Bill Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights, Federal Buildings Continues
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Bill Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights, Federal Buildings Continues
Pennsylvanians would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk. Under Senate Bill 133, residents would be able to choose between a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license or photo ID. Residents who choose the standard form of identification would have to have a passport or other REAL ID-compliant identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place. It is not yet clear how long it will take to fully implement REAL ID in Pennsylvania, so the Commonwealth will be requesting an extension from the federal government. Assuming the extension is granted, Pennsylvanians will be able to continue using their current form of state-issued identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings. Offering residents a choice allows Pennsylvania to comply with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill.

House Approves Legislation to Create Centralized List of Online Secondary Courses
The House this week approved my legislation to increase learning opportunities by establishing a central repository of online courses for secondary students. House Bill 679 would require the Department of Education (PDE) to create a clearinghouse of online courses for students in grades 6-12 to be accessible to public schools, nonpublic schools, home education programs and the general public. The bill would establish a two-phase implementation schedule. In the first phase, which would begin with the 2018-19 school year, the clearinghouse would offer courses at no cost related to content being tested on the Keystone Exams. In the second phase, which would begin with the 2019-20 school year, the clearinghouse also would offer other online courses from providers, subject to purchase. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights
On Monday, I joined with hundreds of Second Amendment supporters and dozens of my colleagues in reaffirming our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and opposing attempts that seek to diminish these rights. As part of the rally, I spoke about my legislation to eliminate the Pennsylvania Instant Check System for gun background checks and move to the National Instant Check System. In its 12th year, this year’s theme was Make the Second Amendment Great Again.

Remembering Our Heroes
Monday, May 29, is Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who have sacrificed their lives serving in our nation’s military. Please consider joining me at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies on Sunday, May 28, at 11 a.m., or check out Memorial Day services in your community. For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.

Hope for Cancer Patients
To give hope to patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer, the House passed a bill this week to ensure they have access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors without delay, no matter what their insurance typically covers. Insurance companies currently have the ability to set average guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Current standard practice requires Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor. House Bill 1280 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Helping Kids with Allergies
Legislation was signed into law recently that helps ensure the health and safety of students who suffer from severe allergic reactions. Act 2 of 2017 provides civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who administer an epinephrine auto-injector, or epi-pen, to a student who experiences an allergic reaction. Under the new law, a bus driver or crossing guard must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen. It does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met. The new law will take effect before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

Traveling Over Memorial Day? Check Traffic Conditions on

Travelers can log onto to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website. Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel. In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, for the holiday. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,
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