Veterans Recognized at Annual Breakfast
11/30/2018
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The Rothman Report

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 The latest news from the State Capitol

In the Community
Veterans Recognized at Annual Breakfast
Over Veterans Day weekend I had the privilege of recognizing veterans in our district and presenting Vietnam War veterans with a lapel pin. More than 70 veterans, family members, and friends attended a pancake breakfast and recognition/pinning ceremony on Saturday, November 10, at the Hampden Township Recreation Center.

Colonel Julie A. Carpenter, commander of the 193rd Special Operations Medical Group, 193rd Special Operations Wing, delivered keynote remarks.

A special thank you to Cub Scout Pack 180 and parents for cooking, serving, hosting, and cleaning up that morning.

As always, I thank my fellow veterans for their service and sacrifice during times of war and peace. It was an honor to host this breakfast and recognize our veterans. Please know that all of you are appreciated for your devotion to our nation’s freedom and security.

We hope all of those who attended the breakfast enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

   
Colonel Julie Carpenter gives the keynote at the annual veterans breakfast on November 10. Joyce Evans of Camp Hill received a commemorative pin posthumously on behalf of her son David Lee Evans, who served in Vietnam between 1970-72.
                                                                                                    
Senior Citizen Outreach Events
My office was among the 90 exhibitors at the annual 50plus Expo at the Carlisle Expo Center on October 17. The Expo is the largest show in Cumberland County devoted to adults 50 and older. Cumberland County is fortunate to have so many resources available for this group in the areas of health, finances, fitness, housing, recreation, and more. I enjoyed having the opportunity to speak to many residents who stopped by and picked up materials. I encourage everyone to come to the next Expo. All are welcome, and I look forward to seeing more of you next year!

 
Representative Sheryl Delozier and I shared a booth at the 50plus Expo on October 17.
                                                                       
Area residents also had direct access to information about services for seniors within Cumberland County during state Senator Mike Regan’s (R-Cumberland) free senior expo, held on October 25, at the West Shore YMCA.

In addition, representatives from the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office offered a drug take-back opportunity to safely dispose of unused or unneeded medicines. Technicians from Rite Aid administered flu shots to eligible seniors on site. The event also featured free health screenings, door prizes and light refreshments.

 
Myself, Senator Mike Regan, and Representative Sheryl Delozier at the Senior Expo on October 25.
                                                                       

New Faces at the 87th District Office
This fall our district office welcomed a new intern, Sankalp Ellanki, a senior at Cumberland Valley High School. Sankalp plans to study law after graduation and become an attorney with a possible focus on international or government law. Sankalp enjoys participating in speech and debate, and participating in mock trials, being a member of the American Red Cross Club, and was formerly a track and field team member.

Since the fourth grade he has been an active participant in the Harrisburg Telugu Association, a nonprofit cultural organization representing the Telugu speaking people from southern India, who reside in the greater Harrisburg area.

Sankalp assists in organizing cultural events, hosting multiple events, and creating social media platforms for the group.

You may see Sankalp at upcoming district events throughout next spring.

 
 

 
Welcome also to Tracy Hoy, who is serving as a constituent outreach specialist for the office. She has a background in integrated marketing communications and is assisting with event planning and written materials. Tracy is available to assist with state-related concerns. 
                                                                         
State Government News

Harrisburg Young Professionals Celebrating 20 Years
The House of Representatives gave overwhelming support to a resolution honoring the Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP), on its 20th anniversary this year.

My friends and I founded Harrisburg Young Professionals because we recognized the need for young professionals to come together and revitalize the energy and enthusiasm in the city of Harrisburg. Today, we have over 1,000 members and a board of directors comprised entirely of professionals under 40 years old.

You can find out more about HYP at its website here.
 
 
 

Commuter Tax Averted
A new law, Act 124 of 2018, went into effect that will allow the city of Harrisburg to exit Act 47 distressed status without imposing a commuter tax or increasing property taxes for city residents.

The law establishes an Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA). It also allows the city of Harrisburg to keep its enhanced taxation status from Act 47 while prohibiting a commuter tax. These provisions are set to expire in five years.

I am appreciative to all who supported this important bill, especially Governor Tom Wolf and my colleagues Senator John Disanto (R-Dauphin/Perry), Representative Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) and Representative Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin).

 
Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 124 with myself, Representative Patti Kim and Representative Tom Mehaffie.
                                   
 

New Law Allows PennDOT the Use of Automated Vehicle Technology
The governor signed into law House Bill 1958, now Act 117, that authorizes the use of highly automated work zone vehicles and “platooning.” Platooning is a term commonly used to refer to a group of vehicles that can travel closely together, safely and at high speed, through Bluetooth, systems like GPS (Global Positioning System), and radar-sensing systems.

Transportation and highway safety are important concerns for me and our district. Those of us who serve on the Transportation Committee continue to work with PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Autonomous Vehicle Coalition, and engineering firms, such as Gannett Fleming, to stay up-to-date on transformative technology that can increase highway safety for workers and travelers.

Many thanks to Secretary Leslie Richards of PennDOT and my colleagues for working with me to get this legislation passed. Governor Wolf signed the bill into law on October 24.

 
House Bill 1958 will allow PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike to begin work providing better protection to its workers and travelers. The bill also paves the way for Pennsylvania to once again lead our nation into the future of transportation.
 

