Featured News

2020 Capitol Scenes calendar

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

 

Longietti, Sainato: Grant of nearly $142,000 will fund paid summer internships for area students

(Feb 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 – Students in Mercer and Lawrence counties will have an opportunity to benefit from paid summer internships thanks to a $141,632 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, according to state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence. The funding awarded to the West Central Workforce Development Board will give area students and job seekers between ages 16 and 24 the opportunity to earn a minimum of $10.35 per hour as they participate in summer internships with local employers. “I’m excited about the opportunities this program will provide Mercer County students,” Longietti said. “Paid summer internships give students a taste of real-world work experience at an age when they’re starting to ponder career-path decisions. This program is going to broaden employment horizons for area students by helping them develop employable skills and allowing them to discover how their interests and talents match up with real-life opportunities." Sainato agreed, noting, “The internships funded by this program will give Lawrence County students and young adults hands-on work experience in public- or private-sector jobs that can become a springboard for successful careers later. Students get the chance to 'earn while they learn' and build skills and confidence that will equip them for a successful transition to the work place.” The funding is part of the Read more

 

Sainato: Grant to fund food service equipment for Union Memorial Elementary

(Feb 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – A state grant of nearly $27,000 will allow Union Memorial Elementary School to purchase a new electric combination oven, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “This is a terrific investment,” Sainato said. “A combination oven – which enables cooking through steam, convection or a combination of both – will improve the taste, appearance and nutritional quality of the school’s meals. Food that’s better-looking and more flavorful is key when we’re trying to get elementary school kids – who are notoriously picky eaters – to eat healthy. Multiple studies have shown that kids who have regular access to nutritious meals perform better.” Sainato added that the new equipment will also help the school serve more students more quickly. The funding is part of package of competitive grants awarded to 79 elementary, middle and high schools through a program administered by the state Department of Education. Funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is awarded to schools which participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers. Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $370,000 in grants will expand regional job opportunities, foster STEM learning

(Feb 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – Nearly $370,000 in state grants will expand job-training opportunities and broaden STEM learning for students and workers in western Pennsylvania, including Lawrence County, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. The grants are part of the PAsmart initiative. Two grants totaling more than $323,000 will fund efforts to identify local needs and connect students and other job seekers to regional industries, with a focus on strengthening and expanding apprenticeship programs. “Apprenticeships offer terrific ‘learn while you earn’ opportunities for young Pennsylvanians by teaching real-world skills under the guidance of an experienced mentor,” Sainato said. “At the same time, the programs allow area industries to develop a highly skilled workforce that’s targeted to their needs.” A third grant of nearly $46,000 will develop high school students’ interest and skills in STEM subjects through the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ robotics program. “There is no substitute for hands-on learning, particularly in STEM fields, where science and engineering concepts lend themselves perfectly to projects that engage students’ minds,” Sainato said. “We’re stimulating kids’ creativity and at the same time creating a new generation of workers who are engaged with technology and ready to take on the demands of the modern workforce.” The specific funding Read more

 

Sainato Talks About Testing Children For Lead Early

(Jan 23, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Sainato participated in a hearing to discuss the importance of testing children for high lead levels early in life to prevent future health problems. Read more

 

Sainato: Targeted grants will bring computer science learning to area schools

(Jan 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – Lawrence County students will see an exciting addition to the curricula thanks to a series of $35,000 targeted grants provided through the PAsmart initiative, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. The grants will fund the training and equipment needed to ready educators and students to embrace the new, tech-oriented classes. “This is such exciting news, because the funding will open up entirely new avenues of learning for our students,” Sainato said. “And the best part is that students of all ages will benefit. Computer science isn’t just about coding. It’s about teaching kids of all ages how to think in more logical, problem-solving ways. It’s also about equipping older students with the technical skills they’ll use in future work settings. It’s about readying a new generation on multiple levels.” Sainato noted that the grants will go to the following districts: New Castle Area School District Shenango Area School District Mohawk Area School District Laurel School District The $35,000 maximum awarded to each district will fund up to $10,500 for professional development allowing teachers to learn computer science standards and how to incorporate them into the curriculum and up to $24,500 for eligible hardware, products and training to implement computer science education in the classroom. The funding is part of a package of $8.7 million in Read more

 

Sainato reappointed as Democratic chairman of Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

(Jan 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, was reappointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve as the minority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2019-20 legislative session. This will be the ninth year that Sainato has served as the Democratic chair of the VAEP committee. Sainato was sworn in on Jan. 1 to his 13 th term as state representative for the 9 th Legislative District. “I am honored to be reappointed to serve as minority chair for the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee,” Sainato said. “The work that this committee does is vital to our veterans, our first responders and our communities as a whole and I’m proud to continue serving them and the residents of Lawrence County.” The committee reviews legislation that affects veterans and military-related issues, as well as emergency response and disaster preparedness in Pennsylvania. Under Sainato’s leadership, the PA Veterans Trust Fund, the PA Veterans Foundation and the PA Veterans Registry have been established. In October 2018, Sainato received the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Award at Fort Indiantown Gap, an award recognizing meritorious service for the commonwealth while holding a position of great responsibility. "I also was pleased to serve on the SR 6 Commission last session, which was tasked with coming up with ways to preserve and grow our fire and EMS Read more

 

