View in browser

Senator Don White

May 2016

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 41st Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website for more information about your state government. You can also keep up to date through

If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.


Don White

Local students serve as “Senators for a Day”

Senator White

A total of 131 students and 13 advisors from 11 secondary schools across the 41st Senatorial District had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at legislative and state government operations during a student government seminar I hosted on April 28 in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Students had the opportunity to see how state government works. The attendees interacted with students from other high schools, elected officials and people in government relations while developing and voting on legislation as they served as members of the General Assembly.

In the morning they were broken down into committees: Communications & Technology, Drug & Alcohol, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health & Welfare, Judiciary, State Government, and Transportation to consider bills. The students came together as the “full Senate” in the afternoon to vote on the bills reported out of the committees.

Local Fire, Ambulance Companies Receive Nearly $1 Million in State Grants

I am pleased to report that the state recently awarded $988,241 in grants to volunteer fire and ambulance companies across the 41st Senatorial District. The grant awards are from a program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

The grant recipients include:

Armstrong County ($404,280)

  • Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Company # 2, $12,194.
  • Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Company # 3, $11,967.
  • Applewold Volunteer Fire Dept. #1, $11,511.
  • Bethel Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Dayton District Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511.
  • Distant Area Volunteer Fire Department, $12,650.
  • East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,194.
  • Elderton District Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511.
  • Ford City Hose Co. 1 Ambulance Service, $7,201.
  • Ford Cliff Volunteer Fire Company Inc., $12,878.
  • Freeport Emergency Medical Services, $7,201.
  • Freeport Volunteer Fire Department, $10,567.
  • Gilpin Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Hose Company # 1 Ford City, $12,650.
  • Hose Company No. 6 Kittanning (Fire), $13,789.
  • Hose Company No. 6 Kittanning (EMS), $7,201.
  • Hose Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 Inc., $11,739.
  • Kiski Township Fire Department, $11,739.
  • Kittanning Hose Company No. 4, $11,739.
  • Kittanning Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1, $11,967.
  • Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511.
  • Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc., $12,650.
  • Manor Township Volunteer Fire Company, $13,106.
  • North Apollo Volunteer Fire Department, $11,967.
  • Parker City Volunteer Fire Company, $24,834.
  • Parks Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Pine Township Volunteer Fire Company, $11,967.
  • Rayburn Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Rural Valley Hose Company, $11,511.
  • South Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Sugarcreek Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,422.
  • Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • West Kittanning Fire Dept., $11,511.
  • Worthington West Franklin Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.

Butler County ($222,416)

  • Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company & Relief Association, $13,106.
  • Chicora Community Hose & Relief Association (Fire), $13,789.
  • Chicora Community Hose & Relief Association (EMS), $7,201.
  • East Butler Volunteer Fire Department (Fire), $11,967.
  • East Butler Volunteer Fire Department (EMS), $7,201.
  • Eau Claire Volunteer Fire Department & Relief Association, $12,878.
  • Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department, $11,967.
  • Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Company, $13,106.
  • North Washington Volunteer Fire Department, $12,194.
  • Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department (Fire), $13,561.
  • Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department (EMS), $7,201.
  • Sarver Volunteer Fire Company, $13,789.
  • Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company (Fire), $13,789.
  • Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company (EMS), $7,201.
  • West Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department, $13,789.

Indiana County ($277,156)

  • Armagh and East Wheatfield Township Volunteer Fire Company, $12,194.
  • Aultman Volunteer Fire Association, $11,511.
  • Black Lick Volunteer Fire Company, $13,789.
  • Brush Valley Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511.
  • Cherryhill Township Volunteer Fire Company, $13,561.
  • Cherry Tree Volunteer Fire Company, $11,739.
  • Citizens Ambulance Service, Inc., $7,201.
  • Clyde Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Clymer Volunteer Fire Company #1, $12,878.
  • Coal Run/McIntyre Fire Department, $12,422.
  • Commodore Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Coral Graceton Volunteer Fire Company, $11,739.
  • Creekside Volunteer Fire Company, $11,358.
  • Glen Campbell Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511.
  • Homer City Volunteer Fire Company, $12,650.
  • Indiana Fire Department, $13,789.
  • Iselin Volunteer Fire Company, $11,739.
  • Marion Center Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Plumville District Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., $12,422.
  • Rossiter Volunteer Fire Company, $11,739.
  • Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Department, $12,422.
  • Tunnelton Volunteer Fire Department, $13,561.
  • Young Men’s Volunteer Fire Company, $12,878.

Westmoreland County ($94,389)

  • Avonmore Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511.
  • Bell Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,194.
  • Export Volunteer Fire Department, $12,194.
  • Murrysville Volunteer Fire Company No 1, $13,334.
  • Oklahoma Volunteer Fire Department 1 (Fire), $12,194.
  • Oklahoma Volunteer Fire Department 1 (EMS), $7,201.
  • Sardis Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, $13,789.
  • White Valley Volunteer Fire Department, $11,967.

Since 2001, I’ve been pleased to work toward ensuring our volunteer fire services receive these grant funds on an annual basis. Their service to our community is invaluable and while these grants are not large sums of money, they’ve become a stable source of revenue allowing these dollars to be used for long-term investments. I’m grateful for the men and women who volunteer their time and energy to protect our communities.

Work Begins on the Second Phase of West Hill’s Sewage Project

Senator White

I was pleased to join with my colleague Representative Jeff Pyle and several local officials at the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the second phase of the West Hills Area Water Pollution Control Authority’s sewage treatment upgrade project.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST), which I serve on the board of directors, approved a $6.6 million low-interest loan last October for the work, which includes sewage plant work, new retention tanks, and upgrades to the Glades Run and Maple Lane pump stations. The work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.

