Oct. 20, 2017

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

Veterans Assistance Available
Each month one of my district offices hosts monthly veterans’ outreach hours. Openings are still available for the Thursday, Nov. 2, session in my Slatington District Office, 125 S. Walnut St. Appointments also are still available for the Thursday, Dec. 7, session in my Northampton District Office, 2030 Center St. Please call one of my district offices at (610) 760-9805 or (610) 502-2701 to schedule an appointment.

During the special hours, a veterans outreach specialist is available to meet with local veterans and assist them with issues they may be having accessing benefits and services from the U.S. Veterans Administration.

Governor Vetoes Welfare Reform Bill
Despite dozens of House members urging Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill 59, the Human Services code part of the 2017-18 state budget package, he chose to veto it on Thursday.

The measure was designed to contain escalating costs for the state’s Medical Assistance (MA) program by starting a process to implement work or work-search requirements for able-bodied individuals receiving MA benefits.

Work requirements are already in place for food stamp and cash assistance programs. Under the bill, the work requirements would not have applied to those who have a qualifying disability, are pregnant or are elderly. The federal government would have had to approve such requirements.  

Improving Education at All Levels
As part of the Public School Code portion of the 2017-18 budget package, the House passed several important initiatives designed to enhance curriculum and improve the educational process.

Changes to overall kindergarten through 12th-grade education include delaying the implementation of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement until the 2019-20 school year; prohibiting “lunch shaming” to ensure all students have access to school lunches; adding opioid abuse and prevention education to drug and alcohol abuse curriculum and enhancing agriculture education offerings; and increasing the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) by $10 million to $135 million.

To help with public school administration, changes are also being sought to require training for new members of a school’s governing body and to allow a school to furlough teachers for economic reasons and basing those decisions on performance, rather than seniority.

The legislation now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.

Got Expired Drugs? Dispose of Them Safely on Oct. 28
To help keep prescription medications out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, the U.S. Department of Justice, working with local law enforcement, will hold a prescription take-back event in our area on Saturday, Oct. 28. This event allows residents to drop off unwanted or expired prescription medications free of charge for safe and convenient disposal.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop their medications off here. More sites are being added daily.

Several communities in our area also have permanent collection sites. Click here for those
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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