Jun. 02, 2017

The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Strengthening Penalties for DUI
       
To help keep repeat offenders of driving under the influence off the road, the House passed legislation recently to strengthen penalties for those who have been convicted of DUI and continue to operate a vehicle under a suspended driver’s license.

Currently, anyone convicted of a DUI who then operates a vehicle despite their driver’s license suspension currently faces the same penalty – a $500 fine and 60-90 days in jail – no matter how many times they get behind the wheel.

House Bill 1049 would create a tiered system that increases the fines and sentences with each subsequent offense. Those sentence enhancements would range from a $1,000 fine and a minimum 90-day jail term for a second offense, to a $5,000 fine and no less than two years in jail for a fourth offense. In addition, the legislation would allow a judge to impose a maximum five-year jail sentence if the offender is also convicted of homicide by vehicle.

The bill is now with the state Senate.
                
         
Hope for Cancer Patients

To give hope to patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer, the House recently passed a bill to ensure they have access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors without delay, no matter what their insurance typically covers.

Insurance companies currently have the ability to set average guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Current standard practice requires Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor.

House Bill 1280 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
                  
               
New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
                       
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year.

The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of classes or the students will be excluded from school. Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements.

If a student is in the middle of an immunization series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school.

For more information, contact your health care provider, visit www.health.pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
                   
         
Thanks for the Visit
              
Students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine stopped by my Capitol office last week. From left are Emily Griswold, who is a constituent of mine from Perry County, Amy Kraus and Grace Nebzydoski.
                  
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