The current system is prone to sewage overflows during wet weather, with untreated wastewater ending up in the Allegheny River. The series of planned upgrades will eliminate that risk and provide a more efficient system for the region. The West Hills project will also open up additional opportunities for growth on the western end of Armstrong County along the Route 422 corridor.

In July 2012, PENNVEST approved a $10,435,500 low-interest loan for the West Hills Area Water Pollution Control Authority for the installation of 61,500 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 3,300 feet of force main, 335 manholes and a pump station to serve new customers in East Franklin and North Buffalo townships. The sewer extension also serves customers in the Furnace Run and Walkchalk areas of East Franklin Township and the Center Hill area of North Buffalo Township. The Authority also made significant energy-saving improvements to its nearly 30 year-old treatment plant.

Recognizing an Outstanding Local Wresting Champion

Senator White

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Spencer Lee, a junior on Franklin Regional’s wrestling team. Spencer won the 2016 PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championship in the 120-pound weight division (his third state title). He was also named the PIAA State Tournament Outstanding Wrestler -- and for the second consecutive season he was named the Tribune-Review’s Wrestler of the Year. I was extremely pleased to be able to present a Citation for Athletic Achievement to Spencer in person which gave me the chance to chat with him about his future plans.

70 mph Speed Limit Expanded to a Total of 997 Miles

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently increased the speed limit to 70 mph on highways across the Commonwealth.

The new speed limit impacted 396 miles of the Turnpike and 400 miles of other highways. Added to the 201 combined miles of roadways already at 70 mph since July 2014, motorists will see the higher speed limit on a total of 997 miles of highways in the Commonwealth.

Turnpike travelers will see the higher speed limit on 90 percent of the entire toll highway, as 493 miles of the 552-mile system are now posted at 70 mph.

Areas of the PA Turnpike now posted at 55 mph will remain at 55 mph, including: work zones; the five tunnels; mainline toll plazas ( “barrier” plazas that stretch across travel lanes, such as Mid County and Delaware River Bridge in the southeast and Gateway and Warrendale in the west); the eastern slope of the Allegheny Mountain; and the seven-mile stretch east of the Bensalem Interchange in Bucks County (this section — now posted at 55 mph due to construction of the I-95/Turnpike link — will remain at 55 mph upon completion of the connections because of a lower design speed).

Other highways that are posted with the new speed limit are:

  • Interstate 79 -- from Interstate 90 in Erie County south to a point just north of the PA 228 interchange in Butler County (97 miles).
  • Interstate 79 -- from Interstate 70 in Washington County south to the West Virginia border (33 miles).
  • Interstate 80 -- from the Ohio border east to a point near mile marker 190 in Clinton County (190 miles).
  • Interstate 80 -- from a point near mile marker 195 in Union County to a point near mile marker 247 in Columbia County (52 miles).
  • US Route 15 -- from the interchange with PA 14 in Lycoming County north to the New York State border (49 miles).
  • Interstate 99 -- from Exit No. 68 in Centre County south to a point near mile marker 34 in Blair County (34 miles).
  • Interstate 99 -- from Exit No. 28 in Blair County south to mile marker 0 (PA Turnpike) in Bedford County (28 miles).
  • Interstate 380 -- from I-84 in Lackawanna County south to Exit No. 3 in Monroe County (21 miles)

Act 89, the transportation funding plan enacted in November 2013, permitted the increase to 70 mph once appropriate safety studies were reviewed. PENNDOT and the Turnpike raised the limit in three pilot areas on the Turnpike, Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 in August 2014. The studies did not see a significant increase in speed or spike in crashes in the pilot areas.

Volunteer Fire Company Grant Program Now Open

Volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 residents and where forest and brush fires are common are urged to apply for matching grants of up to $7,500 for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires.

Funds from the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program, administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, performing wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles to be used for fire suppression. DCNR gives priority to requests for projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing.

Grant applications must be submitted by 4 p.m., May 19. Applicants should visit for more information.

Traffic Deaths Decrease in 2015

Traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania totaled 1,200 in 2015, the second-lowest since record-keeping began in 1928 and five more than the record set in 2014.

PENNDOT data from police reports shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many crash types, there were significant decreases in fatalities in crashes involving drivers older than 65, aggressive drivers and crashes at intersections. Deaths in crashes involving drivers 65 years of age and older declined to 279 from 300 in 2014. Fatalities in crashes at intersections decreased from 271 in 2014 to 251 in 2015, while fatalities in crashes involving aggressive drivers decreased from 134 in 2014 to 119 in 2015.

Fatalities increased in some types of crashes, including those involving single-vehicle run-off-the-road crashes and hit-fixed-object crashes. There were 580 fatalities in crashes involving single vehicles that ran off the road, up from 534 in 2014. Also, deaths in crashes where drivers hit fixed objects, such as trees, increased to 459 from 425 in 2014.

PENNDOT has invested approximately $50 million over the last five years for low-cost safety improvements at nearly 4,800 locations. Types of low-cost safety countermeasures include rumble strips, signage, pavement markings and roadway delineators. PENNDOT also invests about $20 million annually in state and federal funds for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.

Senator Don White is on facebook


286 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-8724
FAX: 717-772-1589
TTY: 800-364-1581

618 Philadelphia Street
Indiana, PA 15701
Phone: 724-357-0151
FAX: 724-357-0148
Toll Free: 866-357-0151

109 South Jefferson Street
Kittanning, PA 16201
Phone: 724-543-3026
FAX: 724-548-4856
Toll Free: 866-366-9448

3950 William Penn Highway
Suite 1
Murrysville, PA 15668
Phone: 724-327-2422
FAX: 724-327-2436
Toll Free: 866-736-9448

If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.

Privacy Policy
2016 © Senate of Pennsylvania