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New Law Allows Emergency Responders to Remove Pets from Hot Cars
Leaving a pet in a hot car – even for a few minutes – can lead to serious illness or death. A new law that I supported will provide civil immunity for emergency responders who rescue pets from hot cars.
The new law allows any law enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder to use reasonable force to enter a vehicle when they believe a cat or dog inside is in danger of imminent harm. The responder must make an effort to locate the driver of the vehicle and leave contact information after removing the pet from a dangerous situation.
More information about the new law is available here.
I was honored to be recognized with the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and I look forward to continuing to pursue policies to help them thrive and grow to create more jobs for hardworking Pennsylvanians.
Senate Hearing Explores Need for Transparency for Community Pharmacy Reimbursements
Community pharmacies provide a vital function to patients by managing the prescriptions of millions of Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, a number of community pharmacies are experiencing severe problems due to the reimbursement rates they receive from Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), who serve as a middleman between pharmacies and the Medicaid program.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recently held a hearing to take a closer look at the problem. One testifier reported only being reimbursed approximately $200 for a prescription that cost them $600 to fill, resulting in a significant financial loss to the pharmacy. Similar problems will almost certainly result in community pharmacies being unable to maintain inventory and serve patients with the greatest medical and financial needs.
I introduced legislation earlier this year that would demand greater transparency and fairness in contracts between pharmacies and PBMs. I appreciated the opportunity to be able to testify at the hearing and discuss the need for improvements in the existing system to ensure community pharmacies can continue to meet the needs of patients.
Video of the hearing is available here.
I appreciated the chance to recognize the Borough of Chambersburg Police Department for 200 years of service to our community with Mayor Walt Bietsch and Chief Ron Camacho.
Legislature Passes Welfare Reform
The final scheduled voting week of the 2017-18 Legislative Session featured action on several measures to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of public assistance programs. Although Governor Wolf vetoed a reform measure that would have implemented commonsense work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients, several other bills were signed into law to protect taxpayer dollars.
One new law targets welfare abuses by high-level felony drug dealers and non-compliant sex offenders. That legislation also places tighter restrictions on how Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used, including preventing the use of EBT cards at casinos and adult entertainment venues.
Another new law will enact tougher penalties against individuals and organizations that illegally trade goods or services for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Violators who are found guilty of fraud in excess of $1,000 will now face a felony offense and repayment of restitution of up to three times the amount of fraud committed.
All of these bills represent a strong step forward in the ongoing effort to prevent the abuse of taxpayer dollars and ensure the viability of programs designed to help Pennsylvanians in need.
One of Adams County’s best and brightest stopped by the Capitol Building in Harrisburg! Kayla Repasky was crowned Miss Pennsylvania in June.
Local Schools Receive New Funding to Improve Student Safety
Finding new ways to improve school safety is one of the highest priorities for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. A number of our local schools were recently awarded significant state grants to improve school safety as part of a new program that was created earlier this year.
The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by lawmakers in June to provide grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.
Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.
Each of the following school districts will receive grant funding totaling $25,000 to improve school safety:
More information on school safety measures under consideration in the General Assembly is available online at https://www.pasenategop.com/school-safety/.
It was an honor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hanover Area YMCA in mid-October with Financial Development Director Tara Kauffman.
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