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Senate Panel Passes Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners
Many rural communities in Pennsylvania are facing a crisis regarding the availability of health care services. Nearly 35 percent of Pennsylvanians live in an area or population group that has inadequate primary care access.
The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee took an important step toward solving this crisis this week by passing a bill I authored that would give nurse practitioners the ability to practice independent of a physician. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
Senate Bill 25 would modernize the Professional Nursing Law to permit qualified APRNs to practice independently after they fulfill a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician. The bill would allow nurse practitioners to practice to the fullest extent of their knowledge and training.
More information about my bill is available here.
Committee Examines Bill to Help Veterans Pursue Careers after Military Service
Members of the military often receive specialized training that can translate into quality careers after they leave active service. Unfortunately, many of them face barriers due to licensing requirements that do not reflect the extent of their knowledge, training and expertise.
I recently proposed a bill that would require all state agencies that regulate professions or occupations to provide appropriate credit for military service towards licensure and certification. My bill would help returning veterans find good-paying jobs and put the skills they learned in the military to use in the workforce.
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a public hearing on the issue this week. Video of the hearing is available here.
Criminal Justice Reform Caucus Discusses Nationwide Reform Efforts
The newly created Criminal Justice Reform Caucus met for the first time this week to take a closer look at reform efforts at the federal level that could positively impact Pennsylvania. As co-chair of this Caucus, I appreciated the input from guest speakers Holly Harris and Jenna Moll from the Justice Action Network, as well as the participation of the bipartisan group of lawmakers who make up this panel.
This conversation was extremely productive, and I look forward to similar events in the future so we can create a criminal justice system that is fair for all stakeholders and efficient for taxpayers.
Video of the discussion is available on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/senatorbartolotta.
New Bill Would Help Expand Availability of Job Training Programs
Workforce development is one of the biggest issues that the Senate is expected to address this year, and ensuring access to critical job training programs should be a part of that effort. I recently introduced a bill along with my colleague Senator Jim Brewster that would expand job training programs to a broader number of Pennsylvanians.
Under current law, technical schools are not permitted to create a branch campus in a different county from the primary site. My legislation would remove this restriction and allow technical schools to create branch campuses anywhere within 60 miles of the primary location.
More information about the bill is available here.
I was pleased to welcome my guest shadow Simmi Sharma to the Senate this week. Simmi is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in political science and a member of the University’s Parliamentary Debate Organization and Female Empowerment Movement. She has also worked previously with two non-profit initiatives to help combat domestic violence.
Grants and Loans Support Local Business and Transportation Projects
A number of grants and loans were announced this week to support transportation and business projects in Washington and Greene counties. The projects include:
Lawmakers and Business Leaders Voice Support for Pipeline Development
Last week I had the pleasure of joining leaders in business, labor and industry along with some of my fellow lawmakers to highlight the economic and public safety benefits of pipeline infrastructure development.
The gas and oil industries have a nearly $44.5 billion economic impact in Pennsylvania, supporting nearly 322,600 jobs and generating nearly $23 billion in wages. Pipelines are the safest and most efficient means of transporting gas and oil products to consumers.
Video of the full news conference is available below.
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