MEDIA ADVISORY – Senate Majority Policy Committee Chair Announces Lancaster County Crime and Public Safety Hearing

(HARRISBURG) – Senate Majority Policy Committee Chair Mario Scavello (R-40) announced the Majority Policy Committee will hold the second in a series of statewide hearings on crime and public safety at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 2 at the East Hempfield Township Building.

The goal of these hearings is to better understand what is driving the increase in crime in local communities across the Commonwealth, as well as discuss tools to assist the law enforcement community and other stakeholders.

WHO:  Senate Majority Policy Committee 

WHAT:  Crime and Public Safety Hearing

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. 

WHERE:

East Hempfield Township Building
1700 Nissley Road
Landisville, PA 17538

Livestream
Senate Republican Caucus website
Senate Republican Caucus Facebook page
Senate Majority Policy Committee

MEDIA CONTACT

Erica Clayton Wright
ewright@pasen.gov
412-334-4856

Senate Majority Policy Chair Announces Statewide Hearings on Crime and Public Safety

(HARRISBURG) – Senate Majority Policy Chair Mario Scavello (R-40) today announced a series of hearings on the topic of crime and public safety that will begin next week in Cambria County and continue throughout the Commonwealth during the next few months.

“We are witnessing a disturbing upward trend in crime across the Commonwealth, and we owe it to Pennsylvanians to step up and help,” said Mario Scavello, Majority Policy Chair. “The goal of the hearings is to gain a better understanding of what is driving the increase in crime in our communities and to discuss tools to help law enforcement better protect our citizens.”

A top priority for Senate Republicans is to ensure Pennsylvanians feel safe in the towns, cities, and communities that they call home. These hearings on crime and public safety will help legislators better understand the trends in crime from law enforcement and key stakeholders to position the legislative branch to create more effective policies that match our Commonwealth’s economic goals with our community objectives throughout Pennsylvania.

“I welcome the Senate Majority Policy Committee to the 35th District and look forward to discussing ways we can effectively combat crime in our communities,” said Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35).  “As crime has increased on the national, state and local levels, we must take steps to stop it.  Having dedicated the better part of my career to law enforcement as an Assistant District Attorney, I appreciate and welcome the testimony of my esteemed former colleagues across all disciplines of law.  It is my plan to identify and subsequently implement policies to stop this dangerous trend.” 

The first hearing will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at the Cambria County Courthouse Courtroom 1, 200 South Center Street, Ebensburg, Pa. The next hearing will be held in Lancaster County.

“As a strong supporter of our law enforcement community, I am eager for the Senate Majority Policy Committee to hear directly from Lancaster County police chiefs, human trafficking victim advocates, and other local experts on the issue of crime and public safety,” said Senator Ryan Aument (R-36). “I’m confident their expertise will provide useful insight to me and my legislative colleagues on the committee as we collectively seek to support policies that empower law enforcement to keep our communities safe.” 

Unfortunately, when it comes to crime in Pennsylvania, we are witnessing a rise in senseless acts that are hitting the core of our communities.  Most recently, Philadelphia experienced one shooting per hour throughout a 24-hour period resulting in more than two dozen victims, and in the City of Pittsburgh, over Easter weekend citizens experienced a mass shooting incident that included 11 individuals who were shot of which two teenagers were killed.

Contact:

Erica Clayton Wright (Senator Kim Ward) ewright@pasen.gov
Christine Zubeck (Senator Scavello) czubeck@pasen.gov
Gwenn Dando (Senator Langerholc) gdando@pasen.gov
Stephanie Applegate (Senator Aument) sapplegate@pasen.gov

Senate Majority Policy Committee Hears from Workers, Employers Hurt by Vaccine Mandates

Harrisburg – The impact of COVID-19 vaccine mandates on workers, employers and access to health care was the focus of a hearing today by the Senate Majority Policy Committee, chaired by Senator Mario Scavello (R-40).

The panel heard from workers who were terminated from jobs or had their salary and benefits denied, as well as employers struggling to fill jobs — many of them in critical health care fields.

“I’ve received numerous calls from constituents being forced to take a vaccine or voluntarily resign, as well as from businesses already facing a shortage of staff who say the impact of mandated vaccines will devastate them,” Scavello said. “We have a responsibility to explore the impacts of these mandates very closely.”

Pediatric emergency medicine physician and pediatric hospitalist Chaminie Wheeler told the panel she was fired from her hospital after going public with her concerns about vaccine mandates.

“Unfortunately, what has happened to our medical establishment is that physicians are not allowed to have difference of opinion or thought process,” Wheeler testified. “The table where ideas are exchanged, challenged and analyzed is considered a threat. If this trend continues in medicine, there will be no progress in medicine.”

