Sep. 13, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Never Forget!

Eighteen years ago on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,000 heroes perished in the worst terror attack to hit our nation.

This tragedy brought together people of all races, ages, gender and classes into one denomination – Americans.

The loved ones lost were honored and remembered in observances across the country, including Pennsylvania’s own Flight 93 Memorial, near the site where one of the four planes hijacked that day crashed.

Let us always remember those brave souls who died that day, honor the first responders who ran into buildings to try and save them, and the men and women who presently still battle many of the scars caused by those attacks.

It was my honor to participate in a 9-11 memorial service at South Ward Playground in Tamaqua.
 
 
Online Absentee Ballot Applications Launch Monday


Starting with this year’s General Election, voters who need to vote by absentee ballot may apply for the ballot online.

The mobile-friendly, online application site, available at votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee, will go live on Monday, Sept. 16, the first day that registered voters may apply for absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election.

When an applicant completes the online form, the information is forwarded directly to the appropriate county elections office for processing. The applicant will then be provided with a ballot that must be completed and either mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate county election office by the deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or Nov. 1 this year.

The online application system will be accessible for all domestic Pennsylvania voters this year and to military and overseas voters by 2020.

Absentee ballots may be cast by individuals with illnesses or disabilities, individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day, and Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, among others. For more information, click here.  
  
 
Educating All Students for Success


Working to ensure Pennsylvania’s special education students have access to the quality education they deserve, the General Assembly recently reestablished a Special Education Funding Commission to review the formula that determines payments to school districts across the Commonwealth.

First formed in 2012, the commission conducted several meetings to gather information and made recommendations to improve the special education funding formula by better reflecting student need, as well as community differences such as market value/personal income aid ratio, equalized millage rate, and small and rural school districts.

The changes were adopted by the General Assembly and since the 2013-14 fiscal year, lawmakers have continued their commitment to supporting all students, increasing funding for special education by 15.6% or $160 million. Total education funding has jumped by 29.5% from $9.85 billion to more than $12.75 billion this year.

The newly reestablished commission features a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers, as well as the secretary of education and other representatives of the Wolf administration. The group will meet throughout the fall and intends to issue its report to the General Assembly no later than Nov. 30.
 
 
Committee Highlights Tick-Borne Diseases, Tick Testing


Working to address the ongoing threat of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the Commonwealth, the House Health Committee held a public hearing in East Stroudsburg Monday.

The committee heard from health and wildlife professionals, local officials, advocates for tick-borne disease treatment and awareness, and officials with East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) Tick Research Lab.

Testimony focused heavily on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in helping people successfully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Three bills designed to help combat the disease were also highlighted, including one that would require nurses to remove a tick when it is found on a child during the school day and to notify parents; one that would require continuing education for physicians; and one to require health insurers to cover recommended treatments that may include short-term or long-term courses of antibiotics.

Members participating in the hearing also learned more about ESU’s tick lab, which provides a FREE base test on ticks submitted for Lyme disease as well as three additional tests based on the species of tick. Pennsylvanians can send a tick sample to the lab and receive the test results. These samples can be mailed to 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.

For more information about tick-borne diseases or how to submit a tick for testing, visit www.ticklab.org.
 
 
PennDOT Accepting Applications for Transportation Improvement Projects


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is now accepting applications to fund improvement projects that will enhance Pennsylvania roadways, bridges, transit facilities, park and ride facilities, sidewalks and more under the Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF).

The deadline to apply is Nov. 8.

Eligible applicants include municipalities, councils of governments, business or nonprofit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Projects that will be considered should coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities.
Last year, 49 projects were awarded $43 million in grant funding in 23 counties.

For more information about the program and previous years’ applications and awards, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” menu.
 
 
Free Naloxone Available at Health Centers Sept. 18, 25


In ongoing efforts to prevent opioid overdose deaths, free naloxone will be available at 95 locations across the state on Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 to any Pennsylvanian who wants it to help save lives.

Distributions will primarily take place at state health centers and county or municipal health departments on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or while supplies last. For specific locations and hours, click here.  

Naloxone is used to reverse an overdose caused by an opioid by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. Since November 2014, more than 25,000 people have been revived with naloxone by police officers and EMS providers in Pennsylvania.

In addition to being able to get naloxone for free on Sept. 18 and 25, it is carried at most pharmacies across the state year-round and may be obtained through a standing order prescription available from the Department of Health.  Naloxone is also available to many with public and private insurance at pharmacies either for free or at a low cost.

Additional information about naloxone and drug abuse treatment is available here.
 
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Office Locations
202 East 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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