Senate Approves Legislation to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis
More than two years ago, the Senate recognized that opioid and heroin use is a statewide and national epidemic impacting residents of every age, race,
gender and socioeconomic background, and began to study this issue through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
Legislation currently under consideration in the House and Senate is a direct
result of the work done by the Center.
Last week, the Senate also unanimously approved three measures aimed to address the state’s growing opioid addiction crisis, adding to bills already
approved by the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1367 would limit the amount of opioids that may be prescribed for minors. The bill includes exceptions for cases involving chronic pain,
cancer treatment or for palliative care or hospice care.
Senate Bill 1368
would implement Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in all of Pennsylvania’s medical schools.
Senate Bill 1212
would establish the School Aged Children Opioid Awareness Education Program.
The Senate Republic Caucus is holding a series of Telephone Town Halls in an effort to raise awareness and gain additional insights into how to best fight
this epidemic. The next one will be held at 6:30 p.m. October 17, 2016. Visit
http://www.acommonwealthcrisis.com/ for more information and to sign up.
Locally, the Centre County HOPE Initiative will be having their third town hall meeting at 7 p.m. October 11, 2016, to take a closer look at the opioid
crisis in Centre County. Visit their Facebook page for more details:
Senate Passes Budget Reform Legislation
The Pennsylvania Senate passed
Senate Bill 1341, which I support, to help eliminate wasteful government spending in Pennsylvania.
SB 1341, also known as Performance Based Budgeting, seeks to streamline and justify discretionary and state government spending by requiring departments
and agencies to justify their budget requests for all existing, as well as proposed programs, for each fiscal year. This would allow the legislature and
the Governor to properly budget for Pennsylvania state agencies.
State Grant Awarded to Construct Health Care Center
A $3 million state grant has been awarded Primary Health Network to build a federally Qualified Health Center in Derry Township, Mifflin County, to better
serve the health needs of area residents.
The grant is funded through the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), which provides funds for community and economic development projects
throughout the state. It is expected to create 75 jobs.
The health center will coordinate services with specialists, organizations and social service agencies to health care consumers, and house regional
offices. This funding is crucial to jobs, economic development and improved health care services. I’m pleased that as a result of this grant, we will be
better positioned to meet the needs of patients here in Lewistown and surrounding areas.
Libre’s Law Rally Supports Efforts to Fight Animal Cruelty
During a rally at the State Capitol Building I had an opportunity to meet Libre, a 4-month-old Boston terrier who was rescued in July from a Lancaster
County farm after suffering from weeks of severe neglect. The rally was in support of Libre’s Law, legislation to help prevent animal cruelty in
Senate Bill 1372, would change the existing statute pertaining to animal cruelty to bring Pennsylvania in line with the majority of other states in the country by
increasing penalties for certain crimes against animals. It also adds a new classification for offenders who cause the death or serious bodily injury of an
animal. Violators could be found guilty of a third-degree felony.
Special License Plate for Military Members Sent to Governor
The Senate gave final approval on Monday to a bill I’m co-sponsoring that recognizes and honors Pennsylvania’s military personnel and sent the measure to
the Governor for enactment into law.
Senate Bill 1155
establishes a special vehicle license plate for members of the United States Armed Forces adding special recognition for current members of the military,
reserves, and Pennsylvania National Guard. This would be in addition to the currently available license plates with special recognition for World War II
veterans, Purple Heart recipients and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans.
Babe Ruth Baseball 13-year-old World Series champions Mifflin County joined me at the State Capitol where they were honored for their victory this summer.
Congratulations to this great group of players, their coaches and families for this outstanding achievement.