Registered nurse Nicole Donley said she was fired from the hospital she worked at for six years after refusing the mandated vaccine.

“To fire any willing and able workers in this economic climate is absurd,” she said. “People are willing to sacrifice their jobs for the right to make their own health care decisions, the same right we give to all hospital patients, the right to deny any and all medical interventions. We should all be allowed that right as human beings and especially as Americans.”

Services for individuals with developmental disabilities will be harder to obtain because of vaccine mandates, according to John David Stoltzfus of human services provider Community Services Group.

“There are swaths of people that have left the overall health care industry due to already instituted vaccine mandates. Numbers from 2021 compared to 2020 show that the number of health care workers currently employed has dramatically decreased by almost 50%,” he testified. “I have personally been told by CSG leadership that they expect to see up to 46% of their staff leave if they are forced to mandate the vaccines.”

One of the largest human service providers in central Pennsylvania will face a shortage of workers if vaccines are mandated, according to Becky Aungst, president and CEO of Skills of Central PA, which provides support for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those recovering from mental health challenges.

“If vaccines are mandated, some portion of our staff will undoubtedly resign. Given the current staffing crisis, we cannot afford to lose a single staff member,” she testified.

The shortage of workers affects not only the health care sector, but all employers, said Stacey Header of Solar Innovations, a custom manufacturer of doors, windows and enclosures in Schuylkill County.

“The labor shortage was an issue prior to the pandemic and is now a complete crisis, not just for us, but for employers in all industries,” she said.

Vaccine mandates have shaken the airline industry, as well. United Airlines Pilot John Cronin testified that he lost his pay and benefits when he was granted a vaccine religious exemption.

“With all my years of service and all the knowledge and skills I acquired, which I could pass on to my co-pilots, I found it appalling they (UAL) would be so willing, almost eager, to kick me into the gutter,” Cronin said.

Captain Cronin noted that – even though airline air quality is better than average — unvaccinated UAL employees (but not passengers) are now forced to wear a N95 or KN 95 mask at work. He said United Airlines refused to provide the OSHA and manufacturers’ required medical examinations, training or fit testing, resulting in harm to employees.

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry updated the committee on developments from Washington, D.C. A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s new vaccine rules that would apply to private businesses with 100 or more employees, certain health care workers and federal contractors.

The committee took testimony from more than a dozen workers, employers and others.

“Whether you agree with mandated vaccinations or not, the fact remains people are genuinely worried that their constitutional rights are being infringed upon. These are concerns we cannot ignore,” Scavello said. “The purpose of this hearing was to make clear the effects of vaccine mandates on workers, employers and the health care system.”

Video of the hearing as well as written testimony can be found at SenatorScavello.com.

Contact: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123     

Public hearing on vaccine mandates and impacts on/in the workplace

Senate Majority Policy Committee

Monday, November 8, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room #1


AGENDA

Public Hearing on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and their Effects on the Workplace, Employees, and the Business Community

Schedule

10:00 a.m.—10:05 a.m. Opening Remarks

Senator Mario M. Scavello, Chairman, Senate Majority Policy Committee

Panel One

  • Congressman Scott Perry, Federal Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
  • PA Homecare Association, Teri Henning, Esq., CEO – Testimony
  • PA Healthcare Association, Zach Shamberg, President & CEO
  • Skills of Central Pennsylvania, Rebecca Aungst, President & CEO  – Testimony
  • Solar Innovations, Stacy Header, CFO  – Testimony
  • Informed Consent PA, Stephanie Coxon, MBA, PhD, CNHP, BCTN  – Testimony

Questions and Answers

Panel Two

  • Pennsylvania State Chamber, Alex Halper, Director of Government Affairs

Questions and Answers

Panel Three

  • Dr. Doug Pfeiffer, D.C. at Upper Perk Chiropractic Center, Center for Nutrition and Wellness, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association Functional Nutrition Working Group, and Founder, and President of the Shield of Truth Network – Testimony
  • John David Stoltzfus, Community Services Group  – Testimony
  • Jamie Lamb, Small Business Owner, Certified Doula  – Testimony
  • Nicole Donley, RN  –  Testimony
  • Paula Provenzano, Bank Employee  – Testimony
  • John Cronin, Captain and Member, Airline Employees for Health Freedom  – Testimony
  • Alison Fujito, Violinist, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  – Testimony

