Jul. 12, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
PA is Saving for a Rainy Day 

A strong economy, combined with our efforts to stand up for taxpayers and against a series of tax hike proposals from Gov. Tom Wolf over the last four years, has resulted in a healthy investment of nearly $317 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The fund essentially serves as Pennsylvania’s savings account, available to help weather the next economic downturn without further burdening hard-working taxpayers.

Last year marked the first deposit in more than a decade. It totaled just $22 million. This year, lawmakers agreed during budget negotiations to deposit the full amount of the General Fund balance at the close of the 2018-19 fiscal year into the fund.
 
 
Wolf’s Voting Machine Funding Decision in Question

After vetoing a key election reform bill that would have also provided $90 million in funding to help counties replace their voting machines, the governor announced this week he would simply go around the Legislature and supply the funding unilaterally.

Leaders in both the House and Senate question the governor’s authority to take such action without legislative authorization.

The need for the funding was brought about by the governor’s decision to decertify every type of voting machine currently in use in the Commonwealth. It is estimated to cost $150 million to replace machines in all 67 counties, a significant burden on taxpayers across the state.

By vetoing the legislation, the governor is also robbing voters of other needed election improvements, including extending the deadline for submission of absentee ballots to ensure all votes count and creating a commission to manage the process for election machine decertification in the future.

Finally, the bill would have brought Pennsylvania in line with more than 40 other states by eliminating the “straight party” voting option, the measure most strongly opposed by the governor. The change could have opened the door to more minor party candidates and encouraged voters to cast their ballots for a person rather than a party.

I issued a statement critical of the governor’s actions. You can read it here.
 
 
Protecting You from Spoofers

Calls from telemarketers have long been an issue, but the situation becomes dangerous when scammers “spoof” calls. That’s when a call shows a different name or phone number than is actually associated with the caller. All too often it can result in recipients being tricked into sharing their personal information and scammed out of their hard-earned money.

Spoofing needs to be swiftly and aggressively addressed. Despite being illegal, these unwanted robocalls that appear to originate from local, often legitimate, numbers in order to deceive consumers are on the rise.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously supported a resolution urging Congress to grant additional authority to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop unwanted robocalls and spoofing, as well as to educate the public on how to report illegal calls. Spam calls are the most frequent complaint received by the FCC, and it’s time to do something about it.
 
 
New Law Improves Medication Convenience

Legislation recently signed into law allows consumers to synchronize the refilling of their prescriptions.

This will improve convenience for patients who take more than one medication and reduce the need for multiple trips to the pharmacy – namely senior citizens, busy families and those with limited transportation options.

Under Act 46 of 2019, consumers will be able to receive their prescription medications from a pharmacy on the same day each month. It prohibits an insurance company from denying coverage for a partial fill of a script in order to facilitate medication synchronization. Pennsylvania becomes the 36th state to have enacted or introduced similar legislation.
 
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Office Locations
Perry County Office, 18 West Main Street, PO Box 9. New Bloomfield PA 17068 | Tel: 717-582-8119
Cumberland County Office, 81 Walnut Bottom Road, P.O. Box 705, Shippensburg, PA 17257 | Tel: 717-477-0905
Room 105 , Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202086. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2086 | Tel: 717-783-1593
Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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