Jul. 26, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Bringing Awareness to Opioid Use by Construction Workers
This week (July 21-27) is Construction Opioids Awareness Week in Pennsylvania. This is the second year I have sponsored a resolution to bring awareness to the dangers of opioids and prescription drug abuse with workers in the industry and facilitate discussions and events such as toolbox talks and drug take-back events to combat the opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the Commonwealth's construction industry.

A link to the resolution is available here.
                                                            

Touring a Business

 
On Monday, Reps. Michael Puskaric (R-Allegheny/Washington) and Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) and I toured PITT OHIO’s Meadowlands terminal in Washington County. This company is a transportation solutions provider that handles a variety of supply chain needs. It is headquartered in Pittsburgh, but has a number of terminals throughout the Commonwealth.
 

Clean Slate Law Offers Second Chances
The new, automatic sealing of criminal records 10 years or older is now in effect under the state’s Clean Slate Act. Officials expect to process 2.5 million records per month over the next year.

The Clean Slate Act created an automated computer process to seal arrests that did not result in convictions within 60 days, summary convictions after 10 years, and some second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions if there are no subsequent convictions for a period of 10 years. Certain first-degree misdemeanors can be sealed by petition.

The law is designed to ensure people who have turned their lives around are not haunted by minor, nonviolent indiscretions that occurred a decade earlier. The law does not apply to violent offenses related to danger of a person; firearms or other dangerous articles; sexual offenses and registration; cruelty to animals; and corruption of minors.

The House is considering additional criminal justice reforms this session, including House Bill 1555 that would make a series of probation and parole reforms, and House Bill 1477, which would ensure past convictions are not prohibiting someone from obtaining occupational licensure, unless the conviction is related to the career field.

National Guard Parity Bill Now Law
Working to ensure equity for the dedicated members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, a new law requires them to be compensated at the same level as their U.S. military counterparts.

Specifically, the law requires pay for deputy adjutant generals and general officers in command positions permanently employed by the Commonwealth be equivalent to the federal military base pay. In addition to specifying the eligibility requirements and conditions for the pay increase, this new law also determines how the cost-of-living adjustment is to be calculated.

Under previous law, the Pennsylvania National Guard adjutant general and uniformed deputy adjutant generals earned significantly less than their active duty counterparts, though they maintain the same military standards and comparable senior executive responsibilities.
                                   

New Law Will Help People Stay on Track with Medications

Recognizing the challenges some patients face in staying on track with their medications, the General Assembly has adopted a new state law to make it a little easier.

Act 46 of 2019 will allow consumers to synchronize the refilling of their prescriptions, meaning they can pick up all of their medications on one day rather than having to make multiple trips to the pharmacy. This will be especially helpful for senior citizens, busy families and others who have limited transportation options.

The law will enable consumers to synchronize their prescription refills and bar insurance companies from denying coverage for a partial fill of a script in order to facilitate medication synchronization. Thirty-five other states have enacted or introduced similar legislation.

The law takes effect next summer.

Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

Drivers are reminded of two voluntary programs aimed at saving the lives of residents in emergency situations. Participation in both programs is free of charge.

Under PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program, participants fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update their records as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes.
 
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Office Locations                                                                                                                                                                      
300 Old Pond Road, Suite 205A, Bridgeville, PA 15017 | Phone: (412) 221-5110
Room 143-A, East Wing, PO Box 202046, Harrisburg PA 17120-2046 | (717) 787-1281
Email: jortitay@pahousegop.com
 
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