Featured News

2020 Capitol Scenes calendar

Sainato: Lawrence County Historical Society gets $4,000 grant

(Jun 01, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 31 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today announced the award of a $4,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Lawrence County Historical Society. Sainato said the Cultural and Historical Support Grant comes from a five-year-old program designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community, by supporting general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies not supported by other state agency funding. “This grant is great news, in that it helps to keep the Lawrence County Historical Society – a fixture in our local community – operational by helping to fund its continued operation,” Sainato said. “We are fortunate that such a program exists in Pennsylvania, and I am glad to see Lawrence County getting a share of this valuable funding.” The maximum any museum could receive under the program is $50,000, Sainato said. Sainato noted that the grants are available only to: Museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person. Official county historical societies designated as the official historical society for the county. Read more


Pa. on track to meet Real ID compliance deadline; Remember our heroes this Memorial Day

(May 24, 2017)

Rep. Christopher Sainato reports that it shouldn’t have taken this long or been this complicated or expensive, but Pennsylvania is on track to fix the Real ID problem with state driver’s licenses. Read more


Sainato Welcomes Pa. Distinguished Young Woman

(Apr 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Sainato welcomes Maxine Malvar of New Wilmington, Lawrence County, who is Pennsylvania's participant in the Distinguished Young Women program. Read more


Sainato cheers passage of measures that honor veterans

(Mar 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, applauded the unanimous passage Tuesday of two bills: one that would honor women veterans and another that would ensure more existing monuments that recognize military service are well kept. Through H.B. 215, which Sainato co-sponsored, passenger car and truck owners would be able to honor women veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces by purchasing a special license plate. The special plate would have a fee of $35, of which $15 would be directed to the Veterans’ Trust Fund for programs and resources that assist women veterans. “As chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I’m pleased to see that my colleagues in the House agreed that we should recognize the significant contributions of women in our Armed Forces,” Sainato said. “With this bill, we not only honor their hard work and sacrifice, but designate funding to help them as well.” The bill would also create special plates for recipients of the Legion of Merit, which would be available for a $20 fee. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation offers 39 other military license plates, including plates that honor veterans of the various branches of military and those who served in Vietnam, Korea, World War II or the Persian Gulf. The House also unanimously passed H.B. 247, which would enhance a fund to preserve all memorials and monuments honoring Pennsylvania’s military veterans. Read more


Sainato announces $11 million low-interest PENNVEST loan for New Castle Sanitation Authority

(Jan 25, 2017)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 25 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today that a low-interest loan in the amount of $11 million has been approved for the New Castle Sanitation Authority. The loan was authorized by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority to expand the current sewage collection system. "This project will feature the installation of over 220,000 feet of low-pressure sewer line that will protect the local Hell Run Watershed by replacing the private system that currently serves the Country Roads Mobile Home Park," Sainato said. "The sewer addition will also replace a number of private septic systems that have discharged into local waterways. "The long-term, low-interest loan will allow this crucial work to improve the system without requiring any major rate hikes," he said. "In addition to protecting our local waterways, the proposed expansion will bring about 75 construction jobs to the community." The loan program offers a 20-year repayment, with an interest rate of 1 percent for years one through five and 1.743 percent for years six through 20. ### Read more


Sainato reappointed Democratic chairman of Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

(Jan 23, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, was reappointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve as minority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2017-18 legislative session. The chairmanship reappointment coincides with Sainato beginning his 12th term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving the 9th Legislative District. "I’m honored that 9th Legislative District residents continue placing trust in me to represent them in the General Assembly," Sainato said. "It’s also an honor to retain the chairmanship of the VAEP committee, which performs important work that I love.” Sainato said his committee reviews bills affecting veteran-related and other military issues, as well as disaster preparedness and emergency response in the commonwealth. It also has oversight of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services under the Department of Health. 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. Sainato said staff at his local office, located at Z-Penn Building, 20 S. Mercer St., New Castle, is available to help constituents with any state-related issue. The phone number is 724-656-1112. Sainato also Read more


Fall 2016 Newsletter

(Nov 23, 2016)

