Sainato: License fee waiver will help struggling area bars, restaurants

(Oct 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Oct. 22 – Area restaurants, bars and clubs hit hard by pandemic shutdowns and restrictions will see some important relief under a plan by the administration to waive standard liquor license fees for the coming year, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “The restrictions and shutdowns imposed on our area restaurants, bars and clubs have placed many in a stranglehold,” Sainato said. “Those that have managed to survive are running on fumes. The plan announced today to waive liquor license fees for 2021 will help by giving these businesses additional capital for operating expenses, but a lot more is needed, and it’s needed now, because the clock is ticking for these businesses. “With about $1.3 billion in CARES Act dollars remaining, I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring about a comprehensive restaurant relief package. We need to do everything in our power to save these small, family businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy.” Earlier this week, Sainato voted to override the governor’s veto of H.B. 2513 , which would have expanded capacity for restaurants and bars to a minimum of 50% and removed certain alcohol service restrictions, but the override failed. The fee waiver plan is still awaiting final approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Once approved, it would waive standard license fees for restaurants, Read more

 

Bill including Sainato measure to extend fire/EMS grant programs heads to governor

(Oct 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – Legislation incorporating state Rep. Chris Sainato’s bill to reauthorize the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Programs for four more years and expand the programs to fund volunteer recruitment efforts passed the House unanimously on a concurrence vote today and now heads to the governor. Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said his bill was a critical addition to H.B.1673 because the state’s fire and EMS workers rely on the grant programs – which lapsed in June – to continue their lifesaving work. “Grant funding for our first responders is essential even when there is no pandemic going on because our first responders – including many who are volunteers – depend on this funding to stay safe and protect the rest of us,” Sainato said. “That funding is even more critical now, as COVID-19 has forced a halt to fundraising events and created a need for additional protective devices, sanitizing equipment, training and other resources. “Equally critical is the need to boost our declining ranks of volunteers. I’m encouraged that House Bill 1673 also adopts my proposal to expand the grant program’s use to recruiting and retention efforts.” Sainato said that in addition to his bill, H.B. 1673 incorporates colleagues’ bills that would, among other things, create Read more

 

Sainato announces more than $188,300 in fire, EMS grants

(Oct 08, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Oct. 8 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced that eight fire and EMS companies in his district will be receiving $188,348 in state grants for operational expenses incurred as a direct result of COVID-19. Sainato said the grants – awarded by the Office of State Fire Commissioner – are needed to offset expenses related to the pandemic. “The pandemic has been especially difficult on fire and EMS companies because it has forced a halt on the kinds of community events they rely on for fundraising,” Sainato said. “To compound the problem, regular rescue operations have been complicated by the need for protective equipment and sanitizing operations, which call for additional resources. Securing this funding should help offset those expenses and fund the vital resources these frontline heroes need to keep us safe.” Sainato said the following fire companies will receive the following amounts: City of New Castle Fire Department – $11,094. Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $23,151. Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Dept. – $23,288. Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $25,069. North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Dept. – $23,562. Pulaski Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $23,151. Shenango Area Fire Dept. – $36,020. Union Township Volunteer Fire Department – $23,014. Sainato said Read more

 

Sainato: $90,400 in funding awarded to develop Shenango River access in New Castle

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – A $90,400 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will help fund construction of a boat launch, fishing pier and other access to the Shenango River in New Castle, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant to the Human Services Center – awarded through DCNR’s 2020 Community Conservation Partnerships Program – will provide the community greater access to a beloved community resource. “The funding awarded today is going to give area residents greater opportunities to enjoy the Shenango River and get out in the sunshine at a time when this is sorely needed,” Sainato said. “The grant is going to help fund construction of a boat launch, fishing pier, pedestrian walkways, and related improvements. “These days, the simple pleasures of boating, fishing and hiking can provide a chance to escape, to help rejuvenate our spirit and shrug off feelings of worry and confinement. I'll be excited to see the new improvements take shape and even more excited to see residents enjoying them." C2P2 grants fund planning, acquisition and development of public parks, recreation areas, motorized and non-motarized trails, river conservation and access and conservation of open space. More information about these grants is available here , and a list of all the grants awarded today is available Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Sainato resolution honoring neonatal intensive care unit staff

