Mar. 21, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
Protecting State Workers’ Rights


In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that public employees cannot be required to pay money to a union, the House could soon consider a bill to ensure public sector employees are notified of their rights under the First Amendment and state law.

House Bill 785, which was approved by the House Labor and Industry Committee this week, would require public employers to notify their employees who are not union members annually that they are not required to pay any money to the union unless they agree to do so.

The bill was introduced due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 27, 2018, Janus v. AFSCME ruling that public sector employees can no longer be forced to pay compulsory union dues in exchange for employment.

This legislation would also require public employers to inform job applicants of their right to choose whether or not to join the union – and of their First Amendment right to not pay any funds to an organization they did not consent to support.

House Bill 785 is currently awaiting consideration by the full House.
As a long-time proponent of the Right-To-Work, I have also reintroduced the Freedom of Representation Act which would give public employees the freedom to choose their workplace representation.

House Bill 871 is all about giving public employees the freedom to represent their own interests, have another individual represent them or form a competing union. I look at this legislation as a win-win: union bosses would no longer have to represent “free riders,” and employees would have the freedom to decide who will best represent their interests.
 
 
NO More Gun Control!


I am also receiving a lot of questions regarding the Firearms Registration Act which was recently introduced by several Philadelphia-area Democrats and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 768 would require all Keystone State gun owners to register their firearms with the Pennsylvania State Police and contains many other restrictions that are in direct violation of Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution which clearly states: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned.”

Although it is highly unlikely that this extreme gun control legislation would ever be considered by the House Republican majority, law-abiding gun owners must remain vigilant to safeguard our Constitutional right to possess firearms.

The flyer above has more information on how to make your voices heard later this spring at the state Capitol!
 
 
DEP Starts Statewide Surveillance of Ticks


The Department of Environmental Protection is beginning a five-year environmental surveillance of ticks to assess the risk of tickborne illnesses across Pennsylvania.

The study is taking place in every county in Pennsylvania to track ticks’ habitats, life stages and peak activity levels and to test them for human pathogenic diseases.

The surveillance will focus on collecting three tick species: the blacklegged tick in its immature nymphal stage, when it most often infects humans with Lyme disease, as well as human babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis; the adult American dog (Dermacentor variabilis) tick, which transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia; and the adult lone star (Amblyomma americanum) tick, which transmits ehrlichiosis and tularemia.

The project is being funded through the Department of Health.
 
 
Positioning Tomorrow’s Leaders for Career Success


Working to ensure Pennsylvania students have a diverse array of career paths from which to choose, the state House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of bills this week designed to boost career and technical education (CTE) at schools across the Commonwealth.

The initiatives are a cornerstone of the House Republican Caucus’ #GoodJobs4PA initiative aimed at ensuring all Pennsylvanians have access to good-paying jobs and careers.

To help students plot their path to success, there are bills that would allow technical schools to recruit students like colleges do; make it easier for students to see where credits transfer; create a database of workforce development programs at secondary and post-secondary institutions; create an online career resource center; and allow students who complete classes in STEM education to apply the credits to a course through a vocational-technical school, technical institution or vocational school.

The package is also aimed at improving business and education partnerships by creating a CTE investment incentive program, requiring CTE programs to establish advisory committees and having at least once administrator from a CTE center on each of the state’s Workforce Development Boards.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration. Learn more about #GoodJobs4PA here.
 
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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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