Read Rep. Sainato's Fall 2016 Newsletter. Read more


Fall 2016 Sportsmen Report

(Nov 22, 2016)

Read Rep. Sainato's fall 2016 Sportsmen report. Read more


Sainato announces Safe School grants for three local school districts, Lawrence County CTC

(Nov 03, 2016)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 3 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today upcoming Pennsylvania Department of Education Safe Schools Initiative grants for three local school districts and the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center to help keep students safe from violence. Shenango Area School District will receive $25,000 for security cameras; Laurel School District will be given $25,000 for pole lights and cameras; and New Castle Area School District will be awarded $24,475 for cameras. In addition, the Lawrence County CTC will receive $25,000 for surveillance equipment and cameras. "Student safety must always be a top priority for every school district in Pennsylvania," Sainato said. "I am pleased these three districts and the Lawrence County CTC will receive the grants to continue providing a safe learning environment for their students." "We are certainly grateful for Representative Sainato's advocacy for public education and in this particular case, the Safe Schools Grant awarded to the district," said John Sarandrea, superintendent of the New Castle Area School District. "We will certainly put this money to effective use toward the end of keeping staff and students safe." The money is part of $6.5 million in competitive grants that have been awarded statewide for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers, and to prevent and reduce violent incidents through Read more


Sainato bill extending emergency responder death benefit now law

(Oct 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today said his bill to allow members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol to receive a $100,000 death benefit is now law. Gov. Tom Wolf signed H.B. 49 today, making it Act 110 of 2016, just a week after the bill unanimously passed the state House on concurrence with the state Senate. The law now extends the death benefit that was available to other emergency responders under Act 101 of 1976. “It’s a great day for Pennsylvania with my bill becoming law,” Sainato said. “Members of the Civil Air Patrol PA Wing provide valuable services and do so daily in the same dangerous environments as other emergency responders. “They are perhaps the nation’s finest force of citizen volunteers, working alongside our state police, fire officials and other emergency service professions – and often placing their own lives in danger to help or save the lives of others. These courageous men and women knowingly risk their lives to respond to emergency situations and certainly deserve the same line-of duty-death benefits we currently afford to other emergency responders.” Read more


Sainato: Bill expands coverage to additional first responders in Pa.

(Oct 25, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today voted for a bill to add certain first responders who are not currently included under the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law, also referred to as the Heart and Lung Act. The bill is now headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for signature into law. House Bill 2148, which passed 190-3 in the House of Representatives and unanimously in the Senate, will now include those responders who were overlooked when the original law was drafted. They include firefighters at airports; firefighters employed by the commonwealth, which include members of the Pennsylvania National Guard; EMS personnel who are employed by a city fire department; and state fire marshals. "In many cases, these first responders perform the same duties as those who are currently covered under the Heart and Lung Act," said Sainato, Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. "It’s important these responders get the same coverage and I’m proud to have supported this legislation." Currently, the Enforcement Office Disability Benefits Law covers firefighters of counties, boroughs, townships, and cities; Liquor Board members; and psychiatric security aides employed by the Department of Human Services. Read more


Sainato bill extends emergency responder death benefit in Pa.

(Oct 19, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Chris Sainato today announced his bill to allow members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol to receive a $100,000 death benefit is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for signature into law. House Bill 49, which unanimously passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, extends the death benefit currently available to other emergency responders under Act 101 of 1976. “Those who serve with the Civil Air Patrol are just as crucial in responding to disasters or protecting the public as a firefighter or a member of the National Guard,” said Sainato, D-Lawrence. “The expansion of this benefit will greatly help the families that lose a loved one who is a member of the Civil Air Patrol.” Sainato noted the Civil Air Patrol is a federally supported, nonprofit organization that serves as an official civilian auxiliary arm of the U.S. Air Force. The Civil Air Patrol’s general responsibilities include providing emergency services such as search and rescue, as well as disaster relief operations. Furthermore, the Civil Air Patrol has also been tasked with homeland security missions and performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross. Read more