Questions and Answers

11:50 a.m. -11:55 a.m.   Adjournment

Written Testimony

Jennifer L. Berrier, Secretary, PA Department of Labor & Industry  – Testimony

PCIC Testimony-Other  – Testimony

PA Chamber of Business and Industry, Gene Barr  – Testimony

Informational meeting on SB 562 (Airport Land Development Zone (ALDZ) Program)

Senate Majority Policy Committee AND Senate Aviation Caucus

Monday, October 18, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A


AGENDA

Informational meeting on SB 562 (Airport Land Development Zone (ALDZ) Program)

SCHEDULE

10:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Committee Member Introductions

10:05 a.m. Pennsylvania Aviation Council

David Heath, Consultant for the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania – Testimony   –  Attachment
Principal, BBP Solutions

Gabe Monzo, President Board of Directors, Aviation Council of Pennsylvania
Executive Director Westmoreland County Airport Authority/ Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

Joseph M. Uliana,  J.M. Uliana & Associates,
Speaking on the ALDZ Tax Credit

Question from Committee Members

10:55 a.m. Closing Remarks

Public hearing on the federal prohibition of whole milk in schools

Senate Majority Policy Committee

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 9:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room #1


Public hearing on the Federal Prohibition of Whole Milk in Schools

9:00 a.m.—9:05 a.m. – Opening Remarks

Senator Mario M. Scavello, Chairman, Senate Majority Policy Committee

9:05 a.m.—9:25 a.m. – Panel One

Rick Ebert, President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau – Testimony

Rob Barley, Chairman, PA Milk Marketing Board – Testimony

Mike Eby, Farmer and PA Farmers Union board member – Testimony
President of National Dairy Producers Organization and Executive Director of Organization for Competitive Markets

Jayne Sebright, Executive Director, Center for Dairy Excellence – Testimony

9:25 a.m.—9:40 a.m. – Questions and Answers                                               

9:40 a.m.—9:55 a.m. – Panel Two

Bernie Morrissey, Chairman, Grassroots PA Dairy Advisory Committee – Testimony

Nelson Troutman, Berks County Dairy Farmer, Started the “97 Milk” Movement – Testimony

Jackie Behr, Volunteer Marketing Manager with “97 Milk” Whole Milk Educational Efforts, also works with dairy farmers in her job at R&J Dairy Consulting – Testimony | Attachment

Sherry Bunting, Ag Journalist, former member of the ELANCO School Board, Originated the 30,000-plus petition seeking to legalize whole milk in schools – Testimony

9:55 a.m.—10:10 a.m. – Questions and Answers

10:10 a.m.—10:20 a.m. – Panel Three

Krista Byler, Food Service Director/District Chef, Union City Area School District – Testimony  | Slides

Christine Ebersole RN, BSN, CSN, School Nurse, Martinsburg –  Testimony |  Attachment 

Tricia Adams, Hoffman Family Farms, School-Involved Parent leads school tours at the farm – Testimony

10:20 a.m.—10:35 a.m. – Questions and Answers

10:35 a.m.  –  Adjournment

Written Testimony

Mike Sensenig – Testimony
Sensenig’s Feed Mill

Scavello Chairs Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 Business Closures on Tourism and Hospitality Employers

HARRISBURG – Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) chaired a virtual public hearing Tuesday on the economic impact of COVID-19 business closures on tourism and hospitality employers.

The Senate Majority Policy Committee heard from representatives of restaurants, hotels, tourist destinations and others from across the 40th Senatorial District and the commonwealth.

“The business closures aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 had a devastating effect on businesses and workers across the board, but hit the tourism and hospitality sectors especially hard,” said Scavello. “This hearing brought together a broad array of employers from across Pennsylvania to share their first-hand experience and ideas for how to safely move forward.”

Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel told the committee that small business revenue in the leisure-hospitality sector is down 55 percent since January 2020, compared to 33 percent for all small businesses.

Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Gina Martens said 12 Lehigh Valley member restaurants have closed as a result of pandemic-related restrictions. Her organization supports legislation to suspend the remittance of sales tax on food and beverages for restaurants and bars until they are allowed to have 100-percent capacity again.

Pocono region tourism employs over 35,000 individuals and generates over $282 million in state and local tax revenues yearly and contributes over 64 percent of the regions total labor income. Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau President and CEO Chris Barrett testified that during March of 2020 tens of thousands of individuals in the Pocono hospitality industry lost their jobs literally overnight.

He told the committee that lack of communication in the form of clear guidelines surrounding the Wolf administration’s mitigation plans was an incredible source of stress and anxiety for thousands of individuals in the Pocono Mountains.

