Senator Phillips-Hill E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • My Law Improving Health Care Outcomes Taking Shape
  • Report Details Plan to Maintain and Support PA’s Education System
  • Local Business Boosts Childhood Educational Opportunities
  • Hanover’s Newest Sweet Spot
  • Talking York County Farming with Secretary Redding
  • 2023 Accomplishments: Healthy and Safe Communities
  • Fishing and Boating Grants Available Now
  • Attracting and Retaining the Best Teachers
  • January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month
  • We’re From York County…
  • Tune In: This Week In PA

My Law Improving Health Care Outcomes Taking Shape  

In accordance with regulations set forth in Act 146 of 2022, Pennsylvanians who believe their insurer has wrongly denied a health insurance claim can now request a review of the decision to be completed by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

The denial can be for a service, treatment or item. An independent group of experienced doctors and health care professionals will review the case. If the review determines the request should have been covered, your health plan must do so. Independent review decisions are final and binding.

This law, that I was proud to author, also streamlined the prior authorization – when physicians and other health care providers must obtain advance approval from a health plan before services and treatment are rendered – and step therapy processes for medical treatment.

You can find more information on this law here.

Report Details Plan to Maintain and Support PA’s Education System

As I noted in my email update last week, Republican members of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which I co-chaired, shared a report updating the commonwealth’s funding formula for K-12 education as required by law.

The plan would provide greater budget stability for school districts, ensure students will receive at least the same amount as the current year’s historic budget allocations and seek to institute increased accountability for hard-earned tax dollars paying for public education.

There was a second report, which I could not support that calls for $7 billion in new spending, which is unsustainable without massive tax hikes.

To create a plan that benefits students while respecting the taxpayers who foot the bill, the members of the commission gathered testimony from more than 90 individuals at 14 public hearings and received more than 1,000 comments through the public website. Learn more.

Local Business Boosts Childhood Educational Opportunities

I am thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the York JCC on securing a substantial $25,000 donation through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. This generous contribution, courtesy of Rutter’s, is earmarked to enhance early childhood educational opportunities in Jacobus and York Township.

Rutter’s, through its commitment to community support, has made a significant impact on fostering education in the region. The state’s EITC program has proven instrumental in facilitating such contributions, and we applaud Rutter’s for their dedication to making a positive difference.

Our sincere gratitude goes out to Rutter’s and the entire York JCC team for its unwavering commitment to providing invaluable services that enrich and uplift our community. It’s heartening to witness the collective efforts that contribute to the betterment of educational opportunities for the young minds in Jacobus and York Township. Here’s to the continued growth and success of educational initiatives in our community!

Hanover’s Newest Sweet Spot

Hanover is buzzing with anticipation as they celebrate Dawg Gone Bees Apiary & Meadery on its grand opening in the heart of downtown Main Street.

Explore a delightful space adorned with the richness of local honey and immerse yourself in the artistry of handcrafted mead. You can even elevate your experience with the unique “Drink like a Viking” offering!

Head over to Dawg Gone Bees for a taste of something extraordinary! You can find photos from the event here.

Talking York County Farming with Secretary Redding 

As the curtains close on the 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Show, farming remains a continuous journey. In an insightful interview, I delved into crucial topics with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, focusing on issues vital to York County farmers:

  • Tackling challenges within the dairy industry and anticipating improvements through an upcoming bill.
  • Addressing concerns about farmland preservation amid high-voltage transmission line projects and a proposed pumped storage facility along the Susquehanna River (Susquehanna National Heritage Area).
  • Unveiling a new farming education program at York College of Pennsylvania aimed at shaping the next generation of farmers.

I’m delighted to announce that Secretary Redding will be the keynote speaker at my upcoming February breakfast event, where we’ll further engage with the agriculture community. Stay tuned for more details!

2023 Accomplishments: Healthy and Safe Communities

Families, not government, are the heart of our commonwealth. To empower families, we must provide healthy and safe communities.

In 2023, Senate Republicans passed a key health care measure that eliminated out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing of hereditary cancer syndromes and supplemental screenings for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. We also addressed crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensured Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.

Other new laws provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies and increase access to licensed addiction treatment programs for people facing substance use disorder.

Fishing and Boating Grants Available Now

Organizations that provide hands-on education for the recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of anglers and boaters in Pennsylvania have until March 1 to apply for grants.

Education programs play a role in R3 by providing experiences that increase fishing and boating knowledge and skills, facilitate social support, and provide information on fishing and boating opportunities close to home.

The funding must be used for eligible expenses for projects running approximately July 1 through June 30, 2025. Grants require at least a 25% match of total project costs.

Attracting and Retaining the Best Teachers 

As Senate Republicans work to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive a quality education that sets them up for future success, one focus is attracting and retaining great teachers.

A new law reduces barriers for teachers moving to Pennsylvania by entering the state into the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. Teachers with eligible certification in other compact states would not be required to complete additional materials, exams or coursework when applying for certification in Pennsylvania. They would still be required to complete background checks and other security clearances.

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

In recognition of January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Senate Majority Policy Committee recently held a hearing to help raise awareness about the complexities of human trafficking crime and to discuss strategies for prevention, victim support and the prosecution of traffickers. Law enforcement, policymakers and people on the front lines of raising awareness about and helping victims of human trafficking joined the conversation.

By way of force, fraud or coercion, human traffickers push their victims into sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. In 2021, 315 victims were identified in Pennsylvania. If you suspect human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or the ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.

The Senate also passed legislation I co-sponsored to ensure sexually exploited children who are human trafficking victims have full access to appropriate services and support. Act 39 of 2023 would ensure that third-party control is never a consideration for access to services and Senate Bill 45 would eliminate the third-party control requirement to access victim services under the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Notification Act.

We’re From York County…

Whether you’re a native or a newcomer, there’s something special about being from York County! In a lighthearted spirit, members of the York County delegation recently collaborated to showcase the unique elements that define our beloved community. You can find the video on my Instagram.

Tune In: This Week In PA  

Tune in on Sunday at 10 a.m. as I join Rep. Mike Sturla to discuss the work of the Basic Education Funding Commission with Dennis Owens on “This Week in Pennsylvania” on ABC-27.


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