Sainato: Lawrence County receives over $1.2 million in grants

(Sep 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 14 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development allocated more than $1.2 million in Emergency Shelter Grants to Lawrence County. The Lawrence County Regional Veterans Services received $729,951 to provide permanent housing for 122 identified homeless veterans. The Lawrence County Crisis Center received $543,326 for emergency housing, street outreach and kitchen renovations. The center will reach out to victims of domestic violence, chronic homelessness, veterans, youth and homeless people and families. “These organizations are just two of the many wonderful resources located in the county that provide assistance to the homeless and victims of domestic violence,” Sainato said. “I applaud DCED in securing the funding to help these organizations continue their good work in our community.” Sainato said DCED was able to distribute the funding through Continuum of Care, a federal program designed to promote communitywide commitment with the goal of ending homelessness. Read more


Fall 2016 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter

(Sep 01, 2016)

Read the Fall 2016 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter here. Read more


Summer 2016 Newsletter

(Aug 19, 2016)

Read Rep. Sainato's Summer 2016 Newsletter here. Read more


Drought watch declared for Lawrence County, take steps to conserve water

(Aug 03, 2016)

I want to inform you the Department of Environmental Protection has declared a drought watch for 34 counties, including Lawrence County. The declaration is in response to below-normal precipitation, low stream flows and declining groundwater levels. A drought watch calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non-essential water use. Here are some ways to reduce water usage in your home: Run water only when necessary. Avoid running the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving, or letting the shower run for several minutes before use. Check for household leaks. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day! Run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads. Replace older appliances with high-efficiency, front-loading models that use about 30 percent less water and 40 to 50 percent less energy. Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets. DEP is notifying all water suppliers in the affected areas of the need to monitor their supplies and update their drought contingency plans as necessary. For more ways to conserve water and additional drought monitoring information, visit DEP’s website. Read more


Sainato applauds volunteer fire and EMS grant program extension

(Jun 30, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – A bill to extend a grant program for volunteer fire companies and EMS providers is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature, said state Rep. Chris Sainato, Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. House Bill 1877, which unanimously passed the House of Representatives on concurrence with the Senate, will extend the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program until June 30, 2020. It was set to expire today. “Many of our local volunteer fire companies and EMS providers heavily rely on these grants in addition to fundraising events they hold to pay for necessary equipment and training,” Sainato said. “With extension of this program, these grants will help them continue to provide invaluable services to our communities.” Sainato said the annual mandated funding amount for the program is $30 million. The program is funded by gaming revenue. Read more


Sainato: New Castle to receive $123,600 DCED grant

(Jun 22, 2016)

NEW CASTLE, June 22 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today announced that New Castle was approved for a state grant to prepare a storm water management plan. The city will receive $123,600 from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The grant was approved under the provisions of the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47). “This grant will provide a tremendous opportunity for New Castle to incorporate plans for needed improvements without putting a burden on taxpayers,” Sainato said. “I congratulate Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo and everyone for their efforts in obtaining this funding.” Read more


Sainato Emphasizes Importance of Civics Education

(May 02, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Sainato called for increased civics education in schools and were joined by state and national leaders in civics education to encourage the Legislature to support House Bill 1858, which would require Pennsylvania high school students to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history and civics as a condition of graduation. Read more


Sainato: Fire companies awarded over $101,000 in state grants

(Apr 20, 2016)

NEW CASTLE, April 20 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, congratulated the eight fire companies in his legislative district that will receive more than $101,000 in state grants “The volunteers with these fire companies put their lives on the line every day to help protect and serve others, so we need to make sure they have everything they need to continue their work,” Sainato said. “These grants are a vital source of funding, which helps them focus on their service to their communities.” Sainato said the grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, which is funded by gaming revenue. With the grant program set to expire on June 30, 2016, Sainato recently voted in favor of H.B. 1877, which would extend the program for another four years. The bill passed the House and is currently awaiting action in the Senate. Organizations in the 9 th Legislative District receiving grants are: Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511; Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Company, $13,790; New Castle Fire Department, $13,790; North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,878; Shenango Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; South New Castle Boro Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; and Union Township Volunteer Firemans Association, $11,967. Grants can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Read more