Jul. 19, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
New Tool for Saving Lives in Perry County

Three Perry County fire departments now have the equipment they need to save someone trapped in a grain bin. It’s called a rescue tube. The Landisburg Volunteer Fire Company received a grant from Nationwide Insurance and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety to purchase one.

Last Saturday, I joined firefighters from Landisburg, Blain and Shermans Dale for a demonstration of the device. The volunteers also took part in a training session.

It was my pleasure to write a letter in support of their grant application. In our rural area, this new tool could be a lifesaver and I commend these fire departments for their efforts to obtain it.


 
 
Spotted Lanternfly Updates Available

Are you interested in staying up-to-date on the latest developments related to the spotted lanternfly and the threat it poses to Pennsylvania's economy?

Then sign up for “The Spotted Lanternflyer,” an e-newsletter with information on the invasive insect and containment efforts from the PA and U.S. Departments of Agriculture, and the Penn State College of Ag Sciences.

Simply enter your email address here.  
 
 
House Leads to New Laws to Ensure Fairness, Justice

Working to ensure justice is served for victims of crime in the Commonwealth, several initiatives championed by the House aimed at improving the effectiveness and fairness of court proceedings were recently signed into law.

Recognizing that children and people with intellectual disabilities are often targeted as victims and may have more difficulty handling the trauma of testifying in court, two laws expand the situations in which out-of-court statements by victims or witnesses may be used in lieu of in-person testimony.

Act 31 of 2019 adds several different crimes – such as human trafficking, sexual abuse and related offenses – to the statute allowing out-of-court statements by children. Act 30 of 2019 extends the ability of the court to accept out-of-court statements made by people with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Other measures recently signed into law this week that address court proceedings include Act 23 of 2019, which ensures a victim is permitted to be present at any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses; and Act 24 of 2019, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up a victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.

Learn more about our victim protection initiatives here.  
 
 
New Law to Save Taxpayers Money

Working to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, the General Assembly passed a new law that will enable the Commonwealth to pay off state debt more quickly and save on interest costs.

Act 43 of 2019 will change the way state bonds are issued to accelerate the retirement of Pennsylvania’s General Obligation debt, reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of state-issued bonds, and help the Commonwealth improve its bond rating.

The law requires the principal for new issuances of state debt to be repaid in equal amounts over the term of the bond – usually 20 years – rather than front loading interest payments with lower principal payments that grow as the bonds mature.
 
 
Economic Outlook

Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue collections for June were $3 billion, which was $70 million more than the official estimate. The state ended the fiscal year with total revenues that were nearly $900 million higher than expected. Learn more here.
 
 
Staying Safe in Summer Heat and Humidity

It’s hot out there and the state Department of Health is offering tips to help stay cool and safe when the heat and humidity are high.

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing; limit outdoor activities to early morning or evening hours when temperatures are usually cooler; and pace yourself if you do need to be outdoors. When possible, stay indoors in air conditioning on hot days.

Staying hydrated is important, and health experts recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day, not waiting until you feel thirsty. Avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary beverages, and replace salt lost from perspiration by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the United States each year. Infants and young children, people age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions and those who must work outdoors are especially at risk for developing a heat-related illness.

Learn more here.
 
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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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