Sep. 16, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Bill to Crack Down on Aiding Suicides

I recently wrote a new column on my legislation to increase penalties of those who aid or encourage another person to commit suicide. You can read an excerpt of it below and click here to read it in full.

I will hold a press conference in Harrisburg on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. on my bill, Shawn’s Law, to address this tragic situation. You can watch the press conference live on my website,

“I was horrified to read news articles about people who assist and encourage others to commit suicide. There is no way I can even begin to understand what goes through someone’s mind when he or she encourages or aids another person to commit suicide…

“…People who guide or encourage others to kill themselves are committing murder by proxy. Our justice system must be given more tools in the form of harsher sentences to combat this evil.

“My legislation would increase sentences when someone who commits suicide is under the age of 18 or has an intellectual disability. Under the law, intellectual disability is defined as someone, regardless of age, who has significantly below average intellectual functioning and has significant limitations in two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social and interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, health, or safety.”
Why Hasn’t the Legislature Moved Toward Property Tax Reform?

Click here to view video.

Property tax reform has been the talk of Harrisburg, and the state, for decades. Yet, no legislation has ever been passed to provide true relief to the high school property taxes we pay. In this video, I discuss the issue of getting legislation passed and talk about various initiatives we are exploring. I do want to make one thing very clear. Any reform would be a tax shift, meaning other taxes will increase or new taxes would be created, to make up for reducing or eliminating property taxes.
Committee Highlights Tick-Borne Diseases, Tick Testing

Working to address the ongoing threat of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the Commonwealth, the House Health Committee held a public hearing in East Stroudsburg Monday.

The committee heard from health and wildlife professionals, local officials, advocates for tick-borne disease treatment and awareness, and officials with East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) Tick Research Lab.

Testimony focused heavily on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in helping people successfully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Three bills designed to help combat the disease were also highlighted, including one that would require nurses to remove a tick when it is found on a child during the school day and to notify parents; one that would require continuing education for physicians; and one to require health insurers to cover recommended treatments that may include short-term or long-term courses of antibiotics.

Members participating in the hearing also learned more about ESU’s tick lab, which provides a FREE base test on ticks submitted for Lyme disease as well as three additional tests based on the species of tick. Pennsylvanians can send a tick sample to the lab and receive the test results. These samples can be mailed to 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.

For more information about tick-borne diseases or how to submit a tick for testing, visit


Online Absentee Ballot Applications Launch Monday

Starting with this year’s General Election, voters who need to vote by absentee ballot may apply for the ballot online.

The mobile-friendly, online application site, available at, will go live on Monday, Sept. 16, the first day that registered voters may apply for absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election.

When an applicant completes the online form, the information is forwarded directly to the appropriate county elections office for processing. The applicant will then be provided with a ballot that must be completed and either mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate county election office by the deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or Nov. 1 this year.

The online application system will be accessible for all domestic Pennsylvania voters this year and to military and overseas voters by 2020.

Absentee ballots may be cast by individuals with illnesses or disabilities, individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day, and Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, among others. For more information, click here.
Attention, Veterans!

Join me for my Veterans’ Ice Cream Social on Monday, Sept. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the American Legion, 301 Route 15 South in Dillsburg. All veterans and their families are invited to attend. Veterans will receive a pin to commemorate their service. Veterans and their families will also learn about services available to them. The speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Graf, who works at the Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Registration is required by Sunday, Sept. 22. To RSVP, contact my office at 717-432-0792, or register online at
House in Session This Week

The House is back in session this week. You can stay up on all the latest news on my website, and the House GOP site,, where you can also find this week’s schedule.
Register Now for my Farmers’ Breakfast

Residents interested in attending my free annual Farmer’s Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10, and sponsored by PennAg Industries Association and Seneca Foods, should register now. This year the breakfast is from 8-10 a.m. at the Wellsville Fire Company, 95 Community St., Wellsville. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, Sept. 30.

During this informative event, attendees will receive an update on issues that impact them. The guest speaker this year is Jennifer Reed-Harry, an assistant vice president at PennAg Industries. She will speak about water issues the agricultural industry is facing.

There have been a lot of new and expanded efforts in agricultural programming in Pennsylvania. Understanding the challenges and pressures the state’s agriculture industry has been enduring, lawmakers worked with agricultural communities, businesses and stakeholders to develop a strategy to help agriculture grow in Pennsylvania. I’m excited to share these new opportunities and resources with farmers in my district.

Make sure you don’t miss my annual Farmers’ Breakfast where you’ll learn not only about the new programs, but how to successfully access them as well.

The deadline to reserve a seat is Monday, Sept. 30. To RSVP, call my office at 717-432-0792, or go online to and click on the events tab.
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12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
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