Mar. 29, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Improving Intergovernmental Cooperation

I am pleased to report that my three-bill package to make intergovernmental cooperation easier and more efficient in Pennsylvania passed unanimously in the House of Representatives this week. House Bills 510, 511 and 512 will next be considered by the Senate.

I believe this package of bills will save Pennsylvania municipalities both time and money, while also simplifying the process for aid and cooperation between local governments.

Under current Pennsylvania law, in order to enter into an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement, a municipality must go through the formality of enacting an ordinance detailing the specifics of the agreement. The formal enactment of an ordinance requires the publication of a legal notice and the entry of the new ordinance into the ordinance book, both of which are costly and time-consuming endeavors for municipalities.

My legislation would remove the requirement that a municipality enact an ordinance, permitting instead a municipal resolution providing for a simpler process regarding aid and cooperation between local governments.
Keeping Vaping Products Out of the Hands of Minors

To help keep harmful vaping products out of the hands of minors, the House this week passed legislation that would add “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the law that currently makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to possess or use such products on school grounds. ENDS include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes, JUULs and vape pens.

While the products are touted as harmless by some, medical experts have warned that the high doses of nicotine available in many products negatively affect the developing adolescent brain, and the long-term effects of inhaling vaporized chemicals is unknown.

House Bill 97 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Ensuring Seniors Stay Eligible for PACE and PACENET

This week, the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee approved a package of bills designed to help seniors in need continue to receive PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefits.

House Bill 754 would ensure any individual enrolled in PACE and PACENET as of Dec. 31, 2018, remains eligible if their maximum income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

House Bill 375 would exclude the cashing of savings bonds for seniors age 65 and older from being counted towards income when applying for lottery funded programs, including PACE and PACENET.

The final part of the package, House Bill 684, would remove the value of federal veterans’ disability payments and the value of all state service-connected payments from income eligibility calculations for the PACE and PACENET programs.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs

Are you or someone you know interested in a summer job with the Pennsylvania Turnpike? Applications are now being accepted for toll collector, maintenance, clerical and engineering positions.

Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays. Employees will work a 40-hour week. The pay is $12 per hour for toll collectors, maintenance and clerical and $14.50 per hour for engineering positions.

All eligible candidates must be at least 18 years of age and completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. The program runs between May 1 and Sept. 30.

All summer applications must be completed online at Be sure that when completing the application to select “SUMMER WORK” at the first step in the registration process. Copies of online applications should be sent to my Harrisburg office by Monday, April 15.
Take the Transportation Survey

The State Transportation Commission and PennDOT want to hear from you as they update Pennsylvania’s transportation plan. The open public comment period runs through April 26, 2019. The comments received will help guide statewide transportation planning and programming. You can access the survey here.
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