Senator Rothman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Defending Taxpayers through Budget Oversight
  • Grow the Economy, End the PA Startup Penalty
  • 2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
  • Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend
  • Around the Capitol

Defending Taxpayers through Budget Oversight

The Senate Appropriations Committee continues its review of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, which totals more than $48.3 billion. His plan would increase state spending by more than $3.2 billion, or about 7.1% above the current year’s budget. Projections indicate it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without deep spending cuts and massive tax increases.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing focused on what the administration is doing to ensure the commonwealth’s power grid can handle increased demand for electricity. Members also had questions about why the current year’s budget for DEP included funding for 15 new positions specifically to reduce permitting delays but serious waits – a year and a half and longer – still exist.

At the Department of Human Services budget hearing, the committee sought an explanation about the Shapiro administration’s plans to spend billions of new taxpayer dollars to expand Medicaid to cover services that do not pertain to physical or behavioral health. Examples include moving expenses and household items like pots and pans, furniture and air conditioning units for eligible recipients, including recently released prison inmates.

The Department of Transportation hearing covered several issues, including replacing funds lost to electric vehicle use. Electric vehicle drivers have over quadrupled in the last 5 years, and gas-powered vehicle drivers will be left to shoulder the burden should a solution not be reached. Fortunately, my bill, Senate Bill 656, provides this solution, and I urged the Secretary of Transportation to help us get this common-sense legislation passed.

At the Department of State budget hearing, the committee asked about the department’s requested $5.2 million increase for “Voter Registration and Education” activities throughout the commonwealth. We sought assurances that the outreach would occur in rural areas as well as urban and suburban.  I inquired about the current processing times for professional licensure applications; I was encouraged to hear that those times are decreasing but there is more we can do to help ensure that Pennsylvania operates at the speed of business.  Watch HERE.

Thursday’s hearings included the Department of Health and the Governor’s Budget Office/Department of Revenue. Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Grow the Economy, End the PA Startup Penalty

For many, starting and owning a business is the American dream.  It takes hard work, grit, and determination—and it can take a while to turn a profit. In those first few years, it’s common for new businesses to operate at a loss. The way that Pennsylvania treats business losses penalizes new businesses when they can least afford it.

The PA Startup Penalty makes it more difficult for new businesses to get off the ground, closing their doors before they ever have the chance to thrive.  We can do something about this by joining the 48 other states that treat entrepreneurs fairly. My legislation would eliminate Pennsylvania’s Start Up Penalty.  A strong business community means greater economic opportunity for all.  It’s time to make Pennsylvania open to the American dream.   To learn more visit

2024 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available

The 2024 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 695 streams and 128 lakes open to public angling. An additional 1.2 million trout will be stocked by cooperative nurseries.

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 6. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 30.

Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 702,000 Brown Trout, 132,000 Brook Trout and 14,000 Golden Rainbow Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments

Despite the perception that local governments are too small to be the target of bad actors online, Pennsylvania’s thousands of municipalities are at risk of cyberattack. In fact, 69% of state and local governments reported being hit in 2023 by ransomware – malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

To combat these attacks that often come with costly consequences, local governments should conduct a cyber assessment and make sure municipal employees understand the importance of using strong passwords and spotting suspicious emails. The initiative grew out of a January hearing held by the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee focusing on cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Funding opportunities exist to support cybersecurity efforts through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which administers a program that distributes federal funding. Local governments can learn more at the new Senate Republican Cybersecurity Resources for Local Governments webpage.

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m.  When turning clocks ahead, also consider checking the battery life/functionality of household smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Around the Capitol

It was a joy to host Susquenita School District students at the Capitol this week. I hope the kids had as much fun as I did! Spending time with them helps me keep things in perspective, knowing the end goal is to improve our Commonwealth for them and future generations.


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