Mar. 29, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Working on #GoodJobs4PA

As chairman of the House Commerce Committee, I led a meeting Tuesday at the Capitol at which we were updated on the state’s workforce development programs. The information received from officials with the Department of Community and Economic Development will be a big help as we move forward on the #GoodJobs4PA initiative.

The #GoodJobs4PA workforce development bills are on their way to the Senate after last week’s passage in the House. I stood with other supporters at a Capitol news conference on Monday along with a great group of students from Dauphin County Technical School, who will benefit if the bills are signed into law. Our legislation would make it possible for more Pennsylvanians to access high quality training and find good-paying, family-sustaining careers. Learn more here.
 
 
Keeping Vaping Products Out of the Hands of Minors

To help keep harmful vaping products out of the hands of minors, the House this week passed legislation that would add “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the law that currently makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to possess or use such products on school grounds. ENDS include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes, JUULs and vape pens.

While the products are touted as harmless by some, medical experts have warned that the high doses of nicotine available in many products negatively affect the developing adolescent brain, and the long-term effects of inhaling vaporized chemicals is unknown.

House Bill 97 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 
 
Ensuring Seniors Stay Eligible for PACE and PACENET

This week, the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee approved a package of bills designed to help seniors in need continue to receive PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefits.

House Bill 754 would ensure any individual enrolled in PACE and PACENET as of Dec. 31, 2018, remains eligible if their maximum income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

House Bill 375 would exclude the cashing of savings bonds for seniors age 65 and older from being counted towards income when applying for lottery funded programs, including PACE and PACENET.

The final part of the package, House Bill 684, would remove the value of federal veterans’ disability payments and the value of all state service-connected payments from income eligibility calculations for the PACE and PACENET programs.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
 
 
Visiting the Capitol

It was a pleasure to meet with a group of future social workers from Shippensburg University as they advocated for legislation that supports their profession.

Dr. Kim Boyer of Sisson-Boyer Eyecare of Newport stopped by my office as part of Pennsylvania Optometric Association Advocacy Day.

I had a fun visit with some folks from Shippensburg Head Start.
 
 
Congratulations, Eagle Scout!

The 86th District’s newest Eagle Scout is Devin McCleaf. I had the privilege of attending Devin's Court of Honor ceremony last Sunday, where I presented him with a House citation in recognition of his outstanding achievement. For his Eagle Scout project, Devin built five wooden benches for the Mount Zion Cemetery, which he also landscaped. He is a member of Troop 94 in Shermans Dale, Perry County, and the son of Craig and Aleah McCleaf, who are also pictured.
 
 
Turnpike Commission Offering Summer Jobs

Are you or someone you know interested in a summer job with the Pennsylvania Turnpike? Applications are now being accepted for toll collector, maintenance, clerical and engineering positions.

Toll collectors must be available to work any of the three shifts over a 24-hour period, including weekends and holidays. Employees will work a 40-hour week. The pay is $12 per hour for toll collectors, maintenance and clerical and $14.50 per hour for engineering positions.

All eligible candidates must be at least 18 years of age and completed a secondary education program such as high school or GED at the time of hiring. The program runs between May 1 and Sept. 30.

All summer applications must be completed online at paturnpike.com. Be sure that when completing the application to select “SUMMER WORK” at the first step in the registration process. Copies of online applications should be sent to my Harrisburg office by Monday, April 15.
 
 
DEP Starts Statewide Surveillance of Ticks

The Department of Environmental Protection is beginning a five-year environmental surveillance of ticks to assess the risk of tickborne illnesses across Pennsylvania.

The study is taking place in every county to track ticks’ habitats, life stages and peak activity levels and to test them for human pathogenic diseases. 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 108 , 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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