them boost student achievement and enhance school safety, and financial support provided to the state-related universities will keep tuition affordable for our state residents. With this additional state subsidy, I expect public schools to do their part and not levy higher property taxes in 2023,” DiSanto said.

DiSanto had also championed the inclusion of provisions from his Senate Bill 347 in the Tax Reform Code.  DiSanto’s legislation eliminates a disadvantage faced by Pennsylvania businesses when competing with those in other states, giving them the benefit of the “like-kind” exchange provision in the Internal Revenue Code that allows for tax deferral when property is exchanged for similar property. Additionally, DiSanto applauded the historic, long overdue reduction of the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax, the second highest in the nation, which will be halved to 4.99% by 2031 to dramatically improve the state’s business climate and create more jobs for residents.

Of the budget package overall, DiSanto said, “While there are certainly fiscally responsible and beneficial components of this budget package that I endorse, such as significant contributions to the state’s Rainy-Day Fund and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, the overall budget will worsen the state’s structural overspending problem and grow the size and scope of state government, and I don’t want to burden future taxpayers with this debt.”

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801

Meeting to consider HB 2419, SB 1222, SB 1235

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Tuesday, May 24th | 11 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B


Agenda

Consideration of HB 2419, SB 1222, SB 1235

Schedule

HB 2419 Pickett: Allows outpatient psychiatric clinics to satisfy required psychiatric time through telebehavioral health technology with Department of Human Services approval.

SB 1222 DiSanto/Street: Adopts the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s model for conducting a Group Capital Calculation and Liquidity Stress Test for Insurance Department financial analysis and solvency monitoring of insurers.

SB 1235 DiSanto/Street: Prohibits the Department of Human Services from utilizing bidding or service zones that limit a health service corporation or a hospital plan corporation contractor from submitting a bid for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

DiSanto Announces State Grants for Key Projects in Dauphin and Perry Counties

Harrisburg – Five major projects in Dauphin and Perry counties are receiving crucial state assistance, Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) announced today.

“I’m pleased to announce this state support for upgrades to public facilities and economic development,” said DiSanto. “It’s important to me to bring state tax dollars back to our region for critical, but expensive, projects and help ease the burden on local taxpayers.”

DiSanto said the following Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants were approved:

Dauphin County Library System ($1 million)       

The Dauphin County Library System Walnut Street Harrisburg Expansion project will construct an interior connection between the current McCormick Riverfront Library and the newly acquired Haldeman Haly House. It will renovate the Haly House to support administrative offices, provide community, conference and private counseling rooms and renovate the lower floor of the existing library providing space for a children’s center and welcome center.

West Hanover Township Municipal Complex ($500,000)

The project will construct a 15,000-square-foot municipal complex which will house several township departments including: administration, buildings/code enforcement, parks and recreation, public works, West Hanover Water and Sewer Authority, and Stormwater Authority.

Rotunda Brew Pub ($1 million)

The Rotunda Brewing property is located at the end of the heavily trafficked Chocolate Avenue in Derry Township and sits a quarter mile from the recently constructed Town Square. This redevelopment will transition the business model from on-site production with limited space for on-premise consumption to a fully modernized and state-of-the-art brewpub facility that has the ability to compete with comparable locations in other states.

Swatara Township Municipal Complex Facility ($1 million)

Swatara Township needs a new Fire and Police Public Safety Building. The building will be 50,000 square feet and add secure rooms for meetings with crime victims, provide ventilation systems, decontamination areas, wash-down areas and storage areas, joint training facilities for fire and police, covered parking area and an emergency management operations center.

Perry County Economic Development Corporation ($1 million)

IBS is preparing to construct a state-of-the-art commercial egg hatchery on lot #3 of the Perry County Industrial Park.  The construction includes the following items needed for a commercial Egg Hatchery: Hot and Chilled Water Processor, Compressed Air System, Reverse Osmosis Water System, and an Electrical System. The hatchery facility will be constructed in three phases.

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801

DiSanto Announces Nonprofit Security Grants for Area Organizations

HARRISBURG – State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) today announced state funding to help area nonprofits and faith-based institutions improve safety and security.

The grants come from the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, administrated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The program was created by the General Assembly in 2019.

Local organizations receiving grants are:

  • YWCA Greater Harrisburg ($6,895)
  • Metropolitan Community Church of the Spirit ($15,439)
  • Islamic Center Masjid Al-Sabereen ($74,436)
  • Chisuk Emuna Congregation ($10,503)

The funding is directed to nonprofit organizations that serve individuals, groups or institutions included in a bias motivation category as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics.

Eligible expenses for security enhancements include:

  • Safety and security planning
  • Purchase of safety and security equipment
  • Purchase of security-related technology
  • Safety and security training
  • Threat awareness and response training
  • Upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security

“I’m pleased to announce these grants that will help local organizations and faith-based institutions cover the cost of improving safety and security measures for their members and guests,” DiSanto said.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov

 

Senate Approves DiSanto Cannabis Banking Bill

HARRISBURG—Today the Senate gave its bipartisan approval of legislation authored by Senators John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) and Sharif Street (Philadelphia) to afford state-legal cannabis businesses better access to banking and insurance services.

Senate Bill 1167 authorizes, but does not require, financial institutions and insurers to provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses. The bill also protects against state penalties for banks and insurers that service the industry. This codifies the existing climate of regulatory non-enforcement.

Despite the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) 2014 guidance for servicing cannabis-related businesses, federal prohibition maintains business proceeds may be considered a federal crime. This greatly restricts access to conventional banking and insurance services. The state-legal cannabis industry has been forced to operate in cash and be targeted for armed robberies that jeopardize patients, employees, and communities.

Pennsylvania is one of 37 states having legalized medical cannabis. This quickly emerging industry has brought new businesses, jobs, and investment to Pennsylvania and has provided several hundred thousand patients access to safe and regulated products for the treatment of health conditions. 

“Improved access to financial and insurance services is vital for protecting public safety and is essential to operate any legal business,” DiSanto said. “Banking this cash safely in Pennsylvania will grow our economy and lower costs for medical cannabis consumers.”

Senate Bill 1167 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801 cerdman@pasen.gov

Meeting to consider SB 1167

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 | 11 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8 E-A

Agenda

Consideration on SB 1167

Schedule

  1. SB 1167 DiSanto/Street: Authorizes financial institutions and insurers to provide services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses, prohibits adverse regulatory or legal actions, and permits ordinary business deductions on state taxes.
    • A03794 DiSanto: Technical amendment to include federally compliant cannabis-related businesses and clarify requirements for financial institutions and insurers.