(Sep 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted Rep. Chris Sainato’s resolution recognizing Sept. 30 as NICU Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he introduced H.R. 1009 to highlight the critical role staff in neonatal intensive care units play in caring for the youngest and most vulnerable patients. “Although all expectant parents hope for a smooth and uncomplicated delivery, things don’t always go as planned,” Sainato said. “Each year, more than 500,000 newborns are admitted to neonatal intensive care units. Fortunately, they end up in the hands of incredibly dedicated professionals, whose care and treatment during those first critical weeks and months help them thrive. “This resolution honors these amazing physicians, nurses, aids and other NICU staff here in Pennsylvania for the exceptional job they do caring for some of our most fragile patients and for the critical support and comfort they provide to parents and other family members during one of the most stressful times they may experience. “Thanks to their efforts and to advances in NICU care, survival rates for low birth weight and other conditions are improving all the time, and more families are bringing home infants with a bright future.” Sainato said additional support remains a problem for parents of infants who experience Read more

 

Sainato: $20,000 grant to develop plans for new Shenango Township community park

(Sep 24, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 24 – A $20,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will fund plans to develop a new community park in Shenango Township, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant – awarded through DCNR’s 2020 Community Conservation Partnerships Program – will fund preparation of a master site development plan for the 20-acre Shenango Township Community Park. “Life during the pandemic has highlighted the importance of safe, affordable options for exercise and relaxation,” Sainato said. “Securing this funding is going to lay the groundwork for new outdoor spaces where Shenango Township families can relax, play and bond with neighbors.” The grant is part of a package of approximately $23.4 million in funding to 158 projects statewide. C2P2 grants fund planning, acquisition and development of public parks, recreation areas, motorized and non-motorized trails, river conservation and access and conservation of open space. A complete list of funding awarded is available here and more information on C2P2 grants is available here . Read more

 

Sainato hails passage of bill to broaden restaurant guidelines

(Sep 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – Calling it a victory for restaurant and bar owners, state Rep. Chris Sainato lauded today’s House vote to pass the Senate-amended H.B. 2513, which would expand capacity for restaurants and bars to a minimum of 50% provided they comply with CDC safety guidelines. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the bill – which also would allow permit patrons to again sit at bars and remove the requirement of a meal with the purchase of alcohol – is critical for keeping restaurants and bars in business. “Our restaurant and tavern industries, our private clubs and our VFWs have all been shut down for six months, and many can barely survive,” Sainato said. “It’s time to stop penalizing these hardworking mom-and-pop businesses who are playing by the rules and doing everything they can to keep patrons safe. It’s time to go after the bad actors and stop punishing those who are acting responsibly to protect their customers. “Sadly, some of these well-loved community establishments have already shut down and are not coming back. If we don’t act now, we’ll only lose more. I’m glad a number of my colleagues joined me in deciding that it’s time to trust our local business owners and give them the respect they deserve so they can continue supporting their families – and our local economy.” The bill passed on a concurrence vote of 145-56 and now heads to the Read more

 

Sainato urging veto override on school sports bill

(Sep 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 22 – Saying the Wolf administration is treading where it does not belong, state Rep. Chris Sainato is calling on the House to reconvene and override the governor’s veto of legislation that would allow school officials to decide rules on fall sports and spectators. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he co-sponsored H.B. 2787 – which would authorize school officials to determine whether fall sporting events, spectators and other extracurricular activities should go forward during COVID-19 – because it leaves these fundamental safety decisions in the hands of those best qualified to make them. “We don’t need to be telling school administrators and staff how to do their job,” Sainato said. “We routinely trust them when it comes to protecting our kids from all kinds of hazards, from fire to flu to security issues. We trust them when it comes to assessing building security, requesting resources and developing and implementing safety plans. And we can trust them now because we know student safety is their No. 1 priority. “It’s time to return these decisions to the school officials and staff who are in the best position to make them. They are the ones who understand their districts’ unique facilities and capabilities, and they are the ones who should be making these calls, not the governor. I’m calling on my colleagues to reconvene and override this veto Read more

 

Sainato: Grant funding will provide New Castle students access to fresh fruits, vegetables

(Sep 21, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 21 – Grant funding to two Lawrence County schools will help ensure that students have access to plentiful fresh fruits and vegetables. Sainato announced today that funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes grants to the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center and Washington Intermediate School in the New Castle Area School District. “Diet is a key component in learning,” Sainato said. “We have known for years that students with access to healthy, nutritious foods focus better, do better on tests and generally perform better in the classroom. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 makes it more difficult for some households to enjoy a fresh supply of produce on the table. This funding will help more students in those homes find access to the fruits and vegetables that they need for the best possible start in life.” The funding is part of a package of more than $7 million in grants to 230 elementary schools. Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will receive between $50 and $75 per student, based upon the federal allocation to the state. Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More information on the grants is available here . Read more

