Regan Announces State Recreation Grant for South Middleton Township Park

HARRISBURG – South Middleton Township received a grant today totaling $124,450 to expand one of its parks, stated Senator Mike Regan (Cumberland and York Counties).

“This investment will enhance quality of life in the township and provide a safe, beautiful space to enjoy the outdoors,” Regan said. “Local parks offer many residents a zero-cost way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as is the township’s goal with this expansion project.”

The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded the funding to cover the installation of two tennis courts, two pickleball courts, ADA-accessible walking trails connections and lighting, fencing and seating areas at South Middleton Township Park.

The CFA, an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development, oversees state investment in projects that support and enhance Pennsylvania’s economic growth.

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan 717-787-8524

Op-Ed: Stepping into a Safer School Year

As kids across Pennsylvania say goodbye to summer and prepare for the academic year ahead, school districts are identifying ways to make buildings and classrooms safer for their return – thanks to an historic boost in state funding for school safety and mental health resources.

The last time I wrote about this issue in May, the legislature had yet to cement a budget plan, but I vowed to advocate for increased school safety funding.  Not only has the governor continually proposed cutting these funds in his budgets, but school attacks across our nation remind us that we must be proactive and not wait for such an act to happen in one of our own schools.

I have spent my entire Senate career fighting for a holistic approach to school security, including spearheading the creation of the School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) and establishing training requirements for school security personnel.

Therefore, I am pleased to report that we appropriated $200 million in the 2022-23 budget to be distributed to schools across the Commonwealth, and most significantly, tied the funding to baseline criteria for physical security and behavioral health.

These standards, established by the SSSC, are spread across three different tiers and include recommendations such as vehicle barriers around playgrounds, security cameras on busses and all building entry doors, full-time psychologists and social workers, as well as trained school security personnel.

Up until now, schools could determine how they used their grant dollars, but with this year’s funding, they must first meet the Tier 1 baseline criteria before being able to use it to implement strategies in Tiers 2 and 3.

This accountability requirement balances the need for each school to implement a tailored security plan while still conforming to a statewide benchmark that doesn’t leave our students at the mercy of elected school board officials and superintendents, many of whom have conflicting ideas about school safety best practices.

As a former U.S. Marshal, I implemented security plans for federal buildings in 33 counties across the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The steps I believe schools should take are not only derived from over two decades of this personal experience, but also from consultation with former colleagues who are globally recognized experts in the field of building security.

The U.S. and State Departments of Education, as well as many school districts, have taken significant and worthwhile steps to prevent tragedy from striking and to mitigate the loss of life, should an incident occur. But we would be mistaken to assume that what has been done thus far is enough when it comes to prevention and preparedness.

Let’s also not forget that in Pennsylvania, two students separated by nothing more than a township line can find themselves attending different schools with dramatically different standards of protection and resources.  This is not fair to them or their families, who should be confident they are sending their students to a safe, well-protected school.

While my personal background lends itself to building security, I would be remiss if I did not also recognize that ensuring mental health resources for our students is just as important for addressing school safety and security. 

This unprecedented level of funding, which provides $100 million for school safety and security grants and $100 million for mental health grants, and the requirement to meet specific benchmarks will level the playing field and ensure children from Erie to Philadelphia and everywhere in between receive adequate protection and support to thrive academically and socially.

Senator Mike Regan represents Pennsylvania’s 31st Senatorial District covering parts of Cumberland and York Counties.

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524

Op-Ed: Election Reforms by the People, for the People

In this nation one of the most sacred rights is the principle of one person, one vote. It’s the bedrock of our democratic process upon which more than two centuries of freedom, progress, and stability have flourished.

But lately, it seems confusion and distrust have eroded that foundation, leaving the people that my colleagues and I represent in the Senate desperate for restoration.

In May, a Franklin and Marshall poll found more than half of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the way Pennsylvania conducts elections. A survey from the same college conducted six months earlier found that 40% of voters supported an election audit.