Joseph J. Ruvane, co-founder of Barley Creek Brewing Company in Tannersville, offered hopeful testimony and a request. With the vaccine rollout and increased dining capacity limits to 75 percent, businesses like his can grow stronger. Still, he said, further assistance from the state Department of Community and Economic Development would be appreciated.

You can view the hearing and read complete testimony here.

CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123

Public hearing on the economic impact of COVID-19 business closures on the Tourism and Hospitality industries

 

Senate Majority Policy Committee

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 10:00 a.m.

NOB, Hearing Room #1 and Virtual Participation


Public hearing on the economic impact of COVID-19 business closures on the Tourism and Hospitality industries

Agenda

10:00 a.m.—10:05 a.m.         Opening Remarks

Senator Mario M. Scavello, Chairman, Senate Majority Policy Committee

10:05 a.m.—11:00 a.m.         Panel One

Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), Matthew Knittel, Director – Testimony

Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Baldrige, President & CEO – TestimonySupporting Materials

Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce, Robert Carl, President & CEO – Testimony

Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Gina Martens, Senior Vice President, Member Relations & Sales – Testimony                                    

11:00 a.m.—11:40 a.m.         Panel Two

Visit Pittsburgh, Jerad Bachar, President & CEO – Testimony

Visit Philly, Jeff Guaracino, President & CEO – Testimony

Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, President & CEO – Testimony

Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Chris Barrett, President & CEO – Testimony

11:40 a.m.—12:20 a.m.         Panel Three

PA Amusement Parks & Attractions, Michael Fehnel, VP and General Manager of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom – Testimony

Kalahari Resorts, Daryl Morris, General Manager – Testimony

Altoona Curve, Derek Martin, General Manager – Testimony

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Priscilla Luce, Interim President – Testimony

12:20 p.m.—1:00 p.m.           Panel Four

PA Restaurant & Lodging Association, John Longstreet, President and CEO – Testimony

Private Event Professionals of Pennsylvania, Domenick Savino, Managing Partner, The Drexelbrook – Testimony

Barley Creek Brewing, Trip Ruvane, Owner – Testimony

Hoss’s, Cynthia Smith, Corporate Counsel – Testimony

The Wheel Restaurant, Savas G. Logothetides, Owner – Testimony

1:00 p.m.                                Adjournment

 

Additional Written Testimony

Stroudsmoor Country Inn – Testimony

Senate committee to discuss election issues in Pennsylvania

GETTYSBURG – At the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York), the Senate Majority Policy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss recent issues regarding the 2020 General Election in Pennsylvania.

“Elections are a fundamental principle of our democracy – unfortunately, Pennsylvanians have lost faith in the electoral system. It is unacceptable,” said Mastriano. “Over the past few weeks, I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians regarding issues experienced at the polls, irregularities with the mail-in voting system and concerns whether their vote was counted. We need to correct these issues to restore faith in our republic.”

“We want assurance that the issues encountered during this past election don’t happen again in the future,” said Majority Policy Committee Chair Senator David G. Argall. “Senator Mastriano requested this meeting because Pennsylvanians deserve a fair election.” 

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, November 25 at 12:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg. The public is invited to watch the event live on the Majority Policy Committee’s website.

More information can be found on the committee’s website at http://policy.pasenategop.com.

Contact: 717.787.2637

MEDIA ADVISORY: Mastriano and Senate Majority Policy Committee to vet Election Issues

WHAT: At the request of Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York), the Senate Majority Policy Committee is holding a public hearing Wednesday to discuss 2020 election issues and irregularities. The hearing will feature former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

WHO: Senate Majority Policy Committee Chair David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill); Senate Majority Leader-Elect Kim Ward (R-39); State Rep. Dan Moul (R-91); State Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-89); and State Rep Paul Schemel (R-90); among other lawmakers will join Senator Mastriano in this historic hearing.

Mastriano is clear what is at risk.

“Elections are a fundamental principle of our democracy – unfortunately, Pennsylvanians have lost faith in the electoral system,” said Mastriano, who recently called for the resignation of State Department Secretary Kathy Boockvar for negligence and incompetence. “It is unacceptable.”

“Over the past few weeks, I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians regarding issues experienced at the polls, irregularities with the mail-in voting system and concerns whether their vote was counted,” said Mastriano. “We need to correct these issues to restore faith in our republic.”

WHERE: Wyndham Gettysburg, 95 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg, PA  17325. 

The hearing will be streamed live on policy.pasenategop.com.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 25th at 12:30 pm.

“We want assurance that the issues encountered during this past election don’t happen again,” said Chairman Argall. “Senator Mastriano requested this meeting because Pennsylvanians deserve a fair election.”  

CONTACT: spitzer@pasen.gov.