Sep. 13, 2019

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 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
Committee Highlights Tick-Borne Diseases, Tick Testing

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

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 www.ticklab.org.
                                     
 
Raising Awareness of FASD

On Monday, I spoke at a Capitol news conference to promote House Resolution 448, legislation I am co-sponsoring that designates September as “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. As chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, I know full well that exposure to alcohol in the womb can cause physical and behavioral issues for a child. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are preventable, yet much work remains to educate the public about the health risks involved.

Click here to view video. 
                                     
 
 
Federal Loans Available to Flooding Victims

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses and private nonprofit organizations located in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties as a result of heavy rain and flooding that occurred from July 2018 through February 2019.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.61% for small businesses and 2.5% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

The deadline to submit loan applications to SBA is April 29, 2020. Learn more here.
 
 
Free Naloxone Available at Health Centers Sept. 18, 25

In ongoing efforts to prevent opioid overdose deaths, free naloxone will be available at 95 locations across the state later this month to any Pennsylvania resident who wants it to help save lives.

Distributions will primarily take place at state health centers and county or municipal health departments on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or while supplies last. For specific locations and hours, click here.
 
 
Bringing the World to NEPA

On Tuesday, I attended the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Alliance’s 22nd Annual “Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania” event. Fifteen of the state's authorized trade representatives from around the world met with folks from more than 30 regional businesses, colleges and universities. The goal of the event is to connect local businesses with Pennsylvania’s export network and the international business services available through the NEPA Alliance and the Commonwealth. Trade representatives are private, in-market business consultants contracted by the state to help Pennsylvania businesses export, free of charge.
 
 
Economic Update

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue collections for August were $2.27 billion, which was $27 million more than the official estimate. So far this fiscal year, General Fund collections have totaled $4.5 billion, which is $26 million or more than expected. Learn more here.
 
 
Take Advantage of These Outreach Services!

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, a member of my staff will be holding satellite office hours from 9-11 a.m. at the Benton Township Community Center, located at 16043 Route 407, Fleetville.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, an outreach specialist for disabled veterans will be available from 1-4 p.m. at my district office in Dallas.

Also please note, VFW outreach has been canceled this week at my district office in Dallas.
 
 
Happy Retirement!

Jim Neary, deputy director of the Wyoming County Probation Department, retired recently after 31 years there. It was my pleasure to present him with a House citation that recognized his service to the county.
 
 
Out and About

I was happy to take part in the opening ceremony for the Luzerne County Fair last week. Hope you had a chance to enjoy all the fun!

It was great to be part of the inaugural Fleetville Fall Fair last Saturday. Hundreds of neighbors and friends enjoyed the celebration.

Once again, Our Lady of the Abingtons Church in Dalton celebrated another successful picnic.

 
Nicholson Bridge Day is a wonderful community celebration of one of the “Engineering Wonders of the World.” I had a good time at last Sunday’s annual event.
 
 
Attention Students!

Seventh- and eighth-grade students are invited to participate in an art/essay contest that focuses on our veterans. The following three themes can be represented as either a drawing or an essay. The themes are: “What the word veteran means to me,” “A veteran in my life,” and “How veterans help me.”

Entries may be mailed to one of my district offices or hand delivered between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (The addresses are at the bottom of this email.) All entries must be received by Monday, Oct. 21.

Entries will be judged by my Veterans Advisory Committee. Winners and their parents will be invited to attend our annual veterans event, on Saturday Nov. 2, at Insalaco Hall on the campus of Misericordia University, where they will be recognized. All entries will remain on display until Veterans Day.

Students should call one of our offices for more information (Dallas: 570-675-6000 or Tunkhannock: 570-836-4777).
 
 
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 votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee, 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. Learn more here.
 

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Office Locations
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com
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