No matter where you stand on election integrity, these polls are quite telling. There’s an old adage that says avoiding the appearance of impropriety carries as much weight, if not more, than the impropriety itself. It’s clear the public perceives wrongdoing in our electoral process, and it’s vital that we restore their trust.

That’s why I proudly supported a bipartisan package of election reform legislation approved as part of the 2022-23 budget process, which includes two constitutional amendments that – if approved again in the next legislative session – would ask Pennsylvanians to decide whether ID be required in order to vote and whether the Auditor General should conduct post-election audits.

As I pointed out in my remarks on the Senate floor during final passage of the bill, my career as a criminal investigator taught me that individuals who conceal their identities typically have nefarious motives for doing so. 

Beyond that, identification provides access to every facet of modern life – from signing a lease, to securing a mortgage, to applying for medical benefits, buying cough medicine, donating blood and adopting a pet, to name a few.

One of my personal favorites is the municipality in my district that requires photo identification for recycling yard waste and debris at their compost facility.

Showing ID is not a controversial topic for any of these ordinary activities, so why is it for exercising one of our fundamental constitutional rights?

This constitutional amendment regarding Voter ID is a step toward protecting our voting system, to preserving the right to vote and to making sure our elections are fair. This is exactly what Pennsylvanians asked us to do. 

Another constitutional amendment within the legislation would give the independently elected auditor general the authority to conduct more thorough audits of election administration, instead of the existing questionable and inadequate process that’s led by the governor’s politically appointed Secretary of State. It’s a valuable reform that would provide an added layer of transparency and ease voters’ concerns about the way elections are conducted across 67 counties.

Because, after all, elections should function identically across all jurisdictions, given the precedence of state law. As we all know, that’s not what happened in November 2020.

In addition to court decisions and Department of State advisories leading some counties to implement different practices, in the months leading up to the general election the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) granted $22.5 million to 23 counties to assist in election administration amid the pandemic. Some local officials called these donations “life-saving” in multiple media reports.

However, just one-third of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties seemed to know about the grant program, despite all of them facing budget constraints brought on by the COVID-19 response. Even the Department of State took a $2.4 million donation from the CTCL.

The organization awarded roughly $350 million to more than 2,500 jurisdictions across the country for election administration costs in 2020. The vast majority of that money came out of the pocket of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

If CTCL truly cared about helping local officials conduct free and fair elections amid the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic, there’d be no ambiguity around the application process. We wouldn’t be learning about these dark money donations after-the-fact, as was the case in 2020.

That’s why Act 88 of 2022 garnered bipartisan support when being voted on by the legislature.  This new law bans unscrupulous funding from influencing the outcome of our elections and instead implements a state-based funding mechanism. This levels the playing field for all counties and ensures every single one can access the resources they need to keep the ballot box free and fair for all.

These first steps we’ve taken will begin to shore up the foundation of our democracy once again, but we are far from done.  After all, we have a responsibility to ensure faith, trust and integrity in all aspects of government, most importantly in how we choose those who govern us. We need these reforms to ensure that trust is never eroded again.

Senator Mike Regan represents Pennsylvania’s 31st Senatorial District covering parts of Cumberland and York Counties.

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524

Regan: Senate Approves Police Retirement Buy Back Bill

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today expanding pension benefits for law enforcement officers who want to buy back prior police service, Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York) announced.

Senate Bill 669, sponsored by Regan, gives municipal and regional police officers the option to buy back up to five years of previous part-time or full-time service at another department.

“This will serve as a recruitment tool at a time when police departments are struggling to fill positions,” Regan said. “It will allow an officer who decides he is not in the right department the freedom to move without being penalized in his pension – or worse, simply leaving the profession all together.”

The legislation was modeled after Act 600, which allows officers to buy back prior military service. Under SB 669, the provision is capped at a combined five years for officers using both types of service to qualify, Regan said.

