Mar. 28, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup

 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
New Committee Assignments Announced


I am pleased to announce my recent appointment to the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee (JLCC) by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny).

I am honored to serve as a member of a joint House and Senate Committee that has such an established and effective legacy of conserving, developing, protecting and managing our Commonwealth’s diverse natural resources for present and future generations. My seat on this committee will give me an even greater opportunity to ensure that our hard-working taxpayers and job creators have a voice in protecting regional energy producers and thousands of family-sustaining jobs from overreaching regulations.

Over the decades, the JLCC has helped formulate some of the Commonwealth’s most groundbreaking environmental laws including the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state Constitution and a variety of other legislative issues such as prescribed burns, waste tire remediation and electronic waste recycling.

The bipartisan committee conducts studies, holds hearings and makes recommendations to the General Assembly on a variety of environmental issues. It also makes recommendations regarding the custodianship and care of land, water and air in the Commonwealth to determine where there are problems, possible solutions and what can be done to initiate positive change.

As a member of the House Health Committee, I have also been selected to serve as subcommittee chairman on Health Facilities during the 2019-20 Legislative Session.
 
 
Keeping Vaping Products Out of the Hands of Minors


To help keep harmful vaping products out of the hands of minors, the House this week passed legislation that would add “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the law that currently makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to possess or use such products on school grounds.

ENDS include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes, JUULs and vape pens.

While the products are touted as harmless by some, medical experts have warned that the high doses of nicotine available in many products negatively affect the developing adolescent brain, and the long-term effects of inhaling vaporized chemicals is unknown.

House Bill 97 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 
 
How Much Do My Prescriptions Cost?


The state Department of Aging maintains a database to help consumers compare the cost of frequently used medications.

The cost of prescriptions for cash-paying customers can vary widely between pharmacies, as each pharmacy sets its own prices for cash payers. Patients with prescription insurance coverage will also find price shopping useful if their coinsurance is based on a percent of the total cash price.

The online tool updates prices weekly, lists prices by ZIP code or distance from location, includes pharmacy store details, and lists pharmacies with low-cost generics and those that match lower prices.

You can learn more about the tool by clicking here or calling 1-800-835-4080.
 
 
Ensuring Seniors Stay Eligible for PACE and PACENET


This week, the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee approved a package of bills designed to help seniors in need continue to receive PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefits.

House Bill 754 would ensure any individual enrolled in PACE and PACENET as of Dec. 31, 2018, remains eligible if their maximum income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

House Bill 375 would exclude the cashing of savings bonds for seniors age 65 and older from being counted towards income when applying for lottery funded programs, including PACE and PACENET.

The final part of the package, House Bill 684, would remove the value of federal veterans’ disability payments and the value of all state service-connected payments from income eligibility calculations for the PACE and PACENET programs.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
 
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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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