Aug. 16, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
Making PA Schools Safer

Recognizing the importance of ensuring our children feel safe at school, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of investing an additional $60 million in the School Safety and Security Block Grant program. Public school districts that apply will receive between $30,000 to $45,000, based on average daily attendance.

Now in its second year, the program provides flexible funding that schools may use for a variety of security-related initiatives, ranging from the hiring of school police officers to safety equipment upgrades.

New to the program is a requirement that districts create at least one threat assessment team to identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to a level that raises safety concerns.
School Threat Reporting System Gets Results

An anonymous reporting system designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems has collected nearly 23,500 tips in its first six months of operation, according to a report from the Office of Attorney General.

Among the most common issues reported to the Safe2Say Something system included bullying/cyber bullying; cutting/self-harm; suicide/suicide ideation; depression/anxiety; and drug use/distribution/possession.

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 or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.
School Bus Safety Reminders

School bells will be ringing soon for students in the 122nd Legislative District as the fall semester gets underway. Classes start on Monday, Aug. 26, in Hazleton Area, Lehighton Area, Palmerton Area and Panther Valley; and on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Jim Thorpe Area.

Motorists are reminded to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles, and to be alert near bus stops.

Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.

Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension. Learn more here.
Vehicle Registration Bills Focus of Hearing

I traveled to Harrisburg this week to join my colleagues on the House Transportation Committee at a public hearing that focused on a couple of bills that address vehicle registration issues.

House Bill 317 would place restrictions on the use of data collected from automated license plate reader systems and establish a grant program to assist police departments in purchasing the technology.

House Bill 1509 would create a new two-in-one license plate sticker that combines proof of a vehicle’s inspection and registration in Pennsylvania. You may remember that PennDOT eliminated the sticker system three years ago to save money.

These bills are not about raising registration fees, which is something I do not support.
Heffley's New Office Location

Click here to view video.
Trail Bridge Opens

The Mansion House Pedestrian Bridge in Jim Thorpe opened this week. The bridge is an important addition to our region’s trail system, as it connects nearly 60 miles of the D&L Trail.

Last week, we recorded interviews for an upcoming Legislative Report on Carbon County’s tourism industry which will include video of the bridge and other local attractions. Watch for it soon!
Out and About

We had a good time at the Palmerton Bike Fest sponsored by American Legion Post 927.

There was a great turnout at Lake Harmony for the annual Parade of Boats in support of a good cause – Kidder Township’s first responders! It was a fun afternoon with my daughter, Elizabeth.
Let's Get Connected

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204B Bridge St., Weissport, PA 18235 | (610) 377-6363
2681 State Route 903, Unit 3, Albrightsville, PA 18210 | (570) 722-8700
Room 420 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202122, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2122 | (717) 260-6139
TTY: 855-282-0614