In this Update:
Don’t Forget! REAL ID Informational Seminar on Oct. 28
I will be hosting a free Real ID seminar for constituents on Friday, Oct. 28, from 1-3 p.m. at the Frank Sarris Public Library, 35 N. Jefferson Ave., 2nd Floor, Canonsburg.
PennDOT representatives will be presenting virtually to explain the federal ID requirements, the documents needed to obtain a Pennsylvania Real ID and how and where to apply.
Remember: May 3, 2023, you will need a Real ID or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board domestic commercial flights and enter a federal building or military base.
Working to Improve Workforce and Economic Development
The Senate Labor and Industry Committee held two hearings last week regarding workforce and economic development.
The first hearing, held jointly with the Senate Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee, focused on workforce development efforts in northeastern Pennsylvania. Testifiers included the Luzerne County Community College, local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, the building trades, and the Department of Labor and Industry, who shared ways they are recruiting and training workers to fill the large number of job openings in the region. The full hearing can be viewed here.
The second hearing, held jointly with the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, featured discussion on the importance of Pennsylvania waterways to energy and economic development. Testifiers included the Port of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, businesses, and the building trades, who emphasized the need to continue to invest in infrastructure improvements on the rivers so that commercial and recreational use of the waterways can continue. The full hearing can be viewed here.
Senate Approves Measures to Help Women at High Risk of Breast Cancer
The Senate this week passed two bills to help women at high risk for breast cancer, ensuring coverage for MRIs, ultrasounds and genetic testing with no out-of-pocket costs.
Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women in the United States after skin cancers, and early detection is the key to saving lives. The Senate approved the following bills:
Senate Bill 1225 eliminates out-of-pocket costs for breast MRI and ultrasound for women with high-risk conditions such as dense breast tissue, a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Senate Bill 1330 removes costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for Pennsylvanians with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic testing for heredity cancers provides the opportunity for earlier screenings and preventive treatments and procedures.
At a news conference celebrating passage of the bills, PA Breast Cancer Coalition President Pat Halpin-Murphy said: “Senate Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 1330 will arm the women of Pennsylvania with the best tools possible to find breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.”
Other Bills Passed by the Senate this Week
In addition to bills expanding coverage for breast cancer prevention, the Senate approved the following measures this week:
Senate Bill 1243 improves personal financial literacy by requiring completion of a half-credit economics and personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement.
Senate Bill 139 directs the Department of Education to establish a model curriculum for instruction in the events and significance of Sept. 11, 2001 and provides for a moment of silence in schools on 9/11.
Senate Bill 1265 creates an online registry of fire courses for firefighters similar to what is maintained for medical responders, EMTs and paramedics.
Senate Bill 1282 grants land banks the same environmental protections other economic development agencies receive when dealing with brownfields.
You can find a list of all bills that received votes in the Senate this week here.
HARP Helps Hospitality Workers in Need
Hospitality Assistance Response of PA (HARP) provides immediate, emergency funding to servers, bartenders, front-desk workers, housekeepers, receptionists, cashiers, cooks and others in need in the hospitality field.
HARP is a 501(c)(3) funded by private donations and can help with medical bills or general hardship and provide immediate relief to hospitality employees experiencing a variety of other financial challenges. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability of funds.
If you want to donate or know a hospitality worker who needs help, you can find information here.
Cultural and Historical Support Grants Available
Applications are being accepted from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in state Cultural and Historical Support Grants.
Among other uses, the grants can supply general operating support to museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. Eligible museums must have annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies).
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has eligibility information and grant guidelines. The deadline to apply is Nov. 7.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month