Oct. 04, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
House to Vote on My Legislation

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote the week of Oct. 21 on my legislation to eliminate a licensee surcharge to our national veterans’ organizations and volunteer fire companies.

House Bill 1048 would amend Act 39 of 2016 that requires a $700 renewal surcharge for all licenses that are renewed or validated on an annual basis. This applies to all restaurants, hotels, clubs, breweries, importing distributors, distributors and eating place retail dispensers.

This surcharge is financially burdensome. My legislation would exempt these organizations from this increase in hopes that they can continue to be viable assets to our community.

The bill has bipartisan support. I will give you an update when the House votes on my legislation.
 
 
Rehabilitation Center Opens In Orwigsburg

It was my pleasure to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony as Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network opened its newest outpatient site in Orwigsburg. The new physical therapy site is one of more than 30 locations in nine Pennsylvania counties operated by Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network. Pictured with me (from left) are Gary Hess, Schuylkill County commissioner; Christie Sborz, Good Shepherd site manager; and Gary Schmidt, Good Shepherd board chair and interim president and chief executive officer.
 
 
#GoodJobs4PA: Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs

Working to better ensure students’ career success, the House voted unanimously last week on a bill making comprehensive improvements to the state’s career and technical education (CTE) system. The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.

House Bill 265 would enhance job training and workforce development, while also providing high school and college students with access to information regarding the transfer policies of other educational institutions, with the goal being to save them time and money.

The legislation would also simplify the process for schools to establish vocational courses; create a Schools-to-Work program to develop employment and training pathways; require guidelines for the application of STEM course credits; require the Department of Education to outline the state’s workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential; and allow representatives from community colleges and CTE schools equal access to meet with students during career and college fairs.
 
 
‘Do Not Call’ Updates to Better Serve Consumers

Legislation to improve and strengthen Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list is awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.

House Bill 318 amends the 1996 Telemarketer Registration Act by removing the renewal requirement and providing residents with the ability to register their phone numbers on the Pennsylvania Do Not Call list permanently. Currently, phone numbers must be re-registered every five years.

The bill also aims to reduce the annoyance of telemarketing calls by banning the calls on legal holidays. Computerized auto-dialers (robocalls) would be required to give residents an “opt-out” option at the beginning of the call.

The measure also allows businesses to register their numbers on the state’s Do Not Call list.

For more information or to register your phone number, click here.
 
 
Not Every Hero Wears a Cape!

The Commonwealth is once again joining with the rest of the nation in marking Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Sunday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Oct. 12.

This year’s theme, set by the National Fire Protection Association, is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape.” The goal is to recognize the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan and to encourage others to implement these basic behaviors that can save lives.

With today’s homes being filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster, residents may have as little as two minutes to safely exit a burning structure.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the home. Finally, home escape plans should be practiced at least twice a year by all members of the household.

For additional information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.
 
 
Fall in Love with PA’s Autumn Colors

Fall colors are arriving in many areas of the state, so it’s time to start planning that fall getaway!

According to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation.

Both in-state and out-of-state visitors can find the best places to view fall foliage and track the locations of the peak colors throughout the state by checking out the weekly fall foliage report here. 

Click here to read more about Pennsylvania’s fall tourism activities, including fall festivals, haunted history tours and more.
 
 
 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing was dyed pink on Tuesday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection.

Every day 37 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. In 2019, it is estimated there will be more than 12,000 women diagnosed with the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 2,000 will die from it.

The Department of Health is also highlighting the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is a free early detection program funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

To learn about the program and eligibility, click here.
 
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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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