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Friday, October 20, 2023
The latest news from the State Capitol
You are welcome to contact me through this link.
That’s a Wrap on This Year’s Senior Citizens Expos!
Thank you to everyone who came out for the Potter County Senior Citizens Expo last Friday in Roulette. We had a great turnout of seniors, their family members and caregivers, as well as exhibitors from a variety of state and local agencies and organizations. It is always a pleasure to see familiar faces and to welcome new ones!
Thousands Participate in March for Life
I was honored to take part in the third annual Pennsylvania March for Life Monday. Thousands of people from across the Commonwealth descended on the state Capitol to take a stand for the unborn. It was a moving demonstration of our beliefs in the right to life.
Happy 60th Anniversary!
Congratulations to Gene and Phyllis Thompson of Ulysses, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 31! I was honored to sponsor a congratulatory citation from the House of Representatives marking this special celebration. The citation was presented to the Thompsons by my district legislative assistant Shelley Butler. Pictured from left: Karen Heyler, Diane Lewis, Shelley Butler, Phyllis and Gene Thompson, Donald Thompson, Michelle Cornell, and Michael Thompson.
A Lifeline for EMS Companies
Click here to view video.
Emergency medical services (EMS) companies across the Commonwealth would see a significant and much-needed boost in reimbursement rates under legislation we passed in the House this week.
House Bill 1351 would tie the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates to federal Medicare rates, and pay whichever amount is higher.
The bill would also ensure EMS agencies are reimbursed by Medicaid for 100% of the miles they travel with a patient on board receiving care or transport, finally removing the current exemption for the first 20 miles traveled. The exemption never made sense considering the cost of fuel and the cost of care start as soon as that ambulance pulls away and heads to the hospital!
Medicare reimburses at a rate of more than $8 per mile in both urban and rural areas and $13 for the first 17 miles in super rural areas. Medicaid currently pays $4 per mile after the first 20 miles.
This is great news for all Pennsylvanians, and especially for those of us living in rural communities where EMS agencies are really struggling to keep their doors open.
The bill is pending the governor’s signature to become law, and he is expected to sign it. The increased reimbursement would take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Galeton Earns Grant for Wastewater Upgrades
The Galeton Borough Authority was awarded a $1.4 million grant this week for improvements to its wastewater treatment facilities.
The funding will facilitate the installation of two new aerobic digesters and blowers, a new sludge pump, a new central clarifier and new on-site sewer lines. Combined with enhancements to the existing aeration tanks, these wastewater treatment upgrades will substantially improve the plant’s sludge handling capacity and ability to handle wet-weather flows.
The funding was awarded through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST). Without the grant, the system’s customers could have seen their rates increase by more than 22%.
PENNVEST is not supported by the state’s General Fund budget, which covers the daily operations and services of the Commonwealth. Financing is provided through the use of federal funding and prior bond issues by the state as well as proceeds from Act 13 of 2012, the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee.
THIS THURSDAY! We’ll Help You Replace Your Unreadable License Plate for Free!
If you are dealing with an unreadable license plate on your vehicle, please join us on Thursday, Oct. 26, for an event to help you get that plate replaced at NO CHARGE.
The event will be from 4-7 p.m. at the Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department, 46 Main St., Lewis Run.
State law requires PennDOT to replace license plates that are deemed illegible at no cost to the vehicle owner. A plate is considered illegible when one or more numbers or letters cannot be recognized from 50 feet away, typically due to blistering, peeling, discoloration, loss of reflectivity or other damage.
The McKean County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand to view driver’s plates, and if the plates are deemed illegible, paperwork to start the replacement process will be completed. Those who plan to attend should bring their vehicle with the affected plate attached, along with their unexpired PA driver’s license and current vehicle registration card.
Registration is requested and may be completed online at www.RepCauser.com/Events or by calling the Bradford office at 814-362-4400.
FCI McKean Job Fair THIS THURSDAY!
Looking for work in the public safety sector? The CareerLink office in Bradford is hosting a job fair for positions at FCI McKean on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the flyer for details.
Update on 2024 Primary Election
You may have heard talk that the Legislature is moving next year’s primary election.
I can assure you Pennsylvania’s Primary Election date will be Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
After the House Democrat majority advanced a bill this week to move the 2024 Primary Election date by one week to April 16, leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate said they will not take up the legislation, leaving the date unchanged.
Following weeks of debate on the issue, I am glad to see this result. County officials have said moving the date earlier this close to the 2024 Primary Election is unwise and unworkable. Given the recent issues many counties have had in administering elections, we should not be placing additional burdens on them so close to the election date.
We Stand with Israel
The state House unanimously approved a resolution this week stating unequivocal support for the state of Israel in the face of recent terrorist attacks by Hamas. Thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives in the conflict, while thousands more have been injured and an estimated 200 people, including American citizens, have been taken hostage.
The resolution calls for justice and safety for both the Israeli and Palestinian people and condemns the violent actions of Hamas. Finally, we call on Congress to provide the state of Israel with the support it needs to ensure the safety and security of its people.
To read the full resolution, click here.