Sainato: First responder loan forgiveness bill headed for vote

(Sep 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A bill that would help retain and recruit volunteer emergency responders by offering student loan forgiveness after four years of service was unanimously approved by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee today, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence. House Bill 1786 would establish The First Responder Loan Forgiveness Program, which would forgive up to $16,000 in loans to indebted college graduates after they have served four years with an emergency medical services agency, a volunteer fire company or a volunteer rescue company. “Retaining and recruiting volunteer emergency responders are among the commonwealth’s greatest challenges today,” Sainato said. “The numbers are sobering: Last year, the results of a state report commissioned to study the problem found that the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania declined from about 300,000 in the 1970s to no more than 38,000 in 2018. Compounding the problem, agencies are struggling the most to recruit younger members, which means that the numbers will only continue to decline in the years ahead. “The consequences are already being felt, as some departments have been forced to reduce services or shut down, while others have had to hire additional paid staff. It’s a problem that threatens to undermine public safety, and surely one that will impact Read more

 

Sainato: $500,000 grant to Union Township for housing improvements

(Sep 18, 2019)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 18 – A $500,000 conditional grant will enable Union Township to continue its highly successful owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. The grant – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development under the federally funded HOME Program – is conditioned on the township submitting, and receiving approval of, a federally mandated environmental impact review. “I’m delighted that we were successful in our efforts to secure this conditional grant, as this funding has been so important to preserving affordable housing for Union Township residents ,” Sainato said. “ Safe, well-maintained housing is essential for hardworking families to be able to live with dignity and to thrive. “Home is where we put down roots, it’s where we raise our children and help care for aging parents, and it’s where we create lasting memories. But for working families on a tight budget juggling multiple expenses, it can be extremely difficult to keep up with maintenance costs, particularly with older structures that can pose code violations. Rehabilitation made possible by this funding not only helps preserve safe housing for current homeowners, it helps ensure that housing will be there for future generations.” Sainato said the grant will enable Union Township to Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $141,000 to support Lawrence County domestic violence programs, child abuse support services

(Sep 12, 2019)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 12 – Two state grants totaling $140,828 will fund Lawrence County programs to help abused children and residents victimized by domestic violence, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grants – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – will fund programs that can make a critical difference to residents whose lives have been shattered by violence and abuse. “The programs funded by these grants provide essential services such as medical care, intervention, counseling and advocacy for children who have been abused and residents who have been traumatized by domestic violence,” Sainato said. “When someone in our community falls prey to violence or abuse, the impact extends far beyond the immediate victim. Everyone – children, parents, grandparents – even future generations – can feel the effects. “The funding awarded by PCCD will provide services that allow those traumatized by violence or abuse to heal. It will allow adults to return to productive lives in the community, and it will give children who have been abused the protection they need, and importantly, a chance at a new future. In the end, our entire community grows stronger.” Sainato said the grants include $70,414 each to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County and the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County. Both grants are funded under the Victims’ Read more

 

Sainato: $1.5 million grant to help fund major New Castle revitalization project

(Aug 01, 2019)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 1 – A $1.5 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will help fund a major revitalization project for the city of New Castle, Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant to fund the Enterprise Park - City of New Castle project will help finance work to renovate the former Lockley Building and create approximately 42,000 square feet of additional warehousing and service space. A community revitalization component of the project will improve access to business facilities and create an additional parcel for development in Enterprise Park. “I’m delighted that we were successful in our efforts to help secure this funding,” Sainato said. “All of the work planned – the demolition of blighted properties, acquisition and repurposing of underused facilities, and new building construction – will open the door to new jobs, new businesses, and new economic activity for our region. This work is truly going to transform the landscape, and I’m looking forward to seeing it take shape.” Sainato noted that in addition to building demolition, renovation and construction work, the project will include related site work involving storm water management, utility extensions, site paving, and numerous roadway improvements and intersection upgrades, among other improvements. The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation was the applicant on the project. RACP is Read more

 

