|CHIP Extension to Help More PA Kids
To help ensure children can access health care coverage, the House recently passed legislation to continue the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire on Dec. 31.
CHIP provides insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance. CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria.
House Bill 1388 received unanimous support in the House and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
More than 174,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP. Information about the program is available at www.CHIPCoversPAKids.com.
Protecting Senior Eligibility for Prescription Coverage
About 12,000 senior citizens currently enrolled in the state’s prescription drug assistance programs would be able to keep their coverage thanks to legislation that passed the House recently.
House Bill 426 would prevent seniors from losing their eligibility for PACE and PACENET programs due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by extending the COLA moratorium until Dec. 31, 2019. Without this legislation, a small Social Security COLA can make a senior ineligible for benefits.
The state’s PACE and PACENET programs provide prescription drug assistance to about 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors. A 2015 state law allowed seniors previously eligible to not lose their PACE and PACENET benefits due to a Social Security COLA. However, this law sunsets in December.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Pay Turnpike Fines During Amnesty; Avoid Fees, Suspension
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is offering a partial amnesty program to enable Pennsylvania motorists to pay all unpaid turnpike tolls, violations or invoices before a new law takes effect that would suspend vehicle registrations for such violations.
Act 165 of 2016 allows the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to request the PA Department of Transportation to suspend the vehicle registration of any Pennsylvania motorist who has six or more unpaid turnpike violations, and/or unpaid invoices totaling $500 or more.
Enforcement of the new suspension rule would take effect on Aug. 4. Until then, toll violations that have not been placed with a collection agency may be settled by paying in full all tolls for any violations or invoices, and all administrative fees will be waived.
For more information, visit www.PATurnpike.com/violationenforcement.
Adult Adoptees Can Now Request Birth Certificates
To help connect adult adoptees with their original birth information, they can now apply for that record from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Act 127 of 2016 allows adult adoptees, those over the age of 18, to access their original birth information.
Currently, the department is offering an early acceptance period, and applications will not be processed until after Nov. 3. Submitting during this early acceptance period will allow applicants to receive a noncertified copy of the original birth record by Dec. 18. Submitting an applications after Nov. 3 will require 45 days for processing.
The application for an original birth certificate is available here.
This law will help make it easier for adoptees to prove one’s identity, especially if obtaining other forms of identification, such as a passport.
Around Our Community
Boy Scouts from Troop 281 participated in the flag burning ceremony at the Dallas American Legion this week.
Boy Scouts from Troop 281 placed American flags on cemeteries in the Back Mountain area for Memorial Day. Pictured with me are the Boy Scouts at the Chapel Lawn Cemetery in Dallas.
Cordelia Braun, from Blue Chip Animal Refuge in Dallas, attended last week’s Dallas Rotary Club meeting. Pictured with me are Cordelia and Jason Jolley.
On Thursday, I presented a House Resolution 386 declaring Thursday, June 15, as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. Elder abuse comes in many forms including physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, neglect of care, abandonment, and becoming more common, financial exploitation. If you suspect a situation involving elder abuse, report it. Speakers at the resolution presentation included Dave Petri, Luzerne County Manager; Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George; Luzerne County District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis; former state Rep. Phyllis Mundy; and Elder Abuse Task Force Chairwoman Annette Grella. Also pictured are members of the Luzerne/Wyoming County Elder Abuse Task Force.
Sign Up to Receive Our Upcoming Sportsmen’s Newsletter!
In an effort to share information, legislative updates and useful material from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, I will be creating a sportsmen’s newsletter for outdoor and hunting/fishing enthusiasts in the 117th Legislative District. To sign up to receive this newsletter, please visit www.RepBoback.com or call my Tunkhannock office at 570- 836-4777.
Pennsylvania’s Dog Law
This is the second in a four-part series on Pennsylvania’s Dog Law. Check back next week for the third installation of the series.
When a dog attacks, the victim, a state dog warden or a police officer may file a complaint with a magisterial district justice to have the owner charged with harboring a dangerous dog. Once the dog is deemed dangerous, the owner has strict responsibilities. To learn more, visit http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Protect/DogLaw/Dangerous%20Dogs/Pages/default.aspx
Around the Capitol
Pictured with me are Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne), Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) and Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny). We are the leaders of the bipartisan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Pictured with me are Rep. Mike Carroll and Maddie Lewis, who served as a guest page on the House floor.