Featured News

2020 Capitol Scenes calendar

Sainato: Hoyt Art Center to benefit from nearly $2,000

(7 hours ago)

NEW CASTLE, July 6 – A beloved Lawrence County museum and art center will receive $1,930 in funding to help support operations during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant to Arts and Education at the Hoyt – part of CARES Act funding awarded through th e Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – will ensure Hoyt can resume functioning as the community’s creative hub as restrictions are lifted. “The pandemic impacted just about every business and organization in our region, including our beloved Hoyt Art Center, which does so much to keep our community engaged,” Sainato said. “From exhibits and classes to youth programs, the center serves our need for arts education and creative outlets, gives expression to local voices and builds civic pride. Equally important, it creates jobs and helps support our local economy. “At a time when things still seem far from normal, residents being able to return to familiar programs and places at the Hoyt will remind us about our ability to endure, together, as a community. This funding is going to help make that happen.” Pennsylvania arts and cultural organizations received a total of $2.3 million in pandemic relief. Grants were awarded through both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. More information about the funding is available here. Read more

 

An inconvenient lifesaver

(Jun 30, 2020)

You have no doubt seen the headlines about the increased spread of COVID-19 in Southern states, as well as in the nearby Pittsburgh area. Fortunately, Lawrence County has fared well during this recent spike, and we remain in the Green phase, meaning all businesses are allowed to be open, although some are operating at reduced capacities. I am sharing the graphic below to remind everyone of the guidelines for the Green phase. I am also echoing the Vice President, the Governor of Texas, the Governor of Ohio, and our own Governor in a bipartisan request that all Lawrence County residents wear a mask when they are within six feet of others and when they enter buildings other than their own homes. In fact, just like in Texas, our state requires mask-wearing by employees and customers in any place of business. Wearing a mask is an inconvenience. I often have to remind myself to put mine on when I make a trip to the grocery store or when I go to the floor of the House of Representatives to cast votes. Masks can be itchy, warm, and just plain uncomfortable. But new research has shown that wearing a mask significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19. It's true that a single virus particle is smaller than the holes in a mask, but the virus is almost always contained within a larger water droplet. In addition, overwhelming evidence proves wearing a mask does not pose a threat to oxygenation levels -- health care professionals wear masks all day for their entire careers. Read more

 

Sainato: Small business grant program accepting applications June 30

(Jun 29, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, June 29 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, is advising local small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that the Statewide Small Business Assistance Program will begin accepting applications Tuesday, June 30. “This grant program funded by the CARES Act is aimed at helping small businesses hurt by the pandemic get back on their feet,” Sainato said. “Eligible businesses can use the funding in a number of ways, from paying utility bills and rent accrued while closed to purchasing safety-related items and equipment. "There will be several rounds of funding under the program, with the first beginning tomorrow. I’m encouraging all eligible businesses in our community to apply.” Sainato said that to be eligible to apply, and business must: Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to Feb. 15, 2020. By physically located, certified to do business, and generate at least 51% of its revenues in Pennsylvania. Have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19. The program includes a total of $225 million in CARES Act funding: $100 million for small businesses hurt by COVID-19, $100 million for businesses owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged people and $25 million for loan deferrals and losses for lenders. Grants will range from $5,000 to $50,000, based on annual revenues. Read more

 

Sainato: Grant for nearly $20,000 to enhance stormwater management

(Jun 26, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, June 26 – A grant of $19,999 to the Lawrence County Conservation District will help the county better manage stormwater runoff by funding installation of a “green alley,” state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection – which will fund both the project itself and workshops to educate residents about stormwater and green infrastructure – will address an ongoing issue affecting community health. “Stormwater runoff can affect every corner of our community, including alleyways,” Sainato said. “Because they’re often made of non-permeable materials like concrete or asphalt, paved alleys can generate polluted runoff that seeps into surrounding areas. “Converting these areas to ‘green alleys’ with the use of permeable materials transforms them into attractive spaces that absorb and filter stormwater runoff. The result is a cleaner, greener, safer environment for our residents.” The grant is part of a package of $434,168 in Environmental Education Grants to 55 projects that will engage youths and adults in environmental justice, climate change, and/or water quality improvement, expanding their understanding of these issues in Pennsylvania and providing skills to take responsible action to protect their environment. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $1.7 million to combat regional homelessness