Currently, more than 11,000 active members participate in a defined benefit police pension plan that would fall under the legislation. The Independent Fiscal Office conducted an analysis, which assumed that at least 10% of those officers would buy an average of three years of service credit under the new policy.

The legislation now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524

Meeting to consider SB 1193 and SB 1251

Senate Law and Justice Committee

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 10 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B


Meeting to consider bills


Meeting to consider SB 1193 and SB 1251

  • SB1193 (Mastriano) – Allocates $50 million in American Rescue Plan funds to create the “Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program” administered by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
  • SB1251 (Regan) – Provides a tiered annuity increase based on retirement date for Pennsylvania State Police Troopers who retired prior to June 30, 2010. 


Senate approves legislation to boost hospitality industry during summer months

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by York County’s two state senators was unanimously approved by the Senate of Pennsylvania that would allow for amplified sound during certain hours at restaurants, bars, breweries, clubs and hotels.

The measure, sponsored by Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland), would expand on a 2019 law that currently allows only limited wineries to offer amplified sound, like outdoor music, up to 75 decibels at the property line.

Under the bill approved by the Senate today, all liquor license holders – including bars, taverns, restaurants, hotels, clubs and breweries – would be allowed to offer amplified sound, up to 75 decibels, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m.

“Our Commonwealth experienced the second most restrictive economic shutdown during the pandemic. The hardest hit industry was our hospitality sector,” Phillips-Hill said. “This legislation will help our locally owned restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries, clubs and hotels continue to recover, offer greater experiences for guests, and provide these entities with the same opportunities that our limited wineries have had for the last three years.”

“There are inconsistencies in our Liquor Code that pick winners and losers between licensees,” stated Regan. “This bill brings consistency among licensees with regard to onsite music events and offers these small businesses more opportunities to attract customers and to not only remain open but to succeed.”

The legislation heads to the House of Representative for further consideration. If approved by the House and signed by the governor, the measure would take effect immediately.

Op-Ed: Protecting Students Must Remain a Top Priority

The weight of yet another senseless, violent act inside a school building has been heavy on my heart and mind this week.  Young elementary school students in Texas came face-to-face with a monster that was able to gain entry into their building and their classroom.  No child should have to experience such fear and violence in their lifetime and certainly not in the safe haven of their school. And no parent should receive the news that such a tragedy has occurred. 

As a father of four children, the pain and anger and grief that I imagine those parents have been experiencing is unfathomable, but I have nonetheless been hurting for them. And I know parents around the country have been as well, and they are rightfully concerned about sending their children to school for the final days of the year.

Of all places, schools need to be given the highest security priority so that a parent knows their child will be safe throughout the day.

That is why I remain committed to providing schools in our Commonwealth – both public and private – with the tools and resources they need to protect the lives of innocent children, teachers, administrators, and other staff.

In 2018 I led the charge on legislation that created a School Safety Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and a School Safety and Security Grant Program to provide schools the financial resources to hire school police or resource officers and to purchase equipment or make physical changes to their buildings in order to keep their schools safe and secure.

This was a robust legislative initiative, and even though we as a legislature made a huge step forward as it relates to securing our schools, I still feel like it was half of a loaf. I fought hard so that every school would be mandated to reach a certain uniformity of security compliance, but I ran up against local control provisions.  There are currently districts in Pennsylvania that have still not taken a single step towards improving the security of their schools, while others are doing a tremendous job.

A child’s safety in school should not be dependent upon a superintendent’s or school board’s view of the merits of school safety. They should have to meet certain requirements mandated and funded by the state, which have come from the recommendations of credentialed experts in the field.  We cannot play fast and loose with the security of our kids. We should not rely on well-meaning but untrained and unqualified administrators to make these complex decisions regarding safety and security protocols in schools. 

I am personally coming from a certain level of expertise. As a U.S. Marshal, part of my responsibilities was to secure federal buildings.  Also, it’s hard not to notice that when I come to work in the morning at the Capitol, I pass through three levels of security.  When you hold that up against our schools, it is embarrassing that my security has been given a priority over that of our children.

