Jun. 16, 2017

The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Making Motorcycle Processions Safer

Legislation I am sponsoring that would improve highway safety by affording certain rights to organized motorcycle processions was overwhelmingly approved by the House this week.

Under House Bill 831, such processions, which are often charity events, would have many of the same rights that funeral processions currently receive in Pennsylvania.

My legislation would bring these rides into compliance with the state Vehicle Code and make them safer for both the participants and other motorists. Among other things, organized motorcycle processions would be able to proceed through a red light or stop sign as a group and would be authorized to control and direct traffic as the procession passes through an intersection.

The bill will next be considered by the Senate.
                
         
CHIP Extension to Help More PA Kids

To help ensure children can access health care coverage, the House passed legislation to continue the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire on Dec. 31. More than 174,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP.

CHIP provides insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance. CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria.

House Bill 1388 received unanimous support in the House and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Learn more here.  
                  
         
Protecting Senior Eligibility for Prescription Coverage

About 12,000 senior citizens currently enrolled in the state’s prescription drug assistance programs would be able to keep their coverage thanks to legislation that passed the House recently.

House Bill 425 would prevent seniors from losing their eligibility for the PACE and PACENET programs due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by extending the COLA moratorium until Dec. 31, 2019. Without this legislation, a small Social Security COLA can make a senior ineligible for benefits.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
                  
         
Masons Day at the Capitol                                 
                                   
 
As the co-chairman of the House Masonic Caucus, I was honored to welcome Right Worshipful Grand Master Raymond T. Dietz (center) to the chamber on Tuesday.
            
         
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the state’s 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended to Dec. 31.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2016. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Complete eligibility information is available here.
                  
         
Congratulations, Eagle Scout!  

 
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of presenting a House citation to Wyatt Dayton Richard of New Bloomfield, Perry County, during his Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony.

Wyatt is a member of Troop 7 in Shermans Dale and the son of Eric and Mitzi Richard.

For his Eagle Scout project, he installed a flagpole and base at Valley Road Park in Carroll Township.
                  
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