May. 04, 2018

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

Bills on the Move: Career, Technical Education Package, Including Mako Proposal, Passes House
To help job creators fill in-demand jobs now and in the future, the House overwhelmingly approved a nine-bill bipartisan package to improve career and technical education opportunities and enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.

Included in the package is my House Bill 2158, which would increase awareness of workforce needs and opportunities by requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop materials outlining workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential. Schools would then distribute these materials to their students.

The other bills include measures to promote public-private partnerships; remove barriers for qualified career and technical educators; increase flexibility for innovative secondary career and technical programs; enhance and promote articulation agreements; develop and maintain a comprehensive online career resource center; coordinate state-level career exploration and workforce development opportunities; improve local and occupational advisory committees; and add K-12 teachers to the membership of the Workforce Development Board.

The bills – which are designed highlight the benefits of this educational option for students looking to enter the workforce -- now move to the state Senate for consideration.

More information is available here.

50 Years of Service

At the Northampton Fire Department annual banquet, Keith Piescienski was honored for 50 years of service. I presented him with a House citation to thank him for his service. We owe our emergency responders our unending thanks and appreciation.

Cutting Through the Red Tape
To help enhance Pennsylvania’s economy by helping job creators, the House this week passed a multi-bill package to cut government red tape and reduce burdensome regulations while still maintaining the integrity of health and safety regulations.

Among the bills are those that would review statutes and regulations for possible revision or repeal; enhance the review process for regulations that impose a major cost burden on the state; grant the General Assembly the authority to repeal any regulation in effect without the governor’s consent; reform the permit process; and require each state agency to designate a regulatory compliance officer.

Pennsylvania currently has more than 153,000 regulatory restrictions that stretch across every industry operating within the Commonwealth. These restrictions create hurdles that businesses of all shapes and sizes must jump over in order to create jobs in Pennsylvania.

The World Bank and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimate that over-regulation has a negative effect on economic growth, ranging between 0.8 percent and 2.3 percent.

The bills would not require the repeal of any regulations vital to the health and safety of the Commonwealth’s citizens.

The package now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Celebrating a Slatington Business

Congratulations to A. F. Boyer Hardware & Guns on receiving the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce’s Milestone Award on celebrating its 150th year in business. For five generations, this small business has been a valued part of the community and given so much back. It was an honor to present the owners with a House citation marking the occasion. Pictured with me (from left) are Debbie, Abel and Allan Boyer.

Getting Monthly Medications at Once
As a way to help senior citizens and others who take monthly maintenance medications, the House this week passed legislation that would allow customers to synchronize the refilling of their prescription drug medications.

House Bill 1800 would make filling prescriptions more convenient, as it would eliminate multiple visits to the pharmacy by allowing all prescriptions to be filled on the same day each month. Different refill dates throughout the month can make it difficult, especially for those who use public transportation, to pick up their medicine.

Studies have shown that when medications are not synchronized, a reduction in taking medications as prescribed occurs.

Currently, consumers can request this synchronization, but this bill simply puts the practice into state law and prohibits an insurance company from denying coverage for a partial fill of a script in order to facilitate medication synchronization. Thirty-five other states have enacted or introduced similar legislation.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
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