In this Update:
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft on Saturday
This Saturday, Sept. 24, I am hosting an Identity Theft Prevention Event from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Ringgold High School parking lot, 1 Ram Drive, Monongahela.
An industrial shredder truck will be on site at this drive-through event, and up to two boxes or bags will be accepted per vehicle. Please remove any binder or paper clips. Phone books, newspapers and bound books cannot be accepted.
This event is for individuals only. No businesses, please.
Identity theft prevention information will also be provided at the event. For additional information, please call 724-225-4380.
Two Bills Containing Language I Sponsored were Signed into Law
This week, two bills containing language I sponsored were signed into law.
The first was House Bill 2464, legislation that will strengthen crime victims’ access to services and compensation. I was pleased to join Rep. Sheryl Delozier, as well as Sens. Vincent Hughes and Art Haywood, for its signing.
Read more here about this new law.
The second bill was Senate Bill 725, legislation I sponsored that will ease the strain on farmers and our food supply. It allows farmers to use a Class A, B or C driver’s license when operating farm vehicles with a combined weight of more than 26,000 pounds on roadways. Previously, there was some confusion regarding whether a farmer could use a Class C or Class A driver’s license when operating those vehicles.
Thank you to the members of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, as well as Sens. Wayne Langerholc, Jr., Judy Ward and David Argall, for joining me for the signing.
Learn more about Senate Bill 725, now Act 90 of 2022, here.
September is National Recovery Month
An event was held this week at the State Capitol Building for Courage to Change Recovery Advocacy Day, which aims to raise awareness of substance use conditions, celebrates individuals in recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Kudos to this group led by the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, which traveled to Harrisburg to share their stories and help convey a message of hope that people can and do recover.
Senate Expands Right to Know Law to State-Related Universities
Seeking to shine light on costs driving college tuition increases, the Senate approved legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law to provide greater access to public records at state-related universities.
Senate Bill 488 would create an online searchable database that details information about budgets and contracts approved by Penn State University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University. The legislation also increases the amount of university personnel salary information subject to public disclosure.
State-related universities receive more than $600 million in taxpayer dollars.
Under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, the Office of Open Records processes requests for documents from public agencies, such as the governor’s administration, legislative and judicial agencies and local organizations. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Among other measures passed by the Senate this week was Senate Bill 1203, which prevents companies from receiving state contracts, grants or tax credits if they are owned, controlled by, or acting on behalf of the Russian government.
Hearing Highlights Ideas to Combat Lyme Disease in PA
Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases, with children making up the largest demographic affected.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a public hearing to increase understanding of tick-borne diseases, tick testing and mitigation, testing options for physicians and patients, and guidelines for treatment options.
The panel heard testimony from Physician General and Acting Health Secretary Denise Johnson, as well as the director of the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University, an infectious disease physician, and the president of the PA Lyme Resource Network.
Promise of Carbon Capture Technology in Pennsylvania Explored by Committee
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an informational briefing Tuesday on Pennsylvania’s potential as a carbon capture, utilization and storage hub.
Wolf administration officials and the carbon capture and storage business opportunity manager for Shell USA, Inc. took part to discuss the region’s promise as a premier hub for both carbon capture and clean hydrogen.
The Great Plains Institute, using data from a 2009 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report, estimates the state could store about 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide underground. This is equivalent to the level of greenhouse gases emitted from 517 million gas-powered passenger vehicles annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Approximately 1.2 million adults attempt suicide annually in the United States, with more than 85% reporting having made a suicide plan prior to their attempt. In 2020, the most recent year that data is available, approximately 1,700 people died by suicide in Pennsylvania.
Suicide Prevention Month provides an opportunity to remind Pennsylvanians that help is always available. This summer, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline officially launched nationwide, streamlining call and text access to the national lifeline that provides no-cost crisis response support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In addition to 988, many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
Rosh Hashanah Begins Sunday
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sunday and ends at nightfall Tuesday evening. For all who observe this Jewish holiday, I wish you a wonderful new year.
Collecting Items for Area Food Banks Continues
Throughout Hunger Action Month, my district offices (addresses are listed below) are collecting non-perishable items to be given to food banks in our communities.
Neighbors helping neighbors is the best form of charity and it’s one of the many traditions that make our country great. Please consider making a donation to help a family in need.