Jan. 04, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
A New Legislative Session Begins

On Tuesday, I joined my House colleagues in taking the oath of office for the 2019-20 Legislative Session. The House is now comprised of 110 Republicans and 91 Democrats, including 43 first-term members. Two of the Democrats are self-styled Democratic Socialists.

There are two vacancies: one the result of the death of Rep. Sid Kavulich of Lackawanna County and the other due to the resignation of Rep. Vanessa Brown of Philadelphia following her bribery conviction.

On swearing-in day, the House also unanimously selected Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) as speaker of the House for the third consecutive session. The day also included certification of election results and adoption of rules that will govern the chamber.

I am humbled and honored to be your representative in the General Assembly.

 
 
New Law Addressing Repeat DUI Offenders

A new law addressing habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.

Under Act 153 of 2018, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense. The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.

Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
 
 
The Intersection of Justice and Mercy

A new law that seals the records of Pennsylvanians with certain low-level offenses is now in effect. To find out if someone is eligible to take part, visit www.mycleanslatepa.com.

Act 56 of 2018, or the Clean Slate Law, allows records of second- and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions to be automatically sealed after a 10-year period without subsequent offenses.
 
 
Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services

Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.

The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.
 
 
Farm Show Week is Here!

Pennsylvania’s annual celebration of agriculture gets underway Saturday in Harrisburg and runs through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

Some of the more popular attractions are the sheep-to-shawl contest, tractor square dancing and the celebrity cow milking competition. Of course, the food court, which features delicious Pennsylvania-grown items, is always a huge hit. Learn more at www.farmshow.pa.gov.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

If you’re participating in or attending the Farm Show, take your camera or phone along and snap some photos, then share them on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #PAFS19.

Click here to view video.
 
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Office Locations
1402 E. Main Street, Waynesboro, PA 17268 | Phone: (717) 749-7384
1270 Crottlestown Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202 I Phone: (717) 263-1053
10655 Antrim Church Road, Greencastle, PA 17225 I Phone: (717) 895-3902 
Room 150-B, East Wing, PO Box 202090, Harrisburg PA 17120-2090 | Phone: (717) 783-5218
Email: pschemel@pahousegop.com
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