Sainato announces $32 million in funding for New Castle Sanitation Authority

(Jul 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today the New Castle Sewer Authority has been awarded $32 million to begin upgrading its wastewater treatment plant. Sainato said a $23.4 million low-interest loan and an $8.5 million grant were both approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority Wednesday. The 30-year loan has a 1 percent interest rate. “I want to thank the Pennvest board for approving this project. The wastewater plant serves over 12,000 customers, many who are low-income families. The grant and loan will help reduce fee hikes on those families,” Sainato said. “The new facility will make a big difference during heavy rains and flooding like we experienced in recent weeks.” The funding will go toward the first phase of a multi-phase project, which involves constructing a new headworks facility able to handle wastewater flows during wet weather. The current facility is over 50 years old and experiences wet weather overloads, resulting in wastewater bypassing secondary treatment. This will ensure flows receive both primary and secondary treatment. Construction is expected to start Nov. 12 and finish in February 2022. The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority offers low-cost loans and grants to communities throughout Pennsylvania to fund sewer, storm water and drinking water maintenance and improvement projects. More information is available at www.pennvest.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $100,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to New Castle area schools

(Jul 16, 2019)

NEW CASTLE, July 16 – New Castle area students will see more fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu thanks to $99,072 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced. Sainato said the grants will help enhance performance while introducing healthy habits. “I’m delighted that our efforts to help secure this funding were successful,” Sainato said. “Studies consistently show that kids focus better, retain more, and generally perform better all-around when they have the benefit of proper nutrition. Broadening nutritious menu options for kids is a great first step in preparing them for future success, and it also introduces them to the idea of making smart food choices so they can develop healthier eating habits for life.” Sainato said the grants – all to New Castle Area School District schools – are as follows: Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center – $48,357 George Washington Intermediate School – $46,000 Croton Kindergarten – $4,715 The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is now in every state. The program’s goal is to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables in schools by increasing consumption among students with the hope of positively impacting their present and future health. Funding priority is given to the schools with the highest rates of students Read more

 

Sainato: $225,000 in funding will expand affordable housing options, finance blight removal in Lawrence County

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Lawrence County affordable housing and blight removal projects will receive $225,000 in funding through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “I’m pleased that we were successful in our efforts to help obtain funding for these projects,” Sainato said. “Affordable family housing, jobs and thriving local businesses are the hallmarks of a successful community, and the projects made possible by this funding will help our community continue to grow in all of these areas. “Affordable housing projects generate jobs and attract new businesses, while blight removal revitalizes the landscape – both physically and economically – by boosting property values, attracting new businesses and restoring a pulse to formerly vacant areas. I’m looking forward to seeing these projects breathe new life into parts of our community.” Sainato said the funding includes: $175,000 to Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community Development for the Lawrence County Blight Removal Program, funded by Marcellus Shale impact fee revenue. $50,000 to Housing Opportunities of Beaver County for the Lawrence County Expansion, funded by realty transfer tax revenue. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Funding comes from three main sources: a portion of the impact fees collected from Read more

 

Governor signs Sainato bill creating Military Family Education Program

(Jul 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Pennsylvania National Guard Members can now earn college educational benefits for their spouses or children by committing to a second obligation of six years under a new law authored by state Reps. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, and Steve Barrar, R-Chester/Delaware. Sainato, who is Democratic Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said the law establishing the Military Family Education Program signed by the governor today was the product of a genuine bipartisan effort. “This is a great day for our Guard, which is one of the strongest in the nation, and a great day for Pennsylvania, which is now a model for other states seeking to offer similar programs,” Sainato said. “Best of all, the new law is a triumph of bipartisanship. It shows what we can accomplish when we work together. “We needed a way to boost Guard retention rates, and we also needed a way to meaningfully thank the many families throughout the state for the sacrifices they make each time they say goodbye to a loved one leaving for duty. Thanks to tremendous efforts on both sides of the aisle, this new law accomplishes both aims. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to Chairman Barrar for his dedicated collaboration and our colleagues for their unanimous support of this bill. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Sens. Mike Regan and Lindsey Williams, who drafted a companion bill in the Senate; Sen. Pam Read more

