Oct. 27, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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A Great Town Hall in Boiling Springs

On Tuesday, I hosted a town hall meeting in Boiling Springs for residents of the 87th District. It was great to engage with you and answer your questions about legislation and issues in state government once again. Thanks to everyone who attended!

Sheepford Road Bridge Receives $10,000 Donation

Earlier this week, the Sheepford Road bridge in Lower Allen Township received a generous donation from Energy Transfer to continue improving the historic bridge. We’re fortunate to have strong advocates in the community who are willing to dedicate their time, knowledge and skills to better the place we live.

I also had the privilege of presenting Janice Lynx of Friends of Sheepford Road bridge with a citation commemorating the 2022 Community Initiative Award the group received for its efforts to save the Sheepford Road bridge.

Learning About the Mechanicsburg Athletic Training Program

This week, I visited with the athletic training team at Mechanicsburg School District. I enjoyed meeting the team, including tenured athletic trainers, a sports medicine doctor and athletic administrators. I also toured facilities at Mechanicsburg High School and middle school, including the Wildcat Activity Center. Athletic trainers are licensed by the state and do so much to keep student athletes healthy. Thank you so much for all you do and for welcoming me this week!
You’re Invited: Veterans Appreciation Breakfast

A Lifeline for EMS Companies

Emergency medical services (EMS) companies across the Commonwealth will see a significant and much-needed boost in reimbursement rates under legislation I supported in the House that has now been signed into law.

Act 15 of 2023 ties the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates to federal Medicare rates, and pays whichever amount is higher for services such as basic life support and advanced life support ambulance trips.

The new law also ensures EMS agencies are reimbursed by Medicaid for 100% of the miles they travel with a patient on board receiving care or transport, finally removing the current exemption for the first 20 miles traveled.

Medicare currently reimburses at a rate of more than $8 per mile in both urban and rural areas and $13 for the first 17 miles in super rural areas. Medicaid reimburses at a rate of $4 per mile after the first 20 miles.

The increased reimbursement takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Streamlining EMS Licensing for Veterans

The General Assembly has adopted, and the governor signed, a new law to streamline the professional licensing process for veterans seeking a civilian emergency medical services career in the Commonwealth.

Act 13 of 2023 will ensure that a service member’s military education and training are taken into consideration for the purpose of fulfilling requirements for professional credentials related to emergency medical services providers, including emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics.

State law already requires certain Commonwealth agencies to strongly consider a veteran’s military education, training and experience for the purpose of fulfilling requirements for professional credentials. The new law will add the Department of Health, which certifies EMTs and paramedics throughout the Commonwealth, to the list. The new law will also add the Department of Agriculture, which has licensure requirements for such professions as food handlers or inspectors.

The law takes effect in 60 days.
PennDOT Announces ‘Innovations Challenge’ for High School Students

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is once again inviting high school students from around the state to participate in the seventh annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge.

The Innovations Challenge is open to all students in grades 9-12 and encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers.

For this year’s challenge, students are asked to develop a plan for the replacement of an aging multi-lane roadway that will reconnect previously separated neighborhoods and incorporates community needs, such as accommodating bicycle and pedestrian traffic, allowing for new business development and ensuring the smooth flow of traffic. The proposed solution should also consider additional costs to restore the affected community.  

For complete Innovations Challenge details, click here. The submission deadline is Jan. 26, 2024.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which is a time to celebrate our friends with Down syndrome and make others aware of their many abilities and accomplishments.

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition, which is associated with delays in physical growth, characteristic facial features and intellectual disability. Approximately 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome — a 1 in 700 chance – each year. However, due to improved research and medical treatments, children born with Down syndrome can live happy, long, productive lives.  
Stay Safe this Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for many kids and families, but safety must always remain a top priority. According to the National Safety Council, the following are some tips to keep in mind while trick-or-treating:

  •   All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  •   If children are out after dark, fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
  •   Opt for non-toxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision.
  •   A responsible adult should accompany young children on neighborhood rounds.
  •   If older children are going alone, plan and review a route and establish a return time.
  •   Teach children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.
  •   Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stay with friends.
  •   Tell children not to eat any treats until they return home, where they can be inspected by an adult.

Motorists traveling on neighborhood trick-or-treat nights should remember to stay alert, slow down, and enter and exit all driveways and alleys carefully.

For more on these and other safety tips, click here.