Jan. 24, 2019

Ready to Get to Work on Important House Committees


Late last week, I was selected to serve on the House Game and Fisheries, Gaming Oversight, Tourism and Recreational Development, and Urban Affairs committees for the 2019-20 Legislative Session.

Just as three of my four committee assignments remain the same, my legislative agenda will continue to revolve around working even harder to serve my bosses in the 49th Legislative District, attacking problems and putting people first. Again, there is a lot of heavy lifting that needs to be done at the legislative level to ensure that our state and local economies thrive, the Mon Valley’s ever-increasing drug epidemic is addressed, our region’s travel and tourism are revitalized, and all levels of government are held accountable.

Reviewing all legislation regulating hunters, anglers and boaters, balancing the interests of residents and the importance of wildlife to the state in matters such as Sunday hunting, and determining fees and costs for licensing are just some of the major areas considered by the House Game and Fisheries Committee. In early February, both the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission will come before the committee to issue and discuss annual reports and legislation impacting both commissions.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee maintains legislative oversight on matters involving the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s casinos and gambling industry.

The House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee considers issues including travel and tourism promotion; the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; scenic roadways; snowmobile and trail-related initiatives; amusement parks, fairs, carnivals and folk festivals; agritourism; hotel and lodging issues; recreational use of land and water; PA Wilds; and many others.

My new committee assignment is the House Urban Affairs Committee which reviews legislation affecting Pennsylvania cities including housing; urban redevelopment; economic development; land use planning and zoning; growth management; infrastructure financing; and city services such as police, fire, sewage and water.

For the latest district event information and state government updates, visit RepBudCook.com and Facebook.com/RepBudCook.
Safe2Say Tip Line Now Live

The statewide Safe2Say tip line designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems is now live in Pennsylvania.

To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to saysomething.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.

The Safe2Say tip line gives students a way to share information without fear of repercussions or blame from their peers.

Individuals are encouraged to report physical or verbal assault and bullying, discussion about an upcoming planned attack on the school or a person, depression, excessive guilt or hopelessness, suicidal threats or self-harm, substance abuse, or social isolation or withdrawal.

The tip line was modeled after the Safe2Tell program in Colorado, which has received more than 30,000 reports since its inception in 2004, including reports of a planned school attack, suicidal threats and child abuse.
New Tool to Fight Drug Abuse

To help continue efforts to fight prescription drug abuse, there is a new tool available for health care providers and the general public to report suspicious activity involving prescription medication.

The Suspicious Activity Report form, administered by the Office of Attorney General, gives an easy way for people to report fraudulent, stolen or altered prescriptions, or a suspicious doctor/pharmacy.

Tips can be submitted anonymously or with your contact information included for follow up from the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations.

The form and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.