Sainato sworn in as state representative for 13th term

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, was sworn in today at the state Capitol to begin his 13 th term representing the 9 th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Sainato has served as the Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the last eight years. In his role, he supervised the movement of several pieces of legislation that have strengthened both the Pennsylvania National Guard and veterans communities across the commonwealth. He received the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Award at Fort Indiantown Gap in October. He also served on a statewide commission tasked with identifying and addressing issues facing first responders in the commonwealth. “I am honored to continue representing the residents of the 9 th Legislative District in Harrisburg,” Sainato said. “I look forward to another term, working to ensure that the 9 th district and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania continue to be great places to live and work.” Sainato has represented part of Lawrence County since he was first elected as a representative in 1995. The 9th Legislative District consists of New Castle City, Hickory, Mahoning, Neshannock, North Beaver, Pulaski, Shenango and Union townships and Bessemer, S.N.P.J. and South New Castle boroughs. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony is mandated by the state constitution to convene at noon on the first Read more

 

Sainato: Two new medical marijuana dispensaries permitted for Lawrence County

(Dec 18, 2018)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 18 – Lawrence County residents will soon have access to two new medical marijuana dispensaries located in New Castle thanks to permits issued today by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced. Sainato lauded the move, which he said will bring dispensaries closer to home for those struggling with intractable pain. “Residents coping with the debilitating pain of serious medical conditions need easy access to the medical marijuana their physicians have determined is essential for treatment,” Sainato said. “I applaud the Department of Health’s move to issue these new permits, which are the first steps toward making it easier for residents to access what is sometimes their only effective form of relief.” Sainato said the permit recipients are Harvest of Northwest PA, LLC, which will open a dispensary at 809 Sampson St. in New Castle and GTI Pennsylvania, LLC, which will open RISE New Castle at a location to be determined. Both will have six months in which to become operational before they can begin dispensing medical marijuana. In all, 23 permits were issued statewide in what is part of Phase II of the commonwealth’s medical marijuana program. More than 98,000 patients have registered to participate in the program, and more than 66,000 have identification cards that allow them to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary. In addition nearly 1,400 physicians have Read more

 

Sainato: $180,000 in tax credits to revitalize distressed Lawrence County areas

(Dec 17, 2018)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 17 – Tax credits in the amount of $180,000 approved under the Neighborhood Assistance Program will spur investment and foster community revitalization of distressed areas in Lawrence County, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “Areas of New Castle’s South Side have struggled with poverty, crime and blight as a result of declining investment in the area,” Sainato said. “The result has been a vicious cycle: As investment declines, so does area population, leading to empty buildings and storefronts. The remaining low-income households are unable to support area business, leaving these areas to languish and further discouraging investors. “Fortunately, the tax credits approved today will continue the momentum of Neighborhood Partnership Program projects already working to revitalize these distressed areas. Projects such as blight removal, land acquisition, infrastructure improvements and other development will give a new face to the landscape and new opportunities for area residents.” Sainato noted that the tax credits will enable recipient 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania to continue the second year of the neighborhood partnership project and build on year-one successes. As part of the project, 10,000 Friends plans to retain experts in social services, transportation, real estate development and other key areas of urban renewal. The tax credits are part of a package of $18 million in credits Read more

 

Sainato: Child advocacy center to receive nearly $47,000 in state funds

(Dec 13, 2018)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 13 – A $46,989 grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County will help support the center’s services on behalf of physically and sexually abused children, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “The center performs the vital work of protecting child abuse victims by providing them a safe, supportive environment where they can be evaluated and treated and by giving them a voice, through advocates who represent their interests,” Sainato said. “Protecting abused kids requires the efforts of a multidisciplinary team and state-of-the-art training. The funding awarded today will help ensure that child victims in our community receive the support they need to heal and a chance at a new future. It will also aid the center in its critical task of rooting out abusers and bringing them to justice.” Sainato said the funding will be used to partially support positions at the center, including the executive director, a family advocate and two trauma therapists; provide forensic interview training; purchase equipment necessary for specific therapy and provide reference material for the team. Money for the grant – part of a package of funding to 39 child advocacy centers statewide – is awarded through Act 28 of 2014, which highlighted the importance of children’s advocacy centers and multi-disciplinary teams and established a dedicated funding stream for mandated reporters, Read more

 

Sainato: New Castle Municipal Airport to receive $112,500 in state funding

(Dec 06, 2018)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 6 – A $112,500 grant will fund the purchase of airfield maintenance equipment for New Castle Municipal Airport, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “The New Castle Municipal Airport serves thousands of travelers annually, including a large number of business travelers,” Sainato said. “The funding announced today not only ensures that the airport obtains the equipment it needs for safe operation, it also preserves an essential community asset that fuels area business and creates regional jobs. It’s an investment that brings returns on multiple levels.” The funding is part of a $6.2 million package of grants to 26 airports statewide. It includes $2.2 million from the state Department of Transportation's Aviation Development Program, which comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and $4 million from the state multimodal fund, which finances development and improvement of transportation assets. Read more

 

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

Longietti, Sainato: Grant of nearly $142,000 will fund paid summer internships for area students
Feb 25, 2019

Sainato: Grant to fund food service equipment for Union Memorial Elementary
Feb 14, 2019

Sainato: Nearly $370,000 in grants will expand regional job opportunities, foster STEM learning
Feb 08, 2019

Sainato Talks About Testing Children For Lead Early
Jan 23, 2019

Sainato: Targeted grants will bring computer science learning to area schools
Jan 17, 2019

Sainato reappointed as Democratic chairman of Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee
Jan 07, 2019

Sainato sworn in as state representative for 13th term
Jan 01, 2019

Sainato: Two new medical marijuana dispensaries permitted for Lawrence County
Dec 18, 2018

Sainato: $180,000 in tax credits to revitalize distressed Lawrence County areas
Dec 17, 2018

Sainato: Child advocacy center to receive nearly $47,000 in state funds
Dec 13, 2018

Sainato: New Castle Municipal Airport to receive $112,500 in state funding
Dec 06, 2018