June 21, 2019
In This Edition:
Senate Passes Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners
Pennsylvania is in the midst of a crisis in terms of the availability of healthcare services, especially in rural parts of the state. One way to help ease this situation is to allow qualified, competent, experienced healthcare professionals to practice to the fullest extent of their knowledge and training.
Last week, the Senate passed a proposal I sponsored that would grant full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs). Twenty-two other states and Washington, D.C. have already taken a similar approach and seen positive results.
More details about my bill are available here. My comments about the bill are available in the video below.
Package of Bills Advances to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Heroin and opioid addiction has taken a terrible toll on communities throughout the state. This week, the Senate passed a package of bills that are designed to help reduce the number of lives lost to the opioid epidemic.
The package includes a bill I authored, Senate Bill 93, which would target drug dealers whose products cause serious bodily injuries to users. The bill would allow local prosecutors to pursue tougher punishments against drug dealers when the user suffers a serious bodily injury or impairment, such as the loss of a bodily function as a result of an overdose.
The package also includes bills to limit opioid prescriptions, improve prescription drug monitoring, and more. Additional information about the full package of bills is available here. My comments about Senate Bill 93 are available below.
Senate Panel Approves Expansion of Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Vets
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee approved a proposed constitutional amendment this week that would expand property tax relief for more of Pennsylvania’s disabled veterans. Currently, a veteran who is 100 percent disabled who demonstrates financial need is completely exempt from paying property taxes. My bill would allow veterans determined to be at least 50 percent disabled to receive a partial exemption based on the extent of their disability.
It is disheartening to see cases in which the brave men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom are now struggling just to stay in their homes. Extending property tax exemptions to more disabled veterans is an acknowledgement that their efforts are respected and appreciated.
While this bill is critical for disabled veterans, it is important to note that property tax reform is essential for ALL homeowners. I will continue to fight for a better approach to fund our schools so we can relieve this crushing burden on homeowners.
More details about the bill are available here.
I appreciated the chance to meet with members of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee to discuss legislation I am sponsoring with Senator Elder Vogel to expand the number of disabled veterans who are eligible for property tax exemptions.
REMINDER: New Monongahela Office is Now Open
On Monday, I officially opened my new district office at 208 2nd Street in Monongahela. The new location is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will help me make constituent services available to a greater number of community residents.
Please feel free to stop by or call at (724) -258-3365 if I can assist you with any questions or concerns pertaining to state government. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you to members of the Strong Mom Strong Baby coalition for hosting an event to discuss legislation I am sponsoring with Senator Judy Schwank that would connect infants whose moms are experiencing postpartum depression with Early Intervention screening and tracking.
State Grant Boosts Traffic Safety in East Washington Borough
The state’s Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program provides funding to municipalities throughout Pennsylvania to improve safety at signalized intersections. An ARLE grant in East Washington Borough will boost traffic safety along East Beau Street by installing LED school zone speed limit warning devices.
Municipalities are encouraged to submit applications for the ARLE program before July 1 in order to be considered for a grant. More details about the program are available here.
Michael Hildreth, a social studies teacher at Bentworth High School and resident of Greene County, stopped by my office to discuss various education issues as part of the PA State Education Association’s (PSEA) Lobby Day at the State Capitol Building.
Tax Credits Support Historic Restoration Project in Scenery Hill
A 2015 fire nearly destroyed the historic Century Inn in Scenery Hill, one of the region’s most beautiful historical landmarks. A $100,000 tax credit from the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission will support the construction and restoration costs, which are estimated to exceed $1.7 million.
More information about the tax credit is available here.