 

Sainato calls return to 50% capacity good news for local restaurants but questions alcohol service restrictions

(Sep 08, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he is encouraged by news that restaurants may return to 50% indoor capacity beginning Sept. 21, subject to a self-certification requirement, but he questioned new and existing alcohol service restrictions he said could negate or dilute any positive economic impacts. “ We called on the governor to lift an overly broad, arbitrary rule that placed restaurants in an economic stranglehold, and we succeeded. The administration’s response abolishing the rule comes none too soon, with so many restaurants struggling to survive. Restoring the 50% capacity rule makes sense and will help our businesses get back on the path to economic vitality. “At the same time, the administration is keeping certain harmful restrictions in place, including a ban on bar service and a requirement that alcohol can only be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal. Those requirements – together with another that will require restaurants to stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. – stand to counter many of the positive impacts achieved by restoring broader occupancy. “Restaurants depend on a robust after-dinner patronage, and many social and veterans’ clubs are not set up to serve food. Absent a sound, health-based justification, I would urge the governor to reconsider these restrictions.” Read more

 

Sainato: House passes measure permitting school districts to decide on sports, spectators, activities

(Sep 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 2 – The House today passed a bill that would empower local school districts to determine whether fall sports and other activities can go forward, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said he co-sponsored H.B. 2787 – which would allow local districts to determine rules regarding practices, games and spectators – because he believes school district officials, rather than the governor, are in the best position to make the decision. “When it comes to keeping students, athletes and spectators safe, I believe the individual school districts – not the governor – are in the best position to make the call,” Sainato said. “They understand their schools’ unique capabilities, facilities and other features that will determine what activities are safe and whether spectators such as parents can safely attend to watch their kids compete. “Their No. 1 interest is protecting the safety and wellbeing of their students and staff, and I believe we can trust them to make the right decisions.” The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Summer 2020 Sportsmen Reporter

(Sep 01, 2020)

Rep. Chris Sainato's Summer 2020 Sportsmen Report Read more

 

Sainato calls on state to issue new round of hazard pay grants

(Aug 26, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 26 -- Citing the many frontline workers excluded from the recent round of grants under the COVID-19 hazard pay program, state Rep. Chris Sainato is urging officials in charge of the program to “do it right” and issue a new round of grants to those left out. In a letter to Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Sainato and several colleagues wrote that workers who were considered essential in March and April are struggling to understand why they have been excluded from that category now. “As chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I work with EMTs, with firefighters and police,” Sainato said. “When residents were asked to stay in and limit exposure, these frontline heroes were the ones going in day after day, despite huge risks to themselves and their families. Yet they were left out of the hazard pay program, along with nurses, healthcare workers and so many others. “If we were calling these workers essential then, why were they suddenly hung out to dry when it came time to reward their courage and dedication? These first responders and other frontline workers have given everything to keep us safe – and they’re still at it. This is no time to pass them by. It’s time to do something for these heroes.” Read more

 

Sainato: More than $131,000 in targeted funding to support historically underserved students

(Aug 25, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 25 -- Student groups in Lawrence County identified as consistently underperforming will have new support thanks to $131,022 in grant funding to two school agencies and districts, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grants, awarded under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, will provide targeted support where it is most needed. “This kind of investment helps to level the playing field,” Sainato said. “Students in historically underserved areas can slip behind, and without the necessary support, it can be difficult for them to catch up. The difficulties are compounded because of changes and extra resources demanded by the pandemic. “These funds will help ensure all students in our area get the support they need to perform and thrive – at a time when it is most needed.” The grants include the following: New Castle Area School District – $79,043. Midwestern Intermediate Unit 4 – $51,979. The funding is part of a package of approximately $17 million to help 220 local education agencies including school districts, to improve educational services for approximately 180,000 students at schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The act requires Pennsylvania and other states to develop plans to assist Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to ensure area students with special needs continue learning

(Aug 20, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 20 -- Grant funding totaling $49,522 will help ensure that Lawrence County students with special needs do not fall behind during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said that the funding, which will be split among seven area school districts, will allow educators to implement specially tailored strategies as schools turn to remote and virtual learning. “Our Lawrence County teachers are both dedicated and flexible, and they have worked to put new methods into place to keep kids learning during the pandemic,” Sainato said. “A critical challenge, however, has been ensuring that students with special needs – who benefit particularly from direct, in-person learning – don’t fall behind because of suspended in-person, classroom learning. “This funding is going to help our teachers and support staff meet that challenge by providing resources for real-time learning and other supports that ensure these students continue thriving and learning.” The grants include the following: Laurel School District – $3,767. Mohawk Area School District – $10,432. Neshannock Township School District – $5,000. New Castle Area School District – $13,499. Shenango Area School District – $5,000. Union Area School District – $5,000. Wilmington Area School District – Read more