 

PTSI Awareness Month

(Jun 28, 2019)

June is PTSI Awareness Month. Pa. state Representative Chris Sainato is working on legislation to give military and first responders the proper resources to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Injury. Read more

 

Legislature Passes Military Education Bill

(Jun 28, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Sainato speaks on the passing of a Military Education Bill that will give those serving in the National Guard, as well as their families, access to a better education. Read more

 

Sainato lauds approval of stolen valor fines bill

(Jun 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, is applauding the unanimous approval of legislation (S.B. 298), which would ensure fines collected in stolen valor convictions are deposited into the Veterans’ Trust Fund. “I’m extremely pleased this legislation passed unanimously. It makes sense that the fines of those who would impersonate and misrepresent the service of the great men and women in our military, should go to the programs that help our veterans and their families,” Sainato said. Sainato serves as the Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee . Sainato offered his thanks to state Sen. Lisa Baker for her work on the issue. Baker is the sponsor of S.B. 298. The legislation would amend the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it illegal to impersonate for profit a member or veteran of the U.S. military. It would require the full amount of all fines collected from violations of the Stolen Valor Act be transferred to the Veterans’ Trust Fund. The Veterans’ Trust Fund, which Sainato supported, was created in 2012 to support Pennsylvania veterans and their families. The fund provides grants to charitable organizations to help veterans in need. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk. It would take effect in 60 days once the governor signs it. Read more

 

Sainato votes to support bipartisan budget investments

(Jun 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – Citing historic investments in education, job training and programs to help veterans and families in crisis, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, cast a “yes” vote today for the state’s General Appropriations budget bill. The budget now moves a step closer to the governor’s desk well before the end of the fiscal year. “I voted for this bipartisan budget because it invests taxpayers’ dollars wisely without burdening residents with any new taxes. I’m especially pleased that we have secured funding to launch the new Military Family Education Program for our National Guard families, and we have increased support for the Red Cross to help families in crisis. “I’m encouraged that we were able to work together to secure sizeable investments in our children and young job seekers. The budget provides a monumental investment in our schools – including an additional $160 million for basic education, $50 million for special education, and $25 million for Pre-K Counts to give kids the best possible start in life and overcome barriers. We are also allotting $60 million for school safety grants to keep our students safe. “Likewise, the budget contains increased funding for career and job training and higher education. Investments of this kind in our next generation will yield many positive returns for Pennsylvania, our working families and our economy. “Finally, an estimated $300 Read more

 

Sainato: Patients guaranteed uninterrupted coverage after UPMC, Highmark reach deal

(Jun 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, expressed satisfaction that many health care consumers in Lawrence County will enjoy uninterrupted coverage thanks to a UPMC-Highmark deal that will provide Highmark customers access to all UPMC doctors and facilities for the next 10 years. “This agreement represents a huge victory to thousands of Pennsylvania’s health care consumers, who no longer have to live in fear that they are days away from losing access to their trusted, chosen doctors,” Sainato said. “I want to commend UPMC for stepping up to the plate and recognizing its responsibility as a charitable institution holding a special position of trust with the state’s consumers. I also want to applaud UPMC and Highmark for working together to prevent a rift that could have had lasting repercussions for millions of Pennsylvanians. “We have been working for a long time to encourage these two corporate giants to come together for the good of Pennsylvania’s patients. Thanks to their efforts – and the efforts of the attorney general in encouraging them to come to the table – we have a partnership that will provide Pennsylvanians ongoing access to the quality care they need and deserve. It’s a huge step for the residents of Lawrence County and health care consumers all over western Pennsylvania.” Sainato added that additional details have yet to be released and suggested residents Read more

 

Sainato: More than $12,200 in state grants will bring breakfast to Lawrence County students

