May. 17, 2019

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

Bill to Clarify Minors’ Mental Health Treatment Procedures Clears Committee
The House Human Services Committee this week reported out my legislation to more clearly define current law on who can provide consent in order for a minor to receive mental health treatment.

House Bill 672 would clarify that a parent or guardian has the right to consent to inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment on behalf of a minor less than 18 without a minor’s consent. The bill also would continue the provision of Act 147 of 2004 that allows minors 14 and older to consent to treatment without the consent of their parent or guardian. As amended in committee, a minor placed in mental health treatment would be advised of his or her right to appeal and if a parent sought inpatient treatment, a professional review of the necessity would be performed.

This issue was brought to my attention three years ago by a constituent. She could not get the help her daughter needed because of confusion surrounding the guidance provided by the department.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

Congratulating an Eagle Scout

This past weekend, I presented David Gubinsky with a House citation during his Eagle Scout Court of Honor at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Bridgeville. He is a member of Troop 2. For his Eagle project, David constructed an outdoor xylophone and a chalkboard for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s Nature Play Area. Congratulations!

Supporting Our National Guard Members and Their Families
Recognizing the sacrifices made by the families of Pennsylvania National Guard Members, the House approved legislation to provide them with education benefits.

House Bill 1324 would extend our current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a Guard member’s spouse or child in this benefit program.

The benefit would pay for 10 semesters/quarters, or five years equivalent, at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tuition rate.

The Guard member could earn these educational benefits for his or her spouse and/or children by committing to a second obligation of six years with the Pennsylvania National Guard. This would help retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania while also supporting Guard families.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Working to support people struggling with depression or other mental health conditions, the House recently designated May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth.

Mental illness is not always visible, but it affects Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. This invisibility can make people feel isolated and unable to share their experiences.

Only about half of people impacted by mental illness seek treatment, and too many people struggle in silence. It is important that all Pennsylvanians understand mental illness is a biologically based disorder that requires medical attention.

You can learn more about mental health and services available in Pennsylvania by clicking here.

Fish for Free Next Weekend
If you’ve been thinking about trying fishing or wanting to introduce your child or a friend to the joys of fishing, you’ll have a great chance to do so next weekend!

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will host the first of its two annual Fish for Free Days next Sunday, May 26.

On Fish for Free Days, anyone -- resident or non-resident -- can legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways without a license.

All other fishing regulations will still apply.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here

The second Fish for Free day is scheduled for Thursday, July 4, 2019.
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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