In this update:
Responding to the York Dispatch editorial
I co-wrote an op-ed with Sens. Ryan Aument and Scott Martin and Rep. Dawn Keefer to refute the deceptive accusations from a recent York Dispatch editorial regarding our legislation: the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and the Empowering Families in Education Act.
We wrote, “You’ll notice the editorial made only vague accusations without citing examples. There’s a reason for that: examples of actual bigotry from us do not exist anywhere except the imagination of The York Dispatch editorial board.”
Public opinion polling also agrees with both of these measures.
Major advancement of significant health care legislation in Senate
The Senate unanimously approved an amendment I authored that would improve the prior authorization process. This is a major step forward to improving patient health care outcomes, strengthening the relationship between patients and providers, and streamlining the prior authorization process from a time standpoint. The bill will likely receive its final approval during a Senate vote next week.
You can read more background on this legislation here.
Bills to limit exposure of sexually explicit content in PA schools approved by Senate committee
Two bills that would give parents a voice in discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in Pennsylvania schools advanced out of the Senate Education Committee.
Senate Bill 1277 would require districts to identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum and materials and notify parents that their child’s coursework includes such content. Senate Bill 1278 would prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students, consistent with the timeline for when the existing academic standards on general sex education begins in sixth grade.
The proposals are in response to concerns of parents that age-inappropriate conversations about these sensitive topics are occurring prematurely and without parental knowledge in elementary school classrooms around the state.
Information about what Senate Bill 1278 does and does not do, examples of situations that concerned parents have reported from classrooms around the state and other important information can be found here.
Legislation preparing students for tomorrow’s jobs approved by Senate
The Senate approved legislation to improve workforce development initiatives and better prepare Pennsylvania students for jobs that will be in demand after they graduate.
House Bill 723 would bring state law in compliance with the federal requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by updating state and local workforce development board membership requirements and making other changes. The state and federal acts work in concert to help train individuals for family sustaining jobs.
This bill also requires the state Department of Labor and Industry to collect data on emerging and projected future employment sectors in Pennsylvania and send it to educational institutions. Schools would be required to use the information to develop career education programs and for providing career guidance to students. The amended bill will return to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate acts to reduce PA Lyme disease cases
With Pennsylvania leading the nation in the incidence of Lyme disease, the Senate approved legislation to require insurance coverage for testing and treatment and raise awareness of tickborne diseases.
Senate Bill 1188 also requires the Department of Health to work with the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at East Stroudsburg University to develop an electronic database to better track possible cases and provide access to the latest research. The measure will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing the persistent symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Left untreated or improperly treated, Lyme disease can lead to debilitating symptoms, which include fevers, arthritis, joint aches and more. If treated within the first 30 days, 10% or fewer patients will progress to severe symptoms.
Keystone Boys State visits Capitol as part of weeklong program
Keystone Boys State returned this week after COVID-19 challenges, and I had the privilege of meeting with several bright young men from York County as part of their weeklong program. Thank you to the American Legion for sponsoring this event that helps these boys develop leadership skills, gain civics experience, and have the opportunity to earn scholarships.
It was great to see Eric Mueller, Commander for the Aust L. Grove American Legion Post 403, along with Caleb Eyler, Max Trimmer, Lucca Vito and Richard Flynn, who are participating in this week’s program.
Bill to curb welfare abuse passed by Senate
A bill to halt wasteful spending in the Medical Assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs was approved by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 1124 requires the Department of Human Services to check death certificates with the Bureau of Vital Statistics so that the payments can be halted immediately when a recipient’s death is recorded.
An audit by former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale found that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services paid benefits to 2,324 dead people. In one case, $800 in benefits intended for a woman who passed away was used by another individual for a shopping spree.
Rev. Daniel Moore serves as Senate guest chaplain
I appreciated Rev. Daniel Moore of Guinston Presbyterian Church in Airville for opening Wednesday’s Senate session in a word of prayer! Rev. Moore was accompanied by his daughters, Tamsin, Marilla and Cora, during the visit. They attended a committee meeting with me and toured the Capitol following session.
You can watch Rev. Moore’s opening prayer here.
Hosting guest shadow, Bryan Caraballo
Bryan Caraballo joined me this week to shadow me for the day. This is Bryan’s second time shadowing me for the day. He has a very strong interest in our political system, and it was an honor to have him join me as a job shadow in Harrisburg. Bryan is a rising senior at Dallastown Area High School and has a bright future ahead of him.
Older mobile phone services shutting down
Mobile carriers are shutting down 3G and other older services to make room for 5G and other more advanced network services.
The Federal Communications Commission says T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS and Sprint 4G LTE services will be shut down by the end of June and Verizon’s 3G by Dec. 31.
If your device uses the 3G wireless spectrum, you will not be able to make 911 calls on the device after the 3G phase out occurs. In addition to older mobile devices, some home security systems, life/medical alert systems, vehicle SOS services, and other tablets that rely on 3G are also impacted. More information and help can be found here.
Celebrating Dairy Month in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is second only to Wisconsin in the number of dairy farms in America, with 5,200 throughout the state. York County has the second highest number of farms in Pennsylvania, only behind our neighbors in Lancaster County.
The commonwealth’s 474,000 cows produce more than 10 billion pounds of milk annually.
Pennsylvania dairy production is critical to our commonwealth and nation and keeping it strong is a top priority.
Please take a moment and weigh in on a very important topic: what is your favorite ice cream place in York County? Let me know here.
Subscribe to my podcast “Kristin’s Corner” to learn about possible changes to our fireworks laws
Rep. Frank Farry is a volunteer fire chief in Bucks County and the author of legislation that would increase penalties on consumer fireworks, as well as limit days and hours of when these fireworks could be set off throughout the year.
He will sit down with me for my upcoming podcast episode, which will be released next week. If you are interested, please subscribe as I receive a lot of complaints about fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
Subscribe to my podcast on your favorite platform below:
You can learn more and listen to my prior podcast episodes here.
Local job postings
The YCEA will also hold a job fair on Thursday, July 14, from 12 – 4 p.m. You can get more information here.
Upcoming PennDOT project in New Salem Borough
Weather permitting, PennDOT will resurface Route 616 (Main Street) in New Salem Borough, starting Monday, June 27. More information can be found here.
The Senate of Pennsylvania will convene on Monday, June 27, at 1 p.m. You can watch all of the Senate votes and view our agenda here.
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