(Jun 23, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, June 23 – Area families struggling with homelessness will benefit from federal funding of more than $1.72 million dedicated to increasing affordable housing opportunities, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said Lawrence County will distribute the funding – provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program – to communities within the county as well as 19 other counties in the region. “Homelessness robs even the most loving and responsible families of the basics of a secure, promising life," Sainato said. "The condition is affecting more families than ever as our community copes with hardships created by the pandemic. “This funding is going to be incredibly useful in helping our communities fight homelessness by providing affordable housing, emergency shelter and other resources to residents who want only to return to productive lives in the community.” Sainato said the funding – administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development – is part of a package of nearly $5.5 million in funding under the ESG program that will fund rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, and emergency shelter, among other resources. Priority for funding is given to applicants representing areas of the commonwealth that do not already receive a direct allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the Read more

 

Sainato encourages dairy farmers to apply to new federal program

(Jun 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, June 22 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, is encouraging dairy farmers who have suffered losses due to COVID-19 to apply for relief under a new federally funded program. The Dairy Indemnity Program – funded through the federal CARES Act and administered by the state Department of Agriculture – will distribute $15 million in funding to dairy farmers throughout the state who have sustained economic losses as a result of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our dairy farmers are no strangers to adversity: for more than a decade they have worked to overcome extreme economic challenges posed by declining consumption and a shrinking market,” Sainato said. “Despite the odds, these farms manage to contribute billions to Pennsylvania’s economy. “When the pandemic struck, closing schools, restaurants and offices, it dealt an immediate, unexpected blow to farmers, forcing them to dump thousands of gallons of milk. The new Dairy Indemnity Program will provide a measure of relief to this important industry by offsetting some of those losses and helping farms continue operating. I’m urging all eligible farms to apply as soon as possible.” Sainato said any dairy farm that suffered losses because of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 emergency disaster may apply for assistance. Farms with documented losses will receive a minimum of $1,500, Read more

 

$1.25 million to rehabilitate Lawrence County housing

(Jun 16, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, June 16 – Federal funding of $1.25 million will help ensure that more Lawrence County residents have safe places to call home, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program includes a $750,000 grant to Lawrence County for a project to rehabilitate 18 existing owner-occupied homes and a $500,000 grant to Shenango Township for a project to rehabilitate 12 owner-occupied homes to be administered by Lawrence County Community Service. “Our homes are our havens – places where we go to protect and care for our loved ones – and that’s especially true today, when the world feels like a more dangerous and unpredictable place,” Sainato said. “Unfortunately, when budgets are stretched thin, basic living expenses can quickly eat up money for special projects such as home renovations. “Thanks to this funding, those projects can go forward, and more families in our community will be able to come home to a safe place.” The funding – which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided to the state Department of Community and Economic Development – is part of a package of $10 million in grants statewide under the HOME program, which is designed to expand and preserve housing for low- and very low-income families. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $260,000 in funding to support trauma-based treatment for youth, law enforcement coronavirus response

(Jun 10, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – A community behavioral health care provider will receive $183,924 in federal funding to support trauma-based health care services for youth, while local law enforcement agencies will have access to $76,343 in funding for coronavirus response efforts, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding to Human Services Center will allow the center to provide critical help to families and youth affected by trauma. “Trauma is poisonous. It can scar young minds and destroy families, and its after-effects can spill over to neighborhoods and communities,” Sainato said. “Thankfully, there are treatment programs that can bring about healing. “The grant awarded today will allow Human Services Center to provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy – an evidence-based treatment proven effective for post-traumatic stress, depression and similar illnesses – to help put youth plagued by trauma back on the road to recovery.” In addition to that funding, Sainato said county law enforcement will have access to about $76,400 – also administered by PCCD – for coronavirus response and preparedness. “Criminal justice work can’t be put on hold or performed remotely. Law enforcement and other workers must deal with urgent matters in face-to-face settings where planning isn’t always an option. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $205,000 in funding awarded to help Lawrence County child care providers reopen safely

(May 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Federal funding of $205,200 under the CARES Act will help support Lawrence County child care providers as they prepare to reopen their doors, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding will provide the necessary resources to help these important businesses resume operations safely and effectively. “By providing a safe, trusted environment where parents can leave their children during the workday, our child care providers play a critical role in sustaining our economy, and their role will be especially important as businesses continue reopening in our community,” Sainato said. “But like all businesses, child care providers have felt the economic impact of the pandemic, and strained resources will affect their ability to resume operations safely and effectively. This funding is going to help ensure that these critical businesses can reopen to support the rest of our working community while at the same time providing the safe, protective environment our families have a right to expect.” The funding is part of an initial $51 million round that will go to nearly 7,000 child care centers statewide preparing to reopen. In all, Pennsylvania will receive a total of $106 million in funding to support child care providers. The second round of funding will be allocated after completion of a study Read more

 

