Jan. 07, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
Ready to Get to Work in New House Session


On Tuesday, Jan. 1, I was sworn in to office to again represent the people of the 124th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

A special thank you to my wife, family and, especially, my grandsons who held the Bible, for joining me on this special day.

The House is now comprised of 110 Republicans and 91 Democrats, including 43 first-term members. There are two vacancies.

Swearing-in Day also included the certification of election results and adoption of rules that will govern the House during the 2019-20 legislative session.

Again, I am truly honored and humbled to serve the people of Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties during my sixth term.

For the latest district event information and state government updates, visit RepKnowles.com and Facebook.com/RepKnowles.
 
 
PA Farm Show Starts Saturday

Click here to view video.
                                                                       
Just a reminder, the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show will kick off Saturday, Jan. 5, and run through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

In addition to all the delicious food offerings, the Farm Show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

More information is available at www.farmshow.pa.gov.

Looking forward to seeing all of our outstanding local participants there!
 
 
New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders


A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.

Pennsylvania was previously one of four states that did not punish repeat DUIs as felonies.

Act 153 fixes that by increasing penalties for repeated DUI crimes.

Under the new law, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense.

The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.

Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
 
 
Increased Funding for Volunteer Ambulance Services Now in Effect


Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.
The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.

Additional initiatives to shore up the state’s fire and emergency response organizations were outlined in a recent report released under Senate Resolution 6 of 2017. The report includes 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges in the fire and EMS communities, with most of them focused on staffing, funding and training needs.
 
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RepKnowles.com
Office Locations
237 West Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
Email: jknowles@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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