Oct. 25, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong#  The latest news from the State Capitol
White Haven Center Closure Focus of Hearing in Harrisburg

As a member of the House Human Services Committee, I participated in Monday’s joint public hearing at the state Capitol with the House Health Committee to examine the recent decision by the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) to close the White Haven and Polk state centers and move residents into community-based settings.

We heard testimony from a top DHS official, advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities, employee union representatives and relatives of center residents.

We need to make sure the individuals that are in these facilities are going to receive that same quality of care going forward. Right now, we have a system that works, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to dismantle it.

I’m a co-sponsor of House Bill 1918, legislation that would place a moratorium on the closure of the two facilities. The bill was reported out of the House Health Committee this week and sent to the full House for consideration.

Click here to view video.
Helping to Curb Addiction in Carbon County

Our annual Drug and Alcohol Awareness Expo attracted a good crowd to Panther Valley High School on Thursday evening. My thanks to the more than 30 exhibitors who took part, providing information about preventing drug and alcohol abuse and promoting healthy habits.

We also presented citations to winners of the essay contest that was open to all students in Carbon County. Congratulations to Tara Flores of Weatherly High School, Makenzie Spadt of Palmerton Junior High School and Maley Malaska of the Jim Thorpe Area School District.
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.

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). To see the complete list of legislation, click here.

The bills also respect the efforts of 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.

Our sincere thanks to all of the Helpers and Heroes in the 122nd Legislative District who serve our communities with such skill and dedication!
Celebrating SHINE

Congratulations to Director Rachel Strucko and everyone at the Carbon and Schuylkill SHINE Afterschool Program, which was celebrated Thursday evening during the 20th Annual “Lights on Afterschool” event at Jim Thorpe Area High School, which I was happy to attend. SHINE does such great work with kids in our communities.
In the District                                    

We had the pleasure of attending the Carbon County Friends of Scouting Dinner, where Tina Dowd received the 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award. I was honored to present a House citation to Tina in recognition of her work with Family Promise of Carbon County and the Carbon County Community Foundation. Congratulations, Tina, and thanks for all you do!

Happy 100th birthday to Edith George! It was my pleasure to present Edith with a House citation in recognition of her birthday milestone during a party with family and friends at her home in Palmerton.
Victims Bill of Rights Question on Ballot Nov. 5

Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution when they head to the polls on Nov. 5.

The question reads as follows: “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to grant certain rights to crime victims, including to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity; considering their safety in bail proceedings; timely notice and opportunity to take part in public proceedings; reasonable protection from the accused; right to refuse discovery requests made by the accused; restitution and return of property; proceedings free from delay; and to be informed of these rights, so they can enforce them?”

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California. She was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Just days later, her mother and brother were confronted by the accused murderer in a grocery store. They were unaware the defendant had been released on bail.
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Email: dheffley@pahousegop.com
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