Sainato: More than $3.3 million to support continued learning during pandemic

(May 07, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, May 7 – Lawrence County school districts will receive approximately $3.31 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding to seven area school districts will make it possible to develop a reliable, well-equipped system that is accessible to all students. “When the pandemic erupted, it drastically limited the way we interact, and that created major challenges for our education system,” Sainato said. “Our dedicated teachers stepped up to fill the void with online lessons, but additional planning and resources are essential. “The funding coming our way will provide critical resources for planning and coordination, the purchase of necessary technology, and the creation of curricula and programs that ensure all our students continue to learn and thrive -- regardless of the setting.” Sainato said districts will receive the following funding: Laurel School District - $139,567 Mohawk Area School District - $259,494 Neshannock Township School District – $108,449 New Castle Area School District - $1,928,552 Shenango Area School District - $266,552 Wilmington Area School District - $413,689 Union Area School District - $191,515 Read more

 

Sainato votes to protect Pennsylvanians through COVID-19 testing

(May 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State Rep. Chris Sainato voted Monday for legislation that would require Pennsylvania to develop a comprehensive plan for COVID-19 testing, saying the move is essential to properly protect residents as the state begins to reopen. Sainato, D-Lawrence, joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority of House members in passing H.B. 2455 , which would require the state to first develop and then fund and implement a comprehensive testing plan. The funding would include resources for development and manufacturing of testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. Health care and other essential workers would be given testing priority once the plan was activated. “Our community has faced an unprecedented threat, and in response, our residents have risen to the occasion by practicing safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus,” Sainato said. “But without comprehensive testing, we are missing an essential element of emergency preparedness: understanding the full extent of the risk. As we begin reopening the state in the days ahead, that will become more important than ever. If we can’t pinpoint who is or is not vulnerable, we can’t properly plan to protect those residents. “A comprehensive and effective testing plan will allow us to meet the threat head on by identifying who is at risk and focusing safety resources where they are most needed. Read more

 

Sainato: Newly passed bill would help replenish funding for volunteer fire, EMS companies

(Apr 28, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, April 28 – The House today unanimously passed a bill that would speed funding to volunteer fire and emergency medical service companies, which are facing even greater financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic because of restrictions on fundraising activities, announced state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence. House Bill 2413 – introduced to get funding to the state’s first responders during the pandemic – was amended to create a program that would provide automatic crisis grants funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund. “Our state’s first responders are as resourceful as they are courageous, but the pandemic and measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 removed a major source of fundraising for these frontline workers,” said Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “I’m encouraged that the House acted today to begin concrete steps to restore that funding, so our men and women working on the front lines will have access to the equipment and resources they need to stay safe and save lives.” Sainato said the emergency grants would be subject to approval by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The bill heads to the Senate for further consideration. Read more

 

Sainato: Lawrence County, local municipalities to receive nearly $479,000 in emergency funding

(Apr 27, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, April 27 – About $479,000 in emergency federal funding will soon be on its way to help Lawrence County and local municipalities address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding – the first of several rounds planned under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – will support critical food, affordable housing and community development programs. “This pandemic came along and upended nearly every aspect of our lives, leaving little time to prepare for something our community had never experienced,” Sainato said. “Residents have stood strong and have been resourceful, but the economic impact has taken its toll – particularly on our most vulnerable residents and families with limited resources. “Knowing that our federal tax dollars are on the way back home to address food shortages, provide affordable housing and restore life to our communities is cause for hope. I will be working with county and local officials to make sure that once received, these dollars are quickly put to work where they will do the most good.” Sainato said the first round of funding – coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – will include: $186,556 to New Castle. $159,506 to Lawrence County. $69,429 to Shenango Township. Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $133,000 to help equip students for remote learning during pandemic

(Apr 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, April 22 – A $132,850 grant to the New Castle Area School District will help ensure students have the resources they need to benefit from internet-based and other remote learning programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant awarded by the state Department of Education will help eliminate obstacles faced by students whose families may be unable to afford laptops and other equipment for remote learning during the 2019-20 academic year: “A student’s economic status should never stand in the way of their getting the best possible education the state can provide,” Sainato said. “I believe our Lawrence County schools provide students an excellent start, but when challenges such as COVID-19 force major changes to the way learning happens, we need to make sure kids are equipped for those changes. “Thanks to this funding, all students in the district will have the laptops and other resources they need to continue learning and benefiting from online and remote programs.” CEEG grants are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who are currently limited in their ability to participate in continuity of education. The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets and internet Read more

 

Sainato: Reopening of some construction jobs, online auto sales steps in the right direction

