Senator Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Electronic Voting Machines Public Hearing Reveals Bipartisan Support for Hand-Marked Paper Ballots
  • Calling on Shapiro to Deploy PA National Guard to Protect Texas Border
  • Legislation Would Make Gym Class Optional for PA Student Athletes
  • Senate District 25, At Your Service

Electronic Voting Machines Public Hearing Reveals Bipartisan Support for Hand-Marked Paper Ballots

Honest, transparent and secure elections remain the cornerstone of our constitutional republic.

Last week, as chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, I convened a public hearing to receive expert testimony on the cybersecurity of electronic voting machines and suggested principles for state statutes regarding ballot marking and vote tabulation.

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires elections to be free and equal, and state voters deserve rules that guarantee it’s hard to cheat and easy to vote. This means EVERY voter should be verified, EVERY ballot should be secured, and EVERY voting machine should be inspected and verified.

“I would like Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania legislature to make progress in moving all counties to hand-marked paper ballots, counted by optical scanners, and with the ability to recount or random-audit as a check on the correct operation of the machines,” testified Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel. 

Bringing real experts in to testify under oath has resulted in some significant breakthroughs, most notably increasing bipartisan support for requiring hand-marked paper ballots and several other increased voting machine testing standards.

Watch the full hearing by clicking here.

Calling on Shapiro to Deploy PA National Guard to Protect Texas Border

Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution clearly stipulates that our government “shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of government and shall protect each of them against INVASION.”

On Tuesday, the Senate approved a measure calling on Gov. Josh Shapiro to protect Pennsylvania communities by supporting Gov. Greg Abbott’s request to secure the Texas border against the invasion of foreign nationals who are illegally entering the United States.

Senate Resolution 251 implores Shapiro to reverse course and deploy the Pennsylvania National Guard along Texas’s southern border with Mexico as part of Operation Lone Star. The border security initiative has led to more than 500,000 illegal foreign national apprehensions, more than 40,000 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 468 million lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A 2023 report indicates at least 251,000 illegal foreign nationals reside in Pennsylvania with an annual burden of more than $1.6 billion on taxpayers. That equates to a cost of approximately $318 per Pennsylvania household annually, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Follow the link below to watch my Senate floor comments in support of Senate Resolution 251.


Legislation Would Make Gym Class Optional for PA Student Athletes

On March 19, my legislation (Senate Bill 454) to allow Pennsylvania student athletes to fulfill physical education (PE) requirements through participation in interscholastic sports was advanced by the Senate Education Committee.

As a state representative, I was originally inspired to sponsor this bill by a student athlete, Levi Roseman, who was enrolled at Brookville High School. Levi participated in cross-country, indoor track, outdoor track, and golf.  He graduated as a salutatorian but could not complete as many advanced placement courses as he would have liked due to the PE requirement.

Senate Bill 454 would enable school board directors to permit students to satisfy PE requirements through their participation in an interscholastic sport. Students would be able to use this extra academic time for either a study hall, to access the campus broadband and library facilities for their homework, or to take additional classwork which would benefit them in preparation for college.

I have repeatedly spoken to school administrators across Senate District 25 who are supportive of SB 454, because it encourages both athletic and academic growth. This legislation is specifically intended to give commonwealth school administrators greater flexibility and more options so they can better accommodate outstanding student athletes like Levi Roseman.

SB 454 now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate District 25, At Your Service

Chamber of Business & Industry Centre County

On March 14, I once again shared my priorities for #KeepingPAOpenforBusiness, #JobCreation and #EconomicProsperity during the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County‘s annual legislative breakfast.

We Honor Our Veterans

On March 15, I traveled to Shinglehouse, Potter County, to present World War II veteran Bernard Adams with a Senate citation and an American flag in honor of his 100th Birthday.

Enlisting following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Bernard served under this flag and took an oath to defend it and our Constitution in the United States Navy. The Navy asked for men to man guns on ships escorting merchant vessels along the U.S. coast and crossing the Atlantic with supplies critical to the war effort in Europe, and Bernard proudly volunteered.

During his service he recalls times of being under attack by German bombers, shooting at attacking planes in open turrets and his ship being disconnected from the convoy for over a week due to a storm and taking on water.

Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. Adams. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Thank you for being an outstanding citizen who exemplifies the finest virtues of American life.

Potter County Conservation District

I finished my Friday afternoon in God’s Country by attending the Potter County Conservation District‘s legislative luncheon.

We received updates on all the hard work the Potter County Conservation District has completed during the past year regarding such things as invasive species; dirt, gravel, and low volume roads program; and community outreach, education and partnering with local schools, as well as heard about their plans for 2024.


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