May. 26, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

REAL ID Bill Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights, Federal Buildings Continues
Pennsylvanians who do not fly or enter federal buildings or military installations would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk. Instead, residents would be able to choose between a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license/photo ID card. Residents who choose the standard form of identification must have a passport to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place. It is not yet clear how long it will take to fully implement REAL ID in Pennsylvania, so the Commonwealth will be requesting an extension from the federal government. Assuming the extension is granted, Pennsylvanians will be able to continue using their current form of state-issued identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings until the new system is in place. Offering residents a choice allows Pennsylvania to comply with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill.

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Voucher Distribution Begins
During the next several weeks, voucher distribution for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program will be held at a variety of locations throughout Northampton County for county residents. The program provides eligible seniors with four $5 checks to use at any participating farmers market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants must be 60 or older by Dec. 31 of this year and have income below 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For those who are unable to visit a distribution location, proxy forms are available in my district office. Nearby dates and locations are Monday, June 5, from 9-11 a.m., at the Mid County Senior Center, 234 S. Walnut St., Bath; Tuesday, June 6, from 9-11 a.m. at the Northampton Senior Center, 902 Lincoln Ave., Northampton; Tuesday, June 13, from 9-11 a.m. at the Cherryville Senior Center, 4131 Lehigh Drive, Cherryville; Thursday, June 29, from 2-3 p.m., at the Northampton Public Library, 1615 Laubach Ave., Northampton; and Monday, July 10, from 9:30-11 a.m., at the Bath Senior Center, 234 S. Walnut St., Bath. The Lehigh County distribution locations and dates are not set yet.

Hope for Cancer Patients
To give hope to patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer, the House passed a bill this week to ensure they have access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors without delay, no matter what their insurance typically covers. Insurance companies currently have the ability to set average guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Current standard practice requires Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor. House Bill 1280 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Helping Kids with Allergies
Legislation was signed into law recently that helps ensure the health and safety of students who suffer from severe allergic reactions. Act 2 of 2017 provides civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who administer an epinephrine auto-injector, or epi-pen, to a student who experiences an allergic reaction. Under the new law, a bus driver or crossing guard must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen. It does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met. The new law will take effect before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

Traveling Over Memorial Day? Check Traffic Conditions on
Travelers can log onto to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website. Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel. In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, for the holiday. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,
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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
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