(Apr 20, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, April 20 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, issued the following statement today regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that the state will begin a phased reopening of certain jobs. “Last week, I voiced my support for online auto sales, and I am pleased to announce that Governor Wolf is responding to our calls for action. Online auto sales will begin later today once the governor signs into law legislation allowing remote notary service. Limited construction work will be permitted starting May 8 as a step in our phased re-opening of Pennsylvania. “Early in the pandemic, the move to shut down non-essential businesses was essential to control the spread of COVID-19. As we continue working to address the impact of the virus, it’s also time to return some workers to jobs that can be performed safely, without risking public safety. “I believe that remaining responsive to the science and the data about the virus while moving to reconnect residents with the goods and services they need is the right path for Lawrence County and the commonwealth.” Read more

 

On Census Day, Sainato urges community to be counted

(Apr 01, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, April 1 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, is reminding residents on Census Day of the importance of participating and being counted. “The census count determines our share of billions of dollars in federal funding for health care, roads, education, emergency services and other essential federal programs and services,” Sainato said. “These resources make our community that much stronger and make life for our residents that much safer. “But our residents are the only ones who can make that happen, by responding. If they don’t, that money goes somewhere else. I’m urging everyone who hasn’t already done so, to take a few minutes and complete this vital task. If we all do our part to get counted, we’ll be bringing federal dollars home to our community, where they belong.” Sainato said the census is safe and secure, noting that answers can’t be used against residents who respond, and data security is managed by high-level experts. The law prohibits the U.S. Census Bureau from releasing any information that identifies individuals, under penalty of large fines and possible prison time. He said although April 1 is known as “Census Day” because the date is used as a key reference date in the census questionnaire, it is not a deadline, and residents can respond after that date, by phone, by mail or online. Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

Sainato: House unanimously passes bill to postpone state primary until June 2

(Mar 25, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, March 25 – A bill that would postpone the state primary election to June 2 and allow for consolidation of polling locations to address COVID-19 safety issues passed the House unanimously today, according to state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence. Sainato said S.B. 422 would provide critical extra time for counties to make adjustments and allow for consolidation of polling places to protect voters and poll workers. “We are navigating a difficult time because of what is happening both here in Pennsylvania and throughout our nation,” said Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. "It's important to uphold the integrity of our election. It is also critical to protect the health and welfare of our voters and the people who work on our election boards, including the many senior citizens who have worked on these boards for years. “Fortunately, there are options in addition to the polls. Pennsylvania has come far with our efforts in changing the Election Code to include no-excuse mail-in ballots. I urge residents everywhere, and particularly our seniors and more vulnerable residents, to apply for and complete mail-in ballots from the privacy and safety of their own homes.” Sainato said that the House also unanimously passed S.B. 751 – which removes the 180-day requirement for schools and authorizes the Read more

 

COVID-19 Testing Factsheet

(Mar 20, 2020)

IF YOU ARE A PROVIDER WANTING TO TEST A PATIENTFor testing through the PA Department of Health (DOH), consultation with the DOH IS REQUIRED. Call us at 1-877-PA-HEALTH for a consultation and advise the patient to stay home. Call for consultation if:• The patient is a contact of a confirmed case and is sick;• The patient resides in a congregate care setting and is sick;• The patient is a healthcare worker and is sick;• The patient is hospitalized with relevant symptoms and has no alternative diagnosis. Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 19, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Sainato: Hoyt Art Center to benefit from nearly $2,000
7 hours ago

An inconvenient lifesaver
Jun 30, 2020

Sainato: Small business grant program accepting applications June 30
Jun 29, 2020

Sainato: Grant for nearly $20,000 to enhance stormwater management
Jun 26, 2020

Sainato: More than $1.7 million to combat regional homelessness
Jun 23, 2020

Sainato encourages dairy farmers to apply to new federal program
Jun 22, 2020

$1.25 million to rehabilitate Lawrence County housing
Jun 16, 2020

Sainato: More than $260,000 in funding to support trauma-based treatment for youth, law enforcement coronavirus response
Jun 10, 2020

Sainato: More than $205,000 in funding awarded to help Lawrence County child care providers reopen safely
May 21, 2020

Sainato: More than $3.3 million to support continued learning during pandemic
May 07, 2020

Sainato votes to protect Pennsylvanians through COVID-19 testing
May 05, 2020

Sainato: Newly passed bill would help replenish funding for volunteer fire, EMS companies
Apr 28, 2020

Sainato: Lawrence County, local municipalities to receive nearly $479,000 in emergency funding
Apr 27, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $133,000 to help equip students for remote learning during pandemic
Apr 22, 2020

Sainato: Reopening of some construction jobs, online auto sales steps in the right direction
Apr 20, 2020

On Census Day, Sainato urges community to be counted
Apr 01, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

Sainato: House unanimously passes bill to postpone state primary until June 2
Mar 25, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Factsheet
Mar 20, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 19, 2020