Sep. 27, 2018

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The Weekly Roundup

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The latest news from the State Capitol


Mark Your Calendar for These Events
Paper Shredding and Drug Take-Back Event

Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon
My district office, One Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford

Click here for more information.

Veterans and Spouses: Please Join Me for Breakfast
Friday, Oct. 26, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Breakfast begins at 9 a.m.
Covenant Fellowship Church
One Fellowship Drive, Glen Mills

Space is limited for the breakfast, so veterans are asked to RSVP to my district office.
 

$85,000 Grant to Benefit Rachel Kohl Library
A Keystone grant for $85,000, funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, was approved to benefit Rachel Kohl Library.

The funding will be used to replace the library’s HVAC system and add natural gas service.

It’s critical to invest in our libraries, as they provide opportunities for both learning and relaxation, as well as a way for families without computers to apply for jobs that are posted online. Libraries are the hub of our communities.

The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1993. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, administers the public library portion of this program, which is funded from a portion of realty transfer taxes.
 

House Votes to Empower Victims
 
In a historic, bipartisan vote, the House passed legislation that would empower victims of sexual abuse by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for prosecutions of sexual abuse of minors and extending the civil statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors until the victim reaches 50 years of age.

The bill would also waive sovereign and governmental immunity for claims, and remove caps on damages against governmental parties sued for sexual abuse of minors.

Among its most notable provisions, the House voted to open a two-year statute of limitations window for those victims claiming abuse who are beyond the age of 50.

According to statistics, one-third of victims of child sex abuse disclose the incidents when they are still children, while another one-third never disclose. For the remaining one-third, studies show that the average age to disclose is 52.

This legislation, Senate Bill 261, includes several of the recommendations outlined by the state attorney general after the August release of a report alleging widespread coverup of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church across the state and dating back generations.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.
 

Considering How to Protect Pennsylvanians from Fires
Other members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees and I held an informational meeting about the certification of fire equipment distributors.

Information from the hearing will be used when considering Senate Bill 1178, which would ensure that a specific level of competency is provided for the installation and service of portable fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and building fire alarm systems, and similar bills offered by Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) as House Bill 2649 and Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh).

It’s important to prevent fires not only to avoid lost lives of victims, but also those of our first responders who run into danger to save people. It’s a no-brainer to avoid circumstances that cost us lives and lots of money.

Many testifiers spoke about the importance of enacting legislation with requirements for people who install and/or service fire equipment, as none is currently required.

While certification is not required, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) provides an opportunity for professional certification. The four training levels coordinate with the worker’s experience and distinguishes him or her from the not-yet qualified.

Even though people agreed that it’s important to provide safety from fires, there are different opinions on how best to accomplish that critical goal. I will weigh the pros and cons of each option to make the most informed decision.
 

Organizations Given Option of Carrying EpiPens
 
To help save lives in emergency situations, the House unanimously approved legislation this week that would allow law enforcement and a variety of organizations and businesses to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens.

House Bill 126 would permit a number of entities – law enforcement, recreation camps, colleges, universities, day cares, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment and sports arenas – to stock a supply of EpiPens in the event a patron comes in contact with an allergen and has an anaphylactic reaction, which could be fatal.

Under the bill, a designated employee must receive training in how to recognize signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis; standards and procedures for the storage and administration of an epinephrine auto-injector; and emergency follow-up procedures. Immunity would be granted for those who reasonably administer the EpiPen in good faith.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) reports that as many as 15 million individuals have food allergies, and 6 million of those individuals are children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.

The bill has been sent back to the Senate for agreement.
 

Get a SEPTA Key Card on Oct. 10
 
The SEPTA Key mobile truck will be available on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 6-10 a.m. at the Marcus Hook Station, 20 W. 12th St. Marcus Hook. At the mobile truck, people will be able to purchase a SEPTA Key Card, add money and register the Key Card to ride with SEPTA.
 

Emergency Alert to Sound Test Next Week
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Oct. 3.

The wireless portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once.

The EAS test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. tornado warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
 
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Office Locations
1 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317-9012 | Phone: 610-358-5925
Room 18 East Wing, PO Box 202160, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2160 | Phone: 717-783-3038
Email: parep160@aol.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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