Office Locations 
District Office(s)
Big Jim Plaza, LLC
55 Gosai Drive
Suite 112
Bentleyville PA 15314
Local: 724-669-2242, 
          724-669-2290,
          724-669-2293
Toll-free: 855-271-9380
Fax: 724-669-2296

Capitol Office
B-15 Main Capitol
PO Box 202049
Harrisburg PA 17120-2049
(717) 783-8655
FAX: (717) 782-2962 

                              
Save the Date for California Town Hall Meeting
10/5/2017
Legislative Report 
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Save the Date for California Town Hall Meeting

 Click here to view video.
        
I want to invite concerned citizens from the California Area School District and all other stakeholders to join me on Thursday, Oct. 19, for my next Town Hall Meeting.

This informational meeting will be held at the California Volunteer Fire Department, 1000 Wood St., California, PA 15419, beginning at 6 p.m.

The purpose of this Town Hall is not to discuss what has been done, but most importantly what can be done in terms of major quality of life initiatives and job creation throughout the 49th Legislative District. Come on out and learn about what’s going on at the local level and throughout our state, ask questions, share ideas and leave with answers!

Interested individuals should register for this FREE event as soon as possible by calling my Bentleyville district office at (724) 669-2242.

I hope to see everyone there on Oct. 19, so be sure to tell your friends and neighbors.
                
         
House GOP Continues Fight for Responsible Budgeting

Lawmakers were back in Harrisburg this week continuing the effort to bring the 2017-18 state budget process to a close.

The main component still outstanding is a bill to complete funding of the $32 billion spending plan.

While the governor has pushed for higher taxes and the state Senate approved a plan to impose nearly $600 million in new taxes – more than $400 million of which would come in the form of new and increased taxes on consumer utility bills – House Republicans are fighting for a more responsible, less burdensome solution.

Unable to gather support for any of the various funding proposals he agreed to, the governor stepped away from negotiations. In place of legislation, he has unilaterally decided to leverage the state’s liquor system for a lump sum payment. Lawmakers will begin to review the proposal and its legality.

The question needs asked: If the governor intended to borrow against the liquor stores, why didn’t he do this before to prevent the credit downgrade?

While negotiations on a revenue plan continue, lawmakers did approve two important measures that will help save taxpayer dollars in the long term. House Bill 785 would enact substantial debt reduction and responsible debt management policies that would save taxpayers an estimated $3.14 billion in debt service over the next 20 years. House Bill 785 heads back to the Senate for consideration.

The House also approved a key welfare reform measure that could ultimately require physically and mentally able adults to meet work requirements in order to receive benefits. Under the bill, the state Department of Human Services would seek approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement the requirement. House Bill 59 will go to the governor’s desk for his signature.
                  
         
Better Protecting Consumers from Data Breaches

Legislation is expected to advance in the state House in the coming weeks to respond to recent breaches of personal and financial data. Two new House bills are designed to further protect consumers who are victims of data breaches that open them to possible identity theft.

The first proposal would require notification of a breach from the entity where the breach occurred to the affected consumer within 30 days and to the state attorney general. The notification would include the date the breach occurred, the type of information subject to the breach, a toll-free number and the address of credit reporting agencies. The entities must also develop policies to safeguard and discard personal consumer information.

The second bill would waive the current credit freeze fee, which charges up to $10 per account. In the instance of a data breach, consumers would be provided with three months of free credit monitoring and up to three free credit reports for one calendar year after the date the breach is reported. None of these would apply to a credit reporting agency that has not experienced a breach.

These two bills were introduced following the Equifax data breach, which was the largest data breach in history – exposing the personal information of at least 143 million Americans, including 5.4 million Pennsylvanians.
                  
         
‘Right to Try’ Bill Heads to Governor

In giving hope to individuals facing terminal illnesses, legislation is now on the governor’s desk that would allow eligible patients to use investigational drugs, biological products and devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under House Bill 45, if these patients want to try medications that have not completed the rigorous FDA testing and approval process, they should be permitted to make that choice. As part of the bill, a manufacturer would be permitted to make these products available to eligible patients once the products successfully complete the first phase of clinical trials.

Physicians would not be held liable for recommending experimental products to their terminally ill patients, nor would the bill create a private cause of action against the manufacturers that make the drugs. While the bill does not require insurers to cover these products, they may do so at their own discretion.

“Right to Try” laws are in effect in 37 other states.
                  
         
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing was dyed pink on Monday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection.

Every day, 37 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Pennsylvania, and more than 2,000 Pennsylvania women die each year from the disease. However, more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive today in the United States.


      

                  
         
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