Jun. 23, 2017

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

House Working Toward Budget
Since February, the House has been working to craft a responsible, no-tax-increase budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18. In April, we delivered on this promise by approving a $31.52 billion budget proposal that does not increase taxes or borrowing, but does invest in education, public safety, human services and infrastructure. It reflected a collective need to reinvent the way Pennsylvania budgets and governs, by moving ahead to streamline programs and services; eliminate duplicative state functions; reduce bureaucracy; and create an endowment fund that will generate money to pay future costs. Since that time, the Senate has taken no action on the plan, but I remain hopeful in the coming week an on-time budget will be finalized.

E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate
Legislation to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands has been approved by the state House. Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand. House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen. Opioids would be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions. This change would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients. The measure now moves to the state Senate for its review.

REAL ID Extension to Allow Access Through October 2017
Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through Oct. 10, 2017, under an extension granted by the federal government last week. The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017. According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. More information about REAL ID and Act 3 is available here.

June Celebrates Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry
A measure passed the House this week to salute the men and women who make dairy one of Pennsylvania’s top agriculture sectors. House Resolution 403 designates June 2017 as Dairy Month and Dairy Farmers Appreciation Month. Pennsylvania has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally and ranks sixth nationally in total milk production from 2014 to 2016. In fact, 99 percent of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms are family owned.
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Office Locations                                                                                                                                                                      
300 Old Pond Road, Suite 205A, Bridgeville, PA 15017 | Phone: (412) 221-5110
200 Senior Way, Burgettstown, PA 15021 I Phone: (724) 947-4471  
Room 125B, East Wing, PO Box 202046, Harrisburg PA 17120-2046 | (717) 787-1281
Email: jortitay@pahousegop.com