In This Edition:
Bill to Expand Job Training Opportunities Sent to the Governor
The availability of job training programs provides a significant boost to the workforce and the economy in Pennsylvania communities. The Senate and the House of Representatives passed a bill I authored that would help make job training programs available to more state residents.
The bill would allow Private Licensed Schools, such as career and technical colleges and trade schools, to open a branch campus in a neighboring county or any other location within 60 miles of the main campus. Current law limited the location of these campuses to the same county as the primary campus.
The bill also protects against the improper closure of schools and ensures any future closures are completed with proper notice to students, accreditors and the state, while also providing for a full teach-out, transfer and education succession plan for all enrolled students.
In addition, the bill gives schools the ability to provide direct institutional grants to students. More details about the bill are available here.
Congratulations to Katie Swauger, who was crowned Miss Rain Day 2019! I enjoyed speaking with Katie during her visit to the Capitol Building in Harrisburg. I also presented her with a Senate citation in honor of her achievement. Best wishes on a great year ahead!
Senate Panel Approves New Marketing Tool for Veteran-Owned Businesses
Many veterans throughout Pennsylvania have the drive and the entrepreneurial spirit to be successful in business. The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee passed a bill I authored that will support the efforts of veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard to promote their businesses.
My legislation would direct the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to create special logos to promote veteran-owned businesses. The logos would allow Pennsylvanians to identify and support the brave men and women who have served our country by supporting their dreams of owning a thriving business.
More information about the bill is available here.
My deepest thanks goes out to all of the visitors, participants and vendors who made my Veterans Resource and Job Expo in Washington an incredible success! The Washington County Young Marines presented the National Colors at the start of the event.
Bill Breaking Down Employment Barriers Passes the Senate
Pennsylvanians who have criminal records face significant barriers to successful re-entry, including difficulties in finding a rewarding career. The Senate approved a bill recently that would help these individuals get a clearer picture of the types of jobs they can pursue after their release.
The bill would prevent state licensing boards from denying a certificate or license automatically because of a criminal conviction. Instead, the licensing boards must consider the circumstances of each applicant’s offense, as well as any evidence of rehabilitation and fitness for the occupation.
More details about the bill are available here.
Legislative Update: Minimum Wage, Statute of Limitations Bills Advance
The Senate took action on a number of noteworthy bills last week, including a responsible increase in the state’s minimum wage and significant reforms to the statute of limitations related to offenses against children. My statement regarding the minimum wage bill is here, and more information about the statute of limitations reforms is available here.
Other bills of note approved by the Senate include:
Legislation Would Support Ventilator Care Access
Caring for patients who require ventilator and tracheostomy services is difficult, and the increasing cost coupled with the declining availability of these services is putting a serious strain on families with loved ones who require care. Many providers have announced that they will be forced to limit or entirely cease providing ventilator care in the future, which would divert more patients to hospitals, where the care is more than four times more expensive.
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation with my colleague Senator Dan Laughlin that would dedicate additional Medicaid funding to facilities that care for these vulnerable patients. The bill would help more providers continue to offer this care in the community, rather than creating new barriers to successful treatment.
More details about the bill are available here.
LeMoyne Center Hosts Coco’s Christmas Donation Event
The LeMoyne Community Center in Washington will host its annual Coco’s Christmas event on December 14. This incredible event offers a wide variety of household needs free of charge to members of the Washington County community.
Donations for the event are being accepted now at a number of locations throughout the community, including my offices in Washington and Monongahela. Donors are encouraged to give toys, teen gifts, coats for kids and adults, gloves, mittens, hats, household items and Christmas decorations. All donations must be dropped off by December 11.
More information about this unique community event is available here.