In this update:
Governor signs my bill as Act 8 of 2020, addresses opioid oversight challenges
In response to the statewide opioid crisis in 2014, the state created the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP, which allows prescribers, dispensers and the state’s Attorney General to monitor filled prescriptions for controlled substances.
On Wednesday, Governor Wolf signed into law a bill I wrote to build on the PDMP by allowing Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, or MCOs, to have access to the program. The new law will help identify individuals at risk of addiction, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars by reducing fraud and addiction as well as the need for recovery and rehabilitation.
Under the new law, MCOs would be required to notify both the Attorney General and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services if a controlled substance is believed to be prescribed or dispensed fraudulently.
You can learn more about this new tool here.
Survey shows opposition to reinstating vehicle registration stickers
My latest legislative survey asked you – the citizens of the 28th Senatorial District – where you stand on a legislative proposal working its way through the Senate.
Senate Bill 954 would bring back the vehicle registration stickers that were eliminated under Act 89 of 2014. Act 89 was signed into law prior to my tenure in the General Assembly. The stickers, which were placed in the corner of the license plate, were eliminated in 2017.
Now there is an effort to reinstate those stickers due to the challenge of identifying unregistered vehicles by law enforcement and a decline in the number of vehicle registrations statewide.
I wanted to hear what you thought about this proposal and am grateful for everyone who participated in this latest survey. Here are the results:
A total of 278 individuals participated with 90 supportive of the measure; 152 opposed to the measure and 36 undecided.
To date, I have received 312 inquiries on this specific bill, including the survey results. The total response has been 34 percent in support; 54 percent against and 13 percent undecided.
As with any issue, I will continue to listen to both sides of the issue and will review the most up-to-date information when the vote is called. Please feel free to let me know where you stand on the issue if you were unable to take this survey. Simply respond to this email and let me know!
State budget hearings to start on Tuesday – what you need to know
Earlier this month, the governor unveiled his spending plan for the upcoming 2020-2021 Fiscal Year. I expressed my concerns to you in an earlier email update (If you missed that, you can read it here.)
Starting on Tuesday, February 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold three weeks of public hearings on the state budget.
Below is the schedule for our first week.
I will provide updates in my weekly email over the next three weeks. After all, it’s your money and you have a right to know what is said about your tax dollars, and how those dollars are spent and utilized.
Upcoming telephone town hall to answer your questions on state budget, legislative matters
Mark your calendar!
I am hosting a telephone town hall event on Monday, March 2 from 6 – 7 p.m. To ensure you get a call, sign up on my website.
During the call, I will ask questions about important state matters to gauge your feedback and share those results in real time. This is a great way to hear from our neighbors from the comfort of your own home. I am really looking forward to it!
Newly formed Alliance Fire and Rescue starts serving communities
It was an honor to attend the swearing-in ceremony for officers and board members of the newly formed Alliance Fire and Rescue Services, Inc., or AFRS.
AFRS is the result of the merger of Union Volunteer Fire Company of Felton and Leo Independent Engine Company #1 of Red Lion.
As AFRS President Dick Sterner said, “We are excited about this merger – we believe we will be stronger, better, and more able to meet the needs of the communities we serve long term.”
I could not agree more!
Many thanks to the York County Fiddler’s Association for the generous donation of your facility and grounds to AFRS ensuring the future financial success of this endeavor.
$5K donation in action – teaching elementary students valuable coding skills
Last year, I was humbled to earn the William Howard Day award from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. As part of the award, I received a $5,000 donation to provide to an educational program within the 28th Senatorial District.
I recently presented the check to those who are part of the Computer Science for All (CS4ALL) consortium. (Learn more about that donation here.)
One of the teachers who has been so instrumental in the program sent me a few photos to show that donation in action. CS4ALL purchased Bee Bots, which are tools students at Stewartstown Elementary are using to learn coding skills as part of their STEAM lessons.
Check out some of the photos below – I am really excited to see this firsthand!
Junior Girl Scouts Troop 20472 visits office
On Wednesday evening, I was fortunate to host Junior Girl Scouts at our district office, where they interviewed me about my job as a state senator.
Their visit is part of their aMuse Journey where they learn about the many roles women have in our community and around the world.
Thank you to the young ladies and their parents for the visit!
Property Tax/Rent Rebate program applications now available with mobile workshops
Our office received this year’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications and are happy to assist local residents with their applications.
In fact, I am teaming up with our state representatives to host events throughout York County to better assist those who utilize this program, which provides rebates on property taxes or rent paid by senior citizens and disabled individuals in 2019. In order to be eligible, applicants must meet certain income requirements and be a Pennsylvania resident 65 years of age or older, a widow or widower age 50 or older, or a permanently disabled individual age 18 or older.
To see the eligibility requirements, please visit my website for more information.
In addition to our district office and mobile offices, below are the dates, times and locations we will be offering assistance with applications.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Fortress Academy will provides new opportunities for local students
Coding skills, as mentioned earlier, are becoming the norm in our high-tech society. On Monday, I attended the Fortress Academy’s groundbreaking celebration. This tech academy has been in the works for more than four years and the final phase of construction is now underway.
The Academy is made possible by York Exponential and the York YMCA. Their collaboration will allow York County students of all ages to learn important coding skills, artificial intelligence and so much more!
We are really excited to see the York Plan 2.0 in action!
Fox43 story shows that human trafficking is a southcentral PA problem
The first law of 2020 was one that I worked on with Representative Seth Grove (R-York) to target the demand of human trafficking. Over the last few years, there has been a concerted effort to address this growing problem in our Commonwealth and country.
We have found that while the penalties were meant to deter human trafficking, they were not effective. Rep. Grove and I said we should target the demand – the people who use the services of trafficked victims – if we want to address the problem.
Some individuals reached out to me to ask why I would “waste my time” on this issue. I realize that human trafficking is not something we experience in our daily lives, but it is happening right in our own community. Fox 43 put together this insightful piece, which even features Ana, a human trafficking victim who was recruited at the age of 17 when she was homeless.
Please take a few minutes and watch this story on human trafficking and how it is a problem that is only continuing to grow.
I hope that Act 1 of 2020 – the Buyer Beware Act – puts a dent in this growing problem that is claiming the lives of many young people throughout our state and, as the story points out, in our own region.
Career day at York Suburban High School
On Thursday morning, I served as a presenter at York Suburban Senior High School’s first ever College & Career Fair to educate students about careers and opportunities in public service.
I walked the students through my four key duties as a legislator: meeting with local citizens, responding to correspondence on issues and state matters, working on legislation and votes in Harrisburg, and my work as chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee.
It was great to see so many people, including Magisterial District Judge Jennifer Patton Clancy, sharing their knowledge, expertise and passion for what they do with the students!
Mobile Office in Manchester Township this upcoming Thursday (Feb. 20)
On Thursday, February 20 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., our office will be in Manchester Township as part of our ongoing commitment to make your state Senate more accessible to you. More details can be found here.
I-83 Northbound to be restricted to single lane on Monday + upcoming maintenance schedule
PennDOT announced that starting on Monday, February 17 at 9 a.m. through Tuesday, February 18 at 5 a.m., its contractor will restrict northbound Interstate 83 to a single lane at Exit 4 to set five new bridge beams on the northbound I-83 bridge over Route 851 at the Exit 4 interchange.
You can learn more about this project here.
You can also view next week’s maintenance schedule below.
Office closed on Monday for Presidents Day
Our Senate offices will be closed on Monday, February 17 in observance of Presidents Day. We will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, February 18.