Jan. 04, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Farm Show Week is Here!

Pennsylvania’s annual celebration of agriculture gets underway Saturday in Harrisburg and runs through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

As I do every year, I will be taking part in the Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving Contest, which benefits the Farm Show Scholarship Foundation.

Some of the more popular attractions are the sheep-to-shawl contest, tractor square dancing and the celebrity cow milking competition. Of course, the food court, which features delicious Pennsylvania-grown items, is always a huge hit. Learn more at www.farmshow.pa.gov.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

If you’re participating in or attending the Farm Show, take your camera or phone along and snap some photos, then share them on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #PAFS19.

Click here to view video. 
Ready to Get to Work in New House Session

On Tuesday, I joined my House colleagues in taking the oath of office for the 2019-20 Legislative Session. The House is now comprised of 110 Republicans and 91 Democrats, including 43 first-term members. There are two vacancies.

On swearing-in day, the House also unanimously selected Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) as speaker of the House for the third consecutive session. The day also included certification of election results and adoption of rules that will govern the chamber.

I am honored to represent you and will continue working hard as your voice in Harrisburg.

Also this week, I was appointed by the Speaker to be majority chairman of the House Commerce Committee for the new session.

I am pleased to be named to lead this important committee, which focuses on business, finance and economic development here in Pennsylvania. The Commerce Committee also works on issues affecting consumers, ranging from complaints related to loans and credit cards to problems with cemeteries.

In addition, the Speaker named me vice-chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders

A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.

Under Act 153 of 2018, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense. The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.

Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
Wipe the Slate Clean

A new law that seals the records of Pennsylvanians with certain low-level offenses is now in effect. To find out if someone is eligible to take part, visit www.mycleanslatepa.com.

Act 56 of 2018, or the Clean Slate Law, allows records of second- and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions to be automatically sealed after a 10-year period without subsequent offenses.
Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services

Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.

The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.
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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 108 , Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202086. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2086 | Tel: 717-783-1593
Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614