(May 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State grants totaling $12,236 to two area school districts will help Lawrence County students start their day with a nutritious breakfast, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “Ensuring that our students have a healthy meal at the start of the day helps equip them for success,” Sainato said. “It’s well known that students learn and retain information better after they’ve had a decent breakfast. That translates to better test scores and greater confidence, both inside and outside the classroom. I’m extremely pleased that our efforts in securing these grants were successful, as the funding will help ensure that our kids are getting the resources they need to do their best.” Sainato said the following Lawrence County schools will receive grants under the program: Union Area School District – Lawrence Union Area High School – $2,718 Union Area School District – Lawrence Union Memorial Elementary School – $2,718 Wilmington Area School District – Lawrence Wilmington Elementary School – $2,200 Wilmington Area School District – Lawrence Wilmington Area High School – $4,600 Launched two years ago, the initiative provides schools funding to implement breakfast programs using alternative serving methods such as “grab-and-go” or breakfast in the classroom. Schools can also expand an existing program to include an Read more

 

Sainato bill establishing Military Family Education Program passes House

(May 13, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 13 – The House today unanimously passed legislation that would allow Pennsylvania National Guard members to earn educational benefits for their spouses and children after completing a service obligation and committing to serve an additional six years, according to state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, one of the bill’s two prime sponsors. Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, co-authored H.B. 1324 to establish the Military Family Education Program with Republican chairman state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-Chester/Delaware, as an incentive to boost Guard retention rates while providing a deserved benefit to family members. “This legislation shows what can happen when a committee works together in a bipartisan fashion,” Sainato said. “Majority Chairman Barrar and I went to Fort Indiantown Gap; we met with stakeholders; we worked with the governor; and we have been focused on this legislation ever since. It’s a shining example of what can be accomplished when you work together to focus on legislation that’s truly needed. “It’s clear that we need retention in the National Guard, so this legislation would be a win-win for everyone. For our higher educational institutions, for our Guard members who do so much to protect our safety and for their families, who sacrifice so much as well.” Sainato said the program would be similar to the Read more

 

Sainato announces nearly $103,000 in fire grants

(May 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced the award of $102,971 in state grants to seven fire companies in the 9 th Legislative District. “These grants are essential to ensure that our local firefighters have the resources they need to carry out their life-saving work,” Sainato said. “Our firefighters put their lives on the line for us every day. This funding will provide equipment, training and other resources to help departments meet financial challenges and – most importantly – to help those on the front lines stay safe.” Sainato said the grants are as follows: Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Company – $12,007 Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Department – $12,337 Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Company – $14,151 New Castle Fire Department – $13,986 North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Department – $12,667 Shenango Area Fire District – $25,486 Union Township Volunteer Firemans Association – $12,337 The grants are provided by Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. In addition to funding equipment and training, the money can be used for repairing, building or renovating facilities and for repaying debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $1.3 million in grants to boost school safety, community safety in Lawrence County

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State grants totaling more than $1.3 million will bolster safety for Lawrence County students, school employees and residents, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding – part of a package of competitive grants administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – will ensure greater safety for students and school employees and also fund a county violence prevention program. “As places where our kids learn, grow and develop emotionally, it’s essential that our schools provide a safe, secure environment,” Sainato said. “Our districts have worked hard to identify specific safety resources tailored to each school’s needs. The funding announced today will allow schools to move forward with those plans to ensure the kind of safe, supportive environment that fosters learning.” Sainato noted that the school districts below will use the following amounts for these resources: $705,744 to New Castle Area School District for evidence-based screenings and student counseling services, including trauma-informed counseling, behavioral health care, and support services provided by guidance counselors, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists, and other health professionals. $142,406 to Mohawk Area School District for a wide range of programs, security equipment and personnel-based resources. $134,614 to Union Area School District for Read more

 

Update: Sainato bill establishing Military Family Education Program headed to House chamber

(Apr 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee today unanimously approved a bill that would allow Pennsylvania National Guard members to earn educational benefits for their spouses and children after completing a service obligation and committing to serve an additional six years, according to state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, one of two prime sponsors. Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the committee, said he co-authored H.B. 1324 to establish the Military Family Education Program with Republican chairman state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-Chester/Delaware, as an incentive to boost Guard retention rates while providing a deserved benefit to family members. “When our National Guard men and women commit to serving our country, they are knowingly agreeing to give up time they could otherwise be spending with their families,” Sainato said. “That’s a big sacrifice, and it’s one shared by their spouses and children. This bill recognizes that sacrifice by giving something back to these deserving family members. It’s a win-win for everyone.” Sainato said the program would be similar to the existing education assistance program for Guard members, which pays for the completion of a degree-granting program at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in-state tuition rate. That program has been around since 1996. The legislation would be administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Read more

