In this update:
Committee passes my legislation: Allowing EMS to leave lifesaving drug with caregivers
Earlier this week, the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee unanimously approved my legislation to allow first responders to best address overdose calls.
Senate Bill 81 permits EMS providers to leave a dose package of life-saving Naloxone, or Narcan, with the on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids and was revived by the emergency medical technician.
The committee has done a lot of work highlighting the challenges our first responders are facing and with the passage of this bill, we can address two major challenges impacting our state. I was pleased that the bill was unanimously approved by the committee!
You can find more information on this initiative here.
Senate passes bill to protect newborns
The Senate unanimously passed legislation to protect babies whose parents are unable to care for them. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 267 would expand Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law to allow parents to surrender their unharmed baby at participating urgent care centers. The urgent care centers will ensure the newborn is transported to a hospital and placed in the care of a health care provider.
Currently, people may bring their newborn (up to 28 days old) to any Pennsylvania hospital, to a police officer at a police station or to an emergency services provider at an EMS station. The Department of Health estimates that 50 babies have been saved by Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law since 2003.
Increasing accountability and disaster response capability
Legislation requiring Senate confirmation of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) director was approved by a bipartisan Senate vote. Senate Bill 433 would increase accountability and ensure the agency is prepared to deal with emergencies efficiently and effectively.
PEMA is the lead emergency coordination agency in the commonwealth tasked with guaranteeing the safety of 13 million residents. This includes oversight of 911 centers and the Emergency Alert System, as well as hazardous materials and incidents involving five nuclear power plants.
Five state agencies with fewer employees than PEMA require Senate confirmation. The bill is before the House of Representatives for consideration.
Your voice being heard on daylight saving vs. standard time
I conducted a legislative survey last session regarding the issue of changing our clocks twice a year. The majority of individuals who participated in my survey said they prefer permanent daylight saving time.
This week, I voted in favor of a resolution in committee sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin that would urge Congress to make daylight saving time permanent and eliminate the practice of twice-yearly time changes.
You can learn more here.
Senate votes to protect seniors from financial exploitation
The Senate approved a bill to help protect Pennsylvania senior citizens from financial exploitation scams using information that is already available within state government.
Under Senate Bill 137, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General would notify the Department of Aging about any investigations or enforcement actions involving someone age 65 or older and related to the Pennsylvania Telemarketer Registration Act.
The improved information sharing would enable the Department of Aging to deliver warnings to local area agencies on aging in counties across the commonwealth while ensuring strict adherence to confidentiality rules.
Senate Bill 137 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Celebrating Earth Day with Girl Scout Troop 20840
I had a wonderful time celebrating Earth Day with Fawn Grove Girl Scout Troop 20840. I applaud their leadership in putting together the Fawn Grove Earth Day Celebration!
They cleaned up the Fawn Grove Olde Tyme Days’ grounds, planted a beautiful tree with help from several local businesses, created opportunities for recycling and trash disposal for local residents, and honored Ed Lowe for his dedicated service to the community with his tireless work to keep the park well maintained.
Broadband grant program opens May 10
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which I am a member of, recently approved the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program which will provide $200 million in funding to businesses, nonprofits, local governments and economic development organizations.
This program will fund line extension and development projects, as well as large-scale regional infrastructure projects. Upon completion, projects must deliver service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 Megabits per second, with prioritization being given to fiber-optic deployment.
The application period will begin May 10 and will close July 10. View program guidelines here.
I shared the latest update from the authority during the inaugural Pennsylvania Broadband Summit on Thursday in Lancaster. You can read more about my update here.
Free tick testing for all Pennsylvanians
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of Lyme disease cases. As we continue to fight Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the commonwealth, East Stroudsburg University offers a valuable resource for all Pennsylvanians.
The university has a tick lab, which provides free testing on ticks for harmful diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and more. Send a tick sample to the lab and receive the test results that are often necessary evidence for doctors to treat you and increase your chance of staying healthy.
This week, the Senate passed a bill to require school officials to notify a student’s parents or guardian if a tick is removed from them at school and inform them of the symptoms of Lyme disease. The bill also calls for schools to provide the tick to parents or guardians if they would like to send it to the lab for testing.
To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible and then pull upward with a steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking as this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
For more information about tick-borne diseases or how to submit a tick for testing here.
York Tech Spartans at the Capitol
The Capitol hosted students from career and technical schools from all across the Commonwealth this week as part of Technical School Education Day. It was great to catch up with students and Mr. Scott Rogers from the York County School of Technology!
Call before you dig
As the weather improves, more people are doing outdoor projects. To stay safe during your excavation project and avoid hitting an underground utility line, call PA One Call by dialing 8-1-1 before you dig.
State law requires contractors and residents to contact PA One Call at least three days prior to excavation. This minimizes risk to the contractors or homeowners who are doing the digging; to utility workers and emergency responders who are mobilized to deal with the damage; and to bystanders who live, work or travel near the locations of the incidents.
Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system, while out-of-state residents or businesses can call 1-800-242-1776. Learn more here.
ICYMI: Talking fiscal stewardship with Treasurer Garrity
Last week, I shared with you my latest podcast episode with our state treasurer, Stacy Garrity.
We discussed her thoughts on the state budget, Treasury’s move to ban TikTok on its devices and networks, the importance of checking to see if Pennsylvanians have unclaimed property and more.
You can also catch my conversation with Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, who provided advice on how taxpayers can be fiscal watchdogs – LISTEN HERE.
Local job openings
Upcoming PennDOT maintenance projects
You can view PennDOT’s list of scheduled maintenance projects for next week below. If you have trouble viewing the schedule, please click here.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes on Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. Follow me on Twitter for all of the latest updates on session convening times. You can watch all of the Senate votes and view our agenda here.