Office Locations 
District Offices
2030 Center Street
Northampton, PA 18067
Telephone: (610) 502-2701
FAX: (610) 502-2704
Hours: M – F
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 
                    
Slatington Borough Hall
125 South Walnut Street
1st Floor
Slatington PA 18080
Telephone: (610) 760-9805
FAX: (610) 821-6109
Hours: M - F
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 

Capitol Address Information
402 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202183
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2067
Telephone: (717) 772-5398
Fax (717) 783-7667


Committee Advances Mako Legislation to Notify Municipalities of Solid Waste Environmental Violations
9/28/2018
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Committee Advances Mako Legislation to Notify Municipalities of Solid Waste Environmental Violations
 
Earlier this week, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee unanimously reported out my legislation that would amend the Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA).

House Bill 2640 would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to forward to a host municipality notices of noncompliance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and notices of noncompliance for violation of the SWMA. I authored this legislation after learning earlier this year that DEP is not required - nor does it have a policy - to forward these violation notices onto municipalities to alert them to potential hazards in their community.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration. 
 

Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar Set for October
On Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7-8:30 p.m., I will be hosting a Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar at the Blue Mountain Fish and Game Association, 4190 Wood Drive, Walnutport.

A representative from the Pennsylvania Game Commission will speak about chronic wasting disease, how the agency is working to contain it and what you can do to help. The event will conclude with a question and answer segment.

To reserve a seat, please visit my website at RepMako.com or call one of my district offices at 610-502-2701 or 610-760-9805.
 

House Votes to Empower Victims
 
In a historic, bipartisan vote, the House passed legislation that would empower victims of sexual abuse by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for prosecutions of sexual abuse of minors and extending the civil statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors until the victim reaches 50 years of age.

The bill would also waive sovereign and governmental immunity for claims, and remove caps on damages against governmental parties sued for sexual abuse of minors.

Among its most notable provisions, the House voted to open a two-year statute of limitations window for those victims claiming abuse who are beyond the age of 50.

According to statistics, one-third of victims of child sex abuse disclose the incidents when they are still children, while another one-third never disclose. For the remaining one-third, studies show that the average age to disclose is 52.

This legislation, Senate Bill 261, includes several of the recommendations outlined by the state attorney general after the August release of a report alleging widespread coverup of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church across the state and dating back generations.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.
 

Broadband Caucus Looks for Ways to Expand Access, Availability
 
More than 30 members of the state House gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol for the inaugural meeting of the General Assembly’s Broadband Caucus. The goal of the group, which includes members from both sides of the aisle, is to bring access to high-speed internet to unserved and underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Speakers included representatives from AT&T, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Pennsylvania State Grange.

Leaders of the caucus have put forward a four-bill package of legislation that would address compliance of non-rural telecommunication carriers, use of existing state communications assets, recommend improvements to the deployment of high-speed broadband services and audit the existing Educational Technology Fund.

The Broadband Caucus considers addressing the lack of access to sufficient broadband internet service to be critical if Pennsylvania wishes to remain economically, medically and personally competitive.
 

Organizations Given Option of Carrying EpiPens
 
To help save lives in emergency situations, the House unanimously approved legislation this week that would allow law enforcement and a variety of organizations and businesses to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens.

House Bill 126 would permit a number of entities – law enforcement, recreation camps, colleges, universities, day cares, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment and sports arenas – to stock a supply of EpiPens in the event a patron comes in contact with an allergen and has an anaphylactic reaction, which could be fatal.

Under the bill, a designated employee must receive training in how to recognize signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis; standards and procedures for the storage and administration of an epinephrine auto-injector; and emergency follow-up procedures. Immunity would be granted for those who reasonably administer the EpiPen in good faith.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) reports that as many as 15 million individuals have food allergies, and 6 million of those individuals are children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.

The bill has been sent back to the Senate for agreement.
 

Keeping Your Septic System Safe
 
This past week – Sept. 17-21 – was designated SepticSmart Week, and is a good time to check your system to ensure it is in working order.

More than one in five households in the United States depend on individual onsite or small community cluster systems (septic systems) to treat their wastewater. These systems are used to treat and dispose of relatively small volumes of wastewater, usually from houses and businesses located in suburban and rural locations not served by a centralized public sewer system.

In keeping with the national observance, the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA) offers the following tips to keep your septic system in good working order: inspect it annually, pump the tank every three to five years, don’t overload the commode, conserve water, plant trees away from tanks, redirect rain water and protect it during cold weather.

More information is available here
 

Emergency Alert to Sound Test Next Week
 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Oct. 3.

The wireless portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once.

The EAS test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. tornado warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
 
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Office Locations
2030 Center Street, Northampton, PA 18067 | Phone: 610-502-2701
Slatington Borough Hall, 125 S. Walnut Street, First Floor, Slatington, PA 18080 | Phone: 610-760-9805
402A Irvis Office, PO Box 202183. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2183 | (717) 772-5398
Email Address: ZMako@pahousegop.com
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