 

Sainato: $682,500 grant to fund improved freight rail track in Lawrence County

(Apr 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – A $682,500 state grant will enable New Castle Industrial Railroad to rehabilitate nearly two miles of rail freight track in Lawrence County, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant is a much-needed investment in Lawrence County’s rail infrastructure. “Our freight rail is a vital artery that ensures the smooth flow of products and materials,” Sainato said. “In addition to enhancing efficiency and keeping our businesses and industries thriving, the project is going to create jobs for our area. It’s a win-win for everyone.” Sainato added that the project calls for the railroad to rehabilitate approximately 1.8 miles of track with continuous welded rail, which he said would provide track that is considered stronger, easier and less expensive to maintain, and capable of supporting higher train speeds. Read more

 

Sainato: $246,400 grant to keep New Castle on path to recovery

(Mar 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – A $246,400 state grant will fund ongoing efforts by New Castle to revitalize the city’s structural and economic landscape, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Since January 2007, the city – designated a fiscally distressed municipality – has been operating under terms of a recovery plan. “The funding announced today is terrific news for New Castle, whose residents have endured challenges posed by urban blight and aging infrastructure that have impacted the local economy, as well as quality of life,” Sainato said. “Although the city has made great strides on the path to recovery, the grant funding is critical to ensuring ongoing progress. It’s extremely encouraging to see our tax dollars going to fund the kind of vital, nuts-and-bolts projects that will both create jobs and revitalize this community of hardworking families." Sainato noted that the grant will fund the following projects in these amounts: $80,000 to update the city’s comprehensive plan to reflect new development, zoning and land use changes since 2005. $75,000 to develop regional approaches to providing services traditionally handled by individual governments and to study shared service and possibly merger opportunities with one or more of the smaller neighboring municipalities. $65,000 to fund an assessment of facilities used in daily municipal operations so the city can proactively forecast Read more

 

Sainato: First responder loan forgiveness bill headed for vote
Sep 18, 2019

Sainato: $500,000 grant to Union Township for housing improvements
Sep 18, 2019

Sainato: Nearly $141,000 to support Lawrence County domestic violence programs, child abuse support services
Sep 12, 2019

Sainato: $1.5 million grant to help fund major New Castle revitalization project
Aug 01, 2019

Sainato announces $32 million in funding for New Castle Sanitation Authority
Jul 17, 2019

Sainato: Nearly $100,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to New Castle area schools
Jul 16, 2019

Sainato: $225,000 in funding will expand affordable housing options, finance blight removal in Lawrence County
Jul 12, 2019

Governor signs Sainato bill creating Military Family Education Program
Jul 01, 2019

PTSI Awareness Month
Jun 28, 2019

Legislature Passes Military Education Bill
Jun 28, 2019

Sainato lauds approval of stolen valor fines bill
Jun 26, 2019

Sainato votes to support bipartisan budget investments
Jun 25, 2019

Sainato: Patients guaranteed uninterrupted coverage after UPMC, Highmark reach deal
Jun 24, 2019

Sainato: More than $12,200 in state grants will bring breakfast to Lawrence County students
May 15, 2019

Sainato bill establishing Military Family Education Program passes House
May 13, 2019

Sainato announces nearly $103,000 in fire grants
May 03, 2019

Sainato: More than $1.3 million in grants to boost school safety, community safety in Lawrence County
May 01, 2019

Update: Sainato bill establishing Military Family Education Program headed to House chamber
Apr 30, 2019

Sainato: $682,500 grant to fund improved freight rail track in Lawrence County
Apr 29, 2019

Sainato: $246,400 grant to keep New Castle on path to recovery
Mar 14, 2019