Jul. 21, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Honoring Pennsylvania’s Fallen First Responders

Legislation that would establish a new state program that recognizes Pennsylvania’s fallen first responders passed unanimously in the House of Representatives recently.

The Keystone First Responder Award would honor those public servants who were either killed or suffered a career-ending injury in the line of duty. Those eligible for the award would include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, coroners, 911 dispatchers and other first responders.

The legislation would call for the creation of a committee to administer and develop the criteria for the award. The committee would then provide a list of potential recipients to the governor, who would choose the honorees and present the award annually at the end of September.

House Bill 358 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
You’re Invited to My Document Shredding Event

Constituents of the 87th Legislative District are invited to my free Document Shredding Event on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. Stop by the district office in Mechanicsburg to safely dispose of documents containing sensitive information, like tax forms.

No RSVP is required for this event. Shredding will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

I hope to see you then!

Keystone ChalleNGe Academy Accepting Applications

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) is accepting applications for its fourth class of cadets which begins January 2024. The KSCA is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education, learn leadership, self-discipline and responsibility while working toward finishing their education and building a better life.

The program is open to 16- to 18-year-old Pennsylvania residents who are failing to progress in high school or may not be on a clear path to graduating. Applicants must be willing to be drug free, free of felony convictions and voluntarily commit to the program. The program lasts 17 months, with the first five months being residential training at Fort Indiantown Gap followed by one year of mentorship back in their home communities.

For detailed eligibility requirements and to begin the application process, click here.

Bill to Help Prevent Medicaid Fraud Advances

Working to protect taxpayer dollars, a bill to help prevent fraud within the Medicaid program has been approved by the House Human Services Committee.

House Bill 876 would require any Medicaid provider to use a National Provider Identifier (NPI) when submitting claims for reimbursement. The NPI is a unique identification number for covered health care providers mandated by federal law. If the provider does not have an NPI, they would be required to register for a State Provider Identifier (SPI) with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

The bill also would clarify where civil claims for Medicaid fraud can be filed. Both initiatives were recommended as part of a grand jury investigation of the state’s Medicaid program.

The bill is pending consideration by the full House.
PennDOT Seeking Workers for Winter Maintenance Program

While we are still feeling the summer heat, PennDOT is preparing for cooler temperatures by gearing up for its winter maintenance program.

Positions available may include CDL equipment operators, mechanics, dispatchers, tradesman helpers and semi-skilled laborers. The positions pay between $15.88-$22.80 an hour. The winter maintenance program runs from September through April.

Anyone wishing to apply should visit www.employment.pa.gov and go to the PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program posting under the “Open Jobs” section of the website.
Fee Reduction to Help PA Families Save for Future Education Expenses

Pennsylvanians looking to save for their child’s future education expenses will see a reduction in operational fees for the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP).

The reduction will save PA 529 IP account owners an estimated $579,000 over the next year.

The PA 529 IP offers a variety of portfolios for families to choose from, including target enrollment date options that automatically reallocate assets as a child approaches their anticipated date of enrollment.

PA 529 accounts are designed to help Pennsylvania families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses – including costs associated with universities, community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships and K-12 education – all with significant state and federal tax advantages.

For more information about saving for education with PA 529, visit pa529.com or call 800-440-4000.