Senator Gebhard E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Pennsylvania’s New Slogan, “The Great American Getaway?”
  • Bipartisan Measure Prohibiting AI Interference in Elections
  • Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans
  • Tour of Niagara Water’s Bottling Factory in Hamburg
  • Happy 102nd Birthday to Lorraine Koons
  • Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board
  • Fish for Free on Sunday, May 26
  • Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers
  • Win Money for Your Child’s Education
  • Local Events

Pennsylvania’s New Slogan, “The Great American Getaway?”

This week, Governor Shapiro announced Pennsylvania’s new slogan, “Pennsylvania, the Great American Getaway”.

While I can appreciate Pennsylvania being a great tourist destination, the sad reality is many of our young adults are leaving our state in droves after graduation to find better jobs. We need to focus on making Pennsylvania a great state to live and raise a family.

Instead of catchy slogans lets create new family sustaining careers, grow our economy and make higher education more affordable and accessible.

Bipartisan Measure Prohibiting AI Interference in Elections

I joined with Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24), Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D-5), and Sen. John Kane (D-9) to introduce legislation prohibiting the use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to fraudulently misrepresent an election candidate in Pennsylvania.

GenAI combines machine-learning algorithms with human-generated content to produce realistic images, videos, audio, and written content. Under Senate Bill 1217, the dissemination of a campaign advertisement containing an artificially generated impersonation of a candidate would be prohibited if done without consent and with the intent to unduly influence the outcome of the election.

As technology advances, we must remain vigilant to safeguard the integrity of our elections as Artificial Intelligence evolves and continues to blur the line between what is reality and what is not.

The Federal Election Commission is considering a proposal to limit false AI-generated political content, but regulatory action is uncertain. At least 14 states have adopted resolutions or enacted laws related to AI.

Senate Passes Bills to Help Veterans

On Memorial Day – which is Monday, May 27 – we will pay tribute to the fallen warriors who fought to preserve our American ideals. Let us say a prayer in gratitude and remembrance. The Senate has also focused on helping living veterans by passing bills to award them with new benefits and make sure their families are aware of benefits that have already been granted. Both bills await consideration from the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 973 would provide Korean Americans who served in the Vietnam War with the same state veterans benefits as their U.S. counterparts. There are more than 3,000 naturalized Korean American citizens who served in the Vietnam War as a part of the Korean Armed Forces, including hundreds who now call Pennsylvania home.

Senate Bill 1139 would help grieving families of deceased U.S. military veterans access their federal Department of Veterans Affairs burial benefits. Funeral directors, funeral parlors or cemetery companies would be required to notify the director of the county veterans assistance office when a veteran living in the county passes. They would also have to provide the deceased veteran’s family with contact information for the county director.

Tour of Niagara Water’s Bottling Factory in Hamburg

Earlier this month I was excited to tour the Niagara Water’s Bottling factory in Hamburg, PA.

This location hosts hundreds of jobs and has been a great ally to the community. During my tour I learned how Niagara has facilities located across the nation and is looking for expansion opportunities in Pennsylvania, but a major detractor is the duplicative regulations that occur here in the Commonwealth.

I was happy to join as a cosponsor on SB1203 to streamline these type of business regulations to make our state more competitive nationwide. Having two regulators doing the same thing at the same time is wasteful, inefficient, and needlessly costs businesses time and money.

For more information click here.

Happy 102nd Birthday to Lorraine Koons

Happy 102nd birthday to Lorraine Koons, who helped repair B-17 bombers and C-47 cargo planes during WWII.

I was honored to present her a citation in recognition of her contributions to our country.

A lifelong Cleona resident, she eagerly volunteered to work at the Middletown Air Depot in place of men sent to fight the war. Inspired by “Rosie the Riveter” posters, she proudly served this role for four years.

She also was inducted into the Pennsylvania Voters Hall of Fame for a perfect voting record since she was 18.

Job Seekers and Employers Can Connect on Free Job Board

Veterans, National Guard members and military family members can use a free job board that has nearly 10,000 employment and internship postings. While it is Pennsylvania-centric, there are listings in dozens of other states.

It’s easy to manage your job search process with application history and saved jobs. The system even allows applicants to store multiple versions of their resume for flexibility when applying to different jobs. The Pennsylvania National Guard Associations’ job board also offers employers the opportunity to post jobs, search the resume database and create resume alerts.

‘Fish for Free’ on Sunday, May 26

On Sunday, May 26, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a “Fish for Free” day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations will still apply.

This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.

This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors.

Unemployment Compensation Hints for School Bus Drivers

It continues to be challenging to find bus drivers so children can safely and reliably travel between home and school each day. When the problem is bad enough, it can even shorten the school day and limit the learning students can accomplish.

To avoid impacts to students’ education, it’s important to retain as many bus drivers as possible. Of course, they are not needed in the summer and aren’t able to collect a paycheck during that time. Unemployment compensation (UC) helps to bridge the gap until the school year begins so bus drivers aren’t forced to abandon their critical roles to pay their bills.

Information is available to help school bus drivers who will be laid off during the summer successfully claim their unemployment compensation. First, it’s crucial to claim during the correct week: the first week in which they are actually unemployed. Second, understand that UC and workers’ compensation are different when filling out the UC claim form. Please reach out to my office if you still have issues with your claim.

Win Money for Your Child’s Education

In honor of PA 529 Day on May 29, new PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) accounts opened between May 1 and May 31 with at least $10 in contributions are eligible for a chance to win $5,529 or $2,529. Current PA 529 GSP account owners are also eligible to win $5,529 if they had a balance of at least $10 as of April 30 and receive a contribution of at least $10 in May.

The PA 529 GSP helps families save for future college and career education expenses by keeping pace with rising college tuition. They offer tax-advantaged savings and the flexibility to pay for a wide variety of education expenses, including at any qualified educational institution, from K-12 to college and career training programs. Funds can also be used for room and board, tuition and books.

Anyone – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends – can contribute to a PA 529 plan. Saving with a PA 529 plan does not impact a student’s eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.

Local Events

Monday, May 27, 10am-11am: Palmyra Memorial Day Parade
232 E. Main St, Palmyra (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Monday, May 27, 10am: Wernersville Memorial Day Parade
Wernersville (Berks, PA)
Click here

Monday, May 27, 9:30am: Lebanon Memorial Day Parade
8th and Cumberland St, Lebanon (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Sunday, May 26, 1pm-2pm: Womelsdorf Memorial Day Ceremony
Womelsdorf Memorial Park Memorial (Berks, PA)
Click here

Saturday, May 25, 3pm-8pm: 13th Annual Jonestown Block Party
South King Street, Jonestown (Lebanon, PA)
Click here

Thursday, May 23-26: Hamburg Family Festival
2nd and Island St, Hamburg (Berks, PA)
Click here

Saturday, May 25, 10am-2pm: Harvey Seltzer Day Celebration
209 N. Railroad St, Palmyra (Lebanon, PA)
Click here


Please do not reply to this email, as that mailbox is unattended. To better serve the constituents of the 48th District, I have set up a contact form on my website. Please click here if you would like to send me a message. To subscribe to Senator Gebhard’s newsletter click here.  Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or visit

Facebook Twitter/X Website

2024 © Senate of Pennsylvania | | Privacy Policy