New Law to Protect Highway Workers
Under the new law, Act 86 of 2018, automated speed enforcement cameras will be deployed as part of a five-year pilot program in active work zones along certain federal highways under PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s jurisdiction.

Motorists who exceed the speed limit when construction workers and these cameras are present will receive a written warning for the first offense, a $75 fine for the second offense and a $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. Penalties imposed will not be a criminal conviction if paid, will not reflect on an owner’s driving record, and cannot be used for insurance purposes or to authorize imposition of surcharges on motor vehicle insurance coverage. Cameras could start appearing as early as the spring 2019 construction season.

This legislation was modeled after a similar law in Maryland, which saw a substantial reduction in work zone-related crashes.

PennDOT reports that work zone crashes have been increasing at a rate of 5 percent annually since 2012.

More information about highway safety.
 

Veterans Organizations Can Apply for Trust Fund Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grant cycle. Up to $800,000 in VTF grant funding will be competitively awarded for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans.

The VTF is funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing driver’s licenses, photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchasing Honoring Our Veterans license plates; or making private donations.

To learn more about the VTF and the grant application process, visit vtf.pa.gov or follow DMVA on Facebook at facebook.com/padmva.

Pennsylvania has the fourth-largest veteran population in the nation, with nearly 800,000 veterans. 
                                     

New Laws to Benefit Military and Veterans
Two laws were recently enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to help families of active-duty military members and veterans.

Act 119 of 2018 requires public school entities to provide support services and information to a student when a parent or guardian is deployed for active duty.

Act 149 of 2018 allows applicants for a two-year vehicle registration to double their donation to the Veterans Trust Fund when they complete their registration online. The additional funds raised will go toward veterans’ programs and services.

These new laws are in addition to the Stolen Valor Law, Act 9 of 2017, which was also enacted this last session. The law makes it a crime for someone to misrepresent military service or honors for the purpose of fraudulently attempting to obtain money, property or other benefits.
 

Fighting Opioid Abuse
A new law that requires opioids to be prescribed electronically will bring consistency in the way prescriptions are filled and will also prevent the fraudulent use of prescription pads to fuel the opioid crisis.

Act 96 of 2018 will make it more difficult to have fake prescriptions filled, while also making it more convenient for patients who have a legitimate need for the medication. Currently, most all medications are prescribed electronically.

Another benefit of e-prescribing is that the tracking of the prescription can go directly to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database to help ensure only those who have a legitimate medical need for these prescriptions can access them. 
                                     

Assistance for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Now Law
Two new laws signed by the governor will assist grandparents raising their grandchildren and help them better access both private and public resources.

House Bill 2133, now Act 89 of 2018, will establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program. Grandparents and other kinship caregivers will have access to information and resources through a website and a toll-free hotline. The website will offer where support and services can be found, and the hotline will connect to a specially trained navigator who can provide support and guidance to kinship caregivers, as well as serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and the necessary federal, state and local agency staff.

The cost to state taxpayers will be greatly reduced, as the Commonwealth just received $479,307 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to develop the program.

The second measure to help grandchildren, House Bill 1539, now Act 88 of 2018, will allow grandparents to have temporary guardianship when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

An estimated 82,000 grandparents in Pennsylvania are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 children. 
 

Giving Students Flexibility for Graduation Requirements
As a way to ensure students get the most out of their educational experience, Senate Bill 1095, now Act 158 of 2018, was enacted in October. The legislation will remove the heavy focus on standardized testing as a requirement to graduate and instead allow students various options to show proficiency in pursuing their own career paths.

The bill outlines several commonsense options for assessing student performance while also giving teachers more flexibility with classroom instruction time. Some alternatives include a student’s successful completion of work-based learning programs, a service learning project, or an offer of full-time employment as evidence of post-secondary readiness. The Keystone Exam graduation requirement would be put on hold until the 2021-22 school year. The alternate graduation options in Senate Bill 1095 will then take effect.

This legislation seeks to enhance a multi-bill package to expand career and technical education to benefit both students and employers looking to fill jobs in high-demand fields.
 
Programs, Services, and Opportunities
PennDOT Improves Customer Care Website
PennDOT has modernized its online customer care center at  customercare.penndot.gov. to make it easier to report concerns on state roads.

The new website includes new mapping capabilities, optional photo uploads and a mobile-friendly interface.

Motorists are asked to be as specific as possible when providing locations of concerns. Motorists should report the county, municipality, street name and state route number, which can be found on small black and white signs posted along state highways. A description of any familiar landmarks is helpful for PennDOT to locate the problem area.
                                   

Registry Puts Veterans in Touch with Services
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has compiled an
 
online registry to better connect veterans with available resources.

Registration – which includes submitting basic information such as name, age, home address, email, etc. – takes only a few minutes, and can be done online with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Veterans can choose to have their information shared with their county director for veterans affairs and other relevant state agencies. They can also opt in to receive timely, informative emails regarding local, state and national news; program updates; community events; and employment opportunities available specifically for veterans.
 
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1200 Camp Hill Bypass, Suite 202, Camp Hill, PA 17011 | Phone: 717-975-2235
163A East Wing, Capitol Complex, PO Box 202087, Harrisburg, PA 17120 | Phone: 717-783-2063
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