Senator Gebhard E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate
  • Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety
  • East Penn Manufacturing Company Tour
  • Summit International School of Ministry
  • East Cocalico Township Recognized for Local Government Excellence
  • Beware of E-ZPass Scam
  • Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee
  • April is National Financial Literacy Month
  • Local Events

Bill Requiring Prosecutors to Notify ICE of Illegal Migrants Passes Senate

The Senate approved legislation that would require prosecutors across the state to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) whenever illegal migrants are charged with violating state law. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Currently in Pennsylvania, violations of state law by illegal migrants are not required to be reported to ICE, but Senate Bill 1127 would ensure illegal migrants who violate our laws are held accountable. The change will better safeguard our communities and protect Pennsylvania’s law-abiding citizens.

Earlier this year, two NYPD officers were assaulted in broad daylight by illegal migrants. Several of the offenders had been previously arrested but not reported to ICE and were released back on the streets. The shocking crime prompted New York City Mayor Eric Adams to call for ICE to be informed when illegal migrants have been charged with violations of state law.  

Senate Approves Bill Prioritizing Community Safety

The Senate passed legislation this week to strengthen the bail determination process for dangerous individuals: repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot.

Senate Bill 1120 would only allow cash bail to be used and ban release on own recognizance or unsecured bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety while they await trial. The bill is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania as an average of 14 Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and approximately 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl – the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill an average person.

East Penn Manufacturing Company Tour

Last week I had the opportunity to see how Deka batteries are made at a family-owned factory in Topton, Pa.

Thank you to Chris Pruitt at East Penn Manufacturing Co. for showing me the process of automotive battery making. I found it interesting to see the recycling process of remelting the lead and recovering the acid to the production and charging of the newly built batteries. It was impressive to see all the health and safety protocols in place at this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. East Penn’s Berks campus is the largest single facility battery maker in the United States.

Summit International School of Ministry

I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with students from the Summit International School of Ministry while they were visiting the Capitol. The school, located in Grantville, Lebanon County has a two-year ministry training program. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation regarding state government and current issues.

East Cocalico Township Recognized for Local Government Excellence

Congratulations to East Cocalico Township for being Recognized for Local Government Excellence for their innovative program that significantly reduces sediment run-off while supporting agriculture at a fraction of the cost of conventional stormwater management techniques.

Beware of E-ZPass Scam

A new phishing scam is targeting E-ZPass account holders requesting information to settle outstanding toll amounts. The texts claim to be from “Pa Turnpike Toll Services” and center around urgent requests with your account that would result in a late fee if the balance does not get settled. Similar scams have been reported by toll agencies across the country in the past several days.

Customers who receive an unsolicited text, email or similar message suggesting it is from E-ZPass or another toll agency should not click the link. E-ZPass account holders can use approved safe methods to check their accounts such as the PA Turnpike E-ZPass website or the PA Toll Pay app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Those who receive a fraudulent text can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at The site is dedicated to sharing information on internet crimes across law enforcement agencies.

Increasing Student Safety, Eliminating Vehicle Owner Fee

As a result of action taken by Senate Republicans, students will be safer on their journey to and from school. Because of legislation now in effect, school districts may install and operate automated camera systems on school buses to capture violations committed by motorists.

Violations identified by the camera system will be reviewed by police under agreement with the school district. After that review, the school district may issue a violation and a $300 fine to the vehicle owner. These violations are civil penalties only and no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Vehicle owners may request a hearing before a PennDOT hearing office, at no cost to the vehicle owner, if they feel they are innocent. Before the passage of the legislation, the vehicle owner was responsible for paying applicable civil filing fees.

April is National Financial Literacy Month

In April, we recognize National Financial Literacy Month, a time to celebrate work being done to improve the knowledge that helps people achieve their money-focused goals.

Senate Republicans recognized that young adults face financial decisions that can come with long-term consequences and passed my legislation to arm high school students with money management skills. The new law requires completion of a half-credit personal finance course to graduate high school.

The course will give high school students the understanding they need about topics like credit and credit scores; savings and investments; college, home and auto loans; and planning for postsecondary education and retirement.

Local Events

Thursday, April 11-13, 9am-4pm: The Lancaster-Lebanon Quilt Show
Lebanon Expo Center (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Saturday, April 13, 8am-12pm: Youth Only Day of Fishing
Myerstown Borough Park (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Saturday, April 13, 5pm-11pm: Blue and White Legacy Gala
Warehouse 435 (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Sunday, April 14, 2pm: Spring Lecture at Conrad Weiser Homestead
28 Weiser Lane, Womelsdorf (Berks, PA)
Click here

Saturday, April 13-14: Southeast Pennsylvania Home and Garden Show
Leesport Farmers Market (Berks, PA)
Click here

Friday, April 12, 6pm-9pm: Bingo
Stevens Fire Company (Lancaster, PA)
Click here


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