 

Summer 2020 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter

(Aug 20, 2020)

Rep. Chris Sainato's Summer 2020 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Newsletter Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $1 million to fund Lawrence County sanitation projects

(Aug 17, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 17 – Two grants totaling $950,000 will help the New Castle Sanitation Authority continue improving the infrastructure that provides a safe, clean water supply for Lawrence County residents, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority includes $750,000 for upgrades to the New Castle wastewater treatment plant and $200,000 to rehabilitate Union and New Castle sewer lines. “The wastewater treatment plant, which was built more than 50 years ago, has been experiencing hydraulic overloads during wet weather, which has caused flows to bypass secondary water treatment,” Sainato said. “This funding is going to address that problem, which poses a potential health risk and has been the subject of a consent decree enforcing federal regulations. “Additional funding will rehabilitate area sewer lines, some of which have partially collapsed. Both grants – together with funding the sanitation authority received last month – are going save taxpayers in the long run and help ensure that our community has a reliable, safe water supply for decades to come.” Sainato said the $750,000 grant comes from the H20 PA grant program and will fund improvements to the wastewater treatment plant’s headworks building, construction of new wet-weather facilities, modifications to yard piping and existing storm Read more

 

Summer 2020 Senior Report

(Aug 15, 2020)

Rep. Chris Sainato's Summer 2020 Senior Report Read more

 

Sainato: $335,000 to fund blight removal, housing counseling services for Lawrence County

(Aug 13, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 13 – Funding totaling $335,000 to two area organizations will help address blight in Lawrence County and expand housing counseling services for residents, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community will receive $300,000 for a blight removal program, while Housing Opportunities of Beaver County will receive $35,000 to expand housing counseling services for residents. The funding is administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund. “This funding is going to bring exciting developments that change the landscape, quite literally, for the better,” Sainato said. “Funding for the Lawrence County Blight Removal Program will identify neighborhoods where blight removal can kickstart private investment, which will work to rejuvenate the local economy. “At the same time, funding to the housing opportunities organization will allow it to expand its housing counseling to Lawrence County so that more of our residents here have the benefit of developing the solid skills and knowledge they need for successful homeownership. Securing this funding is going to open doors for more Lawrence County residents who need safe, secure housing,” Sainato said. Money comes into PHARE from three sources: Marcellus Shale Impact Fees, Realty Read more

 

Summer 2020 Health Care Report

(Aug 10, 2020)

Rep. Chris Sainato's Summer 2020 Health Care Report Read more

 

Sainato: License fee waiver will help struggling area bars, restaurants
Oct 22, 2020

Bill including Sainato measure to extend fire/EMS grant programs heads to governor
Oct 21, 2020

Sainato announces more than $188,300 in fire, EMS grants
Oct 08, 2020

Sainato: $90,400 in funding awarded to develop Shenango River access in New Castle
Oct 01, 2020

House unanimously adopts Sainato resolution honoring neonatal intensive care unit staff
Sep 30, 2020

Sainato: $20,000 grant to develop plans for new Shenango Township community park
Sep 24, 2020

Sainato hails passage of bill to broaden restaurant guidelines
Sep 23, 2020

Sainato urging veto override on school sports bill
Sep 22, 2020

Sainato: Grant funding will provide New Castle students access to fresh fruits, vegetables
Sep 21, 2020

Sainato calls return to 50% capacity good news for local restaurants but questions alcohol service restrictions
Sep 08, 2020

Sainato: House passes measure permitting school districts to decide on sports, spectators, activities
Sep 02, 2020

Summer 2020 Sportsmen Reporter
Sep 01, 2020

Sainato calls on state to issue new round of hazard pay grants
Aug 26, 2020

Sainato: More than $131,000 in targeted funding to support historically underserved students
Aug 25, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to ensure area students with special needs continue learning
Aug 20, 2020

Summer 2020 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter
Aug 20, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $1 million to fund Lawrence County sanitation projects
Aug 17, 2020

Summer 2020 Senior Report
Aug 15, 2020

Sainato: $335,000 to fund blight removal, housing counseling services for Lawrence County
Aug 13, 2020

Summer 2020 Health Care Report
Aug 10, 2020