A Bill That Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights and Federal Buildings Passes Legislature
Pennsylvanians would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk.
Under Senate Bill 133, residents would be able to choose between a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license or photo ID. Residents who choose the standard form of identification would have to have a passport or other REAL ID-compliant identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place.
It is not yet clear how long it will take to fully implement REAL ID in Pennsylvania, so the Commonwealth will be requesting an extension from the federal government. Assuming the extension is granted, Pennsylvanians will be able to continue using their current form of state-issued identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings.
Offering residents a choice allows Pennsylvania to comply with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification.
Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill.
Hope for Cancer Patients
To give hope to patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer, the House passed a bill this week to ensure they have access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors without delay, no matter what their insurance typically covers.
Insurance companies currently have the ability to set average guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Current standard practice requires Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor.
House Bill 1280 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Helping Kids with Allergies
Legislation was signed into law recently that helps ensure the health and safety of students who suffer from severe allergic reactions.
Act 2 of 2017 provides civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who administer an epinephrine auto-injector, or epi-pen, to a student who experiences an allergic reaction.
Under the new law, a bus driver or crossing guard must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen. It does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met.
The new law will take effect before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year
A.B.A.T.E. Holds Rally in the Capitol
Supporters of motorcyclists’ rights held their 40th anniversary rally in the Main Capitol Rotunda on Monday. I was proud speak at the rally to encourage this enthusiastic group.
On Tuesday, the House voted to declare May 23, 2017, as Rosie the Riveter Day in Pennsylvania. This resolution is part of a nationwide effort to recognize this female icon and honor the millions of women who worked during World War II.
I had the pleasure of meeting Anna “Mae” Krier, one of the “Rosies,” (like my mother) who worked in factories and other areas to support the war effort. Thank you, Anna, and all of our women whose contributions on the homefront helped our men overseas! I am pictured with her and several women of the House.
Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights
On Monday, I joined with hundreds of Second Amendment supporters, including many from our area, and dozens of my colleagues in reaffirming our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and opposing attempts that seek to diminish these rights. In its 12th year, this year’s theme was Make the Second Amendment Great Again.
Remembering Our Heroes
Monday, May 29, is Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who have sacrificed their lives serving in our nation’s military.
Please consider joining me at one of the many local events that are planned in our community.
For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.
Traveling Over Memorial Day? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com
Travelers can log onto www.511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.
In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, for the holiday. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
Around Our Community
Several area high school students, who will be college bound this fall, were recently presented with checks for $500 each to help offset their expenses for books during their first semester on campus. The Rotary Club of Dallas has awarded many scholarships since the inception of the program.
Pictured with me are Rotary President-Elect Kimberlie Reynolds; Sara Reichold, Dallas; Emily Demko, Northwest; Kortnie Savage, Lake-Lehman; Rotary Treasurer Jerry Reisch; Corey McAndrew, Dallas; Noah Gorski, Lake-Lehman; and Brian Hardiman, Northwest. Rotarian John Doerfler was chairman of the scholarship program was absent for this photo.
Pictured with me at the Nicholson Fire Company fundraiser are fire company member, Albert Olive, and Fire Chief Glen Ball.
Daminen’s on the Lake, a restaurant in Harveys Lake, recently celebrated its grand opening. I am a proponent of small businesses and welcome new business into our district.
If You Owe Back Taxes, Amnesty Program Can Help
Pennsylvanians who owe state tax will soon have the option to pay those back taxes through a new tax amnesty program.
The program, which offers incentives to Pennsylvanians to settle their delinquent tax accounts, is expected to generate as much as $150 million in revenue for the Commonwealth. The program does not “forgive” taxes owed but instead waives penalties, collection and lien fees, and half of the interest owed.
All taxes owed to the Commonwealth administered by the Department of Revenue are eligible for the program. The delinquent taxes must have been owed as of Dec. 31, 2015. Any unpaid taxes, penalties and interest resulting from periods after Dec. 31, 2015, are not eligible for the program.
The amnesty period runs from April 21 to June 19, 2017. More information is available at www.revenue.pa.gov.