Supporting PA’s Helpers and Heroes
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Legislative Report 
Supporting PA’s Helpers and Heroes

With the declining number of volunteer emergency responders reaching critical levels, the state House is taking up a “Helpers and Heroes” package of legislation designed to assist with recruiting and retention efforts of volunteer fire and ambulance companies across the state.

The bills also respect the efforts of these emergency responders by allowing them to better use existing funds as part of recommendations made by the SR6 Commission, a 39-member commission comprised of lawmakers and a variety of fire and emergency response stakeholders.

Among the bills passed by the House this week are those that would allow volunteer fire relief money to be used for retention of existing volunteer members and providing incentives for recruiting new volunteer firefighters (House Bill 1673); make online training more readily available to current and prospective first responders (Senate Bill 146); and increase the maximum loan limits available to volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services through the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (House Bill 1816).

Also passed and sent to the Senate were measures that would create the Tuition Assistance for Active Volunteers Program for our first responders (House Bill 1773) and establish the First Responder Loan Forgiveness Program for indebted college graduates who are active members of an emergency medical services agency (House Bill 1786).
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Mon Valley Moment: PennDOT’s Yellow Dot Program Saves Lives

Click here to view video. 

At this year’s Washington County Fair, I had the privilege of meeting one of our future student leaders who has taken on the project of promoting PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program.

This week’s Mon Valley Moment is the completion of my promise to help her raise awareness of this life-saving program.
New Law Will Require Use of E-Verify System

A new state law will require employers in the construction industry to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure their employees are authorized to work in the United States.

The law is aimed at going after dishonest employers whose unfair business practices hurt workers by driving down wages, create an unlevel playing field for other employers and deprive government of revenue that could be used to fund programs like unemployment compensation.

Under the law, failure to use E-Verify when hiring new employees will result in action against a company’s licenses required to do business (i.e. corporate charters, as well as any other business license). The law is modeled after Arizona’s statute, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It will take effect in one year.
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