Senator Rothman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Launches Hearings into Train Derailment at Pennsylvania-Ohio Border
  • My District Offices are Open and Ready to Serve You!
  • Resources for Understanding Military Benefits and Tax Filing
  • Making Diwali a State Holiday in PA
  • PA Senate Library Holds 200 Years of History

Senate Launches Hearings into Train Derailment at Pennsylvania-Ohio Border

The Pennsylvania Senate is holding hearings on the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals near the Pennsylvania border.

The derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, near the border with Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was followed by a “controlled burn” of train cars containing vinyl chloride.

Thursday’s hearing in Monaca, Beaver County by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee focused on the emergency response to the train derailment and subsequent controlled chemical burn. It also featured testimony from concerned residents.

On Feb. 27, the Senate Transportation Committee will conduct a hearing on hazardous materials transported by rail in Pennsylvania. The panel will review federal and state laws, regulations and policies covering the safe transport and management of hazardous materials by rail. The public is invited to submit questions here.

Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation with the highest number of operating railroads, 65, and fifth in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles.

My District Offices are Open and Ready to Serve You!

I’m happy to announce that my district offices in Silver Spring Township, Shippensburg and New Bloomfield are open to serve residents of the 34th Senate District. Each office can provide a wide array of constituent services, including status reports on legislation, help with dealing with state agencies, assistance processing PennDOT forms, and much more.

I encourage residents of the 34th Senate District to contact or visit my district offices for help with any state-related matter. My staff and I are here and ready to serve you. For more information, visit

Resources for Understanding Military Benefits and Tax Filing

If you are a member of the military or veteran, you earned benefits from grateful citizens in honor of your service to our nation. You may find these resources on taxes and their benefits helpful this tax season.

For Pennsylvania state taxes, this U.S. Army site provides information on:

  • State Taxes on Military Retired Pay
  • State Taxes on Military Pay
  • State Taxes on Differential Pay for Reserve Component Service Members
  • And more

For federal taxes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides information on how veterans can maximize their tax benefits. It covers what’s taxable and what’s not and includes AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program, which offers free tax help to anyone, with a focus on taxpayers who are 50 and older and have low to moderate incomes.

Making Diwali a State Holiday in PA

I recently joined Sen. Nikil Saval (D-1) to introduce legislation to make Diwali an official state holiday in Pennsylvania.

Thousands of Pennsylvanians celebrate Diwali each year, including many residents of the 34th Senatorial District. Recognizing Diwali as an official state holiday upholds and celebrates our Commonwealth’s rich cultural diversity.

The autumn day on which people celebrate Diwali varies from year to year. In 2023, it will be observed on Nov. 12. Senate Bill 402 does not require school or government closings.

PA Senate Library Holds 200 Years of History

The Library of the Senate of Pennsylvania has served as the major source of information on the chamber for more than 200 years. It has in-person exhibitions and online exhibits that intrigue and inform to this day.

The current exhibition is Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate, which focuses on the President, President Pro Tempore, Chief Clerk and Secretary of the Pennsylvania State Senate, positions critical to making the chamber function.

The Senate Library includes collections of legislative documents, and historical biographies, as well as sections for educators and children.

The library is located in Room 157 of the Main Capitol Building. Exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with limited access when the Senate is in session.


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