Jun. 23, 2017

The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
House Passes My Bill to Improve Agricultural Education

Legislation I am sponsoring that would deliver agricultural education more effectively in Pennsylvania was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives this week. House Bill 944 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

My bill would amend the Public School Code to create the Commission of Agricultural Education Excellence to assist in the development and implementation of agricultural education programming for K-12 schools. Currently, the departments of Education and Agriculture work in collaboration to provide such resources with the input of stakeholders from the agriculture and education communities. Under the bill, the stakeholder group would be replaced by the commission, which would consist of members with knowledge of agriculture and agricultural education, and have dual oversight by both agencies.

Our ultimate goal is to provide students with the best education possible in our public schools and give them the skills they need for a successful career in agriculture.
                
         
Governor to Sign Historic Animal Protection Bill

Gov. Tom Wolf says he will sign comprehensive legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate this week that would strengthen existing animal cruelty laws and make it easier to prosecute a person who knowingly mistreats, abuses or neglects an animal. I supported House Bill 1238 when it was approved by the House in April.

The measure came to be known as “Libre’s Law,” named after a Boston terrier puppy who was rescued from a Lancaster County farm last summer after suffering from severe neglect. Libre was a frequent visitor to the Capitol in recent months, lobbying on behalf of the bill.

The bill also would place limitations on the tethering of dogs outdoors, allow local district attorneys to decide the appointment of humane society police officers, and provide civil immunity to veterinarians or vet techs who report animal neglect, along with humane society police officers who investigate possible abuse cases.
                  
         
 
E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate

Legislation to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands was approved by the House and sent to the Senate this week. Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand.

House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen. This change would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients.
                  
         
REAL ID Extension to Allow Access Through October 2017

Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through Oct. 10, 2017, under an extension granted by the federal government. The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017.

According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. Learn more here.
       
         
Congratulations, Eagle Scout!

Congratulations to Joey Hestor of Duncannon, Perry County, for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He designed and constructed a fishing platform for his Eagle Scout project. We presented Joey with a House citation in recognition of his outstanding accomplishment at his Court of Honor ceremony last Sunday. He is the son of Donald and Janet Hestor, and a member of Troop 64 Duncannon.
                  
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