|Making the Grade
Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania – an organization that serves as a state fiscal and policy watchdog – this week released a scorecard on important votes by legislators during the current two-year session, and I was honored to receive an A+ grade for votes I have cast in the Capitol for our district.
You can view the entire scorecard here.
AFP-PA Deputy State Directory Anna McCauslin and AFP-PA State Director Beth Anne Mumford presented me with an award based on my voting record.
Prescription Drug Coverage Expansion to Cover 17,000 More Seniors
Legislation to expand eligibility for the state’s PACENET prescription drug coverage program passed the House last week, moved through the state Senate and is currently awaiting consideration by the governor. Up to 17,000 Pennsylvania seniors are expected to benefit from this expansion.
House Bill 270 would increase the annual maximum income limits in the PACENET program to $27,500 for a single person and to $35,500 for a married couple. Current maximum income requirements for the PACENET program, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, are $23,500 for a single individual and $31,500 for a married couple annually.
Additionally, the bill would allow two new pharmacy-based programs to be developed under the PACE program to assist seniors in monitoring their prescription drug usage.
This eligibility expansion would be the first since 2004, and it is funded by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.
Giving the Gift of Life
Legislation that would help encourage organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania is now on the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 180, which unanimously passed the House last week, would expand the list of those persons authorized to decide on behalf of a decedent whether his or her organs are donated.
Among other provisions, it would also permit a minimally invasive blood or tissue test to be conducted to determine the suitability of a donor; call for education regarding organ and tissue donation and transplantation for high school students, as well as nursing and medical students; and increase the voluntary contribution made by citizens from $1 to $3 for driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.
Currently, more than 8,000 Pennsylvanians are waiting for an organ transplant.
More information about organ donation in Pennsylvania is available here.
PennDOT Improves Customer Care Website
To make it easier to report concerns on state roads, PennDOT has modernized its online customer care center.
The new website will include new mapping capabilities, optional photo uploads and a mobile-friendly interface.
Concerns are sorted into several categories: road or bridge conditions; removing debris from a roadway; traffic, signs or signals; ongoing roadwork or projects; or general questions and concerns.
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. In addition, a description of any familiar landmarks are helpful for PennDOT to locate the problem area.
As of Sept. 30, the previous Customer Care Center had nearly 45,000 concerns submitted this year, according to PennDOT, with more than 96 percent of those concerns being resolved.
Poster Contest Encourages Youth to Know When, How
As part of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s 27th annual Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest, this year’s theme is based on the agency’s new alcohol education campaign “Know When, Know How.” This campaign teaches parents how to start a conversation with their children about the dangers of underage drinking.
The contest is open to all Pennsylvania students in kindergarten through 12th grade, including those who are homeschooled or in private or parochial schools. Students may enter through their schools, clubs, Scout troops or individually.
Entries must feature a clear no-use message about underage drinking and may be created using any artistic medium. Students are encouraged to use positive messages and images, such as the benefits of being alcohol free or alternatives to underage drinking.
Several students with winning entries will receive $50, and one student from each grade (K-12) will receive $25. Some of the winning designs may be reproduced in various formats and distributed across Pennsylvania.
Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Nov. 16. For additional information about submission dates, guidelines and prizes, review the contest guidelines and entry form available at lcb.pa.gov under “Education,” then “Poster Contest.”