State Laws Enacted in 2017 Could Affect You
1/12/2018
Legislative Year in Review

During the first half of the 2017-18 legislative session, the House advanced a number of important bills that seek to improve education, make our communities safer, enhance quality of life for families and senior citizens, and reform government – all while standing up for taxpayers.

In addition to passing a budget that increased investments in education while funding the core functions of state government, the House approved legislation to reform the public pension systems; force public officials and employees who are convicted of public corruption crimes to forfeit their government pension; keep children safe from online predators; extend the popular and successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); protect senior citizens’ prescription drug coverage; and delay the implementation of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement.

Looking ahead to 2018, the House is coordinating a legislative agenda focusing on work and economic opportunity, educating for success, escaping government dysfunction, and protecting families and communities.

To review a list of bills passed by the House, click here to read our year-end report.
 
 
Does Your Home Contain Radon?

 
An estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state’s geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

January is national Radon Action Month. For more information on radon, testing and safety tips, click here.
                    
 
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday

 
All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Jan. 13, through Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
 
 
Continuing the Battle Against Heroin, Opioid Epidemic


The heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth has now been declared a statewide disaster by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The designation comes on the heels of the General Assembly’s passage of at least a dozen state laws aimed at stopping abuse before it starts through prescription limits and better education outreach, as well efforts to increase the availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and improved treatment options.

Among the goals set by the administration to address the issue are enhancing coordination and data collection to bolster state and local response; improving tools for families, first responders and others to save lives; and speeding up and expanding access to treatment.

More than 4,600 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to opioid overdose in 2016, and the 2017 statistics are expected to increase.

As we learned at my recent public forum about the opioid epidemic, this issue affects all groups of Pennsylvanians – not differentiating by race, region, religion, income or any other factor. Beyond the public health toll, opioids are straining prisons, the child welfare system and hospitals, and nationwide have cost more than $50 billion annually in treatment and lost productivity.