Unfortunately, the issue is not just resistance from local decisionmakers but from our Governor as well.  In the first year, $60 million was made available in grants, but it has been an uphill battle since then with the Governor continuing to propose reductions, including a $15 million cut this year.  As we head into June, which is the time we will finalize a state budget for 2022-2023, ensuring the grant program is funded at the $60 million level, if not more, is a top priority.

But a tragedy should not be a motivator for any of us, nor can we simply grieve and be contemplative for the shelf life of a news story, which is about 30 days. Protecting our children in a place that they are required to go every day and that should not be easily accessible by just anyone, should always be a priority. Otherwise, we allow the cycle to continue, and we will be talking about yet another violent act on school grounds.

A person who intends to do harm will find a way to do harm. It is a challenge to stop a motivated mass-murderer, but we should be doing everything we possibly can to keep such individuals from entering our schools, and it is my view that at this point, we are not.

Senator Mike Regan represents Pennsylvania’s 31st Senatorial District covering parts of Cumberland and York Counties.

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524

Committee approves legislation to enhance outdoor options for restaurants, taverns, breweries


Senator Regan

HARRISBURG – The Senate Law and Justice Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland), approved legislation that would allow restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries and hotels with outdoor seating to have music during certain hours.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), was introduced after many locally owned businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. Many restauranteurs invested in and expanded their outdoor seating options to ensure the safety of customers and staff during COVID-19 restrictions. The provisions in the legislation expand outdoor music options and limitations already available to wineries to all liquor license holders, including bars, taverns, restaurants, hotels, clubs and breweries.

“As these businesses look to get back on their feet, we can do more to cut the red tape and allow them to use these outdoor spaces to generate more revenue and allow greater experiences for their guests,” Phillips-Hill said during the committee meeting.

“The type of liquor license a business holds should not put them at a disadvantage in this scenario,” stated Regan. “But that has been the situation with these businesses wanting to host outdoor music events, and this bill levels the playing field.”

The bill would permit license holders to have amplified sound on premises, up to 75 decibels, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. The bill would be effective immediately.

Since 2019, wineries have been allowed to have similar sound levels during certain hours. 

The legislation advances to the Senate for its consideration.

Meeting to consider SB 669 and SB 1212

Senate Law and Justice Committee

May 24, 2022 | 10 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B


Meeting to consider SB 669 and SB 1212


  • SB669 (Regan) – Provides full-time police officers with the option to purchase up to five years of pension service credit for prior part-time or full-time service.
    • Amendment – Addresses two recommendations made in the IFO actuarial note. First, it requires a police officer to already be vested in order to purchase prior service. Second, it provides that existing benefits for portability and transfer of service credits between two pension plans administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System will not be impacted.
  • SB1212 (Phillips-Hill) – Provides for amplified noise for liquor licenses.
    • Amendment – Changes the effective date from 60 days to immediately.


Regan Announces Funding for Bridges in East Pennsboro and Lower Allen

HARRISBURG – Today Senator Mike Regan (R-31, Cumberland and York Counties) announced the awards of over $2 million in funds for bridge projects in Cumberland and York Counties through PennDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside funds.

East Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County will receive $1 million in funding to construct a pedestrian bridge over East Penn Drive.  This bridge will improve pedestrian safety by allowing safe passage for families and children at Adams Ricci Park rather than crossing an extremely busy road.  This bridge will also improve multimodal connectivity for East Pennsboro Township and its residents.

York County will receive $1.4 million in funding to rehabilitate the historic Sheepford Road Bridge, which connects Cumberland and York Counties over the Yellow Breeches Creek.  The funds will be used to rehabilitate the bridge for pedestrian and bicycle access and will preserve its historical character.

“I am proud to have supported these important bridge projects, and I’m pleased that these two communities will soon have increased mobility and connectivity for their residents.  These bridges place a priority on safety and quality of life for our community precisely encompass the purpose and design for these funds,” Senator Regan said. 

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524,